Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How do you get Engagement?

Everybody wants to be "liked" and the popular company, artist or site – especially in today’s Facebook and Google+ world, where the thumbs-up “Like”  or +1 buttons represent the ultimate stamp of approval from consumers to their networks. But how do you get the “Like” love on Facebook  and +1's on Google+ (and other crowd-sourced social media channels)? The key is to engage those within the network, giving them a real reason to opt into your Page. 

Facebook Pages and Google+ pages have grown in popularity and importance over the last few years, often serving as a second home page for your business on the Web.   Today it's a lot more than just Facebook and Google + it's Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat and other sites.  Chances are that your target customers already have Facebook accounts and Google+ accounts and they will spend an average of 25-30 minutes on the social networking site each day. The news feed your target audience views intersperses updates from the Pages they “Like” among the pictures and status updates from their friends and family, essentially giving you a self-selected audience wanting to hear your advertising for free. It’s a no-brainer to "make your business front of mind of your targeted audience" the real proposition that needs to be solved is "What do your customers or followers want to learn from you?  How do you add value to their lives?"

How do you create ways to get them involved with your Page and media? Here are some ideas:

  • Create a contest that requires them to “Like” or +1 your page. Vivint does this wonderfully each year with their “Vivint Gives Back” contest. They give away $1.5 million dollars to the top-voted charity overall as well as $250,000 to the winners in each of five regions. Most people are willing to click “Like” to support a cause close to their hearts, and it’s a great way for Vivint to get name recognition as people post about the contest on their own Page in order to drum up votes.
  • Gather email addresses and have them opt in to receiving emails from your business.  Direct email is still a very effective form of marketing.
  • Offer coupons and deals for people who Like your page. It’s as simple as posting to your Facebook or Google+ that anyone who mentions a certain code on a particular day will get a discount. This is a great way to give back to your top fans – after all, if they’ve taken the initiative to opt into your network, they likely merit the recognition.
  • Reciprocate the love by interacting with those who write on your wall. It builds the sense of a one-on-one relationship between the consumer and brand, and those are the kind of relationships that foster customer loyalty. When you consider how expensive the conversion process is, taking that next step to make your individual brand evangelists feel like their loyalty is recognized and appreciated is worth every cent spent in time and effort.

Consistency: Key to Success In Life, Business, and Social Media

Ralph Waldo Emerson once called consistency “the hobgoblin of little minds,” consistency’s role in every success should never be underestimated.   In order to achieve any goal be it personal or professional requires continual effort and consistency to reach desired and achievable objectives. 

The key to consistency comes in forming success driven habits. Be it working out at the gym several times each week to reach a certain weight or fitness level,  or maintaining integrity by consistently applying your life principles of reliability and honesty. In business, to build character and to become who you want to be, the sense of accomplishment will in time replace the drudgery of not taking time away from working on the goals that you set. When you just don’t want to do the work you must in order to succeed, do it anyway! Achieving success, and reaching your ultimate goals requires practice, practice, practice and even more practice – and the more you practice, the easier it will become to reach your targeted goals. 

How do you get started in developing or improving your consistency and diligence? 
Here are a few ideas:
  • Set a target.  Example:  target goal is to grow your Instagram followers, or Twitter following, sell X amount of widget by a certain date.  That is your goal.
  • Write down a game plan to reach your goal.  What steps will it take?  Set intermediary goals too so you can help gauge your progress on the way to the target.
  • Set quantifiable goals – Being able to track progress works wonders for consistency. It’s encouraging to see that you’re making progress in reaching for your end goal and to see just how far you've come from your starting point. Don’t forget to include milestones, since those add fuel to the sense of accomplishment along the way.
  • Learn the analytics for the format i.e. blog, or other social media format and what and how they are measured.  You need to know how and what to measure in order to really track progress, see trends or spot set backs along the path to the goals you've set.
  • Follow a good example – Trying to get in better shape? Keep an eye on a friend who works out daily, discuss what they've found that helps them achieve and also observe how he or she manages to do it. Looking to improve your company’s bottom line? Find a case study for a comparable company that’s achieved a similar end goal.  Analyze how they got from Point A to Point B. There’s nothing like the positive pressure that comes from watching a peer achieve something we’d like to achieve for ourselves. If you’re feeling bold, network with your "example" for insights, tips or even encouragement to help reach that goal for yourself. Chances are they’ll feel flattered that you noticed their dedication.
  • Can't over emphasize enough just how important it is to read and learn all you can for all goals you set in life  
  • Visualize your targeted objective –  Get detailed with envisioning the end goal in your mind’s eye, and conjure that image every time you feel like taking a break from your efforts even for a day. The more you understand specifically what you’re working toward, the less likely you are to sacrifice what you want most for what you want at the moment. 

This is the real key to success in all things:  Never stop visualizing the goal, be consistent and never ever give up!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Do you have Twitterphobia?

Yes, there are those with "Twitterphobia" and there are a number reasons not to be afraid of Twitter.  As of 2nd quarter of 2015 there are 304 million monthly active Twitter users in the Twitterverse. Twitter is the social "networking party"! The ultimate "networking party" on a global scale with an endless capacity for attendees and discussion worldwide. 

Those people who haven’t engaged with the Twitter world are at a loss for why Twitter matters in the Social Media landscape and their lives. Many people – ranging from saavy 20-somethings to Baby Boomers and beyond – have stated “I don’t ‘get’ Twitter.” If you find yourself trying to illustrate the benefits and reasons to use Twitter to "Twitterphobes", you will need to explain the reasons why tweeting is worth time and attention. 

Here are a few talking points to start: 
  • Direct communication – Back in the day, individuals did business with other more local individuals. They shopped in the town where they lived, and they personally knew the shopkeepers. As business has become global, we’ve gotten away from that personal touch. Twitter, however, opens the door for businesses and consumers to interact directly again. One survey showed that customers choose Twitter as the medium for interacting with customers specifically because they receive answers and are treated like individuals.  Have you ever had problems with customer service with no response from that firm but suddenly got their attention after tweeting to their company?  I have.
  • Live tweeting events - celebrities are taking advantage of this during shows airing live on tv, from the red carpet events such as the Oscars and other live events. It's a chance to connect with people and events you wouldn't ordinarily be able to connect with and send your thoughts to be heard in the Twitterverse.  Celebrities, politicians and others now connect directly with fans.
  • Personality – Twitter presents a great opportunity for creating awareness about your brand, product, or service. The less formal nature of Twitter lends itself to showing off a company’s personality through trivia and factoids, contests, and other messages that bring a face and personality to the brand.  You can show the "human" side of your brand to followers.
  • Cross-promotion – Through Twitter, you can link to any online item, from industry news and company-specific news to YouTube videos and product reviews. It’s a wonderful way to gather a myriad of information into one place and share it with your self-selected audience.
  • Gathering information – Not only is Twitter an effective means of communicating to your audience and telling your story – it’s also a great way to gather information through a variety of sources. You can build lists that group people you’re following into one feed based on your labeling. You can also search all of Twitter by #s to find out what people are saying about your company or competitors. Hashtags are a quick and easy way to see what people are saying about a specific topic or trend. Google and Twitter signed a deal in February 2015 to begin showing Twitter content in Google searches as discussed in this Search Engine Land  article.
  • Breaking News - Twitter has been at the forefront of major breaking news world wide in the last few years with news first being reported on Twitter before the major news organizations have had time to file their full reports.  There were 9 events in particular according to Mashable listed in their 2013 article on the rise of Twitter for breaking news.   Not only is the news breaking but people are contributing to the events with their own posts also directly from where the news is breaking.   

Of course, the most important takeaway to leave with Twitter newbies is to do not get sidetracked by the medium. Yes, Twitter is a hip lively social media tool, but it’s merely that –  a tool. Tools are merely instruments that are specialized to aid in the accomplishment of a task or goal, and in this case, that task is communicating effectively and therefore should be a part of your Social Media repertoire. By making the message the focus –  not the method – you’ll be able to jump into the Twitter medium in a meaningful and productive way.

Let's be Tweeps!!   @JPKC

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Why Should You be Using Social Media?

With nearly 80 percent of corporations now incorporating social media into their marketing and communication strategy mix, the role of a social strategist is becoming more and more standard as a needed and respected part of the marketing team.  Business-to-consumer communication has been revolutionized with the advent of social media in the last decade.   Consumers are now in direct communication with businesses online.  No need for consumers to make phone calls or write snail mail.  The speed of business has increased with the need to respond to the consumer in a timely manner.  What is your marketing strategy today?

Mashable published an awesome infographic about what it takes to be a social strategist. Even if you have no desire to make social media your 9-to-5 daily grind, what are some things you can learn from the social media managers and other social media professionals surveyed? 

The characteristics identified as making these strategists successful at their jobs were, in order:

I’m multi-disciplinary and can wear many hats.” (58%)
I’m willing to take risks.” (46%)
I can rally different stakeholders across the organization.” (45%)
I can effectively lead a multi-faceted, cross-departmental effort.” (38%)
I have experience in social media.” (37%)
I have a long-term customer-centric vision for the program.” (24%)
I can communicate the ROI to executive leadership.” (16%)
I have been working at my company many years.” (13%)

What really stands out in these numbers is that the key to success for these strategists has less to do with ROI or long-term plans and more to do with the ability to innovate – whether that be juggling disparate responsibilities and trying new things without the fear of failure.   Be creative, think outside the box!