How to Recover from a Social Media Campaign Blunder

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We’ve already written an article on How NOT to Fail at Social Media Campaigns, but recent social media news have inspired an article on what to do if you do happen to fail. As with everything in life, there are situations in which no matter what amount of planning goes into something, things still go awry.

You may or may not have heard about the Sleepy Hollow marketing blunder with their “Happy Headless Day” campaign. To welcome the new season of the FOX network show, Sleepy Hollow , based on the stories of the Headless Horseman from European folklore, FOX launched a “Happy Headless Day” campaign with witty puns from the show about the headless character. Unfortunately, this campaign launched the same day as the devastating news came out about Steven Sotloff’s death. Needless to say, the media took this campaign and ran with it warping the intentions of the “Happy Headless Day” campaign and putting Sleepy Hollow in a bad position.

The way FOX network handled the situation was perfect. This is their statement: “We apologize for the unfortunate timing of our Sleepy Hollow Headless Day announcement…The tragic news of Steven Sotloff’s death hit the web as the email was being sent. Our deepest sympathies are with him and his family, and we don’t take the news lightly. Had we have known this information prior, we would have never released the alert and realize it’s in poor taste.”

This is a perfect example of how a well-intended campaign can go awry purely due to unforeseen events. Had this campaign been launched 6 months prior, no one would have looked twice at it. However, due to the timing and the hungry media looking for a scandal, FOX network was put in a bad position.

So now, the question is this: What do you do if something like this happens to you? You’ve read our article on How NOT to Fail at Social Media Campaigns, did your research and are confident that your new campaign will be a success. Out of nowhere at the very last minute, something happens that sets your plans off track and puts your brand in a bad light.

1Immediate damage control. First things first, you have to immediately initiate damage control. This is one of the main reasons why you have to be ever-present in your social media accounts. If you or someone you delegate is there to catch an issue as soon as it occurs, you have a better chance of minimizing the amount of damage to your brand. If you set a campaign up and forget it, you’re bound to miss any feedback or backlash from your campaign. This will only cause negativity to fester and spread across your entire brand.

2Sincere apology. Emphasis on the word “sincere.” Whether or not you think you did something wrong, you need to understand this: once you publish something, it no longer belongs to you. If your public portrays something as offensive or insensitive, it is your job to understand their point of view and empathize with them. Try to understand why your campaign would make them upset, apologize and mean it, and if necessary, retract your campaign. This doesn’t mean that you need to take down your campaign every time you upset one person, but use your discretion. If the campaign makes a turn for the worst, you have to take it down.

3Plan for future action. If the reason for the blunder was an oversight, it may be necessary to add an additional step in your ad campaign clearance. For example, FOX network may now require someone to check through the news before launching a campaign to ensure that a campaign they are about to launch will not be offensive to anyone. If the reason was out of your control, have a team dedicated to monitoring the campaign from beginning to end prepared to institute any damage control immediately.

Unfortunately, no matter how much researching you do, there could be unforeseen events that throw your campaign off. The media will almost always find a way to warp information to fit their purposes, and trolls will do their best to make you look bad. There is hope, however, in your recovery. The worst thing you could do is ignore the problem and hope it goes away; that will only fuel the fire and allow people who are already mad at you to get even more upset and talk amongst themselves. Your presence is 100% necessary to help mediate the issue and smooth everything over the best you can. The problem will most likely not go away on its own in most cases. So, engage and speak up!

Don’t forget to come talk to us, too! We’re ever-present on Twitter and you can reach us in the comments below, as well. Also, we just launched our new site: http://purelysocialmedia.com, so check it out and let us know what you think. If you need any tips or advice on your specific social media situations, feel free to send us and email! We love to chat!

 

 

Google+ for Business

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Google Plus is quickly rising to the top of the social media platforms. With the SEO benefits that it offers along with the community building aspect, it’s really a smart choice when it comes to leveraging your brand’s social presence.

If you’re not quite familiar with G+, as yet, Google+ is a social network created by Google that offers blogging capabilities, community building, and virtual meetings (hangouts) all in one package. As a result of this social media platform being hosted by the number one search engine, any business that uses Google+ becomes more searchable i.e, more present online. See, Google knows what they’re doing: they started off slow with the search engine then, like the Blob, oozed out to explore different aspects of the internet it could master, as well. We’re not mad at them for that. Anyway, lets look at the bigger question:

Why should you use Google+ ?

Google+ offers a little bit of the best aspects from a variety of the different platforms, and then some! Take a look at these:

Blogging Capabilities

It enables you to blog, like WordPress, giving you another outlet to share your expertise. Not to mention the fact that most of us have Gmail accounts. Google+ enables you to pull the connections that you have on Gmail and reconnect with them here. So, that business partner you were emailing before, or your old colleague from a previous job can all reconnect with you on Google+ and be privy to your blogs. What does that mean for you? Well, a larger reach for one. Instead of being limited to the people who subscribe to your blog, you can share your blog with people with whom you’ve already built a rapport, as well. In addition to that, there are communities on Google+ dedicated to certain topics, and Google+ allows you to share the articles you write specifically within the communities of your choice. If you were writing something targeted to small business owners, for example, you can join a few communities dedicated to small business owners and share your article within those communities. This way, you know that your work is hitting people who are actually interested in the topic you’re writing about. What better way to build a following than that?!

On top of all that, are the hashtags. When you post an article, Google+ does a quick scan of your article and includes relevant hashtags for you to help sort the article into relevant categories. You also have the capability to include your own hashtags to your articles. If you include hashtags that you know are popular and relevant, your article gets even more reach enabling you to build an even larger following.

Networking

Let’s discuss these communities in greater detail. Google+ communities allow you to gain access to groups of members interested in the same topic(s) that you’re interested in. There are 21 categories to choose from initially ranging from Beauty and fitness to sports to auto and tech. Within those categories are specific communities created by members that you are able to join in on and network. This feature is unique to Google+ and a goldmine for business professionals like yourself. If you are an interior designer, for example, and would like to connect with other interior designers, there’s a community that lends to that. If you own a business catered towards animal rescue and would like to connect with other people who are interested in animal rescue, BAM! There’s a community for that. If you share your blogs within these communities and engage with the people within these communities, the options to build your network are endless.

Visual Appeal

If you’ve been listening to us, you’ve heard us say more than once that the visual aspect of marketing is just as important as the text: sometimes, even more so. A picture is worth a thousand words, and in marketing, images are an important aspect of getting people to pay attention to you. Google Plus embraces that by giving the images that you upload prime real estate on your page, and in a lot of cases, more real estate than the text. Sharing a link that includes images will generate a square thumbnail measuring 150×150 pixels, but sharing an image by itself will result in a much larger display of 497×373 pixels. Here’s a Google+ Cheat Sheet for Image Size Dimensions that might prove helpful.

Hangouts

Google Hangouts are a feature unique to Google+ that enable you to connect with people in a way that no other social media platform does. Google hangouts enable you to video chat with a group of people or one on one. This opens the door for a much more personable connection with your target market or within your industry. Google Hangouts are a great avenue to humanize your brand and let your followers know that you’re not a robot. It enables you to engage in a way unseen by other social media platforms. If you are a lawyer, for example, who specializes in tax law, maybe around March/April, you do a hangout to field questions from laymen who are missing out on refunds they could be capitalizing on. Or maybe you’re a nail technician with your own store. A Google Hangout could be used to run a quick tutorial on a popular nail design or nail painting technique. The possibilities are endless, and if leveraged the right way, can enable your business to grow immensely.

Moral of the story: Don’t sleep on Google Plus. Just get out there, create an account and explore the possibilities. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love to chat! Feel free to leave comments below or mention us on Twitter!

 

Top 3 Reasons to Hire a Social Media Professional

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Social media marketing is a not a difficult concept. It’s pretty logical and straightforward once you understand the basics, but a lot of times, you simply don’t have the time to break it apart and figure it out. Social media management requires consistency, constant effort. It requires strategic planning and research, and can turn into a full-time job if you’re really trying to make your social media presence work for you. The problem is that you didn’t go into business to spend 4-8 hours a day on your social media marketing. As a small business owner or an independent business professional, that time can be spent doing other things for your business and focusing on your core values.

Most professionals understand the importance and value of social media management. Even so, social media management is usually the first thing to fall to the wayside due to the fact there is simply not enough time to execute an effective social media plan. That is where social media professionals come in. As social media professionals, we’ve dedicated our time and energy to focus on mastering the art of social media management. Due the fact that social media marketing is what we focus on, we’ve taken the time to learn how to make social media work for you.

Here are 3 major reasons to hire a social media professional.

1We know all things social media, just like you know all things pertaining to your industry. You wouldn’t let your local plumbing expert build you a car because your local plumbing expert is neither a mechanical engineer, nor an auto mechanic. If you want it done right, it just makes sense to hire an expert to do expert work. We always say not to overthink social media, but you really shouldn’t underestimate it either. If you want your social media platforms to be effective in helping to grow your online presence and increase revenue, this isn’t something you want to half-ass. Consulting a professional will help to point you in the right direction and enable you to understand where your focus should be pertaining to your social media account. Often times, we try to absorb too much at once, and when you’re trying to start, operate, and market your business, it’s hard to figure out what aspect to focus on. A good social media professional can help you assess everything and put it into easy, bite-sized pieces that can better fit into your schedule.

2You want to get to the next level in your business. We’ve encountered several clients who’ve done an awesome job in marketing themselves via their social media accounts along with other methods, and seem to be experiencing great success from their organic growth, but have gotten to a point where they don’t seem to be growing anymore and the strategies they’ve previously implemented have become less effective or completely ineffective. At this point, it makes sense to contact a social media professional to help you get from behind that brick wall. As professionals, we can assess your current strategy and pinpoint where the issue is and how to improve upon it. If you seem to have done a great job on your own, imagine what can be done if you bring us in to help out!

3You simply don’t have the time to figure it out BUT you know it’s important and want it done right. There’s no shame in admitting that you don’t have the time to do social media, the shame is when you completely ignore it and act as if it’s not important. (Shame on you!) Several social media professionals, including ourselves, offer the option of full implementation, where you essentially outsource your social media platforms to us and allow us to manage the whole kit and caboodle. This is where you absolutely MUST MUST MUST hire a professional. Social media professionals, the good ones anyway, can help you create an online identity for your business; not just a presence. An online identity is essentially your brand i.e., the culture of your business, its voice, stylistic aspects, appearance… all of those factors that are usually afterthoughts or non-thoughts to a non-professional are primary points of focus to true social media professionals. It’s the little things that set you apart from the competitor that a social media professional can contribute to your business when you don’t have the time. We take the time to understand and dissect your target market and mold your social media marketing platforms to fit that demographic.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy…Basically it makes your life easier by hiring a social media professional. Those 4-8 hours it takes to make your social media what it needs to be to differentiate yourself could easily be spent focusing on the core values of your business/ personal brand. Even if you only seek consultation and don’t go for the kit and caboodle route, you can save time. If you can save an hour a day, 5-7 a week, 20-30ish a month, where would you invest that time? A nap would be nice, meditation, lunch, a new project, a craft, perhaps? As entrepreneurs, we struggle with time and often try to be too many places at once, with a social media professional, you can streamline all of that and be more efficient with the mere 24 hours a day that we are all allotted. It’s really a no brainer =D

As always, share your ideas with us. We’d love to hear what you have to say. We hope you found this post useful and informative. Please leave your comments below and feel free to connect with us on Twitter!

5 Reasons Why You Should Love Advertising On Facebook Again!

making the connecion - LinkedinSo we’re back after taking a month off to enjoy a little rest and relaxation!

And what better way to kick off our return then with a post discussing all the reasons why we love advertising on Facebook again! So, as many of you know, back at the end of 2013 Facebook decided that make some changes to their algorithm that left a bad taste in the mouth of most marketers and businesses. We all have watched as page posts’ organic reach fell from 16% in February of 2012 to around 6.51% in March 2014, according to Edgerank Checker.

Many felt that Facebook was double dipping, charging advertisers to have their posts viewed by the very individuals they just paid to like their page. A lot of people were ticked off and began deleting their Facebook pages as a form of protest. There was even a YouTube video, Facebook Fraud, that went viral and urged many not to wast their time advertising on the platform. Let’s just say people we’re angry and many began to pull back their presence on the platform.

Truth of the matter is that from Facebook’s standpoint, their primary focus is on the general user not the business pages. We can only assume that they believed that by changing the algorithm they would maintain the integrity of the site from the user’s standpoint. However, now Facebook is a publicly traded company, which means it is now accountable to shareholders too. And shareholders want to see profits, which are only generated on Facebook through the ads that businesses run.

So we can only speculate that all of the Facebook Fraud backlash has led Facebook to make changes to the algorithm yet again as well as completely overhaul the process for advertising on Facebook to make it a lot easier on advertisers. So here are our top 5 reasons why you should love advertising on Facebook again:

1 6 ads for the price of 1. Now when you create an ad to drive traffic  to you website Facebook allows you to select up to 6 images that can be used to service your ad over the length of your campaign. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they will all be approved by Facebook but if you adhere to the ad guidelines a majority should be approved. We love this because it’s a great way to see which ads make the most impact on your target audience. Facebook has now made it very simple to do some A,B,C,D,E,F testing on your advertising which means they next time you run an ad you can make the necessary tweaks for even better results.

2Watered Down. Previously when you ran an ad on Facebook you probably spent a good majority of your time trying to figure out what the heck they were talking about. The different steps to running an ad were not very well defined and left most newbies to the process scratching their heads or giving up on running an ad all together. Now once you’ve selected the appropriate objective for your ads, all you need to proceed is clearly stated for you on one easy to read page.

3Conversion Pixels. This small line of code allows you to track the actions being taken on your website by the traffic you drive there with your Facebook ads. Now the downside of this is: if you know nothing about code or even how to access the back end of your website; you’re going to need to have your web developer place the code for you which can be a pain. However Facebook has even simplified this by allowing you to email the person right from the ad set up with the pixel code and instructions on how to proceed. The good news is that once it’s done, that’s it! You can continue to utilize the pixel over multiple ads. Just keep in mind that there is a pixel for each type of conversion that can happen on your site, such as checkouts, registrations, leads, web page views, adds to carts and more. So if you need some help, make sure you simply add all of the conversion pixels that pertain to your site all at once. Once a pixel has been added, you’re ready to start tracking the actions of your audience and can begin to determine how to best convert those individuals into paying customers.

4 Hello, Power Editor! So Power Editor is still a fairly new addition to Facebook ads, and many business owners still don’t know it even exists. This may explain why Facebook made it more accessible in the new ad setup under audiences. If you’re not using this feature when running your ad, you’re wasting your money. What we love about this feature is that it allows you to specify who your target audience is, providing you with more control over who sees your ad. In working with different clients we’ve seen a number of clients run ads that were shown to “everyone”, not realizing that they could target their ads to an audience within 25 miles of the physical location. If you choose, you can be very specific in your ad audience, but we would advice you find a balance between broad and specific. You don’t want to be too specific and miss the opportunity to attract new followers. Nor do you want to run the risk of being too broad that your ad isn’t seen by enough of your target audience.

5Campaign pricing just got simpler.  Simply tell Facebook how much you’re willing to spend over the duration of your campaign and let Facebook do all the math. We personally suggest selecting the lifetime budget option unless your plan is to have an ad that continuously runs, in which we would suggest selecting the daily budget. Understand that while Facebook may approve your ad and run it, your ad is competing for that space and therefore can get bumped by ads of advertisers willing to pay more per click or impression. Our advice is: if you select the manually set, price per click option, we advise increasing your bid to slightly higher then the price the system generates. Understand that when bidding, if you choose the pay per impression options your paying the every 1000 individuals who see your page. Paying per clicks ensures that you only pay for the people who appear genuinely interested in your page, because they clicked on your link.

As a side note, we want to stress that if you’re going to spend your hard earned money on Facebook ads make sure it’s worth it for you. To date, paying for page post engagements and page likes has proven to be quite ineffective from an ROI standpoint. Website clicks and conversions still remain the best option for measure the effectiveness of your ads against the money you spent.

As always we hope that you found this post useful and informative! We encourage you to leave your comments below and connect with us on Twitter!

5 FREE Twitter marketing opportunities you’re missing out on

Believe it or not, Twitter is not all about the tweets. There is so much else that goes on that is equally as important if not more important. In order to capitalize on your Twitter presence to make your account the most effective, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Your handle

Your business Twitter account is a direct reflection of your business. You go on Twitter to create a virtual representation of your business and your Twitter handle should be just that. Don’t get too creative. I know it’s hard with all of these wacky twitter handles out there. We won’t call anyone out, but you’ve seen them, too so you know. Keep it SIMPLE. Try to get as close to the name of your business as possible so you’ll be easy to find and easy to remember. Sometimes, due to the 230 million users on Twitter, there will be a case where the first name you choose is taken. For example, our  first choice for our Twitter handle was @PurelySocial (for obvious reasons), but unfortunately, that name was already taken. As a result, we had to get a little creative and @PurelySocialTip was born. It’s easy to remember, still represents our company and tells a little about what we do. If you’re a local business, an easy solution for you may be to add the name of your town or your state abbreviation to the handle.

Your Bio

A descriptive bio is a must have for a serious Twitter user. As a small business, your bio should tell your audience who you are, what you do, and what your goals are in 160 characters or less. Keywords  that are relevant to your business  are imperative to include. If you include keywords in your bio, your page will appear in searches of that keyword. For example, if you’re an artist who specializes in oil on canvas paintings for sale in Vermont. Your bio may be something like: “Local Vermont art boutique specializing in oil on canvas paintings for sale.”  This way, when someone searches “Vermont art” or “oil on canvas” or “oil paintings,” because these words are included in your bio, your profile will show up as a search result and BOOM! Another follower. A crappy bio is just a waste. It decreases your reach and turns away followers who may be looking for you.

Pinned Tweet Feature

A new feature on Twitter’s most recent update allows users to pin any tweet at the top of their profile to promote that particular tweet at no additional cost. This is a goldmine for business owners. It acts as a billboard on your page allowing you to draw extra attention to any tweet you want. This is perfect to promote new events, new products, blog posts, sales,… possibilities are endless. Coupled with the real estate that images are given when posted to Twitter, you’ve struck gold; you have another marketing tool in your tool belt that is completely free.  A wise way to use the pinned tweet feature is to include an image that is relevant to whatever it is that you are featuring, a link back to your site, and a small description filled with keywords and a hashtag. With that combination, you can’t lose. Missing out on it would just be careless.

Profile Photo

Your profile picture on Twitter should be representative of your business. There’s a little discension on marketers in reference to whether it’s better to use your brand logo or a picture of the owners, but we think either one is fine. As long as you don’t leave the photo as the default egg picture, or post a completely random picture of something completely unrelated, you’re good in our book. The worst thing you could do is leave it as the default picture. If you do leave it as the default, you may be mistaken for spam and people will be reluctant to follow you, or you may give the impression that you don’t know/care about what you’re doing .

Background & Header

A Header and your background is prime real estate to present your company to your followers. It should be a visual representation of your company and your brand. If you have a logo, this is the perfect opportunity to brand your page with it. It’salso an opportunity to add a tagline, be colorful, and show the personality behind your business. Make it fun. If you don’t have a logo, no worries. Canva is a great resource to help you design a header for your Twitter account (and others). It even has a premeasured design template for you to use that is perfectly adjusted to the Twitter header size. That’s where we made ours!2

These 5 opportunities are givens on Twitter. You absolutely want to takefull advantage of the possibilities to mold this for your business for FRE
E; especially if you’re a startup or low-budget company who doesn’t have too much to allocate to the marketing budget!

Try it and, as always, let us know your thoughts!

Maintaining your social media

Untitled design (2)As a business owner, you’re constantly being told that building meaningful relationships with your customers is a key component of the success of your business. You hear all the time how you need to get on social media networks and get active. We, here at Purely Social, have been giving you tips for weeks on how to get started on Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Instagram ( you can find the links to those articles by clicking on their titles), but we haven’t really touched on what to do after you get started.

Getting started on social media is only half the battle. Once you do get started, continuing and maintaining a consistent flow is the other half. As a business owner, your main concern is running your business. This may mean making necessary phone calls, taking inventory, placing orders, answering correspondence, maintain accounts… the list goes on. For a lot of you, maintaining your social media is the last thing on your mind when it comes to running your business. Even though you acknowledge that it is vital to the success of your business, you may simply not know how to integrate it into your daily routine.  As a result, you may not have as consistent of a presence on social media as you’d like to. You post on your Twitter account once a week, your Facebook account once a month, and started Pinterest , Instagram, and Linkedin accounts that you haven’t even touched. This is no way to achieve a successful social media presence.

If your goal in social media marketing is to gain a social media presence to grow your business, you need to keep yourself in check.

  1. Conduct a monthly analysis of the best times to post on your social media accounts. As your following grows, your best times to reach your fans will change. Tools such as Tweriod keep you up to date on when the best times to tweet on Twitter are. This article helps with figuring out which times to post on Facebook, and Iconosquare is perfect for learning the best time to post on Instagram.
  2. Once you have these best times to post, you can focus your energy into those time periods. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be clogging feeds all day every day to be successful. If your target audience is not online, then you’re burning energy that could be directed elsewhere.  Once you have those best times to post, you can just put those times into your scheduling tool (we use Buffer and Sprout Social).
  3. Consider composing a content calendar to help ease the pressure of coming up with content every single day. We have a whole series dedicated to best practices when putting together a content calendar.
  4. Make it a point during the day each day to check out what’s going on in your feed. You don’t have to sit there and stare at it, because you obviously don’t have time for that, but if you designate 3 times each day to take 20 minutes to scroll through your feed, engaging will be a pinch.

At breakfast or while you get dressed, you can catch what happened the night before and converse with the early risers; at lunch, you can scroll through will eating and catch what happened in the morning, and before bed you can catch anything that took place in between.

  1. Keep track of your progress. It’s as simple as recording your number of followers each week and tracking your analytics on whichever tool you choose to use. How will this keep you consistent? Well, it will help you monitor your growth and make you stay on track. For example, if you know you gain 30 followers weekly on average and one week you only gain 10, you know that you need to step up your game.  Also, by keeping track of your progress, you remain an active part of your social media marketing strategy. Rather than just marketing blindly, you can check whether or not what you’re doing is working and make necessary changes immediately.

In maintaining a social media presence consistency is almost as key as content. You can have spot on content, but if you post infrequently at random times, then it’s pointless. It’s important to achieve a rhythm and once you achieve that rhythm, it’s important to keep with it. If you fall out of rhythm, you end up having to do the work all over again which hinders growth.

Tell us what methods you use to stay consistent, or what obstacles you’ve come across in trying to stay consistent.Do you agree with the 5 methods we’ve shared? We want to hear from you! Talk to us in the comments below, email us, or @ us on Twitter. We look forward to hearing from you all!

Intro to Measuring Your Social Media Efforts

Measuring Success

This series is based on the wonderful teachings found in Sexy Little Numbers by Dimitri Maex

This week we wanted to dive deeper into analyzing and measuring your efforts when it comes to utilizing Social Media Marketing for your business. After the Content Calendar Series post on Metrics one of our fellow Social Media Marketers asked if we could give some insight on the analysis side of things. So we took the time and did some homework, looking for the best insights on the subject.

***Side Comment: There is a lot of information on the internet, but very rarely do we feel that it provides real insights. So as great as the internet is, we believe some of the best insight and advice you will ever get can come from a book. Take the time to visit your local library, many Social Media Marketing books are quick and easy reads that are just chock full of great advice!

In our Content Calendar Series, Part 2 we discussed setting up metrics to measure your success. At this point, you know that you need to be calculated with your efforts while remaining flexible in what may come. But when faced with all the data you’re able to collect, things can start the get fuzzy. For many business owners it can feel like numbers overload. Fact of the matter is the answers to the questions you have are there but you have to know which ones  to focus on to avoid the overwhelm. And as we write this post we too begin to realize this will have to be another series. For, in order for us to give you the insight you need in an easily digestible manner, we will need to break it up for you in order to go in depth.

What’s your KPI? How do you measure your business’ success outside of social media?

Do not overlook the significance of identifying what indicates success for your business. Many make the mistake of not taking the time to sit with themselves or their staff to define what the key indicators are. Only from there can you start to set clear objectives that you would like to achieve with a campaign or your overall social media presence. Be sure to prioritize these objectives; success requires a level of planning and effort…. Don’t skimp on the planning! Big brands can spend up to weeks with an entire team planning just one social media post. Don’t just assume you’re going to wing it and then knock one out of the ball park! It could take you months to harvest the fruits of your social media labor.

Skip this part and you’ll soon learn that everyone has a their own definition of success for the company. Which, for you, will only equated to wasted time, effort, and money! Once you’ve agreed upon the objectives, review each one to insure it has a metric (a standard of measurement), a benchmark (rates your performance among the competition), and a time frame. Those that don’t, rework to fit the criteria. Without these three elements your objectives are merely desires.

You want your objectives to be SMART:

Smart Objectives

SMART objectives are your Key Performance Indicators. Establishing and implementing these measures, requires you to take things a step further with Action Learning Indicators. These indicators tell the story behind what drives certain KPI’s. See, it’s not enough to just measure your KPI, you also have to understand what factors will cause a metric to go up or down. For example, say you’re currently running a marketing campaign to drive ticket sales for an event. You may say we’re going to run a 4 week campaign with the objective of selling 100 tickets, and based on past event ticket sales you may begin the campaign confident that you’ll achieve this objective quickly or driven to hit a new target. Either way there are a ton of action learning indicators that you could associate with this objective such as from what platform or ad did the sale come from, what time of day was the purchase made, where is the customer from… Which ties back to your understanding of your audiences’ online intended actions.

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Adopted from Kolb, D.A (1984) Experimental Learning

Now you have what you need to begin getting down to the good stuff… Tracking how well you’re actually doing!

This is where the data comes into play. Like many small businesses, chances are that the data is spread out all over the place, but you can export reports from the various platform ad managers and your Google Analytics into Excel. Sourcing the data is only half the battle, we also have to create a plan to measure the performance of our efforts.

Back to metrics, there are three basic types that you need to be looking at:

  1. Input: The investment, typically money, you make in obtaining a specific outcome. Look at how the money is being spent, it’s not enough to set a budget and allocate funds. You have to take it a step further, it’s not always easy to account for every penny’s effectiveness but you can look at the results yielded and determine where to focus your attentions. Wouldn’t it help to know what ads work best on which platforms or discover where to divert funds from.
  2. Output: In terms of social media, it’s all about the engagement. What is your audience’s immediate response to your campaign? Understanding how people interact with your content gives you the ability to tailor it and improve your audience’s overall experience with it!
  3. Outcome: Did you or did you not achieve your goal? When accessing the effectiveness of a campaign there are a few questions to consider:
    • How many people know about your services, products or brand?
    • How many people like your services, products or brand?
    • How many people would think about buy from you?
    • How many new customers have you attracted?
    • How many are loyal to your brand? Loyalty should be based on your own definition, specific to your brand.

Do the work now and you will begin to find what works best for your brand. To be continued…

As always we love hearing from you so please be sure to leave your comments below or email us at PurelySocialinfo@gmail.com

Social Media for Professionals

Social Media for Professionals.

We hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend and we want to thank everyone who follows us and engages with us! We recently received an email from a follower and thought it only appropriate to reply through a blog post. First off, we love answering your questions and helping you all find practical solutions to your social media marketing issues, so please keep the questions coming. Secondly, this is a great opportunity to discuss how professionals can effectively utilize social media to market their services and themselves. So lets jump right in:

Dear Purely Social Media,

I have been reading your blog for the last few months. Between yourself and several other bloggers on the subject of marketing in a hand held age, I have come to learn and utilize many of the “tricks” and “treats” available. I regress, I will be a new attorney come September. I plan to be a sole practitioner. Meaning I will be an entrepreneur with a law degree. Thus, I need to market myself as a small business (content, social media, traditional marketing) and market myself as a lawyer (trustworthy, competent, knowledgeable). I write you today to ask for specific advice, as both a sole proprietor and sole practitioner. How do I continue to grow my social media presence, while also building the trust to have these “followers” come to me when real life brings opportunity and misfortunes. I look forward to your words of wisdom, and will continue to be a avid reader and admirer of the information you graciously share.

Like many professionals you understand the power of social media, and you’re wise to want to use these platforms to market your future practice and your services; but it can be tricky executing this successfully. Let’s begin by looking at what social platforms you want to consider positioning yourself on. First and foremost, create an account for yourself on LinkedIn. If you have an account that exists, take the time to invest in completing it and making it look the best it can. You may want to consider hiring someone to do this for you or if you’re confident in your ability to complete this yourself then we would be more than happy to provide you with further assistance. Join LinkedIn groups for your profession that interest you, as they will provide you with support, useful information and an opportunity to network with other professionals in your industry. Remember that LinkedIn is the most formal of all the platforms, it is a great place to share your knowledge and establish yourself as a trustworthy and competent lawyer.

If you haven’t already done so, invest in some professional photos of yourself to utilize in your profiles and for social media ads. Aim for at least two looks, one professional and one casual. Remember a picture is worth a 1000 words and these will be the first impression you make on potential clients, so invest in a professional photographer. Consider locations that speak to your personal interests, providing depth and texture to your photos. There is very little that is appealing about studio images, this should not be a shoot that is reminiscent of your middle school picture day nor should this be an expression of your artistic side. You are the main focus in these pictures.

If you’re not blogging, then you need to start. Once you open your practice and create your website, a blog will be one of the best ways to drive web traffic as well as improve your SEO. So establishing a blog now will allow you to begin to develop an audience and provides you with content for social media. You’re probably wondering at this point what you should discuss in your blog. Consider providing advice to future law students, such as what to expect, studying tips and online references. Discuss topics related to the area of law you plan on practicing, attempt to simplify laws and terms for non lawyers. Provide your insights or opinions on national and global trials. And openly share your successes and missteps as a small private practice. Aim to write in depth posts that provide readers with real insights and appropriately tag posts to ensure they can easily be found. Share your content on third party sites to increase it’s visibility and reach, such as:

Legal On Ramp, Reddit, Storify and StumbleUpon

Many blogs can now be easily customized; consider turning the landing page of your blog into an interactive resume. Feature images, videos, and content that allow people to get to know and trust you. Be sure to clean up your Facebook page removing everything and anything that could look bad to potential clients or future employers. Additional social sites that you should consider establishing accounts with, if you haven’t already, should be Google+ and Twitter. Once you have established your practice you should look to extend you presence to any or all of the following sites:

Yelp, Angie’s List, Law Link, and Martindale

Remember that Social Media is about trial and error. It will take some time to determine who your audience is and where they are. As you begin to establish yourself on Social Media. it will start to become apparent what works and what doesn’t work. Develop a strategy that is flexible and allows for your efforts on each platform to support each other. Do your homework, find accounts on each platform that you can model your efforts after. See what other lawyers are doing and determine what needs to be tweaked to suit you. Remember that clients are using Social Media, having a presence allows you to see what people are saying about you, engage with them and take control of your online presence.

Image via The Rainmaker Blog

Image via The Rainmaker Blog

As always we want to hear from you! So please be sure to email us, tweet us or simply leave a comment below!!

Why are you on Social Media?

Why Are You on Social Media-

Last week we completed our Content Calendar series and it really got us thinking about a few things… Things about your business, how you use social media and why?

Over the past few weeks we’ve been in the process of discussing our services with some new potential clients and we’re starting to notice a few things… For one, many business owners know that they should establish a Social Media presence, at least that’s what everyone keeps telling them, but they aren’t really sure what to do once they are there. So begin by asking yourself: how should my business be represented on Social Media, and how should we position ourselves to stand out from the rest?  These can be tough questions to answer but are necessary to the development and execution of your strategy.

It is our opinion that the role Social Media plays in your business’ online presence can fall into one of two categories:

Your Social Media drives traffic to your website, playing a key role in lead generation and sales conversion.
or
Your Social Media simply supports and beefs up your online presence.

For example, there are some industries that are just ideal for social media. Fashion, beauty, physical fitness and photography work well because they are rich in visual content. Followers and fans of these industries get the behind the scenes tour for their favorite brands and personalities. Social Media is an opportunity for these brands to have fun and engage with their followers in a way that would not be possible through their websites. Unfortunately, this utilization of Social Media does not lend itself to every industry. For example what are the chances that you will be compelled to  follow an accountant on Facebook, an exterminator on Instagram or the local dry cleaner on Pinterest? Pretty slim to none, right?

Well truth is you just might depending on your interaction with that particular business. This is where category 2 comes into play. As we previously mentioned we have been in talks with two potential clients regarding how we can assist them in developing and sustaining a presence on Social Media, one client operates a young dental practice and the other sells various insurance packages to local businesses. Neither of these businesses would be considered glamorous in the world of Social Media Marketing and neither are rich in a steady flow on exciting visual content. Does this mean they shouldn’t be on Social Media?

Of course is doesn’t! It just means we’ll need to be calculated… We explained to these clients that they will need to shift their view of the role Social Media will be playing in their businesses from category 1 to category 2. For these types of businesses we’re not looking to drive traffic from a platform to a website, but rather we are looking to create a Social Media presences that allows visitors from their websites to get a good sense of what that particular business is about. There are tons of dentist out there, so how will a patient decide between them? Well for one they’re going to ask around, read reviews and visit the offices’ website. But what will be that determining factor that helps seal the deal…. It very well might be their Social Media presence.

We explained to these clients that Social Media is an opportunity for them to share with the world what makes them special and unique. Social Media is a great place to highlight their company culture, explain various policies and  showcase their knowledge in a particular area. It’s also a great way for them to interact with their customers in a more relaxed setting. Everyone likes getting a birthday card in the mail, but imagine receiving a birthday wish from your Dog Groomer via twitter. You’d feel pretty special and a bit tickled for the unique interaction!

There is an opportunity for every industry to utilize social media effectively , it just takes some creativity and a little trial and error. Defining what your intentions are when it comes to creating a Social Media presence will not only save you time but confusion as well. Don’t set out with the intention of  doing what everyone else is doing, take the time to study the social accounts of other businesses in your industry. What are they doing well and what do you feel they could lose? Figure out what works best for you and be prepared to try many different things before settling on the strategies and tactics that are ideal for you!

As always we are most interested in hearing from you! Have a comment you’d like to share, or maybe you have a question you would like answered. Leave us a message below or email us at purelysocialinfo@gmail.com. We can wait to give you the advice or help you desire!

Content Calendar Part 4: Strategy

Creating AContent Calendar

Our Content Calendar series is finally drawing to an end, and we appreciate how you all have responded to the insights we have provided here…

In Part 1, we discussed the importance of creating a framework for your content.

In Part 2, we highlighted the significance of measuring your efforts on social platforms.

And last week in Part 3, we walked you through the development of your content calendar and what it should look like.

Today we’re going to discuss with you creating strategies for implementation that get results.

Let’s begin with a fresh take on things. Social Media Marketing is still immature in the world of business and many small business owners still just don’t get it or know how to effectively use social media for their business. Don’t be stubborn with your marketing and lack the flexibility that social media marketing calls for. Classic marketing attempts to segment “consumers” into demographics. We all are familiar with the concept and most likely do the exact same thing with our own customers. However, defining a customer or followers by a demographic is a little out dated. Demographics are generally used in polls of public opinion and marketing to group individuals based on a variety of socioeconomic points. Until recently, we could all easily be grouped into our appropriate demographic and marketers enjoyed creating messages tailored to appeal to these different demographics.

Thanks to industrialization and globalization it’s becoming harder and harder to define these demographics. The best example of this shift is in luxury brands that have seen their customer pools widen as consumers with lower incomes began to desire and buy luxury goods.

So what does this mean for you as a business owner looking to use social media to grow your bottom line? Well, for one it means your segmenting your customers based on the wrong factors. Grouping people together based on their zip code, annual income or level of education simply doesn’t work…. Why? Probably because people are INDIVIDUALS, who deserve and desire to be treated with a level of respect. Grouping individuals based on “social market” factors turns a person into a number. Today’s consumer is not a number, they’re individuals who make informed purchases that they believe align with who they are on a fundamental level. What you should be looking at instead is your audience’s online intended actions. What will someone do with the information, services and products you provide?

It never ceases to amaze us just how many businesses overlook the treasure trove of information they could simply obtain by surveying their customers. Stop trying to figure out what works and start asking your customers what they like, want and need. A simple survey can help you determine what new products and services to offer, identify trends and highlight customer intentions! There are tons of online survey tools out there such as SurveyMonkey, KwikSurveys and SoGoSurvey, etc. Take the time to learn about your customers and how they feel about your brand. You want to develop a mindset for your organization that is focused on the wants and needs of the customer, to avoid doing damage control as a result of customer dissatisfaction.  Another great tool that can help you determine the intentions of your online audience is the Intent Index. The truth of the matter is that much of the information you seek is actually available within your organization in sales and service reports as well as in client records and inquires. Your online analytics can help as well, telling you what key words people are using to find you and where they are coming from.

Social

Image via iStockphoto

The goal behind focusing on your audiences’ intention is about obtaining more insights with less advertising, it’s about stepping into the customer’s shoes and out of your business bubble. Create a culture in your organization that encourages your team to create content based on the insights and information they have available to them. When creating campaigns for our clients we like to work backwards, in the sense that we like to always have a clear understanding of what their end goal for that particle campaign will be. Ask yourself what actions do you want your customer and followers to take after seeing your campaign, is it clicking a link, opting in, sharing, commenting or maybe you want to inspire them to create their own content around your brand. Whatever it is, you have to have a clear understanding and create a campaign that drives your desired actions.

Your social media strategy is simply a road map or guide lines for your desired intention. Take the time to analyze the appropriate social platforms for your business, as previously mentioned don’t be afraid to grow one platform at a time as you navigate your social media marketing. Determine how you  want to engage and with whom, develop your social voice and create a culture in your organization that empowers your team to be your loudest advocates. Creating a strategy that works should not scare you, in fact this entire content calendar series was roots in helping you to develop a successful strategy.

Take the time to write out your social media strategy, begin by determining what your main objective for using social media will be. Maybe your looking to easily facilitate a conversation between you and your customers, or you wish to support your vendors who have a smaller online presence. You can choose to educate or learn from others, whatever your objective is clearly state it for all in your team to know. Next, define how you intend to utilize each platform and how each platform with support the other’s. You may choose to use each platform to support a different area of your business. We’re firm believes that content and messaging should be tweaked to be unique to any particular platform. Give your audience a reason to follow you on multiple outlets to get a complete story or only on a few to get the information they desire. Either way but measurements in place to assess your efforts and be prepared to make changes when necessary. Most of all have fun!

We appreciate that you’ve taken the time to read this article. Be sure to leave an comments or questions you have below!