Tag Archives: Social Media Marketing

The ideal structure for a social media company

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Most social media marketing companies out there have very limited know-how, but charge an arm and a leg. I believe that if some smarter companies would get out there and grow like crazy, most of the mediocre companies would be quickly put out of business. It is all about having the right structure.

Do you have replacements?
It is common for a social media company to have a boss, and a bunch of workers doing their thing. Each person has different specialties. If your LinkedIn guy drops out, the next person in line might not be very good at it. It is tricky, because there are so many channels, so much to know, and so many things changing in the industry. The way you used LinkedIn five years ago might not be as effective today!

Brew masters and social sauces
In my mind you need a good boss. The boss should have a solid understanding of all of the channels. That way he can teach others when the need arises. If the boss spends all of his time wheeling and dealing he won’t have time to specialize in the “sauce” which is social media knowledge. The only way around this is if the boss has a partner who is the “brew master.” In breweries, the brew master is often more powerful than the owner. But, such a person has to be on equal footing with the boss otherwise they will quit for sure.

Fluidity is key
If you have only a handful of workers, when one quits, replacing them will be hard. If you have some outsourced people overseas who do mundane tasks for pennies on the dollar, if you need more labor, you will have a flexible pool. Additionally, you need multiple people for each specialty in case someone drops out. As you test new people out, they become part of your labor pool. It is hard to grow a company if you don’t have a handle on your labor, so you need to have more labor than you can handle. As part time new people impress you with their good work and loyalty, you could promote them by giving them more hours and higher pay.

Analysts and checkers
You need staff members who check on the other members. You need to see how they are doing on projects and take notes. You also need to see how effective their work is and if they need to be taught something new. In some cases, checking people regularly is how you get accurate data on when to fire someone. If their work is bad for long enough — fire them. And conversely, if your new people aren’t proving themselves well, then fire them as well.

Customer Support
Should the people interacting with your clients be the same as the ones doing the work? It might be easier to have everything separate. Have customer support managers who interact with the analysts, salespeople, and workers. A team of people working seamlessly together with multiple specialties might be the best way to structure a social media company for the future.

Growth Contracts
It is easy for social media workers to not feel a sense of ownership. But, if they don’t get paid until they reach certain goals, their mentality will change quickly. It might make more sense to have goal milestones, because personally, I don’t want to waste my time with anyone who can’t accomplish anything of value!

The Lamborghini effect in Social Media marketing

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I have been doing marketing for my entire life it seems. I remember as a kid, I marketed my lawn mowing business. I came up with sweat intensive methods for attracting clients in a heartbeat. I used to write an estimate on a flyer and leave it under their door mat if they were not home. I got hired by 10% of the people I left a flyer with. That is phenomenal. But, it is because I used a personal touch, and gave a quick and customized bid to everyone. Being fast at doing accurate estimates has its advantages.

As an adult, I have been running websites for more than a decade. It is hard to run a website, and the marketing keeps changing. Google is basically in charge, so whatever they like, you had better do!

The Lamborghini effect
It sounds like a movie. The Italian Job, The Bridge on the River Quai, The Lamborghini Effect — playing at 5pm, tickets sold at the door. Basically what I am talking about is having a marketing methodology so potent, that if you just tap the gas pedal, you will hear a huge “Voom” sound, and magic will happen. Today, I had a Lamborghini moment, if I may coin that phrase. I published a popular blog entry. But, I had also channeled some traffic to my outsourcing blog (the one you’re reading,) from my newer travel twitter which gets a lot of retweets. The result is that my traffic was more than double for a few days on my blog. Wow! All I did was tweet a few tweets and voom!

Followers are useless, you need results!
Lots of companies and individuals are in social media marketing, and claim to be good at it. You will see offers where they can get you 2000 followers overnight for a low fee, or maybe even 30,000 followers. Followers are useless. You need relevant, active, engaged followers, even if you only have a hundred. Most companies hire people who are not that experienced, and who will not get you amazing results. They will get you some new followers, maybe write a few tweets if they can even write well, and perhaps get you retweeted a few times. There is no focus on results, only on spinning the wheels. I don’t like this. I not only want results, I want to be blown out of the water. Real results are traffic to your site from clicks, and getting new customers — not new dormant followers who just sit there collecting cyber-dust.

My goal
My goal in social media is to learn how to get results so potent that I can help others to promote their social media campaigns. I want one or more twitter accounts, and blogs that get so much active traffic, that one tweet from me, and you won’t know what hit you! It amazes me that my older Twitter accounts have 4000, or 8000 followers, but only get retweeted two dozen times a month, while my newer travel twitter gets two dozen retweets per day, on a bad day. Wow! But, what if I can get my campaign to the point where I am getting hundreds of retweets per day? I think it is possible.

As far as blogging is concerned, by blogging more and more, I learn what is popular and what is not. Writing a popular blog entry in a niche market can get you a few thousand clicks over the life of the blog entry. Some entries get a lot of clicks their first week, while others slowly get clicked on and attract search engine traffic over years. Some of my most popular blog entries were written in 2011 by the way! My goal is get better at identifying what people like, and to continue to write more popular blog entries. I want to get so good, that all of my blog entries are popular. We’ll see what happens, but it is going well so far.

Most social media companies will give you “a” Twitter account and “a” Facebook account and perhaps a blog that is “blahg.” Don’t settle for less. I like it when you get results that are so amazing that you say, “What happened?” That is the Lamborghini effect in Social Media Marketing. Once you’ve experienced it you’ll never forget it!

What is the best social media network to test your content?

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Doing well at social media marketing is all about having great content. Popular content draws in the crowds and increases your interaction rate. Having lots of followers doesn’t benefit you on social media unless they interact, click, share, etc.

The problem is: what does well on one social network doesn’t always do well on other ones. Some social networks are more text oriented such as Twitter while some are more balanced between text and graphics like Google+. Others are much more photo oriented such as Stumbleupon and Pinterest. Putting aside the differences in networks, if you want to do well, you need to publish content that you know ahead of time will be popular. So, what is the trick?

Google+ is a growing network. They don’t have as many “active” members as Facebook or Twitter. My definition of “active” includes people who post several times a month, although Google+ has a high volume of members who visit their account at least once a month which is another metric of “active” that I don’t find useful. Google+ has less overall content on most topics that I am interested in. So, if you post on Google+, you might be a lot better off finding content that you obtained on a different network.

Finding Content
You can find great content anywhere. You can use Guy Kawasaki’s tips and use alltop, or some of the other content networks. I did not personally have good luck with these because their articles were not focused enough for my industry. You can Google article topic keywords. You can look on Twitter. Or you can make a long list of your favorite blogs and post their content and see what happens.

Testing Content
Being good at finding winning content is a very important part of the social media game. And yes, it is a game. Testing your content is the next stage of the game. How and where do you test your content? I recommend making a weekly list of one hundred or so articles that are very relevant or somewhat relevant to your industry or the interests of your followers. The only type of non-relevant content that does well with my networks includes travel articles with stunning pictures as almost everyone likes that. Make your list and then post these articles one by one.

Testing on Google+
I feel that Google+ is a great place to post really good content with stunning vertical photos. Photos that are horizontal, or that are not stunning tend to not add so much to the appeal of the post and don’t get that many more clicks than just publishing a really good article. Additionally, Google+ decides how many people to show your posts to. If you publish too many at once, they will not be seen by that many. You need to spread posts out on Google+, perhaps at least one hour apart for best results, even if you publish your posts on huge communities.

Testing on Twitter
I feel that Twitter is the best place to publish posts. If you publish more than two posts at the same time, you will lose followers quickly as they will be annoyed that you are monopolizing their feed. On the other hand, I had very good luck spreading test posts out every 3-10 minutes on Twitter. I got excellent feedback and did not lose hardly any members. It is not recommended to post more than 25 posts a day on Twitter or else Twitter will slow down how many profiles get introduced to your profile. However, if you did 33 posts a day for 3 days, or 20 posts a day for 5 days, you can test your 100 posts.

Analysis for Test Posts
After you post your posts, you can see which ones got favorited, shared, commented upon, etc. Keep a chart on paper or excel as to which posts got the most retweets, favorites, and comments. Guy Kawasaki puts the greatest value on retweets, while I feel that intelligent comments are more valuable as you can have a great dialogue and develop a much more close following with someone who interacts well. After you tally up the results for your 100 test tweets, pick your top five or ten and put them on Google+, Facebook, and your other networks. Please note that if you had content that performed in the top 20%, but is not on your top 5 list, but has a stunning photo, it will do better on Google+ because of the visual appeal, so you might add that to your Google+ publishing list.

By publishing only top, tried and true content, you will have a much more popular social media account. Additionally, you will save yourself the time of publishing junk on all of your networks. Yes, it takes time to test out content on Twitter, but once it is tested, you can use it on all your networks and you an use it more than once. Moreover, you can write your own blog articles based on topics that did well (that others wrote) that you published and learned were top performers on your particular network(s). Good luck!