The Power of an Engaged & Organic Social Audience

Engagement

Follower / membership count is a misunderstood and deceptive social media metric.  It is possible to purchase thousands of followers, but these will certainly be bots or fake accounts and will not return business value . Your online community may have 200,000 members, but how many are actually participating and contributing?  If followers are not organically grown through engagement, you do not have an audience; you have a list.

One of my social mentors, Martin Lieberman (@martinlieberman), and I regularly discuss this phenomenon: it’s called “social media,” why do so many only push content and ignore discussion?  Ask a question, provide an answer, share personal insights; social media is about conversations.  In addition to thought leadership blogs and company announcements, genuinely respond to your customer’s questions and actually engage them.  Engagement will positively impact your business.

Customers turn to social media to research a company’s culture as well as for trusted peer opinions and product insight.  What is the tone of your Twitter feed, what types of content are you sharing?  Does your company have an online community: what is the activity level, do members interact with one another, are employees participating?  No matter the platform, an engaging social strategy builds customer trust, differentiates your brand, and most importantly, creates advocates.

Engaging customers and cultivating them into advocates should be a priority.  Advocates are loyal consumers who help you meet revenue goals.  Advocates talk about your brand, increase awareness, and provide trusted reviews to potential customers. Advocates share your content with their networks which improves your SEO.  Advocates answer the majority of the questions within your community which lowers customer service costs.  Simply creating an account or community and pushing content will not yield advocates, advocates are nurtured through honest engagement.

It’s called “social” media.

Cheers,

Toby

 

 

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#Bufferchat: Building Digital Skills

Buffer

My recap of the 9/13/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Q1: How do you make time for building new skills?

  • Building new skills must be done – boost your productivity and work smarter
  • Often I learn about new tools during tweetchats, make note of them, then check them out later
  • You cannot afford to not continuing to educate yourself

Q2: In your opinion, what are the 3 key skills marketers need today?

  • The ability to listen – The willingness to respond – Pick the right social networks

Q3: Do you feel like marketers need to learn coding skills? Why or why not?

  • Coding? I guess it depends on how the marketer is reaching their targets
  • Having HTML knowledge is important

Q4: What do you think businesses can do to help close the “digital skills gap” that exists today?

  • Do a better job with FAQs or Self-help documentation for their products
  • Set up online communities so customers can visit, discuss, and learn from each other
  • Online communities help your customers help each other (and lower costs) Sponsor meetups or write blogs that cover how-to issues
  • Send their employees to training sessions

Q5: What are low-cost ways you can strengthen your digital skills toolbox?

  • Tweetchats!
  • There are many (free) online tutorials, start with YouTube
  • Don’t just consume – blog about or upload skills you have – you may make some great contacts – share your knowledge
  • Do some searching and find a community that covers the software or skill you want to learn

Thanks again @buffer – see everyone next week!  If you have questions about online communities, I am always happy to chat.

Cheers,

Toby

 

#TwitterSmarter: Tips to Rock Your B2B Social Media Marketing

twittersmarter

My recap of the 1/19/2017 #TwitterSmarter hosted by @MadalynSklar &   Join the conversation every Thursday at 1pm EST.

: If you could have anyone in the world mentor you, who would it be?

Q1: How can B2B companies benefit from incorporating social media in their marketing strategy?

  • Social not only gives B2B reach, but allows companies to show how they are different from their competition
  • It increases knowledge share and creates educated customers
  • Social increases interaction, interaction builds trust, trust = relationships & SALES

Q2: How can social media help B2B companies with their global presence and outreach?

  • Social provide reach that enables you to connect with potential customers
  • Social allows you to easily tailor your message to your customer (no matter culture or platform)

Q3: How can you create memorable content on social media to help your brand visibility?

  • Create content that help your customer use your product better – tips & tricks – best practices
  • Create content that helps your customer before speaking about your brand

Q4: How can social media help you craft your unique brand messaging?

  • Social allows you to listen to what your target (and existing) customers are talking about
  • After listening to and learning from your customers, create content that fills that need
  • Listen to what your customer’s pain points are
  • Social allows your customers to complain to you (think community), rather than rant on a 3rd party platform
  • Social gives your salespeople content to open discussions – rather than: “I’m calling to check in”

Q5: How can you measure the success of your social media marketing for B2B companies?

  • Measure with utm codes within links and track via Google Analytics
  • Measure traffic to your site or electronic storefront – Discussions within your community – Blog subscriptions

Q6: How can social media be a competitive advantage for B2B companies?

  • Many use Social, few use it well
  • Just as you need to prove your brand / product is different – you need to do the same with your Social efforts
  • Don’t use Social because “everyone does,” find and utilize the platforms your customers are using

Thank you for reading – hope to see you at #TwitterSmarter soon and I look forward to your comments.  When embarking on your Social campaign, ensure you have the right lines in the water to balance reach with engagement.  This blog sums up this chat topic.

Best,

Toby

#Bufferchat: Building an Emergent Organization

bufferchat

My recap of the 1/18/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer & @theready.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Icebreaker: If you could pick any workplace perk, what would it be?

  • Onsite dry cleaning would be an awesome workplace perk
  • Tasty snacks & really awesome coffee

Q1: In these constantly changing times, what does it look like for a company to embrace a forward-thinking, emergent mindset?

  • Judging and rewarding employees by meeting goals and not simply face-time.
  • It’s not the hours you put in, but what you put in the hours
  • Providing your employees with the best technology to help them be productive:

Q2: How have the needs of organizations changed as technology has evolved?

  • Customers EXPECT acknowledgement and answers quicker
  • Employees to be always available
  • Technology saavy employees who are willing to open to change

Q3: What are signs that a company needs to make a change in how it functions?

  • When leadership says: “We’ve ALWAYS done it that way”
  • If Employee turnover rockets
  • If you still use a fax machine

Q4: What are ways for a company to begin to make positive shifts in how it operates?

  • Talk to your front lines: they are in touch with your customers
  • Executive participation with your company’s community
  • Executives living their philosophies and not just preach them – your employees want to follow your lead

Q5: In your opinion, what’s the most important change an organization can make to help them thrive in the future?

  • Tear down silos – make your organization as horizontal as possible – we all have the same company on our badge
  • Connect with your employees – make them owners and show how they contribute to success
  • Communicate and be transparent to your employees and customers
  • If you take employee surveys: give feedback and actually implement some of their suggestions

Q6: How can organizations support modern career growth?

  • Training and seminars
  • Send employees to industry specific shows
  • Encourage employees participate in tweetchats

Q7: What are your favorite resources about the future of work, organizational transformation, and/or emergent companies?

  • Communities and Tweetchats

Bonus! How would you summarize today’s discussion in one tweet?

  • Listen, learn, change, adapt – There is always a better way; find it.

Thanks for reading! Please join me @buffer @ariellemargot and a host of fine folks at the next chat.

Cheers,

Toby

 

Collaboration

Bufferchat

This is my recap of the 2/3 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer.  Join the social conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST and discuss all things Social.

Q1: Why collaborate?

  • There is NEVER 1 way to do something
  • Smart people understand the power of many & surround themselves with smarter people
  • Collaboration is fantastic for team building
  • Collaboration combines past knowledge with new ideas

Q2: What are the key aspects of great collaboration?

  • The willingness to ask AND listen
  • Tear down silos first – focus on the goal or problem to solve
  • Clarify the goal and choose the right tool to share & document solutions
  • A moderator or sponsor who keeps the discussion moving and focused on the goal

Q3: How can you know if you’re a good match with a potential collaborator?

  • No way to know until the ideas start flying
  • Are members of the team willing to focus on the goal rather than their department?
  • You are both invested in the problem’s resolution

Q4: Is there such a thing as too many collaborators on a project?

  • More than too many collaborators, are you able to sort through & prioritize the solutions?
  • Depends on the project / goal – size of business impact
  • This is why a moderator / leader is needed for large group collaboration
  • Options are great, but avoid analysis paralysis – planning without action will sink you
  • There can be too many cooks; if some on the team do not collaborate, it may be time to let them walk

Q5: Have you ever had a bad collaboration experience? How did you work through it?

  • I explained to the person that we work for the same team with the same goal – forget about department
  • I cannot stand providing ideas without getting feedback or the team taking action

Q6: What are some unexpected collaborations that have worked really well?

  • Working across multiple department lines to find the right solution and deliver it on time to the customer

Q7: What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned about collaborating with others?

  • Keep an open mind; you never know where a solution will come from
  • One person does not have all the answers

See you at the next #Bufferchat