#Bufferchat: Building Your Social Media From Scratch

Bufferchat

My recap of the 3/22/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer and @TrafficJamMedia.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Q1: If you could only start off by investing in one social platform, how do you decide which one it should be?

  • Look at features and reach
  • If determining a community platform: features and cost vs free
  • What platform does my target audience use?
  • What analytics are built in, will you need a 3rd party tool?

Q2: How much time should someone expect to spend on social media per week?

  • Depends what you are using social for: marketing, customer service, social listening…
  • If you are on Social, you better be engaging when customers reach out
  • Using a content calendar and scheduler tool will help streamline your efforts & make you efficient
  • I monitor a community as well as social media – 2/3 hours per day

Q3: How do you find great content to share on your social media profiles?

  • To find content I utilize my community, Google Play Newstand, LinkedIn Elevate, Twitter
  • Through tweetchats, I have met thought leaders – followed them – share their content
  • I participate in discussions on online communities with fellow Community Managers & Social Media pros

Q4: What are good “rules of thumb” for how often to post on various social platforms?

  • I am posting and responding within my community every day
  • I post to once a week
  • I post to Elevate a few times a day as it gives content to fellow employees to share
  • I am on A LOT

Q5: What are some things to avoid when just starting out on social media?

  • Trying to be everywhere ie using too many profiles
  • Not having consistent brand identity across different platforms
  • Not responding to questions
  • NEVER USE AUTO DM’s or canned responses – tailor your answer
  • Not utilizing utm codes and

Q6: How can you start to measure the business value of your social media activity?

  • Measure the increased traffic to your web site, your online store, knowledge base
  • You can measure ROI in Knowledge Base Views / Correct Answers in your community – these equal case deflection
  • In – look at Sessions – Pages per session – Ave. Session Duration – all should be increasing
  • Look to your CRM for cases before social, then cases after social – formal cases should go down
  • In my community – I look for increases in: Questions – Engagement Rate – Correct Answers – Active Members

Q7: What’s your #1 piece of advice for brands just starting out on social media?

Thanks again @buffer – see everyone next week!

Cheers,

Toby

#Bufferchat: Social Media Analytics

Buffer

My recap of the 3/15/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer and @RivallQ.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Let’s kick off with an icebreaker! If you’d like, share where you’re tweeting from… & where you wish you were tweeting from!

Icebreaker: Tweeting from Needham MA – I am the – would love to visit Australia (it’s summer there now)

Q1: Why track and measure social media analytics?

  • You cannot improve what you are not measuring
  • Analytics help you report the success of your efforts up the management chain
  • Analytics help you identify the content your customers love (and my not like so much)

Q2: If you could only pick one social media metric to capture, what would it be and why?

  • The ideal metric will depend on the Social Tool you are using
  • For Twitter: time on site – shows you directed them to content they like
  • For my community: questions asked – As this number increases, it shows my community is trusted by my customers
  • No matter a Social Media campaign or a Tweetchat – engagement is the Key

Q3: What tools work well for capturing analytics across your social media platforms?

Q4: How often do you (or should you) analyze your social media data?

  • Monthly, Quarterly, Annually
  • It can depend on the campaign: email, social, blogging, etc
  • Remember to compare year over year – how did you move the needle?

Q5: Have you ever made a big shift in your social media strategy because of analyzing data?

  • Have not made a major shift – thankfully small tweaks have made the difference
  • Always testing hashtags and content types

Q6: Where are the best resources for better understanding social media analytics?

  • tweetchats (like this one)
  • I would like to learn the best resources, but there are some easily sourced content via Google search
  • I network with other Community Managers – we trade best practices

Q7: If you could wave a magic wand and have any analytics feature you wanted, what would it be?

  • I would wish for the one perfect tool: easy to use, digs deep into the network, creates solid dashboards

Thanks for reading – I look forward to you comments and hope to see you at the next #bufferchat.

Cheers,

Toby

#SproutChat: Social Media Listening vs Monitoring

sprout

My recap of the 3/1/2017 #SproutChat hosted by @sprout_sarah  & @SproutSocial   Join the conversation every Wednesday at 3pm EST.

Q1: What’s the difference between social listening and monitoring?

  • Social Listening leads to engagement – monitoring is simply seeing what is out there
  • Social monitoring can lead to trouble: why are ppl taking about my brand this way? Engage and find out
  • Social Listening will help you improve your product, service, and customer trust
  • No matter listening or monitoring – you should wonder why ppl are going to 3rd party places rather than talking to you

Q2: Why is it important to go beyond just monitoring brand mentions and responding reactively?

  • Responding builds customer trust
  • Responding uncovers product improvement and sales opportunities
  • Engagement creates happy customers and happy customers talk positively about you
  • Most brands make it hard to speak with someone – Engage and be a champion

Q3: How can a brand surprise and delight customers when providing social customer care?

  • The fact the brand actually engaged
  • Problems happen – brands that engage and solve them create and keep loyal customers
  • Reply within 1 hour – Show empathy – Admit fault in public – Confirm resolution and satisfaction
  • Do not use canned responses – make them personal and show you have actual people who care within your organization

Q4: What are some good ways to keep track of ongoing conversations with members of your community?

Q5: What are some creative ways to use Twitter boolean (advanced) search to find opportunities to engage?

  • Have not used it 😦 Love to hear more
  • Answer from @sprout_sarah – Here’s a comprehensive cheatsheet on Advanced Search for Twitter, SUPER helpful: Twitter Search

Q6: What are the best ways to keep track of trends while listening on social?

  • I use a board – makes it easy to classify and find ideas
  • Follow people and add them to lists – then you can add the list to a dashboard to easily monitor it

Please stop by the next #SproutChat and join the conversation.  I look forward to your comments and collaborating with you.

Cheers,

Toby

 

#Bufferchat: Risks and Experimenation

bufferchat

My recap of the 3/1/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Q1: If you’re up for sharing, what is a big risk you’ve taken in your life that ended up working out well?

  • Getting married and having children

Q2: What was the last time you tried an experiment, or followed through with a new idea, at work?

  • Being a Community Manager – every day is something new and full of experiments (& new relationships)
  • A risk that paid dividends is handing community keys over to my members; asking for and counting on their help

Q3: What’s your process for starting an experiment (or anything new) at work? What steps do you take?

  • Plan / brainstorm – make my case – get buy in – execute – measure – correct as needed
  • Ensue it aligns with company goals
  • Gather great brains to brainstorm

Q4: How do you know if it’s worth taking a risk at work or in life?

  • What does your inner voice tell you

Q5: When you have new ideas, what’s your advice for getting more support from managers/leadership?

  • Prove with data how is moves the company forward
  • Prove how your idea will make your boss / department look good
  • Ask for their opinion or strategy advice

Q6: What do you do if your ideas/experiments aren’t successful?

  • Don’t whine or pout – understand why it did not fit into the strategy
  • Ask if now is not the time, when would be the time
  • Understand how your idea can be improved then make your case again
  • DO NOT take it personally

Q7: What has been your biggest learning about risk-taking? Any tips to share?

  • There is no reward or sense of personal fulfillment without risk – plan and go for it

Thanks for reading – I look forward to you comments and hope to see you at the next #bufferchat.

Cheers,

Toby

 

#Bufferchat: The Art of Storytelling

bufferchat

My recap of the 2/8/2017 #Bufferchat hosted by @buffer.  Join the conversation every Wednesday at 12pm EST.

Q1: In your opinion, what are the fundamentals of a great story?

  • A great story is one that others can relate to and are inspired by
  • A great story teaches a lesson & inspires

Q2: Why infuse storytelling into marketing?

  • Add storytelling to marketing to help build a bridge to the customer – help them relate to you
  • Storytelling helps customers take the journey with you
  • Storytelling differentiates your brand from the pack – you are not simply pushing info or broadcasting brand info

Q3: What kind of content can you create to tell stories? What forms can stories take?

  • Video, video, video
  • Infographics are great storytellers that are easily digested
  • Tweetchats allow participants to contribute to the story

Q4: What are tips for making sure your brand voice is heard through your storytelling?

  • Don’t simply tell your story, respond to comments and engage
  • Tell a story how your brand helped a customer succeed – or better yet, invite a customer to do it

Q5: How can you involve your audience/customers in your storytelling?

  • Invite them to tell a story – how did you help them be successful
  • Invite customers into community focus groups to discuss products, issues, and solutions
  • Make the customer the star of the story, rather than your brand

Q6: Which companies or personal brands do a great job at telling stories, and how?

Q7: What makes someone a great storyteller?

  • They build trust right away
  • You can relate to them
  • A great storyteller DOES NOT lecture or talk down to you – you feel engaged

Here is a video example of storytelling content from my community: the customer telling their amazing story.  Boston Engineering – Reverse Engineer 20 Million Years of Biological Evolution:

Thanks for reading – I look forward to you comments and hope to see you at the next #bufferchat.

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

 

Your Utility Infielder & Company MVP

cmgr

I am often asked: “Under what department does a community belong?” As you see from my simple slide, the Community Manager supports and contributes throughout the company.

Social Media, Customer Service, Technical Support, Marketing, Product Development – these are essentials your community can deliver. Setting up a community and choosing the right platform is a different discussion, but before doing either, start with a qualified Community Manager.

Where does your community live?

Cheers,

Toby

 

#HootChat – Content creation with limited resources

Hootchat

My recap of the 8/18 #HootChat hosted by @hootsuite & @iraa.  Join the conversation every Thursday at 3pm EST.

Q1. What is content marketing?

  • Content Marketing is customer centric – News they can use
  • Content Marketing is not talking about your brand – it is tailoring information your customers value
  • Content Marketing helps your customers educate themselves

Q2. What are some goals of content marketing?

Q3. Why is content marketing hard for a small team?

  • It takes time to find and create creative and educational content
  • I utilize customer-generated – saves time and is trusted
  • Sometimes a small team is more focused

Q4. What can a small team do to create engaging content?

  • Utilize customer-generated or 3rd party content to supplement your own

Q5. What are audience personas and how should they affect your content creation?

  • Before starting your content creation, better understand what your customers value or you will fail
  • Is your audience the C-suite or the front lines? Best know as it changes the tone and length of your content
  • Audience personas tell you what they value and want to read / learn about

Q6. What can teams do to extend the life of their current content?

  • Update and refresh documents / videos / blogs as needed
  • Utilizing a different Social Channel will help you repurpose content

Q7. Where do teams go wrong when creating content?

  • They focus on their message rather than what is interesting to the customer
  • Forcing customers to fill out a survey or form before they can view the content
  • Using too many Social Channels and not using any of them correctly
  • Not allowing or responding to comments or questions from customers

Looking forward to collaborating with you at the next #Hootchat!

 

Communities ARE Social Media

SocialandCommunity

There is confusion about the relation between these two and the misunderstanding that communities are not social media.  Not so.  Social Media is a form of electronic communication that consists of different platforms; communities are one of those platforms.  How do you want to engage?

Social Media defined by  Merriam Webster:

Forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content.

Online Communities defined by  CommonCraft.com:

An online community is a group of people with common interests who use the Internet (web sites, email, instant messaging, etc) to communicate, work together and pursue their interests over time.

Social networks like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook are fun and sexy: they are used for social listening, brand promotion, and limited customer engagement.  Communities are electronic Town Halls that enable conversations and deeper engagement: customers provide feedback, comments, and questions; brands have obligation to respond.

No matter brand promotion, customer service, or customer engagement, you must understand your audience: what networks are they using, and where you are comfortable engaging.  As with anything: you need the right tool for the right job.  For social media, you need the right network to reach customers and have the right conversations. Communities are social media.

Where do your conversations happen?

Cheers,

Toby