Archive for month: April, 2015

Weekly Social Media and Content Round Up – 26th April

28 Apr
April 28, 2015

A lot of interesting social media and SEO related content around over the last week as both Facebook and Google made some pretty dramatic changes to the sites and posts they serve up.

Here are the top 5 posts I shared last week.

Google’s Evolution is Forcing Marketers to Invest In Loyal Audiences

I love Whiteboard Friday from Moz, and this post was an excellent piece around building a loyal audience first, rather than primarily focusing on SEO. 

Using Analytics to Show Social ROI

Proving value of social media to executives has always been a challenge, this analytics and data driven approach is a good place to start.

A Visual Guide to Telling Compelling Stories for Your Brand

Storytelling is the new black for brands but something that is still struggled with. 

Staring Up On Social: Twitter

This 101 on Twitter is a great primer for new users of the channel.  

How To Grow Your Personal Brand on Twitter

I really enjoyed this post. Twitter is my primary platform I use without fail everyday. This 10 minute a day framework is great if you want to build yourself as a brand on the network. 

Is There Such A Thing As Extreme Customer Service?

23 Apr
April 23, 2015

I was at a shopping centre over the weekend and dropped by a store in the food court to grab coffee and something to eat.

Stuck to the counter next to the register, facing the server, was a laminated sheet of paper titled “Our Extreme Customer Service Policy“. Under it were 4 simple points:

  • Fast
  • Accurate
  • Quality Product
  • Friendly Smile

When you put it all together, it’s basically saying serve the customer exactly what they want in the fastest and friendliest way possible. Which to me seems a bare minimum.

So while I understand the intent was to reinforce good customer service practice, would these things be considered “extreme” customer service, or are they just the core tenets of service? Granted, the example of a coffee shop is different to digital business, I think it paints an interesting picture of how businesses perceive the expectations of the customer.

Customer Expectations Have Changed

There is no doubt that the expectations of customers are now extreme compared to where they were 10, or even 5 years ago. The technology we now have for them to communicate with us has seen barriers removed and timeframes dramatically shortened.

A recent study from Lithium Technologies indicated that 43% of people expect a response to an online query in the space of an hour, and 14% of them want it in 5 minutes or less! This is where tech has raised the expectations.

So while they are extreme compared to where they have been in the past, it’s also the new normal, because we now won’t settle for the old level of service.

Using the word “extreme” to define a customer service policy is incorrect. What you’re seeking is consistently high, because the heightened expectation is now the baseline.

The policies and processes you have around how you support customers should make amazing service a rule rather than an exception.

Last Week's Top Social and Content Posts

20 Apr
April 20, 2015

Last week I started publishing a summary of what was most popular amongst the content I shared. This week, data and visual social media were the most popular themes from the content I curated.

So what were people looking at last week?

5 Social Media Image Size Hacks for Quick Visual Content

Top of the pile was a great post from Donna Moritz (@sociallysorted), on some hacks to build quick visual assets for your social media. Donna’s content is always great, and recommend following her.

Twitter Cuts off Data For Third Party Sellers

One of the bigger stories of the last week was Twitter, as they move into their own big data business through their Gnip acquisition.

10 Reasons Why Data Must Drive Your Content Strategy

I shared a similar post last week, and it’s obvious from the interactions I see with it that data and content strategy and hot topics. This post has 10 points that need consideration.

The Evolution of Advertising on Twitter, and What’s Next

I found this more retrospective, very light on the “what’s next” but it is an interesting read nonetheless.

Turn UGC Into Glorious Content

UGC was one of those things that marketers thought would be awesome in the early days of social media, then got a bad name because of the unreliable quality. But there is a way to do it right and turn it into something awesome.

Social Media Automation – Stop Outsourcing Gratitude

16 Apr
April 16, 2015

Despite the bad name it got in its early days, I think social media automation has come a long way and I don’t think there is anything wrong with some of the functions that fall under the umbrella of “automated”.

I use both Buffer and CoSchedule as tools for managing the content I send out on social channels, and to craft the message I am going to use to share the content I create. This kind of automation is OK.

Where it goes wrong, however, is when it’s used as an engagement tool. Automated replies on Twitter are nothing new, and have long been a pain point because they take away from the legitimacy of the connection you’ve just created.

You can’t automate gratitude. I consider giving thanks where you can to be one of the core tenets of Twitter citizenship. Pinging me a direct message within 10 minutes of following you to thank me for with a link to your white paper doesn’t say “thanks for following”.

Suggesting that we connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, <insert other network here> as part of that message? You’re losing me even further.

Take the time to write a tweet to say thanks. I try to make the time for it as much as I can – new connections, favourites, retweets. Every one of these interactions people have with me or my content helps me build my profile as a trustworthy source of information. Even if it’s collectively thanking people, take the time.

SumAll's on boarding puts automation of gratitude front and centreMany analytics platforms now offer the automation of this process with the addition of a link back to the platform – essentially making them a marketing message.

SumAll and Crowdfire are two of the bigger offenders. I use Crowdfire for some functions, specifically their inactive accounts analysis, but the lesson here is that you should use the functionality to understand your audience, not interact with it.

One of the first functions you are presented with on signing up with SumAll is the option to tweet your stats each week (incidentally, no one cares), and thanking your top followers weekly – both of which are selected by default.

CrowdFire’s is also an onboarding function and then keeps automation as a menu option, allowing you to add multiple DM styles, but randomly selecting one that gets sent and appending it with branding.

CrowdFire's automation process

 

Just as our privacy can be the price we pay to use platforms like Facebook and Twitter for free, so too free tools to manage them have a price, often in the form of promoting on their behalf. You can automate social media to make it easy in many ways, but engaging with people who engage with you shouldn’t be one of them.

PHOTO – Ian Britton via Flickr

Last Week's Top Social Media and Content Marketing Posts

13 Apr
April 13, 2015

I generally share over 50 different pieces of content a week, and each week I dip into my analytics on Buffer and see which ones struck a chord, and which ones missed the mark. I’m going to start curating a summary of these each week, as I believe that they are good pieces of content that should be read.

So, in no particular order…

Social Media Tools to Optimise Your Time

There are so many tool available to create efficiencies in the social space – some good, some bad, and some just make more work for you. Social Media examiner has pulled together a list of some tools that will definitely make things easier, including a few of my favourites.

Why Everybody Writes is the Book Everybody Needs

I reviewed the fantastic Everybody Writes back in January and got the chance to ask Ann Handley a few questions about it. It’s required reading for every content marketer

What the (Unofficial) Death of G+ Means for Marketing6101903676_c61d62f591_z

I’ll be honest, i gave up on G+ ages ago. I started out using it as you should with a social platform, and the longer it went, the less relevant I saw it become. Now even Google thinks it’s had its day. Here’s what the impending “stripping for parts” of G+ means for marketers.

6 Ideas for Images That Really Work

Visual social media is exponentially more engaging than just text, which has given rise to platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. But there is a science and an art to an effective use of images in social media posts. In addition to this advice from Content Marketing Institute, I would also recommend reading this post on 19 Visual Social Media Secrets from Socially Sorted.

10 Steps To A Successful Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing and strategy continue to be hot topics, which means there are a lot of these kind of posts floating around. This one from Demand Media is one of the best I’ve found, with a nice succinct infographic to summarise it all – it shouldn’t be rocket science if the fundamentals are sound.

10 Step Content Marketing Strategy from Demand Media

10 Step Content Marketing Strategy from Demand Media

 

Google Plus Photo – Leon Nicholls via Flickr