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Culture, Content, and Social: Five Trends to Watch This Summer

lookout for trends

Photo Credit: KaSandra and Grace. On the Lookout for Trends

I don’t know about you, but I am always on the lookout for what’s happening in marketing. I had the opportunity to attend last month’s Sirius Decision Summit. What’s Sirius about?  Sirius Decisions describes the summit as “a place where attendees can see and hear how organizations can blend the very best of art and science, and leave with ideas for how to get started on – or advance – your own initiatives.” It is a great conference for any marketer or communicator looking for frameworks and research on what happening in the market today. If you didn’t have the opportunity to go, here five trends to watch for this summer. 

Social media beyond the basics

There was a lot of discussing of using social listening to enhance competitive intelligence and beef up prospect profiles. During the breakout sessions, it was useful to see what companies can do with some third party help to bolster current prospect info. One organization appended their prospects and customers’ profiles with social data through a third party vendor to fill in missing information and provide better insights. Social media has become more than a place to post your favorite cat video, it has become a place to take data and build better, more informed customer profiles. Results of adding social data to customer profiles? A better understanding of their customers and prospects, this organization improved its open rates to 28 percent and click-through to 9 percent. How good is 9 percent? Pretty awesome given most industries see on average less than five percent.

Content still plaques teams both on creation and effectiveness.

Julie Ogilvie, ‎research director for strategic communications management service at Sirius Decisions, made a simple, but poignant point about social media “All social media problems are content problem.” I think anyone who manages social media teams can emphatically agree. Lots of nodding from the audience on this point alone. Whether you are looking to increase engagement among key audiences or leverage influencers, you need content. That’s easy, right? Not so much. Ultimately, you can’t create content absent of your audience’s needs and motivation an expect good outcomes. Simple, but B2B companies are forgetting the human in social media and not focusing on what people want to engage with.

The concept of building connections across teams

One of the best quotes I heard was the African proverb, “If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” How many of you know your team is doing good work, but you’re looking to make more impact within your team or get more budget? Many of the sessions discussed the power of cross-functional sharing and brainstorming with teams to maximize not only knowledge, but also sharing of information. So simple, yet many of us get caught in our own silos and workload. We fail to think about the power of sharing information to better leverage the knowledge of other teams to deliver better campaigns. One session shared how equipping community managers with more information on the onset of a campaign, such as the targeted campaign’s keywords, who are the “right” influencers in the market, and the right content from other marketing teams armed them for social media success. Genius, right? So simple, yet many of us are so caught up with real-time delivery that we forget to take a beat and think about what we are trying to accomplish.

The importance of culture in change management

Often overlooked, but crucially important. It’s not a conference without great quotes, and Sirius Decision is no different: “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” You cannot ignore your culture and its importance to your success. While there was not a whole lot of discussion on the how, I can tell you communications and cross-functional involvement vastly improve your chances of getting your corporate culture to accept your next marketing or communication initiative.

The value of pilot testing

Every campaign at the conference mentioned the value in starting small and narrowing your focus. Rome was not build in a day. By focusing on a pilot and ignoring how you have traditionally done, you can break away from the norms. Do things differently. Not to say all pilots are successful, failure is okay and an opportunity to learn.

It’s only a day into the conference, but I am encouraged and energized in learning the new and innovative approach out there today. Also, there is still time to follow the conference hashtag, #SDSummit for more great information on Twitter.

Fun Fact Fridays: Three Tips to Get More Twitter Followers

Like most folks who are new to new Twitter ask the common question : How do I get more followers?

While this question seems easy, getting more followers is a daunting task for folks who are unfamiliar with Twitter and its quirks. I decided to write this quick post after helping one of my team members the other day outline some keys to success.

1) Consider Your Purpose

This should be the first step in any social media experiment. In my previous role of leading my organization’s social media efforts, I followed a simple formula for success: P.O.S.T (People, Objective, Strategy, and Technology). Too many folks focus on the “T” and not enough on “O” or “S.” Sound familiar? This is one of the central themes in Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s book, Groundswell

If you join Twitter, what are you plans? What will you share with others? Why should other people care? By defining what you want to get out of participating in social media, you will be successful. This is not a shocking secret, however, many people fail to outline their goals. Social media is not about throwing things on the wall to see if it will stick, it is about having a plan and what you expect to get out of it. Plan and simple.

2) Careful Craft Your Bio

One of the first things I look for when following someone is the person’s profile. Why? I want to know what can I expect from following them. Your bio should tell a little about you. Maybe you like cooking or dancing cats.If you don’t have a profile set up with what your interest are, what you plan to share, you are making it harder for people to want to follow you.

Secondly, are your putting hashtags in your profile? The reason for the hashtag is so anyone who is interested in let’s say #PR, can perform a search and potentially find you. Hashtags are an easy way to let folks find your profile and want information you will share with them.

Bonus: please, please use a photo of yourself. No eggheads. People want to see who behind all those awesome nuggets and great information.

3)  Are you posting your handle on other social networks?

In every industry there are several groups that you can join to promote your personal brand. For example, in higher education, I follow and participate in several chats to learn about the trends in the industry. Here is one example of a directory or chat to follow:

Example of industry group

EDUtweetups is a great example of an industry group that hosts tweet chats to participate in.

Looking for your groups is fairly simple by just typing into Google. 

Additional you should be promoting your handle on LinkedIn, Google +,etc.  Don’t assume the people who are connected with you on LinkedIn are the same folks who follow you on Twitter. The whole premise behind Twitter is to share, in real time, your ideas, thoughts, and comments about current events, trends in your industry, and perhaps your opinion or position on hot topics. Sending tweets is not like status updates.

Bonus: You got this far so here’s an additional tip. Make sure your are sharing information multiple times in a day. Twitter is not like Facebook or LinkedIn where your status stays in someone feed. Your Twitter followers have their feeds constantly updating so make sure you are spreading out your tweets to maximize your exposure.

The “Me” Show In Social Media Never Works Out

I was reminded how “me” doesn’t work in social media again after reading an article about what really contributes to increases in Twitter followers. Folks who increase their followership generally do three things:

  • Have a positive tone. Being nice helps on social media.
  • Sharing content that is relevant, informative, and interesting. It’s not about you.
  • Engaged and Interactive with other followers. Sharing is caring.

If you think about this in your face-to-face life, none of the above is surprising. If you always talk about yourself, what you are doing, how amazing you are, no one will stick around long. Think about networking events, Chatty Kathy is going on and on about her amazing abilities and all I keep thinking is, “ Where’s the escape route?”

Don’t be a ‘meinformer.’ 

Looking for the right mix of content in your social media?

Looking for the right mix of content in your social media?

I mentioned in a past Twitter post, The Holy Grail: Getting More Twitter Followers, that the key is knowing why you’re on Twitter and making sure you know what you want to share, hello P.O.S.T.

Don’t forget the social media is about social connections, not about broadcasting your news. There is a right and wrong way to share your news.

At the end of the day, there is no difference between social norms in person or online. It pays to be a good listener, be kind, and be informative.

The Holy Grail: Getting more Followers on #Twitter

Like most folks who are new to new Twitter ask the common question : How do I get more followers?

While this question seems easy, getting more followers is a daunting task for folks who are unfamiliar with Twitter and its quirks. I decided to write this quick post after helping one of my team members the other day outline some keys to success.

1) What are you goals?

This should be the first step in any social media experiment. In my previous role of leading my organization’s social media efforts, I followed a simple formula for success: P.O.S.T (People, Objective, Strategy, and Technology). Too many folks focus on the “T” and not enough on “O” or “S.” Sound familiar? This is one of the central themes in Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s book, Groundswell

If you join Twitter, what are you plans? What will you share with others? Why should other people care? By defining what you want to get out of participating in social media, you will be successful. This is not a shocking secret, however, many people fail to outline their goals. Social media is not about throwing things on the wall to see if it will stick, it is about having a plan and what you expect to get out of it. Plan and simple.

2)  Do you have a bio? No bio= no reason to follow you

One of the first things I look for when following someone is the person’s profile. Why? I want to know what can I expect from following them. S she going to send me information on education? Maybe #socialmedia? If you don’t have a profile set up with what your interest are, what you plan to share, you are making it harder for people to want to follow you.

Secondly, are your putting hashtags in your profile? The reason for the hashtag is so anyone who is interested in let’s say #PR, can perform a search and potentially find you. Hashtags are an easy way to let folks find your profile and want information you will share with them.

3)  Are you posting your handle on other social networks?

In every industry there are several groups that you can join to promote your personal brand. For example, in higher education, I follow and participate in several chats to learn about the trends in the industry. Here is one example of a directory or chat to follow:

Example of industry group

EDUtweetups is a great example of an industry group that hosts tweet chats to participate in.

Looking for your groups is fairly simple by just typing into Google. 

Additional you should be promoting your handle on LinkedIn, Google +,etc.  Don’t assume the people who are connected with you on LinkedIn are the same folks who follow you on Twitter. The whole premise behind Twitter is to share, in real time, your ideas, thoughts, and comments about current events, trends in your industry, and perhaps your opinion or position on hot topics. Sending tweets is not like status updates.