7 Predictions from Vin Clancy regarding the Future of Social Media

On June 30, 2010, Mashable launched Social Media Day as a way to recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication. And eight year’s later social media is now at the heart of all global communications plans and deeply integrated into many peoples daily routines and lives. With the constant changes to  social media and new entrepreneurs being born everyday social media is the one component that all successful entrepreneurs, influencers and businesses have learn to understand.

Known for his cutting-edge growth hacks and genius business ideas Vin Clancy went from living on welfare in the U.K when he turned things around learning how to use the internet to make things go viral.  He’s just launched his new book Ace The Game: The 100 best growth hacks in the world right now” which is a can’t miss book this year.  You can learn more about Vin by visiting his website or blog and joining his growth club to receive strategies and tips to get ahead as a marketer.

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The future of social media and how to know which social media platform is best to use for your brand or business

Envy, 

That’s what a lot of you feel when you look at brands and influencers who generate huge amounts of traffic and sales from social media.

Don’t worry, I get it too.

Now a lot of these people are either: extremely talented, have a lot of money for ads, or have grinded their way to the top of the newsfeed.  And I have the utmost respect for the vast majority of them. But saying that, there is another reason why these people/brands reached the summit of their game. It’s because they got there first.

Speed is the most valuable asset to have in this game and striking fast and hard is ideally  the way to go about things. Over the past year a lot of people have asked me what the next big social platform is going to be.

Here are 7 of my predictions in regards to the future of social media.

  1. Pinterest isn’t used to its potential and is seriously underrated for driving traffic to blogs, this won’t last forever.

    With many people struggling to drive web traffic from Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to their blog many people are beginning to give up.

    Whilst I think people are seriously underating the importance of SEO, there are plenty of people I know who are KILLING IT with Pinterest. One of my ex-pupils generates 100,000 impressions a month using Pinterest a month for next to nothing.   
    I seriously wouldn’t underestimate this platform.

    There are plenty of useful automation softwares for it IFTTT, followlike, tailwind. Use these to auto-pin content and follow/unfollow people at scale.

    If you’ve got a blog or ecommerce store, and a pretty decent sales funnel, then I seriously would look at driving traffic there from Pinterest. Like I said, this won’t last forever.

  2. As Facebook throttles more and more traffic to websites, SEO will make a big comeback.

    Lots of people keep saying Facebook is killing the organic reach of pages. (I might be the first one to say this). It’s actually now been killed. Every post that a page sends out, that doesn’t have any money put behind it, and includes and external link gets seen by one, maybe even two people. What’s the point?

SEO is free (okay you might need to pay for some optimization tools, training or backlinks) but at it’s core optimizing blog posts for SEO is free.

So I reckon that more people at the bottom will be less inclined to dive into social media content marketing and more people will go back to perfecting the SEO for their articles/blog posts.

  1. Want to get the attention of high-ticket prospects through social media? Don’t waste your time, use physical and lumpy mail. This will always be effective in my eyes.  

People love receiving (cool) stuff in the mail.  Do you ever get excited about a package arriving from Amazon? I know I do!  So if you can physically send something to someone, do it.

Physical mail has a 95%-100% pickup rate, especially if it’s something large like a box.  Tip: Call up the office of your prospect (influencer/CEO) and say to their assistant “we want to send x a free pair of shoes what is his/her size?” Then buy the high ticket prospect a nice pair of shoes but only send them one. Tell them in a nice letter “Now I’ve got my foot in the door, I’ll happily give you the other shoe if you agree to go for a coffee with me”

Very cheeky and everyone wants the other shoe.

4. Learn how to grow a Twitch account, this will conquer the earth in the next decade.

This platform will be huge in the coming year, not just for gamers but for everyday folk too.  In fact, it’s huge now! The Amazon owned platform now has 100+ million unique users every month.

The channel IRL (In Real Life) has people live streaming everyday things from: painting, drawing, playing music, building things.  So why not get there first for your niche and find some new customers.  

Maybe I should set up the first live growth hacking channel before someone else does ….

5. People gave up on Facebook chatbots too quickly and no one has done them right yet. Everyone will have them eventually so make yours the best.

When Facebook chatbots came to town everyone went crazy for them, but I’ve seen less and less people rave about them.

For those of you who don’t know chatbots are essentially FB messenger broadcasts that pages can send to anyone who signs up to them.They’re super powerful with many still boasting a huge open rate.

Because people wanted to treat them like an email list they burnt out a lot of people who don’t want marketing messages in their Facebook messenger every other day.

Some of the best bots I’ve seen impart REAL value that people want in their inbox 3-5 times a month MAX.  What a lot of brands haven’t realised is that people have joined your bot it’s because they’ve trusted you.

They’ve allowed you into their inner circle that was previously reserved for their close friends and family. Don’t betray that by selling to them everyday.  (MsgHero and ManyChat are among for favourite chat bot providers)

  1. Too many businesses are always looking for the next shiny object

A lot of startups and businesses come to me and say “You’re the guy that can get traffic out of thin air using social media? Help us!” 

While there are a lot of ways to grow their traffic I always ask to see their current traffic, conversions and email list first. There’s normally a lot of things that people aren’t already doing with their current customers.

So look at your current methods before embarking on completely new strategies.

7. People are still using Twitter wrong

It’s not a broadcast network. It’s a one-to-one network at huge scale.  The half life of a tweet is so short, and the feed moves so fast, that hardly anyone following over 200 people will see your one tweet a day.

So use to either send out 24 tweets a day or just simply @ the people you want to contact instead!  There is software that will help you do this in an organic and human way (don’t go overboard), but this will allow you to scale and hit many people at once.

I reply to nearly everyone who tweets @ me and I’ve seen many a celebrity and influencer do the same. Start using it right.

That’s a wrap for the predictions (I’ll put my crystal ball away now)

So those are my predictions and observations about social media marketing in 2018.

Whilst this is the way I believe things will play out, It’s important to look back at times and check yourself before you decide to massively change course.  If it isn’t broken don’t fix it, this is also known as the “Learn, implement, review” system. This ties into you should work out which social media platform is right for your business.

To be perfectly honest it’s actually quite simple. To start with you should already know the major places your ideal customer hangs out online and that should be your starting point (if you don’t then you have bigger problems to address first!)

Most people try and go for a multi-channel approach and hit all bases. While I too recommend this, it’s very difficult to execute right from the off if you’ve got a small team or work on your own.

If you spread yourself too thin and don’t go in hard on one platform you won’t get any results.  I suggest picking one main channel to focus on, and then a secondary channel a little later down the line.

You need to then look at the competition and work out if they are having success by using this platform, then work out how you can start to attract people to your brand instead.

What do you think of Vin’s predictions, leave a comment below or send me a tweet @marissapick.



 

 

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Event Manager Blog’s Social Media for Events Guide (2018 Edition)

Thank you so much to the Event Manager Blog for including my insight and experiences within the newly launched 2018 Edition of Social Media for Events: A Complete Guide to Marketing Your Events Using Social Media.

The guide shares 42 strategies, ideas, tips and tactics on using social media to promote events.  Levering social media at live events is crucial for generating engagement before, during and after the conference. However with social media rapidly evolving it’s not something that’s always easy to develop a strategy around especially since KPI’s around live events are sometimes challenging to measure.

I’ve been fortunate to have an extensive event marketing background which has helped me to develop innovative social media campaigns to enhance a variety of live events.   It’s crucial to always take chances and push the limit.  Failure is important to enable you to measure successes over the long term.  Always think outside the box and take chances, that’s how you and you brand can excel and stand out!quote-1-768x510.jpg

So, what are you waiting for, check out the 2018 Edition of Social Media for Events: A Complete Guide to Marketing Your Events Using Social Media.

What do you think of the guide, anything you would add? Leave me a comment below or shoot me a Tweet!

Five Social Media Tools for Marketers

Social media is constantly evolving as are the tools available for marketers to improve their brand and audiences within their social media channels and campaigns.  Below I’ve outlined the Five Tools I’m using currently using or have my eye on to leverage within my 2017 plans.

1. Tweriod: One of the questions I get asked all the time is how to find out when your audience is online within Twitter, and what the best times to tweet are.  Well, I stumbled upon Tweiod a few years back and have been spreading the word ever since! Tweiod gives you the ability to start tweeting when others are listening by providing you the best times to tweet.  The tool analyzes your tweets and followers tweets and provides a detailed analysis of when your audience is active, and when you should start tweeting for maximum visibility and engagement.  Paired with a scheduling tool this is a marketers dream to amplify engagement and build long term success!

So how does it work? You sign in with Twitter allowing the tool read access to get a list of all of your followers and their tweets.  The tool runs it’s analysis and when finished will Direct Message or Email you an update.  It provides a breakdown showing the most exposure when you tweet over a specific day, weekends, or a combined view.  They provide an upgrade to their premium plan depending on the number of followers you have ranging from $3.99-$15. I run an analysis every quarter or so and adjust my tweets accordingly.

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2. Livestream provides the ability to broadcast live to a wider Facebook Audience.  They announced recently the ability to install the app within your company Facebook page and then choose whether you want to broadcast from your smartphone or computer.  CFA Institute has been working with Livestream since I joined to broadcast high quality sessions from our global events to a wider audience.  We’ve got a channel full of broadcasts we’re always working to integrate these into our social media audience and raise visibility to a wider audience.

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Once you’re live you’ll be able to engage viewers though comments and your users will have the opportunity to engage with each other providing an interactive broadcasting tool.  Following the end of your event your broadcast will continue to be available for people to find and engage with.  We’ll be integrating this into our 2016 Events Strategy and I will report back on how this works within our mix.

3. Click to Tweet: If you’ve visited by blog before (or have paid any attention to this post) you’ve already noticed I’ve included click to tweet buttons within a good amount of my content.  As a content producer my goal is to make it simple and easy for readers (like you!) to share my content across social media (and Twitter).  Click to Tweet is hands down the easiest way to promote, share, and track your content within Twitter.   You login and create the message you want tweeted including hashtags, handles, etc and it generates a basic link for you to paste into your content.  You can simply hyperlink the words click to tweet or develop a visual image to easily drive engagement.

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We recently integrated this into one of our marketing campaigns within an email an saw almost 500 tweet from our click to tweet button in the email within the first 12 hours, a total success for our first try.  The free plan allows your five links with auto shortening and tracking and upgrades range from $5 monthly for unlimited links to $500 a year for an enterprise plan to manage multiple accounts (ideal for a business).

 

4. Rafflercopter: One of the tools I have my eye on to integrate into my social media marketing mix this year is Rafflecopter.  Social Media is all about engagement, and Rafflecopter provides an easy way for you to create a content to get people engaged with your account and build your following.  I’m a sucker for entering any raffle where I have a chance to win something (really, anything!) and this tool keeps popping up within my feeds! I see endless opportunities for brands and marketers to incorporate this into tool into their strategy to mix things up and make it fun.  Hey, after all everyone likes a chance to win something with 51% of US millennials would share information with companies in exchange for an incentive (USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future). Click to Tweet.

It’s easy to get started, signing up takes a matter of seconds and once you’re logged in you can setup a giveaway within a few minutes.  You first choose your prize and decide how people can enter through numerous options (and yes, you can click more than one!).  Next you’ll setup a time parameter and set your contest live! They’ve got a free trial you can easily get started with, and it’s inexpensive to continue with their upgraded plans.

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5. Pablo by Buffer: The human brain processes images 60,000 times quicker than text and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.  Social Media Platforms and Images go hand and hand for success with research by Twitter sharing that adding a photo URL into your tweet can boost retweets by an impressive 35%. Click to Tweet.

Pablo by Buffer makes it easy to design engaging images for your social media channels within minutes.   The Buffer Blog (one of my favorite sources of content) has a post here about how to get started and integrate into your mix.

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The tool provides ready to go templates, images, and quotes for you to use and it makes it fun to style you image adjusting your font or color, switching the photo from blurred to black and white, and adding a line of text or an icon in.  It also allows you to upload an image of your own to overlay with text.  We use this all the time during events to highlight speaker quotes in live time and drive engagement online.   Once you’ve developed your image you can easily share to your social channels, download, or add into your buffer scheduling matrix.  The only downside is they’re desktop only, hopefully a mobile version will come soon for those of us on the go, but to make life better, it’s completely free to use!

What do you think of the tools I’ve suggested? I would love to hear if they’ve helped you at all, and please take a moment and share your favorite tool with me within the comments or send me a tweet!

4 Tips for Building a Social Media Strategy for Your Personal Brand

This September I’ll be speaking with April Rudin during CFA Institute’s Alpha and Gender Diversity: The Competitive Edge Conference in Boston.  We’ll be delivering a pre-conference workshop on building a strong personal brand through social media.   In a nutshell social media is the crucial piece for managing and establishing your personal brand online. Not only is social media free it also provides accessible tools to communicate with infinite “niches” to fit into.  It allows us to stay hyper networked 24/7 while gaining instant access to information.  After our session in Boston we’ll be able to connect with conference delegates and stay in touch and continue conversations in live time.

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So, What Exactly is Personal Branding? Within Barry Feldman’s Blog Post he nailed it: You, my friend, are a brand. Therefore, personal branding is the process of managing and optimizing the way that you’re presented to others.  While self-help management techniques are about self -improvement, the personal branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging (i.e. You’re a brand. I’m a brand.  We’re all brands, whether we aim to be or not.)  

Below I’ve outlined a summary of our presentation sharing Four Tips for Building a Social Media Strategy for Your Personal Brand.

Tip #1: Determine Your Area of Expertise

Before you can establish your personal brand it’s important to determine what sets you apart from others.  The world of personal branding is flooded so you just can’t choose a general field like “marketing” or “social media.”  It’s more beneficial to focus on finding a specific niche so you’ll have an advantage to prove that you know what you’re talking about and stand out.  Although your audience might smaller, it will also be much more relevant. Your area of expertise should be something you’re authentically interested in.  After you determine your 1-3 areas of expertise it’s important to prioritize becoming a thought leader-producing content regularly and staying on topic and therefore gaining trust.   Before long you’ll have proof of your expertise!

Tip #2:  Remember that your digital reputation stays for life!  Treat it as if it were permanent

Sharing across social media will help draw others to you and help grow your personal brand.  Although social media can be overwhelming and confusing remember that it was initially setup as a forum to start conversations, providing the perfect forum to add value and drive engagement.  While it’s important to take a proactive approach to generating social media engagement by getting involved within your community.  However, be smart along the way and remember that so much depends on reputation- so you should guard it with your life.

It’s important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have.  Your reputation online, and in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level.- Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk stated it well, it’s important to remember that a reputation is your greatest asset follows you everywhere you go.  The web is permanent, and anything you say is etched into a digital presence that isn’t easily removed.  Being thoughtful in what you publish and engaging others tactfully goes a long way in positioning yourself in the right light.

Tip 3: Assume Everyone Can Help You

Think of being and influencer Like Being an intern, everyone MUST prove themselves.  As you work on building your social media footprint and generating engagement it’s important to remember to always respond and assume that your followers, fans and connections can help you.  Social Media 101 states that engagement and conversation always outweigh self-promotion.  It’s important to have an opinion, ask questions, and follow people back on social media (really…it’s okay!).  When you get unusual followers, specifically the good ones, always reach out with a personal comment/message.   I’ve been fortunate to amass a large social media footprint by actively participating in conversations within my community and taking time out of my day to retweet, share content, and engage with my followers.  Remember, social media has little to do with what we say about ourselves, and has everything to do with what people say about us.

Tip #4: Understand Exactly What NOT to Do on Social Media:

Although this may seem like a given, and I’ve covered some basics of what to do, it’s also important to address what NOT to do within social media.

  • Don’t complain about your job, co-workers or your boss (hint: see tip #2)
  • Don’t share too much information- think about how you can separate your digital & personal life
  • Don’t have an incomplete social media profile (if you’re not going to take the time to set it up then why bother keeping it active)
  • Don’t have an inappropriate, blurry, logo, or unprofessional photo (hint: a selfie or photo of you with drinks isn’t suited for your LinkedIn profile)
  • Don’t reference illegal activities- anything you wouldn’t do or say in front of a police officer shouldn’t go on social media!
  • Don’t be too self-serving or phony- remember You eventually become who you are who are on social media…You can only fake it for so long.  If you are a pain in real life, you will be a pain on social media. 

Conclusion: Hopefully these tips have been helpful in thinking about how you present yourself online. Establishing a personal brand on social media is something anyone can do, start small, stay focused, and drive engagement through your actions.  Social media is a powerful way to amplify your message, whatever that message may be, whatever the audience.

I would love to know which of these tips might work for you, leave a comment below or send me a tweet @marissapick.  As a reminder, you can follow the conversation online during CFA Institute’s Alpha and Gender Diversity: The Competitive Edge Conference September 14-15th by following the #CFAWomen hashtag.

Five Steps to Improve Your Social Media Strategy

Have you ever wondered why some businesses succeed at social media while others fail? The difference is a solid social media strategy.  3 in 4 consumers make a buying decision based on online content wouldn’t you agree that consistency and a strategy is crucial?

Social media was once seen as the wild child of the marketing department but the times have changed and the industry has matured.  It’s a great place for brands to have a little fun but it also has a real and measurable impact of a businesses’ bottom line.

Social media can no longer live in a silo, it must work in tandem with the rest of your business strategy.  Whether you’re looking to reinvent your current strategy or you’re just looking to get started the five steps below will help you create results.

1) Define Business Objectives and Goals

The first order of business with developing a social media strategy is clearly defining your goals.  Goals are the fuel to propel your online efforts and they give context and purpose to what would otherwise be a random one off social media tactic.

Goal setting is a staple of all marketing and business strategies and social media is no exception.   Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California conducted a study and found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.

Surveying key business stakeholders and asking questions is essential. Prove your teams worth by tacking the questions head on and understanding business obstacles and social objectives that can help brands overcome them. Some questions to help you get started:

  • Who are you looking to connect with?
  • What are your goals of using social media?
  • How much time can you commit to managing your social media?
  • Who will be responsible for running your social media?
  • What does success look like?

2) Understand and Know Your Audience and Focus on Networks that Add Value

As you’re posting and sharing on social media have you taken time to determined if you have a defined focus? Do you really understand the needs of your target market?

The better you can describe your audience and potential clients or consumers the more likely that your message  will capture their attention.  As you develop your audience personas you’ll see that the problems you’re solving for each market will be considerably different.  Knowing exactly what your audience needs and ways to find and meet them is important while providing content or engagement in a real and specific ways.

Each social network has its own strengths and weaknesses and each social media marketer should carefully pick and choose which networks they wish to take advantage of.

Each network provides a baseline of analytics to review your follow and fans online.  Simply asking your audience for their social media profiles is helpful as well as you’re capturing data with a registration form of other lead nurturing campaign.  Most CRM databased have places to house this information and as you’re segmenting and building audience specific campaigns this data will be essential for social media success.

3) Stand Out Online

In a busy and crowded social media world where a cookie-cutter approach is the norm, creating a differential as a way  to stand out online is a must.

The average attention span in 2000 was around 12 seconds but with the mobile and digital revolution it’s deteriorated quickly. Now, the average attention span of a human is eight seconds while a goldfish is believed to have an attention span of nine seconds. Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information. 

In order to use social media to its best, start by examining what your company means to your customers. You must determine not only what is unique about your business, but also how that uniqueness compels customer to keep coming back.

It’s important to review your messaging matrix daily to understand whether your message is benefitical and valuable or just contributing to the online noise.  Using social media effectively helps you stand out from the crowd. Understanding what makes your company, your culture and your customers unique will help you make your messages unique, too.

4) Create a Cross-Platform Strategy

It’s important to research and understand exactly how, when and why your audience is using social media.  Successful companies and brands determine where their time is best spent.  Understanding the audience and demographics and understanding how demographic groups use social media in a distinctive ways is crucial.  The bottom line? It’s vital to identify your customers preferred social media platforms so your strategy and focus and direct.

Just because a network has billions of users doesn’t mean it will have a direct contribution to your brand’s objectives. Instead of trying to be everything to everybody, focus your efforts on networks that hold the key to your target audience and objectives.

Social has long lived within the marketing department, but that doesn’t mean it can’t (and shouldn’t) have a hand in nearly every business function, from human resources to research and content marketing. To create a fully integrated social media marketing campaign, you’ll need to involve and integrate multiple departments, especially if your goals have a direct impact on them. Work with all your teams to determine how you can best support their goals and what key performance indicators are important to them.

5) Track, Measure and Adjust Along the Way

Tracking and measuring your social media efforts should be the backbone of your social media strategy. It’s sometimes difficult to measure and track social media success however setting clear KPI’s and updating often and along the way is crucial.  Social media is useful is useful in many ways, however it can turn into a tremendous time suck if you’re not paying close enough attention to where your time and effort is best spent.

That’s where analytics and analysis come into play.  Leveraging information available within your analytics dashboard to learn as much as possible about what content and actions are making the biggest splash across your social channels is key.  Evaluate how and why some content works and why some may fall short .

Takeaways: 

Sprout Social provided their readers the below seven step social media marketing checklist. It’s helpful if you’re reviewing your existing strategy and trying to determine how you check out.

Not everything will work on social media and that’s okay.  You can’t have success stories without failures along the way to provide a solid learning experience. The key to a successful strategy is to track, measure, and adjust along the way to determine what is working and how to do more of that.

Video and visual are must haves within my 2016 social media strategy, I’d love love to hear your thoughts on this piece and what you’re looking to do this year within your social media strategy.  Leave a comment or send me a tweet @marissapick.