A central part of any social media strategist’s job is to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in newsfeed algorithms, analytics features and paid post programs. After managing social programs for a wide variety of brands, I’ve discovered that the best strategy is not to be reactive to these changes, but rather to authentically engage with users.

That means that, instead of seeking to take advantage of the latest loophole, engage to the point where customers — or potential customers — actually want to share their data (name, email address, zip code, etc.) because they are genuinely interested and want to participate. There are three important steps to achieving success in generated social direct response:

1) Engagement
Think of engagement as the foundation upon which you build your strategy. Approach your effort across screens and marketing vehicles so that your message reaches your target audience both offline and online. Remember, the consumer is looking for an easy and consistent experience when taking the time to engage with you, so allow your marketing messages to prompt a consumer action no matter where they see your messaging. (read more…)

Have you been loyally posting your brand photos on all of your social media platforms, and just aren’t getting the loyal turnout you’ve been expecting? Do you want to expand your online visibility and can’t figure out what you are doing wrong?

Maybe it’s because you have been ignoring some comments on Facebook, or not crediting users with a “hat tip” when sharing content on Google+. Do your tweets run all the way to 140 characters, leaving no room for others to include your username in a retweet? That’s another no-no. Basic etiquette principles apply to all social networks, and every platform comes with a unique set of rules.

Just because you have dutifully created a Facebook page, a Twitter account, an Instagram, doesn’t mean your job is done. If you want your business to grow, you are going to need to learn how to reach people across platforms. This infographic is a handy guide to social media etiquette for each of the main platforms. (read more…)

You wrote an article. It’s probably awesome, full of insights and experience readers can’t get anywhere else.

On that first day you published you probably got a hundred readers or so, 16 social shares, two retweets and maybe an e-mail subscriber.

On the second day you probably got 57 readers, 7 social shares, 1 retweet and a quarter of an e-mail subscriber (I’m going off the stats here).

On the third day you published another article and the first one disappeared into the black, tar-like mire of the Internet, only venturing a finger into the light of day when someone happens to go to the fourth page of Google’s search results in search of the 30th article on “Online Marketing Best Practices You Need to Hear!”

This article will give you the four most important steps you can take to fight tooth, nail and literally any sharp implement you can find to ensure you get the most out of each and every article you write. (read more…)

There’s a lot being written today about advocacy and the value of word of mouth. The increased interest makes sense. After all, who doesn’t want more of a commodity that’s:

  • Seemingly free
  • Accorded high credibility
  • The most trusted form of “advertising”. (Nielsen reports that 92% of people “somewhat or completely trust” recommendations from people they know. Compare this to just 47% similarly trusting TV and print, and only 36% trusting online video ads.)

But, in reality, there’s nothing free about advocacy and positive word of mouth. Effective word of mouth only comes with sound strategic planning and substantial effort. Effective word of mouth requires that marketers:

  1. Provide a high enough level of service to incent word of mouth;
  2. Operate “above and beyond expectations”to truly delight customers;
  3. Generate sharable content that is relevant, compelling and self-serving;
  4. Provide training and conduct programs to cultivate a positive corporate culture;
  5. Develop ample conversation catalysts to help facilitate customer-to-customer conversations.
  6. (read more…)

I spent the majority of my time at events, or on the road to the next event, traveling to industry conferences to talk about social media and how technology can simplify the life of event professionals. Today mobile technology can help with every aspect of an event, from organizing a session to selecting the right venue and drinks. Here are three of my favorite apps I that I use when speaking at an event for Goombal.

CrowdMics is the first audio system that turns your smartphone into a wireless microphone for live events. Because one thing is for sure: When it’s time to choose microphone runners for the Q&A portion of a live speaking session, very few hands go up to volunteer.

Who wants to stand around waiting for someone to raise their hand, then try to run to them before they start speaking in a huge room full of people where nobody can hear them, and by the time you reach them, they’ve already finished their question and then you hand them the microphone and they have to start over? (read more…)