Four Critical #SocialMedia Mistakes to Avoid

Social media can be of a great benefit to a brand, however it can be detrimental if not handled property.  Still many companies are flocking to social media platforms for the one simple reason: not incorporating social media into their marketing strategy would be a loss to connect with potential customers while strengthening bonds with existing customers.  As social media has become the most popular online activity, companies need to be careful and mindful of how they’re using social media to avoid simple mistakes which can lead to the demise of customer engagement across their social media platforms.  Here are four critical social media mistakes for brands to avoid:

1) Using social media for selling, not conversing or engaging: Social Media is a place to build a personality and enhance a deeper relationship with your audience.  Social media users often don’t respond well to a hard sell.  Make sure your social media is a channel for starting a conversation, and engaging with your audience.  Building up trust and a repertoire is crucial and from there the only thing you need to sell your customers on is that you’re going to include them in the conversation.

2) Avoiding Controversy and Complaints: Let’s face it, social media is the perfect channel to vent and let our frustrations out.  Mistakes happen and as a brand you need to own up to them and let your customers know what you’re going to do to ensure they won’t be repeated.  Ignoring complaints shows you’re going to do your own thing, and that as a brand you are backing away.  Own your mistakes and man up! Make sure you have a plan in place for worst-case scenarios, and a social media disaster, it can’t hurt to be prepared!

3) #Getting #Hashtag #Happy on #SocialMedia: Using hashtags is a handy and effective tool, however sometimes they need to be used in moderation.  Using too many hashtags within a tweet or an Instagram post can come off too pushy. We’re already limited to 140 characters on Twitter so utilizing an image and text should speak volumes and stand alone, with a hashtag as a supporting entity.  Hashtags are fantastic for running promotions and enhancing searchability, however when used too often they can limit your ability to really amplify your message. 

4) Lacking a Strategy with Clear Business Objectives: If you’ve ever read my blog you’ll understand that i’m a firm believer in understanding that what you decide to do is JUST as important as deciding what you’re not going to do.  Make sure your brand has clear objectives set for utilizing social media, with a strategy for each social channel to help you achieve your goals.  Creating a strategy should include having distinct and measurable goals, thinking through your brand’s voice, and planning out a content calendar with clear goals in mind.   Setting a strategy and agreeing upon clear business objectives are the first two step’s in social media success.  

Social Media is About Reach and Engagement, see past the Dollar-Value Returns — Here’s What Marketers Should Measure Instead

A fantastic article published by John Heggestuen in Business Insider reinforces the idea that Social Media Marketing isn’t always about the dollar value returns, but should be focused toward new metrics that evaluate social media strategies in terms of audience-building, brand awareness, and customer relations. It’s important to have clearly defined business objectives and realistic expectations before launching a social media strategy, and the points below really emphasize the larger picture of what marketers should be measuring.

The recent Business Insider report, In-Depth Research On What Matters In Digital reviews how social media strategies are involving:

  • The decline of ROI metrics: Between 2010 and 2013, the percentage of marketers using a revenue-per-customer metric on social media dropped from 17% to 9%, according to the February 2013 CMO survey. The percentage tracking conversion rates also dropped, from 25% to 21%.
  • Even as the vogue for ROI indicators fades, social media budgets are ballooning. On average, top marketers expect to devote 9% of their budgets to social media spend in 2014, and 16% by 2018, according to the same survey.
  • Exceptions: Of course there are exceptions to the move away from ROI. Some social commerce applications and direct response campaigns will achieve measurable results on Facebook, or other social networks. And the end of the ROI-fever definitely doesn’t mean that all metrics can be thrown out the window.
  • The metrics to watch are audience reach, engagement, and sentiment. On Facebook, it’s always important to remember that due to algorithmic filtering, brand or business posts will only be seen by an average 16% of their fans.
  • Facebook shares are particularly valuable, because normal users’ posts are seen in a relatively high percentage of friends’ news feeds (compared to posts by brand pages); between 29 and 35% according to one study.
  • Improving the most common metrics: Insights, Facebook’s built-in analytics tool, offers great basic data for measuring reach and engagement. We show you how to transform those numbers into richer and more valuable metrics.
  • Post reach is the most fundamental indicator of reach on Facebook, but it’s important to track it relative to number of page fans and enrich it with complementary indicators. We show you how, and include screenshots.

The report also emphasizes the importance of reach and engagement as well as other benefits of social media below.  It’s a great report to reinforce that in order to embrace social media you must see past the immediate revenue and dollar value returns, and see the larger picture!

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Please leave a comment below, or tweet me @Marissapick with feedback, enjoy!

Meet Mike, Your Customer in 2015 (Infographic)

Meet Mike, Your Customer in 2015 (Infographic)

Always connected, opinionated and sharing it, requires immediacy, and so much more. This is Mike, and he’s your customer in 2015. With 34% of people turning to social media to air their feelings about a company, you better know what your consumers/followers are saying, and monitor and respond.

Some great stats in the infographic above. Tweet me @MarissaPick or share your comments below.

My guest appearance on FIR #B2B Show #6 with @pgillin & @allanschoenberg

This week I had the honor of joining Paul Gillin and Allan Schoenberg for their FIR B2B Show #6 titled Marketers Struggle With Reinvention.

Paul and Allan discussed the latest in B2B and Social Media News covering:

1) Recent research from Demand Metric reinforcing the importance of lead generation as just 9% of B2B marketers say they are highly effective at generating leads..

2) A study from IBM which discusses that although CMOs believe that advanced analytics play a significant role in helping them reach their goals, most feel their organizations are not in a position to leverage data to its full extent to gain a deeper understanding of the customer.

3) A new research study of 350 business buyers by the CMO Council and Netline finds that third-party sources heavily influence B2B buying decisions. That’s not surprising, but what’s depressing is that only 9% said vendors are trusted sources of content. “Marketing executives unanimously agreed that a solid content strategy is imperative for building awareness it requires them to position themselves as trusted experts in their field,” the report concludes.

During this podcast we discussed the numerous channels we use at my company Euromoney Institutional Investor to leverage social media across our publishing and events businesses, as well as the power we’ve found through paid advertising on Facebook, and the importance of word of mouth marketing. Click the link below to listen to FIR B2B Show #6 “Marketers Struggle With Reinvention.”

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Leave me a comment below or tweet me @MarissaPick to share your feedback with this FIR Podcast.

My #1 Piece of #SocialMedia Advice for Ongoing Success

My colleague Anna Lee has built her blog “small thoughts, big ideas” around short and simple posts, with great takeaways.  I’ve modeled this post similarly, and would like to share my opinion regarding the single most important thing you should do before launching any social media campaign.

CLEARLY DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS OBJECTIVES.

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Defining and setting objectives for your social media campaign may be the most important step in creating a solid plan. Here’s a few simple ways to help you develop objectives:

1) What do you want to accomplish? i.e. lead generation, additional traffic from social media, brand visibility… 

2) What does success in social media look like? i.e. revenue, larger following, customer service & satisfaction

3) How are you going to measure ROI and success from social media? i.e. customer feedback, sales figures

Asking these three simple questions can help to clarify your objectives and get everyone on the same page.  Remember to put the pieces together and communicate with your team, clients, or managers to solve the puzzle of what social media success within your business looks like. There’s no one simple answer, and this is a question you need to periodically ask and assess to ensure the ongoing performance of your social media efforts.

Do you agree? What’s your #1 piece of social media advice? Tweet me @MarissaPick, or leave a comment below :)

 

Do You Have a Strategy for Responding to Negative Social Media Posts?

Earlier this month eMarketer posted a great article, Are You Still Missing a Strategy for Negative Social Posts? where they shared that most marketers respond within a day to negative posts.  A staggering 88% of employees will use social media for marketing in 2014 however many still have trouble identifying ROI, but also responding to the negative buzz from the posts. At my current company we’ve had several instances where negative buzz has surfaced online, and we’ve had to quickly escalate to the proper internal resources to mitigate the situation.  In responding quickly, we’ve turned online “ranters” to evangelists within a matter of days by promptly and effectively listening and responding to the issue at hand.

So what about the rest of you, are you responding online to negative posts? the Social Media Marketing University (SMMU) found that fewer than half of US marketing professionals had an effective plan for dealing with negative posts.  The slide below shows the breakdown of where the marketing professionals align when asked in February 2014.

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On top of having a strategy it’s impressive that 52% of marketers respond to a customer complaint on social media within 24 hours, and 18% respond within 1 hour. Click to Tweet this stat. A staggering 1 in 5 respondents said they rarely or never respond to negative social buzz altogether.

Do you have a strategy for responding to negative social media promotions online? If you don’t have a plan in place, I suggest you brainstorm and discuss one immediately.  Connecting and engaging with clients and fans is a great way to deepen trust and loyalty while showing the human side of your brand. No one’s perfect, and mistakes happen and often customers can get upset and complain.  With the growth and ease of social media networks customers now expect to log, share, and get resolutions through social media.

I’m curious to know how your brand deals with negative comments, and if you’ve got a strategy in place.  Please comment below, log your vote in the poll,  or tweet me @MarissaPick.

Five Simple Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing Success

Inspired by a slideshare posted by Natascha Thomson, The 10 Rules of B2B Social Media MarketingI wanted to share my top five rules for B2B Social Media Marketing Success.  Let me know if you agree, or what rules you follow by tweeting me @MarissaPick.

#1: BREAK THE RULES AND HAVE FUN!

  • Social media provides a way for marketers to test the waters and try something new.  Social media is an exciting and new space to experiment, and see major returns.  Break the rules, have a little fun, and as a brand let your corporate hair down.  Social media gives a behind the scenes look into a person or brand, and can help to facilitate deeper engagement with your audience.

#2: KNOWING WHAT TO DO IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Every social media campaign needs a strategy, and it’s crucial to understand your goals. Knowing what you want to accomplish and how you will measure success is crucial before you launch any campaign.  All social media platforms are not the same, so leveraging the proper channels, and having a way to measure your campaign is so very important, and sadly often over looked. Think strategically and decide what you’re going to do before you launch, and start small, you can always expand once you have results.

#3: SOCIAL MEDIA ACTUALLY WORKS!

  • Natascha shared a great statistic from Forrester Research within her SlideShare deck, “85% of business decision-­‐makers said at least one social media channel is important when making technology purchase decisions.”  Social Media has the power to influence the decision makers.  When leveraged properly social media channels are a great place to share content to help influence and drive decision making at the very early stages.  Make sure you have solid content which targets and engages with  your audience.

#4: ENGAGEMENT = ESSENTIAL

  • Social Media is a platform to drive conversation and any post should always focus around engagement.  It doesn’t matter if you have 20,000 or 200 followers, what matters is that you have a captive and engaged audience.  I find visual content works well for my account to drive the RTs, Likes, and Shares.
  • Quick Tip: Find a quote or stat and download the Quoter App. It’s a great tool to brighten up your content, and quickly share on social media.  I shared the quote below from MarketingProfs Ann Handley during the recent NYC Social Media Week.  Since posting this to my account it has generated 45 ReTweets and 38 Favorites making this one of my most popular posts to date
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#5: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

  • Why should your audience follow you, and what’s in it for them? You need to answer this question, and them means the people within your social media community.  It’s crucial to wear their hats and build content which excites, engages, and motivates your audience. Know your audience’s needs, and be the source they go to get information and content. This takes me back to the top rule, always have fun and mix it up!

2014 #SuperBowl MVP: The #EsuranceSave30 campaign and the brillant use of #SocialMedia

During the 2014 Super Bowl I gathered with friends for a relaxing evening of football, wings, and of course watching the new and expensive super bowl ads! Thoroughly under impressed with this year’s game as well as the ad’s the Esurance commercial which ran immediately after the Super Bowl ended was a breath of fresh air.

The ad featured actor John Krasinski telling viewer’s how Esurance saved 1.5 million dollars by running the ad after the game ended. In order to pass on the savings, Esurance will be sharing the $1.5 million (the 30% discount the company saved by running the ad after the game) with one lucky winner who enters the contents simply by tweeting with hash tag #EsuranceSave30. Krasinski will be reveling the winner of the $1.5 million dollars on Jimmy Kimmel Live this upcoming Wednesday after the contest’s 36 hour period runs out. Genius.

This is one of the simplest uses of a hash tag to drive social media engagement both online and offline. Why do I love this campaign so much? For the below five reasons:

1) Since this ad aired under 24 hours ago, it’s received more than 2.1 million tweets using the hash tag for the campaign #esurancesave30. Talk about some serious online buzz.

2) 200,000 of the tweets for the campaign came within the first minute of the ad airing. Some serious instantaneous ROI and Interest!

3) The campaign as of this morning has received over 1 billion impressions. Showing not only that the online world reacted immediately, but people shared, followed, and engaged hoping to be the big winner. (i’m equally guilty for my shameless tweet)..

4) The @esurance twitter account has received a massive bump in followers, since the commercial aired the account has increased its follower count by over 90,000! With thousands of Retweets & Favorites on each post the account has some serious engagement going on with it’s end users.

5) It’s a short, sweet, and effective campaign successfully tapping into the 61% of Super Bowl Viewers who share ads on
social media (Source:Mashable). It drove discussion online, and will most likely drive a bump in viewers tuning into Jimmy Kimmel this week as Krasinski announces the winner.

Wishing everyone good luck in claiming the $1.5 million, and a big vitual high five to @Esurance for an effective digital and social ad! Well done #EsuranceSave30

Ten Tips for Using Social Media to Further Your Career

Ten Tips for Using Social Media to Further Your Career

It’s no surprise that as we enter into 2014 we’ve seen a social media explosion.  Now there’s over 800 million people connecting with each other on social media networks including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and many more. I had the privilege of joining Sarah Lawrence, senior associate, DLA Piper; Lucy McNulty, managing editor, IFLR; and Callum Sinclair, partner, DLA Piper on a webcast run by International Financial Law Review (IFLR) and sponsored by DLA Piper on using social media to further your career. This webcast was the first in IFLR’s Women in Business Law Group’s webinar series.  We each explained our experience and insights into how the rise of social media has fundamentally changed, and how we each communicate within our professional worlds.   At the bottom of this post is the slide share of the powerpoint deck we used during our presentation, and if you would like to access and listen to the webinar broadcast please visit this link.

During the Q&A portion of the webcast, one of the questions directed to me focused on best practice for the use of social media platforms. Below are my top ten tips for utilizing social media to advance your reputation and further your career.. 

  1. Stand out within your social media profiles. On twitter you have only 140 characters to tell the world who you are, so make your profile catchy and interesting.  Although this seems basic, many profiles across social media are missing photos, contact information, and other crucial data.  Highlighting your interest, job duties, location and other keywords helps people find out more about you.  In addition, consider cross promoting your other social media platforms as well to boost your digital footprint.  If you want to be taken seriously online, including a link within your profile is encouraged; for example feature your LinkedIn profile within your twitter bio to make easy for people to connect with you. 
  2. Lock It Down. What happens online doesn’t stay online.  We live in a world within limited privacy, so as your setting up your social media profiles make sure to check your privacy settings and ensure they’re set properly. As employees we are a representation of the company which employs us, so remember to think before you post, or you can be held liable.
  3. Transparency is key in building and maintaining a strong reputation.  Be honest, respectful, and mindful across all social media platforms.  It’s important to be open and transparent, this makes people relate to you.  It’s important to align your online persona with your offline personalty to avoid trouble. 
  4. Content is King. The key to any social media strategy whether you’re trying to advance your career or increase your businesses visibility should focus around a solid content marketing plan.  What you share across social media platforms should be interesting and engaging for others to enjoy, read, and share.  All social media platforms are not a one size fits all model, it’s important to craft posts for each social networks to maximize and leverage content.   As a reminder content doesn’t always have to be original.  Test quotes, statistics, and visual content and images across social media and see what works best.
  5. Incorporate Images.  Visual social marketing is the next generation of social media.  90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visually based, and the human brains processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Utilize social media tools Instagram & Vine which let you embed posts and videos easily, and use free apps like Quoter which provide ready to go quotes, or let quickly create a visual image.  Mix it up and create content that is visually pleasing and easily shareable. 
  6. Become an authority and add value. Choose a focus, and share information relevant to your niche career area. Join LinkedIn groups, start discussions and comment on existing discussions, find and engage within Twitter chats, and most importantly always add value.  As you engage more within social media you will gain the trust of others who will follow you to find information.  As you focus and carve our a niche area, you will build trust, and people will begin to share your content and come to you for advice.
  7. Establish Yourself Offline. Establishing yourself as a brand both online and offline allows people to put a face to your name.  Nothing takes the place of face to face interaction, so ideally building a strong online presence can translate to building a stronger and larger network of offline connections.
  8. Stay up on Digital Trends: Demonstrating your proficiency with all things digital shows you’re up on digital trends, which are currently affecting every company.  Employers are increasingly looking for social media and digital proficiency in potential employees.
  9. Make time.  Social Media is easy, but it does take time, carve out an hour a week at a minimum to go in spend within social media platforms.  Setting up a social media profile is a great first step, but as with anything else it takes time and a comfort level to become successful. If you’re going to let your platforms sit and never update them, why bother even setting up a profile?
  10. Have Fun.  Social Media is a great place to have fun and let your corporate hair down.  Whether your using social media to advance your career, or build your business remember to utilize your profiles as an avenue to have fun!

Please share your feedback below in the comments section, or tweet me @MarissaPick.

#SocialMedia, It’s not easy, but it is simple.

In under a decade, Social Media has become a mainstream channel for consumers. My colleague Anna Lee and I have complied some stats to sway you, and we’ve also shared the below article with Online Marketing Institute as well.  We would love to hear your feedback and experiences, please leave a comment below or tweet us @marissapick or @annaleenyc.

socialmediaeasy1

72% of adult internet users in the U.S. are now active on at least one social network, up from 67% in 2012 and just 8% in 2005. (Source: MediaPost)  [Tweet This]

As marketers, we must embrace the change and explore this new & exciting channel for communication with our customers. Simply put, if you’re not embracing social media, you’re missing out.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”- George Bernard Shaw [Tweet This]

For some, this change can be overwhelming, time consuming, fast paced and scary. Whilst it’s true that you must invest in this change, with the same time and care you invest in traditional marketing channels, the bottom line we often overlook is simplicity.

Social media is simply a new channel for communication with your audience that ultimately can compliment your existing marketing mix. It’s a place to listen, to learn, to inform, to help and to engage.

The exact same principles you apply to more traditional channels apply to Social Media too.

Send the right message, to the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

Marketing 101, right?

The Right Message
Earn the attention of your audience. Provide valuable content. Be Helpful. Solve Problems. Engage.

54% of B2B marketers plan to increase spending on content marketing in 2014. (Source: MyCustomer.com)  [Tweet This]

The Right People
Social Media is not a mass marketing channel. In fact, I can’t think of one that is. Use hashtags, targeted ads and social media tools to laser in on your audience. Think your audience isn’t on social media? Think again.

In fact, the 55-64 age group is the fastest growing demographic on Twitter — at 79% since 2012. (Source: Jeff Bullas) [Tweet This]

The Right Place
You don’t have to be on all Social Media channels, but you do have to be where your audience is.

Approximately 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision. (Source: Nielsen) [Tweet This]

The Right Time
Is your brand prepared to be spontaneous? Be timely. Respond quickly. Leverage trends and current affairs.

More than 70% of users expect to hear back from the brand they’re interacting with on Twitter, and 53% want a response within the hour.  (Source: Search Engine Watch[Tweet This]

Make sure your brand is ready to send the right message, to the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Our audience is embracing social media. Are you?