Social Media

12 social media questions  and insights with the curly marketer

12 social media questions and insights with the curly marketer

Back in March 2018, I was thrilled to be asked to be part of the We are Social Media podcast.  The title of the piece would be 12 social media questions and insights with the curly marketer.

WEARSM is one of the world’s leading independent sources of digital marketing news and insight, covering social media marketing, the connected lifestyle, and a lot in between.

The segment I was involved in was their 12 questions regarding social media with a guest (MOI).

Really enjoyed the experience speaking with Linleigh Master who is an absolute pro, and a big thank you to Andrew Pickering and Peter Gartland from Atomic for recommending me to be on the show.

Anyway, to hear my words of wisdom and views on just click here. Let me know what you think in the comments below and if you want to know more about me click here

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Best Wishes

Phillip, The Curly Marketer

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Social Media, 0 comments
Where is social media heading in 2018?

Where is social media heading in 2018?

Where is social media heading in 2018?  That is the question I answer and give my views on in this video.  If we look at all the social channels you will notice that many things have happened.

Facebook has gone through the data crisis that I believe has led to a huge amount of trust being eroded in the brand.  Twitter changed their policies for sharing the same tweet across multiple profiles and for sharing the same tweet multiple times on the same profile.

This came about because of the increases in spam and also how elections were using social media to inflate profiles and mass communicate the same message.

In my view, one key thing that people need to embrace when it comes to social media is you have to be personal, natural, human and engage.  For too long people have set content up to be automated with little or no engagement with their communities.  But times are changing and the brands that make the effort to reach out and personally interact with their audiences will be the ones that reap the rewards.

If you want to know more about me click here

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Social Media, 0 comments
How To Create The Best Content Marketing Strategy

How To Create The Best Content Marketing Strategy

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of how to create a content marketing strategy, I want to give you a compelling reason why you need to make Content Marketing an integral part of your marketing budget.

Consider this statistic highlighted courtesy of Lenati

67% of the typical B2B buyer’s journey is now done digitally, and 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on their purchasing decisions.

Even though this statistic is based on a B2B consumer I have no doubt that the outcome would be the same for a B2C buyer.  Why?

The consumer whether B2B or B2C is intelligent, protective of their privacy, does not want to compromise on quality, expects a personalised user experience and above all now conducts their own research before considering making an enquiry.  

Gone are the days of someone blindly engaging with a sales rep and this very point is encapsulated in this piece of research from the Demand Gen Report – Content Preferences Survey which states that:

47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.

At the end of day, while increased website traffic, increasing impressions and lots of social shares are positive, a business will only survive if it can turn casual visitors into advocate customers.

Therefore, a business needs to employ tactics and use strategies that will motivate and increase the chances your target audience will want to do business with you, and a content marketing strategy, done well, is just such an answer in my opinion.

Business Is Buying Into Content Marketing

In 2017 Content Marketing is appearing to be now seen as an integral and vital part of a company marketing strategy. This is very well evidenced by an excellent survey done by Smart Insights who asked their readers the following question.

“Select one marketing activity that you think will give your business the biggest incremental uplift in leads and sales in 2017 (or your clients if you work for an agency or as a consultant)”.

Out of 2,352 responses, Content Marketing was polled at the top as illustrated by the image below courtesy of Smart Insights

 

Top Digital Marketing Techniques for content marketing strategy

 

Content Marketing Is Becoming Universally Accepted

In 2016, 90% of businesses were implementing a content marketing strategy and tactics in their business and for 2017 it is estimated that this figure will increase according to this report by the leading authority in the area of Content Marketing The Content Marketing Institute

They define Content Marketing as follows:

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.

This is a very clear definition of what Content Marketing is and when you think about it makes perfect sense when creating your content marketing strategy.  

Customers, buyers and prospects in 2017 are more sales savvy, knowledgeable about what it is they want and are intent on doing their own intensive research when trying to find an answer or a solution.  

Therefore, it stands to reason that if a company provides quality information that is relevant to their audience that allows them to come to a decision easier, than the company in question should see positive results.

But this not the case!

Businesses Are Struggling To Get Success With Content Marketing

Even though Content Marketing makes sense and companies understand the benefits that can be accrued from employing such a strategy, businesses are struggling to get the success they want.

In their 2016 Content Marketing Benchmark report The Content Marketing Institute in conjunction with Marketing Profs found a number of challenges (see image courtesy of Smart Insights below) that businesses reported when trying to get traction with Content Marketing.

content marketing strategy challenges

If I go back to the headline of this post titled:

How To Create The Best Content Marketing Strategy

I do believe that a number of these challenges could be tackled and the results improved if companies reviewed what they had defined as their Content Marketing Strategy.

Consider these core statistics for a moment:

70% of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy. (Altimeter)

80% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy. 32% documented 48% not

Having a detailed documented content marketing strategy that is consistently applied, reviewed and iterated where and when necessary, is a crucial element that based on the above results a lot of companies are failing to do which then feeds into the issues and struggles that I alluded to earlier.

 

content marketing strategy

How To Create The Best Content Marketing Strategy

targeting for your content marketing strategy

Step 1 Define Your Goals

This invariably is the most critical step.  If you don’t know why you are undertaking Content Marketing and what is it that you want to achieve from your Content Marketing Strategy you will struggle to see any real traction or benefits accrued. You may, in fact, do damage to your brand as you come across confused and inconsistent in both messaging and communications.

When defining goals when it comes to Content Marketing I believe you have to do it with your end customer in mind and based on the stage of the sales journey they could be on with you.  

Simply Measured did an excellent job to flesh this out and how you need to create content that has a purpose.  From this article, they put forward an excellent content funnel (see image below) where they mapped content against the traditional sales funnel journey a person would travel.

Social Metrics Map for content marketing strategy

I think the above map would be an excellent overlay to allow a company develop very personalised and relevant objectives for the various tactics that would be employed as a prospect moved closer to conversion.

Customer Personas for content marketing strategy

Step 2 Persona Research

Knowing and understanding what your customer and the target market pain points, needs and wants are is crucial for your content marketing strategy so that you can align your message tailored to what will peak their interest.

Hubspot outlines a very detailed plan to begin creating your customer personas but a core element is you have to conduct your research on the market and use insights from customer surveys, reviews, interviews from your sales team etc.

Every customer and prospect is looking for a solution or an answer, but the core interest or element that they deem critical in order for them to make a decision is vital to know.

For example some customers maybe price focussed, others look for testimonials and proof of delivery.  Once you can identify these you can then better craft your message to resonate with them.

Content Audit for content marketing strategy

Step 3 Content Audit

A lot of companies have produced lots of content yet it gets forgotten in place of yet another campaign.  

When developing your content marketing strategy, you must review what has been done before, how did it perform, did it work, did it not, why did work, why did it fail, could it be used again, updated etc.

Looking at what the company has initially produced and reviewing how it performed the first time will provide not only potential content for the new strategy but doing this review will yield critical performance information to ensure mistakes that happened the last time don’t occur again.

Wordpress for your content marketing strategy

Step 4 Content Management

You need to document and agree on a system for creating the content, publishing the content and then reviewing how it performs against your objectives and KPI’s as part of your content marketing strategy.

For example if the company decides that a blog will be a core content tactic to be used, will this be managed via WordPress or an alternative solution, or will you decide to have one all encompassed approach that allows for content marketing, analytics and CRM to be contained in one bespoke piece of software such as Hubspot.

Brain storming for content marketing strategy

Step 5 Content Brainstorming

While this is down as a step it will not be a once off action.  

Setting up agreed idea generation meetings is a necessity to allow for new ideas or the iteration and improving original content previously shared with the market.

At these sessions, you need to agree what types of content should be produced and for blog posts using a blog post title generator like this one from Hubspot is valuable.

Ultimately though at these sessions you are looking to come up with ideas and solidify the core content you wish to create as part of your content strategy.  

Some excellent forms of content that could be created are as follows:

 

 

  • Blog
  • Ebooks
  • Whitepaper
  • Industry Report
  • Infographic
  • Video
  • Tips sheet
  • Templates
  • Podcast
  • Quotes
  • FAQ’s

 

 

Blog for your content marketing strategy

I placed a blog at the top because I truly believe that it is a content marketing tactic that is mandatory for the majority of companies.  

Not only does having a blog help in the long term with SEO and page-rank, but it allows you showcase your expertise to your market and the beauty of a blog is that a post or multiple posts under the same theme could be repurposed into any of the other content forms listed above.

create Calendar for your content marketing strategy

6 Content Planning

Creating a plan around an editorial calendar is critical from a Content Marketing point of view.  You need to work towards having your content designated for a certain audience and then scheduled to post and be distributed at key periods ahead of time rather than try to do it live on the due date.

An editorial calendar allows you plan what content should go on what date against each of the social channels, and it can also allow you forward look at specific events or seasonal times like Easter or Christmas where if applicable, you can ahead of time create content specific to that event, and hence, become more relevant and on topic in the face of your audience.

content marketing strategy

7 Unlock Influencer Relationships

A lot of companies fall into the trap that because they are “the company” they see themselves as automatically being an influencer in the market.  While that may be true of some of the large brands it is not a given.  

In many industries from tech to food to fitness, there are individuals who have built up a follower base of raving fans who live and breathe every word and piece of content that these people promote.

However, I would never advocate any company or individual that they go down the influencer route by purely paying for an influencer to endorse or promote their company or product to their audience.

I believe in creating genuine relationships with influencers where there are mutual respect and support for what each other is doing by building a trusted relationship built on transparency from which the benefits that can be created are very positive for everybody.

unlock communication for the your content marketing strategy

8 Promotion

One of the biggest mistakes both individuals and companies make when it comes to Content Marketing is the area of promotion.  For example, with a blog post, a lot of bloggers and companies will simply post the blog once and forget about it.  

However, promotion and multiple publishing are key to ensure that as large a segment of your audience gets to see a piece of content.

This is yet another reason to have an editorial calendar where reposting of content at set times across various mediums from email to social can be utilised.

Conclusion

Content Marketing is becoming an integral part of every company’s marketing strategy, but I do believe that a lot of the struggles that companies are facing with their own Content Marketing as identified in the research is down to the fact that either there is no documented strategy in place, or at best they are using a very loose plan.

For it to work it needs to have its own detailed plan that is linked to the overall strategy for the business.  You need to set a budget to ensure your Content Marketing can properly work towards achieving the objectives set, you will need to actively measure and monitor results of how content is performing and iterate or change as required, and above all, you need to have patience.

content marketing strategy

Apart from having no documented strategy, I believe the number one reason why a lot of companies struggle for content success is that they don’t have patience and expect it to be an instant win.  

Unfortunately, this is not the case and I always advise a client that at a minimum you need to allow for 6 months of consistent activity before you could see any traction.

This is where Marketing and Finance can come to blows as return on investment is questioned.  

However, building awareness, reputation, expertise and trust takes time.  If you commit to it and focus on aligning your content against the requirements of the target audience at the right stage of the content funnel, I honestly believe you will seriously increase the likelihood of taking that prospect from intent to conversion.

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.  If you are struggling with content marketing why not read why post here to get some tips here.

Best wishes

Phillip

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

 

Originally published on Marketing Maven

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Content Marketing, 0 comments
10 Things To Do For Your Email Marketing Success

10 Things To Do For Your Email Marketing Success

Email Marketing, once the darling of the marketing world, is now seen as a pariah almost. The bringer of spam, and now looking so uncool when compared to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  Yet, I would contest that when done right email marketing can be extremely effective at taking your business to the next level.

To support this view, Campaign Monitor did an excellent post listing 70 key facts related to email marketing that I believe will convince all the email doubters to reconsider their opinion of email as a marketing tool.   Here are a couple of my favourites.

Apart from these facts do also consider that based on the excellent report done by The Radicati Group it is estimated that by 2019 there will 2.9 billion worldwide users of email.

OK, so now that we know some serious facts that show that email is still a very relevant and potent tool in your marketing strategy how should you go about planning and implementing an email campaign that will give you the best open rates and responses?

 

The following are 10 tips for email marketing success that I believe will improve your email marketing if it is not currently rewarding your efforts.

 

Planning for Email Marketing

 

10 Things To Do For Your Email Marketing Success

1 Create A Plan

As the saying goes “Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail”. No matter what medium, action, or strategy you want to conduct, you have to create a plan and capture a number of key pieces of information to allow you formulate the best approach to achieve success.

First, who are you targeting?  You must create buyer personas so that you can drill down and have a real picture as to who you want to target and communicate with.

The central core purpose of doing this is to ensure that the email communication you create will have the most interest and relevance for them which increases the chance that your email will be opened.

Secondly, you have to set yourself objectives and goals.  What is the email campaign suppose to achieve?  If you want to generate leads as opposed to raising awareness, the email strategy developed will be very different, so really identifying and agreeing this upfront will be vital.

Thirdly, how much money are you going to allocate to email so that you can budget your spend accordingly, and also ensure the budget allowed does not impede the ability to achieve the objectives set.

To finish off your plan you must detail how you are going to send out your emails, and then measure the effectiveness of your campaign.  You may decide to use an internal system, or look at something like Campaign Monitor, and utilise open rates and clicks on a call to action link to a specific landing page.  Whatever route you decide, ensure you have it clearly defined and thought out before sending any emails.

 

2 Be Relevant

It is vital that you know your target audience and can identify the multiple segments contained within your database.  There is absolutely no point sending out the same email offering and call to actions if they will only appeal to a certain section of your target audience.  Develop tailored personalised messages, offers and call to actions to the different buyer personas you have identified in your planning stage.  By doing this you will increase the chances of your email been opened.

 

3 A Great Subject Line Is The Key

Having a great subject line is what will get your email noticed but using words such as free will only trigger the dreaded spam filter.  Headlines should be targeted, relevant and personalised to the individual and should include your company name.  By doing this, it will help you present a more professional and authentic look to your communication.  Check out this great post by Hubspot to help you craft and excellent email subject line.

 

4 Ensure You Use Good Design

There is no point having great content and a great offer if the design and presentation are not clear, enticing or easy to follow for the reader.  Give your target audience options for both HTML and text-only versions.  Use the top part of your email to give the reader the real value and offer of what you want to communicate.  Keep your copy brief to avoid excessive scrolling and don’t mix and match different fonts and sizes. Personally, I love white space as I feel it really helps a reader see messages more clearly and allows for quick scanning of your message.

Include your logo on the top of your email, and make sure that calls to action are clear and are of a point size to allow for easy clicking.

 

5 Have A Dedicated Landing Page

There is nothing worse than having warmed up your target prospect, they click the call to action link in your email and they are brought to your home page on your website.  For your email campaigns, you must ensure you are designing bespoke landing pages that clearly directs the reader on what you want them to do when they get there.  When your prospect clicks on the call to action link in your email, they should be brought to a specific landing page that mirrors exactly with the email content they have just been interacting with.

All the information should be absolutely relevant based on the content that the reader was sent in the email, and all the key information should be presented in the top.  Make it very easy and clear to your target audience to know what they have to do next now that they have landed.  This can be done by ensuring the call to action buttons and links are prominent and clickable.

Duct Tape Marketing did a great piece on why landing pages are so important so click here to get some more ideas.

 

6 Test

It is very important to do a few trial runs first with your email campaign before sending to prospects.  Use internal teams and a group of trusted sources to pre-critique your email.  Look at how your email is displayed on various browsers from laptop, tablet and mobile.  Is your content activating spam filters or not displaying correctly on certain browsers.

Check that your images are downloading and that all your links, both call to action links to landing pages and unsubscribe links are working.  I would also advise using a free spam checker to run your email through to check to see if any sections of your copy could potentially trigger a filter and commit your email to quarantine.

 

7 Measure

It will be important to know and monitor how your email campaign is performing to ascertain whether you need to iterate and change.  Pay attention to metrics such as delivery rate, open rates and click through from call to action links to a landing page. It is also worth noting that Outlook offers no tracking metrics, so I would recommend not using this for your marketing emails. Using a specialist email marketing provider such as Campaign Monitor who have very good email marketing tools with excellent metrics will allow you track how your emails are doing.

 

8 Keep Testing and Iterating

The beauty about email is that by using metrics you can see what is not working and improve it.  AB Test different headlines, email designs, use of imagery over text-only emails, times of the day and different days of the week.  All these data parameters will offer you invaluable insights to hone your email campaign to be as responsive and as engaging as possible.

 

9 Keep Your Data Clean

This is a must to ensure your long term email marketing success.  If people are unsubscribing it may indicate the information you are sending is not relevant, so it makes practical sense to ensure you are capturing this data.  If you have a high bounce rate it means that those emails are no longer valid so it is a waste of time and effort to keep sending your emails to these addresses.

 

10 Integrate

Email when used on its own can be very effective, but don’t forget to consider an integrated approach with other targeted and relevant media that are communicating the same focussed material to your target audience.  Doing this can have an extremely positive effect on your response rates.

To further help you in your quest for email success see below an excellent infographic from Online Course Report that details some excellent information and insights that you can use to hone your emailing skills.

Email Marketing

 

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Thanks for reading

Phillip (The Curly Marketer)

 

 

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Digital Marketing, Email, Social Media, 2 comments
Are You Scared To Use Social Media For Your Business?

Are You Scared To Use Social Media For Your Business?

As a business do you find yourself struggling with the rapid changes in the social media landscape? Do you have social media fear for your business?

You are not alone when you consider the increasing variety of ways your business can keep in touch, share and digest information with, to and from customers and your target audience.

As someone that has worked in Sales and Marketing, I can completely empathise with you and I have had social media fear and have the grey hair to prove it !!!

Just consider some of the social media tools at our disposal.

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram, SEO

Vine, Google +, Blogging, Periscope, Podcasts

Display advertising, Pay Per Click, Slide Share, Snapchat

Mobile Marketing, Email Marketing, Online Ezines etc etc etc

 

Just consider some of the social media tools at our disposal

 

So for any business especially small companies just starting out using social media and knowing where to begin and what to use can be a minefield and a source of real stress and social media fear.

However, don’t be scared. Here is what I have learned in 5 simple tips which I feel if you employ will give you a good basis to get started with this very exciting communication medium and get you over your social media fear.

 

How to get over your social media fear:

 

1         Target The Correct Platform And Medium

Focus on your customers, target audience and on the products/services you offer.  By doing this, it will help you decide the social media platforms that are best for you and it will also focus you to really consider where your customers hang out in a digital sense. Goodbye, social media fear.

For example, if your product is more B2C such as clothing, I would advise you should consider Facebook and possibly Pinterest, whereas a more business to business service such as equipment hire, ISO Consultancy etc should consider Linkedin and Twitter.

Another reason to also be focused on the media you choose is time.  It is better to be actively posting and engaging on one, possibly two channels and getting great engagement and brand success as opposed to being active on every medium and not been seen or heard and creating no impact or content at all.

 

 

Get rid of social media fear by targeting the correct platform and medium

 

2          Test And Iterate, Test And Iterate

The great thing about social media is that you can track, analyse and measure how effective and successful your communication and activity is.

Constantly review key performance metrics for your channels via tools such as Google Analytics for data related to your website or Twitters analytics to track metrics on your tweets, and if you find one is not performing don’t just leave it and hope for the best.

Tweak the message, the style, content and If after changing the posting content, time of delivery etc you still find that the platform is not performing make the call that perhaps it is not the medium to use and focus on those that are working and how you can improve them.  The more you know the social media fear starts to lessen.

Test And Iterate, Test And Iterate

 

3          Be Detailed About Your Profile

Each channel has their own profile sign up some more detailed than others but the point here is not to be afraid of setting up any profile on social media.

Instead, recognise that for every digital channel account you create you must ensure you fill out all the details promoting yourself and get your images up there to ensure a real cohesive looking brand can be found when people search for you.  Get over your social media fear by getting our profiles fully complete.

 

Be Detailed About Your Profile

 

4          It’s Called Social Media Be Social.

A lot of companies make this mistake. They use all their social media channels as purely another sales tool to constantly talk about how great they are, their products are and why don’t you buy from us.

However, if your strategy is to lose customers this approach is perfect so keep doing what you are doing. And no I am not serious. Please stop doing this if you are guilty.

People want their problems solved, to be advised, to be entertained, to learn, to be inspired and make a connection with people and the companies that they feel are an extension of them and their personality.

It is called Social Media for a reason.

We are all taking our conversation online and so are your customers and prospects.  We want companies to talk to us, to answer our problems, make us feel heard and offer us solutions and benefits.  By listening and engaging with your audience you will not only strengthen your relationship but you will begin to learn very important information about those who are interacting with you. This will then allow you to make their experience and interaction with you and your company more meaningful, personal and memorable.

By listening and engaging with your audience you will not only strengthen your relationship but you will begin to learn very important information about those who are interacting with you. This will then allow you to make their experience and interaction with you and your company more meaningful, personal and memorable.

 

 It's Called Social Media For A Reason So Be Social

 

5          Start

So after a few espressos and shouting affirmations at yourself with the help of the motivational Podcast you set up the Facebook page, your Blog account, and Twitter profile all completed. Yes, you feel great and high five yourself. Good job.

However, a day goes by no activity or posts.  OK, writer’s block, it happens to the best of us.

3 days go by still nothing posted. Darn, the power went down in the area so you could not power up the laptop, tablet or smartphone to send off a blog or a tweet.  A week goes by, then a month, then 3 months and on and on it goes until the amount of tumble-weed in your office means you cannot now get to the laptop to do any posts. OK, I know that’s just silly but I hope it creates the desired visual effect for you.

OK, I know that’s just silly but I hope it creates the desired visual effect for you.

 

 Start

 

To be social on social media you have to be active.  This leads me back to point 1 about time. If you choose to blog aim for 1 to 2 posts a week and then build it up.  If Twitter is your choice of medium look to be tweeting 10 to 15 times a day at key times when your target audience and followers are are going to be there.

The most important thing is that just because you have a profile page set up it does not mean anything without you being there and sharing, engaging and communicating with your audience.

Social Media is a fantastic addition to any companies marketing and branding strategy.  But like all communication mediums do your research first, prepare your strategy, find out what tools and channels best compliment your business to allow you engage, and most importantly be social and converse back with your customers and prospects.

Here is a great resource from one of the leading websites, Social Media Examiner, founded by Michael Stelzner for all things related to social media and gives you an excellent resource to start your journey

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Phillip (The Curly Marketer)

 

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Digital Marketing, Social Media, 0 comments
How to help your business be great at social media

How to help your business be great at social media

Do you want to know how to be great at social media? Keep reading.

I coined the phrase “The secret to becoming great at social media is to become great at being social” 

What does this mean exactly?  Well, to illustrate this for you, I want you to honestly review how you interact with any new followers you get on Twitter. 

Do you direct message everyone who follows you personally, and I am not talking about using those false and horrible autoresponders, but actually type back a genuine thank you to that person for taking the time to follow you?

I never did until I heard an interview between the excellent Michael Stelzner and the genius that is Gary Vaynerchuk on the must listen to Social Media Examiner Podcast

In this interview Gary relayed (I am paraphrasing because the brain cells are not what they were) how he saw all these very big named influencers and social media gurus, who had thousands of followers all giving out advice that companies and people need to ensure they are interacting and responding personally to their followers, customers etc, yet it appeared that some of them did not practice what they preached.

On the flip side, however, Gary made it his business to thank every new Twitter follower for choosing to follow what he does, and he actively made it his business to answer every email.  

I do this on Twitter with a personalised thank you to every new follower and the engagement and personal messages I have received back have proved to me how valuable taking the time to do this has been.

So, if you do nothing else after you have read this post, look at the social media channels you are on, and seriously critique are you really interacting, connecting, communicating and really been social with people in a meaningful way?

 

How to help your business be great at social media

It takes hard work and dedication but the following 5 key things to focus on will provide you with an excellent starting point to get great at social media.

 

1 List

Your list is your customers, your followers, your supporters and your target audience.  Whether it is social media, direct marketing, email etc, having a list of people that support you, trust you, buy from you and advocate for you, is central to all business success. 

What is the point of been active on various social media channels, sharing great content and driving people to your website, if all the time you are not capturing at least an email of these people who want to engage with you, listen to what you have to say and ultimately buy from you, so that you can then communicate and reach out to them directly.

Therefore, at every opportunity, you must make it easy for people to be able to sign up for your blog updates and always look to capture key details about them when they go to interact on your website to download an ebook or request a quote. By building a list of people interested in your message you now have the building blocks for creating real long-term relationships that will be mutually beneficial to you both.

By building a list of people interested in your message you now have the building blocks for creating real long-term relationships that will be mutually beneficial to you both and allow you to start to be great at social media.

 

2 Offer

The offer is a core reason that hooks people into you and your brand and allows you start to be great on social media.  In social media blatant self-promotion of your products, and constantly bombarding your audience with repetitive sales messages is the perfect way to alienate you and your business from your audience.

To be great at social media you need to be genuine, useful, insightful, helpful and trusted.  Provide targeted content in the form of blogs, ebooks, white papers, infographics, SlideShare presentations, video and audio tutorials etc, to build real trust and rapport with your audience as you are offering solutions and answers to their problems.

Once you build up a trusted following, you can then begin to expand your offer into paid products and affiliate marketing. However, once again these must be seen to have a definite benefit in the eyes of your audience otherwise you could undermine the trust and credibility you have created.

However, once again these must be seen to have a definite benefit in the eyes of your audience otherwise you could undermine the trust and credibility you have created

 

3 Timing

To be great at social media you need to understand that even though the business environment is constantly changing, your target audience still has the same needs, questions to be answered and problems to be solved.

Review your analytics data to see when certain content and products seem to spike and increase uptake and engagement.

Actively communicate with your customers, followers and your email list as to whether certain times of the year are particularly challenging for them, and then plan to have solutions to be offered during these periods.

By looking at this carefully it may allow you to strategically map out what products, solutions, and content plan you need to be doing at certain times of the year.  For example, if you are a florist your strategy should have a timed objective around Valentines, and maybe you see that certain months there is always a spike in the number of weddings, once again content and offers should be aligned around these critical periods.

 

4 Relevance

This is the key one if you want to be great at social media.  If you are not deemed relevant by your audience, your online presence will soon become a ghost town.  People look for answers on the web each day to questions and problems they have.  If you provide content that is relevant and answers these questions you will soon be seen as a thought leader and the place to go for information.

It is also critical that you employ relevance across your media strategy and ensure that you are being very detailed in the level of information you are capturing about your customers.

For example, if we take again the florist business and on their website, they have some ebooks such as a guide to choosing the best flowers for your wedding depending on the season or how to look after your bonsai plant.

By capturing the name and email of those people who download these very different ebooks, further relevant content can then be promoted and emailed to them and their eyes you will be seen as someone who is great at social media and understands their business.

The secret to staying relevant is to know who your audience is, what do they need, where do they hang out online, and what topics do they actively discuss and engage with.  Once you know this you can then ensure your information has the highest degree of relevance from an information point of view so that your audience will be drawn to consume it, share and come back to you for more.

I mentioned Gary Vaynerchuk earlier in this post. He details a strategy of providing ongoing relevant, benefit-driven content tailored to your audience in his must-read Jab Jab Jab Right Hook.

This ongoing content or jabs as he refers to them actively provides solutions and benefit-driven content using a variety of media and once you have built up that trust and reputation then you can introduce the sale or right hook so to speak.

If you only read one book this year to show you how to be great at social media this is it.

 

5 Patience

This is the toughest one for all businesses whether you are an entrepreneur or a large multinational everyone is looking for the sale, for the return on investment.  But to be great at social media by creating long-term meaningful relationships requires dedication and above all patience.

Be true to you as a person, as a brand and as a business.  Listen, engage and be committed to providing the best solutions to your audience as opposed to just thinking about the end sales.

Of course, I am not stupid, your business is there to make money but build the audience and gain their trust.  Once you have that and your solution or service is of the highest quality possible the propensity that your engaged loyal audience will want to buy and support you is very much increased.

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.  If you would like to know where I see social media heading then read this post and watch a video where I share my thoughts.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Phillip (The Curly Marketer)

 

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Social Media, 0 comments
Linkedin Mistakes That You Need To Avoid

Linkedin Mistakes That You Need To Avoid

One of the leading Linkedin experts is Melonie Dodaro and I came across an excellent article that Melonie had written in which she listed 19 Linkedin mistakes that we need to make sure we all avoid.  

I wanted to go through some of these LinkedIn mistakes because I am still surprised at some of the profiles I see and how some people go about sending me a connection request.  

With figures such as this, ignoring LinkedIn in your sales and marketing mix is crazy, because if utilised correctly it can allow you to create new relationships, and become more relevant to your target audience.  Therefore, ensuring you are not committing these Linkedin mistakes will allow you to begin to reap the rewards from this channel.

 

Avoid these Linkedin mistakes

 

1 Not Completing Your Profile

Of all the Linkedin mistakes I see I can never understand this one.  Why set up an account if you are not going to complete your profile?  LinkedIn has 1 in 4 of the leading executives as members, so remember your credibility, and take the time to make sure you present a polished first impression.

 

2 Don’t Be Vague When Completing Your Profile

Be specific and detailed about what you do.  Saying that you do a bit of this, and a bit of that, and some of the other won’t cut it.

 

3 Optimise Your Profile For Search

Just as you would use keywords when creating your website, it is important to choose a couple of keywords that describe what you do.  This will help you to increase the chances of your profile been found by a potential prospect when they do a search on LinkedIn. Check out these 21 steps to creating the perfect profile by Melonie.

 

4 Don’t Send A Connection Request Without A Personal Message

Of all the Linkedin mistakes I think this is one you have to really focus on not committing and be warned. It only takes a couple of people to say they don’t know you, and LinkedIn will penalise your ability to connect with people unless you have an email address.

My advice, make a point of reaching out with a personalised message and reason you want to connect with them and 90% of the time people will accept.

 

5 Unprofessional or No Profile Picture

LinkedIn is a place where professionals come to engage and discuss business, it is not Facebook. I have seen profile pictures used from nights out, the person is not even looking at the camera, they are unrecognisable due to wearing a hat and sunglasses and worse of all they leave the generic blank outline frame and have no picture.  

Maybe I am just getting old, but for potential prospects and your customers to take you seriously, you have to look professional and be credible so this is why it is on out Linkedin mistakes list.

 

6 Key Word Stuffing Your Profile

The LinkedIn search algorithm works like search engines of old, so if you stuff a keyword such as Marketing Manager all over your profile, the chances are your profile will perform very well when a search is done on these keywords. However,  when the potential person comes across your profile, stuffed with Marketing Manager everywhere, it will read terribly and they will leave with a poor perception of you.

Build your credibility and impress rather than deceive.

 

7 Asking A Stranger For A Recommendation

You may be amazed, but yes this does go on.  Only ask people you really know well that can legitimately critique and give you a recommendation for your work.  Any other method will tarnish your reputation.

 

8 Selling Before Saying Hello

Don’t confuse the term “Social Selling” to mean just sending off sales promos via social media. On Linkedin, it is about creating relationships built on communication, partnership, genuine engagement and relevance. The more you engage and provide valuable solutions to your connections, the sales will come as trust and credibility are earned.

 

9 Not Posting Status Updates Regularly

Just like Twitter or having a BLOG, there is no point setting up a LinkedIn account if you are not going to post and share information you feel would be of interest to your target audience.  By being active, it keeps you relevant and top of mind.

 

10 Saying “I see You Viewed My Profile” when sending a connection request

Thankfully this has never happened to me, but personally, this would instantly make me not want to connect. Don’t creep out the people you want to connect with.  Just act like a professional, reach out with a genuine personal message, and you will do just fine.

For more LinkedIn tips check out this other post I wrote about LinkedIn success.

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Phillip (The Curly Marketer)

 

 

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Linkedin, 0 comments
Here are 5 tips to follow if you want success on Linkedin

Here are 5 tips to follow if you want success on Linkedin

I have been very fortunate enough to become connected with some incredible business leaders on Linkedin, who I am able to learn and engage with for guidance. One such expert is Melonie Dodaro who is regarded as the number 1 Linkedin expert in Canada, and from reading her excellent book, The Linkedin Code, my entire approach to this very important business channel has changed for the good and here are 5 tips to follow if you want success on Linkedin

 

5 Linkedin tips to follow if you want success

 

 

1 Let Me See You

I am still amazed to see on Linkedin, many profiles in which there is no photograph of the individual.  They say first impressions last and when I don’t see a profile photo it does leave an impression, the wrong one.

In my opinion, it creates a mistrust and a doubt about the validity of the individual.  Why don’t they want to show their face, have they something to hide, can I believe what the person says in their profile?  Just as bad as not having a photo, is having one which is poorly taken, trying to be creative but ends up looking ridiculous or is just an angry scowl.

I have seen all these variations and I often wonder what were people thinking of at the time.  Remember, your Linkedin photo is a visual representation of you and your personal brand, so make it count to show yourself in the best light possible and please smile, it can’t hurt that much, as you may never know who is looking you up.

 

2 Tell Me Your Story

Your profile and biography on Linkedin is your chance to shine and tell the community what you do, your achievements and how you ultimately solve problems.  But if you don’t put the effort into completing your profile and writing it with search in mind, you will become another member that will see very low profile views.

If you are familiar with Google Adwords or have been involved with Search Engine Optimisation for your website, you will no doubt have heard of the phrase ‘keyword’.  In simple terms, a keyword is a word or a series of words that someone uses to search for the answer to a question, problem etc when they conduct a search online.  Having certain keywords on your website will help and increase the chances that your website will be found.

The same goes for Linkedin.  By using keywords specific to what you do and your expertise in your profile, you can improve the chances of being found when someone does a search on Linkedin for a particular person with a certain skill set.

The key thing to emphasise without going through this step by step is that it is imperative that you go through every part of the profile section and complete it to 100% and especially getting a couple of recommendations.

Not only does it validate you as a professional, but you will be giving yourself an excellent chance of ensuring that your profile will be found by like-minded professionals, who may want to do business, discuss opportunities or connect to learn from you.


3 Personalise Every Invitation To Connect

I don’t know about you, but I tend not to accept a request from someone who has not made the effort to at least introduce themselves to me.  There is something I think very cold about “I would like to add you to my connections” etc etc.  So why do you want to add me?  

Maybe I am just making up the numbers for you so that you can get to that 500+ connections and look like a big hitter?

My personal rule is that for people I know and people who I don’t know but would like to make contact and grow a business relationship with, I always send a personalised message with my invite.  

The key thing is that you have to find that common ground and core reason as to why you want to link in with the person, and likewise for them, they need see some value from you.

So with this in mind, I would urge you not to send Linkedin requests via the app as there is no functionality within it to send a personalised message so this defeats the purpose in my opinion.

 

4 Go On, Say Thank You

This is a simple action that I feel really helps the start of a new Linkedin relationship.  If someone you have invited to connect accepts, my advice is, send that person a little message to say, thank you.  You would be surprised at how positive your new connection will feel when they are thanked, and it gives you that bit of extra professional polish and a personalised touch.

 

5 Get Into Groups

Linkedin, like all social media, is first and foremost about been social and engaging with your audience, target market, and all your connections.  One excellent way to engage with like-minded professionals, share your opinions, give guidance and ultimately boost your own professional status as an expert, is to join relevant groups in your niche and sphere of interest.  

From my own personal experience, trying to be active in 5 groups for me is a struggle, so I would advise those of you starting off to maybe pick one group initially and see how you get on. The key thing is to just get started and join in the conversation

I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community. If you want some more Linkedin tips then check out this post I wrote where I give you 10 mistakes to avoid.

If you are looking to understand how to create a Digital Marketing Strategy you can get my ebook by filling in the form below and you will be asked to confirm your subscription to my blog.

But don’t worry you can unsubscribe at any time.

Phillip (The Curly Marketer)

 

 

Posted by Phillip Twyford in Linkedin, 0 comments