Creating a Facebook Live Strategy

Facebook Live

Recently, Facebook rolled out their Facebook Live feature. Personally, I think live video streaming is the future of social media marketing! It’s such a great way to engage with your audience and bring them into your community. I am happy to see more and more SME’s using this new feature but it brings me to wonder:

What is their strategy?

Should this strategy be the same as our current Facebook strategy?

If not, how do we need to modify it from now on?

Hopefully, they are being strategic in using this feature and overall Facebook use. Going onto the second and third questions, my answer is no. Using Facebook live means that you need to modify your strategy to optimize the use of their feature.

Now, using this tool would be the same concept of using any other live streaming site. Oh, except the fact that you most likely already have an audience :). This means instead of having an initial goal to build your audience, you need to look at curating the content for your current audience.

This means looking at when your audience is on Facebook. Luckily, we have Facebook Insights. This is a free tool given to you by Facebook and lets your know when the majority if your audience is actually on the app. You need to know this! This will give you the best chance of reaching the most users that are already interested in you and to create a strong relationship with them.

The rest of yours core Facebook strategy is really the same but you have to make sure you aren’t posting too much. People do not like to get a flood of posts on Facebook from one business. Make sure to also see what works best for you. Look at the content your audience is interested in but that doesn’t guarantee they will video the life stream. They may want to get access to that content a different way so test out different methods and always always always analyze your efforts!

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Why Reddit is the Perfect Social Media Marketing Tool

 

 

Marketing on Reddit

Now, you may call me crazy but Reddit is everything a marketer could wish for! We can choose thousands of different subreddits to connect directly with an active community interested in our industry! This gives us direct access to them and to create a relationship with them, also remember the 80/20 rule:

80% of all revenue come from 20% of your customers

A big key phrase I used here was, active community. Reddit users are creators and critics on this platform! This means they are creating original content and they are commenting on that content. They are also spectators, they read a lot of the content being posted.

On Reddit, we have access to customers/potential customers that could become brand advocates for us! Just be careful because on Reddit, they can make or break you! Tip: Before entering use our tip list and make sure you have a positive sentiment.

5 Tips on using Reddit as a business:

  1. Listen before becoming active. Follow different subreddits your audience is interested in and listen to how, when, where, and why users are active on each subreddit. You need to understand that community before trying to get accepted into their circle.
  2. Follow the rules. Each subreddit has a set of rules along with Reddit’s user policy. Make sure to read each rule and understand what you can and can not post.
  3. Do not sell. Reddit isn’t a place for selling but a place for conservation. Many rules even discourage sales or even asking to be on an email list. Follow the rules or risk backlash.
  4. Be active! This tip is true for every social media site but even more so with Reddit since we are not selling at all. You need to comment on subreddits, reply back to user commenting on your posts, and the be overall interactive on the site. Engage with your audience, get to know them and let them know you!
  5. Check your sentiment before entering. Look at your overall sentiment online. Is it good or bad? You need to tread carefully if it is bad because there is a strong chance users will bring those bad traits up. Create a strong crisis communication plan to help increasing a positive sentiment.

 

Understanding Social Media and ROI

Social media is used everyday by millions of users. We as business owners or marketers understand that our audience is on more than one of these social media sites but what is their worth? Are we doing what we need to to optimize each post and conversation to create those conversions?

The Marketingsherpa has defined a marketing conversation as, “the point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action.”

Roi VS roc

Most business professionals want to only hear about the conversions that can be analyzed in an ROI report. However, we have to understand we have more call to actions on social media that will improve our overall business but they don’t always show up on those ROI reports.

As a consultant, this is one of the hardest conversations I can have with clients. We are all in business because we make money. We make money by getting our customers to buy our products and services. However, the key word here is not money, it is customer. We need to make sure we are doing everything in our power to make our customers happy. Let’s go back to some business 101, 80% of our revenue comes from 20% of our customers.

Respond to customers

Not only do those in the 20% bring in 80% of our revenue but it would cost us 5 times as much to acquire a new customer than to keep a current customer. Now, I am not saying to not try to acquire new customers, we have to! Each customer has their lifetime value and we have to keep bringing in new customers but we also need to have a heavy focus on our current customers.

This is where social media can have an important impact on your customers. These sites can actually make or break you. When you are listening to your customers you understand if there are any problems within the customer lifecycle journey. Knowing the problems your customers may have gives you such an advantage. You can publicly acknowledge the problem and tell your entire community how and when this problem will be resolved.

If you ignore the power of social media, you are ignoring your customers. That is why we need to focus less on ROI and more on the Return on Conversation (ROC). The following are just some of the important customer-based factors of social media:

Research and Development

When I talk about research and development on social media, some look at me as if I have 7 heads. However, I talked about listening earlier, social listening to use the correct terminology. While we are listening to our customers, we do know about any potential crisis but we also know what they want for products and services. We could find information of colors, features, and even pricing of our products. We just have to listen.

Customer Service

I talked about this quickly above but we all have to focus on our customers. They are the reason we are in business and without them, we don’t have a business. With social media we are connected every second of the day. We need to be constantly active and responding to any and every customer (with the exclusion of trolls) on social media. If we do not respond, we are missing out on the opportunity to create a real relationship with our customers.

Branding

How people view your brand is highly important to know. If people view your brand differently than you advertise yourself, you are confusing your customers and it means you actually don’t know what is going on in the market place. Now, I won’t go through rebranding right now but what I want to talk about is actually knowing your brand through the customer’s eyes. This could be done with surveys but that is time consuming and expensive. With social media, we can do a sentiment analysis. This analysis will show us how our business is being portrayed by the public. Take a look at my favorite Twitter sentiment analysis done by North Carolina State University.

How I Made a Post go Locally Viral

Working in social media I am always asked by clients to:

CREATE A POST THAT WILL GO VIRAL

The fact of the matter is, that virality is an extremely hard process that involves hitting the right influencers at the right times. This calls for a readily available social media strategy and understanding within that: analytics, influencers, and audience.

I am lucky enough to work with Van Otis Chocolates and run their blog, Chocolate Covered. While working with them, I came to know that they have been wanting more people to come into their actual store front as they just remodeled the entire store! As I am mainly used to get more internet sales, I was happy to have a new take on social media for a client!

Research Phase

It was a week or so before Halloween and since their yearly party was cancelled, I needed to find a new blog idea. Knowing that they wanted more people to come into their actual store, I wanted to create an idea to help encourage customers to see the re-molded store. This is when I started to conduct more research about the candy industry and searched my brain for ideas that would be enticing for customers.

My first few ideas had to do with getting sales instead of getting people to see the store. I know that is the ultimate goal for businesses but I had to start thinking about the customer lifecycle:

The-customer-lifecycle-journey-as-looked-upon-by-Oracle-source

Of course they wanted Hallowen sales but they are about to get into their busy season with the Holidays coming up. So instead of pushing sales, I thought of their customer and their values. This is when I logged into Facebook to look at trending topics and I saw a post about veterans. This is when the lightbulb went off! Let’s give back to those that are giving so much to us, let’s collect leftover Halloween candy (because we all know we shouldn’t be eating all of it!) and send it to our troops overseas.

I told the idea to the company and they were interested but had some reservation because none of us knew about the logistics of doing this. I was asked to do more research on it to see if we should move forward or move to a new idea.

This is when I started researching the topic and noticed that we could collect the candy and send it to a non-profit called Operation Gratitude who will send the candy in a care package to New Recruits, Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Caregivers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed overseas.

After voicing this information with the business they were so excited to get started!

Creating Content

Blogging

Once we confirmed that was going to be the post,  I needed to start writing the blog post. I started expressing in the post that they would be collecting candy until Veterans Day, where to drop off the candy, and that we would be sending this to Operation Gratitude.

I also needed to add information about Operation Gratitude. This was to ensure anyone interested in donating their candy that it was actually going to go to our troops.

I always write out my blog post and then I look at keywords to use not only within the content but as tags. I also use these keywords within the social media posts.

Other social media

When creating the posts and tweets on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn; I always take content from the blog post.

 

Now, you’re thinking “those don’t look like they went viral”. You’re right! Those ones did not, it was Facebook that hit the sweet spot when it comes to influencers! The day after Halloween, our Facebook post made it in front of a local journalist for WMUR, our local news station. 

 

We had about seven or so shares and a few likes on the post before Jean Mackin shared this post to her public page. After, I saw the analytics sky rocket and the shares are up to 38. WMUR even called the company for an interview.

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Now, this isn’t going to make it onto national television and it won’t cause the frenzy that “The Dress” created. However, this company is a locally owned and managed establishment with their core target audience located in the New Hampshire area. Having the largest local news agency interviewing them is a great source of free publicity.

So all in all, creating a viral post, locally or internationally, doesn’t actually happen overnight as it seems. I had originally posted this ten days before it reached our influencer and I had been working on that content for days before that.

Creating a Core Social Media Strategy

When you first start creating your strategy you need to complete a current social media analysis, a competitive analysis, and a target market analysis. In the analytics, make sure you are looking at the most engaging content type, your audience, and timing (all the equations are helpful but these are important for this article).

Audience

Your first necessity would be to take your target audience and look at how you are current targeting on social media by using analytics, or to use secondary research to find who is currently using that site. I use the Pew Research Center when I have to use secondary research.

They update these analytics each year! Unfortunately, SnapChat is not yet analyzed but hopefully soon!

I then create a chart as shown below. I would input my demographic information and use the secondary research to find what social media sites my audience is using.

My Target % on Facebook % on Pinterest % on Instagram % on LinkedIn % on Twitter
Gender          
Race          
Age          
Education          
Income          
Community          

If I was already on each social media site and I could find my demographic information, I would still conduct secondary research if I am not currently reaching my target to see where they are.

Now, I need to look at the social media matrix to see where I would have the best opportunity to reach my target on multiple platforms.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 8.38.28 PM

Timing

My next step is to determine the timing of my social media posts. Now, this is very easily done using any analytical site! I typically use Quintly Analytics, and would use their “Interaction Rate by Time” graph.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 8.20.17 PM

The bigger the circle, the higher interaction rate for that specific time. We want to post during the most interactive time periods in hopes to gain more engagement (if we are using the correct content and keywords of course!). If you hover over the circle, you can see the interaction rate and all of the interactions!

Content

Finally, I get to look at the content! We know that in social media we hear about content creation and how important it is, but how do we actually know what content to create?

Most Engaging content type

You need to look at what is the most engaging content types for your industry or brand in particular. This again is found through analytics. I would look at two graphs from Quintly:

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 8.25.15 PM

First, look at the Interaction Rate by Post Type graph to understand how each type of media is being interacted on for your profile or your competitors if you are not yet on this site.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 8.27.13 PM

Then, you need to look at the Own Posts Table to see how your tops posts are not only being interacted on, but also what content you created in that post. You want to recreate similar content for your top engaging posts while staying in touch with your industry.

HINT: Click the I-Rate once to see the top interacted posts

Trending Topics

Now, know what time of media to post and the types of posts where most engaging in the past. It is time to look at what is trending in your current industry or with your target audience to gain their engagements again. I like to look at Google Trends, the news, or the “trending sections of my social media sites. Make sure to also look at what your influencers are writing about!

Keywords!

Finally, once you know the content type and actual content you want to write about, you need to use keywords in your posts to increase that SEO! I use the Google Keyword Planner Tool to find my keywords for blogs and social media posts.

Creating Social Media Objectives

Without objectives, you don’t know when your social media strategy is working and when it is not! You need to make sure to understand exactly what you want from your strategy, do you want to work specifically to gain a following or do you want to increase you clout?

When creating objectives use the SMART framework

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Time-based

To increase my current (October 2015)  Klout score of 45.7 to 55.7 by February 2016.

This objective is specific because I know the exact number to reach, it is measurable by using Klout, it is attainable because 55.7 is still under the 5% of top influencers, it is relevant because I need to increase my clout to be more valuable in my industry, and it is time based because I need to reach this objective by February 2016.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is an ever increasing term we as marketers have been using since 2005. The following graph from Google Trends shows how we have used this term.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 9.29.01 PM

 

My definition of influencers:

An expert in a certain industry creating original content with a strong and loyal following.

As we move forward, you will see why each aspect of this definition is important.

Traackr created a great 5 Step Action Plan for Influencer Marketing.

Untitled

Define

They say to first define the target audience. I think this should already be done but it’s important to also define your influencers. When working with companies, I discover the influencers, then define them (sometimes I do this simultaneously). However, to not confuse you, I’ll stick with the model.

Define your Influencers within these three areas:

Context

Within the context, you need to look at the industry the influencer currently is in, their message throughout social media, and the content they are posting.

Reach

Reach on social media is the sum of all the fans and followers on all of the social media sites a brand is on. I suggest looking individually at each site and determine the reach for each site.

Actionability

Look at their Klout and Kred scores to determine if they have a strong buzz when they post on their social media sites.

Discover

To discover your influencers, you can do this by using social media analytical tools like Hashtagify Me, Hootsuite, Simply Measured, Quintly, or just doing a Google search.

On Hashtagify Me, you can look at hashtags and keywords and they will tell you the top influencers for those hashtags! it saves loads of time!

MONITOR

After you have defined and discovered your influencers, you need to monitor what they are doing! You can do this by using social media analytical tools like mentioned above, or even creating a Google Alert on the influencer or topic.

Take Action

You now need to take action!

Start with social currency by creating an actual relationship with them, share their information, and backlink to their blog.

Then, engage them by understanding their community, creating an experience for them, and providing value for them.

Now, you can attract them to your brand by asking for their help, asking for them to use your product/services and tag you in the posts. You will have to provide them with commission for them to post using your products.

Measure

Now, once the posts are out, start measuring that buzz with analytical tools! Take a look at my new favorite, Quintly.

How does my Target Market Interact on Social Media?

We all hope to understand this question, we need to know who our audience is before we can answer!

My definition of a target market is

The specific group of consumers a company/brand aims to sells their products or services and directs their marketing efforts.

To analyze your target market, you need to understand the demographics, psychographics and segmentations first.

Demographics

Look for the following information. I had written a white paper on the social media usage of small business owners in NH in 2013

Sex: Male

Race: White

Age: 50.3

Education Level: College

Income Level: $59,378

Occupation: Small Business Owner

Marital Status: Married

Average Family Size: 2 Adults & 2 Children

Urban, Suburban, Rural: Rural

Psychographics

You have who your target market is, now you need to look at why they buy. I typically use the PRIZMs provided by Nielsen data. You can input specific zip codes and they will give you demographic information along with segmentations on that target market. I suggest you play around with this site to provide further insight into your consumers.

Segmentation

This also helps answer why your target market purchases.

Geographic

Customer location, do they buy because of their location?

Demographic

Do they buy because of their age, gender, education etc.?

Behavioral

Rate of usage, benefits/loyalty status, readiness to buy.

Psychographics

Do they buy because of their lifestyle, personality, social class?

Groundswell Tool

I mentioned the Groundswell Tool in previous posts. This shows how social media users interact online.

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 9.44.53 PM

Creators

Publish webpages, publish or maintain a blog, upload videos to social media sites, publish social media content.

Critics

Comment of blogs, post ratings and reviews, comment on social media posts.

Collectors

Use RSS and tag web pages. (think Pinterest, bookmarking webpages, and saving Facebook posts)

Joiners

Use social media sites.

Spectators

Read blogs, watch UG videos, podcasts, and content.

Inactives

None of these activities only signed up for an account.

COBRA Motivations

The consumer online brand related activities (COBRAs) tell us how social media users are motived to interact online.

COBRA Type Examples of brand-related social media use
Consuming • Viewing brand-related video

• Listening to brand-related audio

• Watching brand-related pictures

• Following threads on online brand community forums

• Reading comments on brand profiles on social network sites

• Reading product reviews

• Playing branded online videogames

• Downloading branded widgets

• Sending branded virtual gifts/cards

Contributing • Rating products and/or brands

• Joining a brand profile on a social network site

• Engaging in branded conversations, e.g. on online brand community forums or social network sites

• Commenting on brand-related weblogs, video, audio, pictures, etc.

Creating • Publishing a brand-related weblog

• Uploading brand-related video, audio, pictures or images

• Writing brand-related articles

• Writing product reviews

Within the three motivations: Consuming, Contributing, and Creating, you can understand what it motivating the Groundswell Tool user types.

Consuming: Collectors & Spectators

Contributing: Critics & Joiners

Creating: Creators & Critics

Using Google AdWords for Blogging

I’ve been receiving several questions on how to actually use Google Adwords. Now, I could go into every aspect of this service but it would take much more than one blog post. If you really want to know this service, I suggest taking the free courses provided by Google. If you take the exam you can become Google Analytics Certified and Adwords Certified. I haven’t retaken the exam to be AdWords certified again, but my analytics certification is still valid.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 6.25.18 PM

I want to show you how to use Google Adwords when you’re blogging. I did this quickly in my blogging 101 post, but let’s dive into this a little deeper.

Signing Up

  1. Create a Google account if you do not have one
  2. Go to Google Adwords
  3. Follow Sign up requirements

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 6.34.45 PM

You have to setup a campaign and put in billing information to use this service. It is very important that once you fill out this information, you pause your campaign so you do not get billed!

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 6.40.25 PM

Finding Keywords

Now, you have an account and paused your campaign, let’s find your keywords!

  1. Go to Google Adwords
  2. Click on “Tools” located on the top right menu
  3. Click on “Keyword Planner” located at the bottom of the drop down menu
  4. Under “Find New Keywords” click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category”
  5. Under “Your product or service” put a keyword or phrase describing your blog topic
  6. Under “Targeting” you can put your target market’s demographics
  7. Feel free to fill in other information but it isn’t always necessary (take the Google Analytics free course to understand this MUCH better!) and click “Get Ideas”
  8. Now, you need to look for high monthly search rates with low to medium competition
  9. Repeat with different descriptive phrases and keywords for best results

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 6.49.01 PM

In the example above, I used “social media” as my keyword topic and New Hampshire as my target. I then clicked on Keyword Ideas to see each individual keyword. By looking at each keyword, I am able t find the best options for my blog post.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 6.52.12 PM

Once the results loaded, I clicked once on “Avg. monthly searches“. I did this to see the keywords with the highest average searches. I will then choose from the keywords showing that are relevant to my topic and have a medium to low competition level. I do not want to choose keywords with high competition levels because they will typically be saturated with posts and only paying clients or highly optimized sites will receive a higher search engine result page (SERP) ranking than my post. I will not look at the suggested bid as I am not purchasing any keywords to create a pay per click (PPC) campaign.

You then need to repeat the keyword searching process until you have an ample amount of keywords for your post. Please do not keyword stuff, Google penalizes websites that use that tactic. Only use keywords that are directly related to you post.

Conducting a Competitive Social Media Analysis

competition

You’ve analyzed your social media. at least I hope you have! Now, you should analyze your competitors. But, why is it important? Doing so answers the question:

How am I performing against my competitors?

Now, I am a big fan of Quintly! I use them for my analytical needs but there are hundreds of tools you can use in their place. Simply Measured, Social Report, Social Sprout, & Hootsuite just to name a few.

I created some quick and easy graphs (below) that every small business can keep up with when analysing their competitors. Check the what each category means. Each of the categories you analyze are considered Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), these tell us the most important aspects for a successful social media strategy.

These graphs also include Klout and Kred, these show your influence (Klout & Kred) and your outreach (only Kred). You influence is measured by the engagement your receive on your posts and your outreach is analyzed on the engagement you conduct on content posted by other users. Unfortunately, Kred changed their platform and made it difficult to find the scores of other users.

FACEBOOK Company 1 Company 2 Company 3 Company 4
Number of Fans
PTAT
Posts
Likes
Comments
Shares
User Posts
I-Rate
Response Rate
Best Days & Times


TWITTER Company 1 Company 2 Company 3 Company 4
Followers
Tweets
Retweets
Favorites
Replies
Mentions
I-Rate
Response Rate
Best Days & Times
Klout Score
Kred Score

YOUTUBE Company 1 Company 2 Company 3 Company 4
Subscribers
Videos
Views
Views Change Rate
Likes
Dislikes
Comments
I-Rate
Views Subscriber Rate
Best Days & Times

GOOGLE+ Company 1 Company 2 Company 3 Company 4
Circle Followers
Page +1’s
Posts
“+1’s
Comments
Shares
I-Rate
Best Days & Times

LINKEDIN Company 1 Company 2 Company 3 Company 4
Followers
Status Updates
Job Updates
Likes
Comments
I-Rate
Best Days & Times

INSTAGRAM Company 1 Company 2 Company 3 Company 4
Followers
Images
Videos
Likes
Comments
I-Rate
Best Days & Times

Now, after you filled out the charts, do you see any opportunities for your business? What are your competitors missing out on that you can capitalize on?