Engaging Staff in your Social Media

So you have a Facebook or Twitter account but your staff aren’t really interested? Having staff contribute and have an interest in your Social Media activities is an important part of making it a success.

Stephanie Shkolnik from Social Media Examiner has written a great article entitled How to Get Employees to Embrace Social Media where she has complied a list of 6 important steps to get your staff on the Social Media buzz.

Having you staff engaged I believe is an important step in knowing where you are and where you staff feel you should be when engaging with customers. Here is a run down of what Shkolnik has written

  1. Define End Goal
    This is an important step but ultimately I feel should have been done before you set up your online presence. Knowing what your intended outcome is will help define your content.
  2. Set up you task force
    Establish your roles and their definitions. Depending on the size of your company there could be one person or a larger team. Some of the roles Shkolnik suggest are:

    1. Lead strategist: Responsible for long-term strategic vision and ensuring day-to-day initiatives are mapped back to specific goals.
    2. Content manager: Leads all content strategy and development across social. This role often extends into website and other digital properties.
    3. Community manager: Publishes content across all social media channels; spurs conversations with existing and prospective customers, influencers and media.
    4. Analyst: Measures the success of social media by benchmarking key performance indicators (KPI) against business and brand goals.
    5. Social media coordinator: Facilitates communication by planning monthly meetings and staff emails. This individual may also be a resource from the core team (versus creating a new role).These roles all work as a team to develop and plan out the content for your Social Media campaigns.
  3. Develop you strategy
    You will now need guidelines and a plan on how to best execute you Social Media for the team and also all employees. This will be used to ensure your on tack at all times. Check out Michael Stelzner’s podcast on the best way to do this.
  4. Consistency
    The best thing for our campaign is to keep on track and ensure things are in line with your strategy. Shkolnik advises the best thing to do is hold team meetings and assign time to each person to report on progress. This is an opportunity also to build and develop new content and ideas to go into future campaigns.
  5. Measure and Track Performance
    Making sure you are having an impact with your audience is just as important as having a goal in place. There are a number of ways to you can do this such as free software or paid software. Using what is best for you and your budget is wise. While some Social Media includes measurement tools such as Facebook’s insights, being able to compile and contrast against competitors is appealing in some of the other software.
  6. Social doesn’t have to be Just online
    Include members of staff outside of the Social Media team. The best way you can engage all of your staff and have a group sense of engagement in you online brand is to open the floor to all staff to offer content and sources. This can be through meetings, opening up a Google Doc for staff or even as simple as a suggestion box.

Lastly the most obvious thing you can do is spread the word about your online Social Media presence. This can be done by adding tiles to websites, adding in links to your email signatures and if your budget allows buying up sponsorship space on Facebook.

I think Shkolnik has brought some great ideas to the table. I disagree with step one being define an end goal only because this step should be completed before you have established an online presence. If you are yet yo have an online presence this article might be the next step you should be considering.  Over all I think this article is a great way to get your staff and workplace all engaged in your Social Media adventure.


Your face could soon endorse a Google Ad

Fancy having your picture next to a Google Ad? Soon it could be!

Cassey Johnston from ars technica has written an article titled “Google will soon put your face, name, and content in its ads“.

Although Google had notified its users of the change in it’s last change of service terms most users likely just accepted and moved on with their lives.

What this change means is that users you give a favourable review, rated or gave a +1 to a product, service or location will now have their face featured in an ad. The plus in this scenario is that if you are a private person or only want a certain group to see this activity is that this follows through in the ads. For example, you found an awesome bar that you wanted to share with a select few friends so you rate it within a circle of friends, this ad would only show your picture and name to those same friends.

Users are automatically opted in to this new service by Google but the good news is that you are allowed to opt out. Unlike Facebook and its forced upon us “sponsored stories” as Johnston explains.  As she explains

“To opt out of being a shared endorsement, Google users must go to the “shared endorsement” settings page“. At the bottom of the page is a checkbox next to the phrase “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.”

I personally don’t see anything wrong with this new roll out of Googles. As far as I see it, your reviews and +1’s were publicly accessible beforehand (based on privacy setting) so I can’t see much wrong in now adding these to Googles search results. If anyone truly has an issue they are able to opt out, which some (read Facebook) have failed to offer to its users.

What are your thoughts? Do you see this as an issue?

Building your Social Media – 5 Steps to Getting it Right

Teddy Hunt, writer for SocialMedia Explorer recently published an article titled 5 STEPS TO DETERMINE THE PERFECT SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY  highlighting his 5 key steps every small to medium sized business should consider when setting up and evaluating their Social Media Strategy. As he points out and as anybody looking to enter the online media world will know is that there is a number of Social Media sites, knowing which one to pick is just as important as knowing what content to use to capture your audiences attention.

Lets looks at Hunt’s 5 steps:

  1. Goals…
    Before you being decide what it is you wish to achieve online. Do you want to provide customer support, build brand awareness or grab some leads?
    By having goals it allows you to figure out what it is you wish to achieve, and gives you some measurable objectives to reach. The added bonus to this is it allows you to build on a starting point that allows you to expand as you build your presence, but also allows you to come back and re-evaluate later on.
  2. Who is your target audience?
    You shouldn’t go in with your eyes closed swinging. You need to sit down and brainstorm who it is you wish to target. Build a profile from you business using key demographics such as age, location, gender.
    Once you know who it is your wish to target you have a clearer idea of how to target them on the appropriate platforms as in the next step…
  3. Choosing your platform
    As Hunt acknowledges this stage can be very daunting as we know there are many many Social Media platforms to choose from. He makes a very good point of using the demographics planning from stage two to determine the first initial platform/s you use. He links to a great info-graphic from Mashable that helps to break down some of main demographics.
    An important note here is to just start with what you can manage. there is no point in making it to much for yourself to manage. Start with one to three key Social Media platforms. Once you have that confidence and can manage those then consider some secondary networks.
  4. Develop your USP (Unique Selling Point)
    You are nearly there, now all you need is your USP. This will establish  your key features to your demographic and be your calling card, separating you from the competition; ensure it is in-line with your goals. Once you have your USP, Hunt also suggest building a list of topics and key phrases, setting you up from the branding stages.
    Check out ThinkTraffic for a great way to develop your Unique Selling Point
  5. Editorial Calendar
    This will act as your creative diary of sorts. Hunt explains it as your editorial calendar which includes information such as monthly themes, conversation-starters, and material from your content marketing strategy. Your editorial calendar acts as a guide to define what you’re discussing each week or month, where to share specific pieces of content and how much time you devote to each social platform. He also mentions you should use a variety of content formats, including blog posts, case studies, e-books, images, and videos.

Once you have all this in place you are ready to go out and capture your audience. Remember to continue to work and develop those goals because they will evolve as your business does. Use the analytical tools provided and keep measuring your results.

Hunts steps are a great way to enter the Social Media market for those just starting out, but they don’t need to be the be all and end all of breaking through. SocialMedia Today has a great tutorial on Twitter, so have a hunt around for more tutorials if you are still unsure on how to get into it.



This weeks TLBP – Google Hates Your Mobile Website by Rosalia Cefalu

This week I am writing about an article written by Rosalia Cefalu where she  is discussing, as the title suggests, why Google does not like mobile websites.

Cefalu opens with these statistics: 67% of mobile users who land on a mobile optimised site are more likely to convert than if the page wasn’t mobile optimised, and that 61% of mobile users are likely to move onto a competitor’s site if the page they landed on isn’t mobile optimised.

In todays constantly connected world people are able to get information when and where they want it, the only problem is that information is not always presented equally across multiple devices so we must optimise them for our myriad of gadgets.

The four reasons given for Googles dissatisfaction are

1) It doesn’t look good on every device.

An obvious point. With the various sizes of smartphones, tablets and laptops these days one size will not fit all. Sites can be built for full browers, mobile browsers and tablet browser.

2) It spreads out your SEO ranking

Cefalu suggests that by having your mobile optimised sites you are causing Google to crawl through the multiple sites and compete for a ranking against the sites. Obviously this is counter intuitive, you want to be building up your ranking, not creating more work for yourself trying to boost it with double the effort for half the result.

3) Shareability across devices

Research from Google has shown that 90% of people report that people may start a task on one device and finish it on another. If people are sharing to sending a site to others or themselves for access later, they are going to be receiving a mobile link. This can cause frustration an could result in a decrease in follow through if people are faced with the wrong sort of site for their device.

4) Redirection to irrelevant pages

The issue with mobile sites is they are separate from your full site. So any changes and formatting must be done on each and every page. Each page of your full site requires its own mobile site. This causes more work and if it is not done right can result in misdirections and 404 pages. This is not the sort of interaction your prospective customer is likely to thank you for.

The solution?
Responsive Design pages are pages that format for any browser that you visit from. You only need one page which reduces the amount of work required and could potentially save you money by reducing host costs, design costs, IT costs and anything else yo may be spending money for your website.

If you are still to be convinced then check out Social Driver’s 50 best examples.

The best thing about a responsive site is that you can Tweet one link, Facebook one link or even email one link and not matter how the receiver opens it they will get the best version of your website.

Personally there is nothing more frustrating than trying to click on a link in a full version site on my smartphone with my man fingers and clicking every link surrounding it.

Get the leads you need with Facebook!

For my follow up blog I have chosen to read over Ginny Soskey’s article on 6 Types of Facebook Posts That’ll Help You Generate Leads.

First lets define a lead. Ginny Defines it as “a lead is a person who has in some way, shape, or form indicated interest in your company’s product or service by giving you their information”. So successfully being able to pull in those leads will help increase business and sales opportunities.

Ginny explains that there are two types of leads

Direct –  directing customers to a landing site straight from Facebook
Indirect – Following a link from Facebook to say a blog that then leads to your                       website

The six points that Ginny has offered are mostly about taking people to a landing site to collect information as this enables to you to hold it for marketing and business development, and this is done by engaging with the customer usually by offering something up as compensation for their time, such as coupons, discounts and competitions which is something Amanda Webb over at Jon Loomer goes over in her article 6 Ways to Capture Leads from Facebook Pages.

While Amanda also stresses the importance of gathering leads, she offers up some different options to those given by Ginny. Something Amanda points out that could be very useful in my opinion is the Facebook Offers function. With the boom in 1-Day type sites Facebook Offers can be utilised to draw in new and existing customers & you only need something as simple as Google Docs to gather the information.

Shanna Mallon from socialmouths has written a simple but straight to the put article titled Using Social Media for Lead Generation. What it is clear to see from her is that sharing and engaging. Once you have done the basics she has listed she goes on to point out that you must engage and sharing by offering up things such as interesting articles, writing a blog and the most important thing of all engage and respond to your audience.

To be successful at generating leads the overall point is to engage, which really is the point of social media in the first place. Social Media is a two way communication platform and if you are only talking one way to your audience they will soon stop listening. Ask the questions, offer something of interest and listen.

Trends in marketing in todays online world

I’m writing this after reading the post by Patricia Redsicker posted to he Social Media Examiner on her view point on how best to go about get yourself seen and heard. 

The main theme of the post is to use all that is available to you and to not shy away from it. She beings by pointing out that Mass Marketing is no longer confined to the traditional means and is available everywhere. With the high up take of mobile, portable devices such as tablets and smartphones consumers are reachable EVERYWHERE.

She goes on to point out businesses need to begin to adopt the mobile friendly technology to allow people to be able to reach you whether it be in mobile form or desktop form. With this business need to know consumers want the same content from the website available to them on social media, e-newsletters, mobile websites. By letting people interact with content you are able to develop as sense of what advertising may work well.

When using Facebook, people are more inclined to to notice brands on their news feed when they are not looking for it. Using your branding as often as possible without cluttering customers newsfeed is important. People do not go looking for a page unless they want information, to comment or complain. Updates with a logo and brand slogans work best to capture their attention. 

All these points are important because getting Social Media wrong can lead to the demise of your online business persona or can lead to your audience turing feral on you like the case of Nestle and its Social Media manager turning on its Facebook fans and as a result causing a massive PR storm that can easily kill off a brand.

Please see below for more related stories.


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