Social Media Marketing

macro-micro-conversion

Assuming you have some basic knowledge about digital marketing, you would know there are many factors and channels that contribute to your business success. You can think of them as team players, where each contributes with a different move to help the team scores a goal (or a “conversion” in the digital marketing world).

There are 2 types of conversions; micro and macro… Sometimes the best way to describe something is by giving examples:

Micro Conversions

  • Facebook page like
  • A follow on LinkedIn or Twitter
  • Subscribing to e-newsletter
  • Downloading a product guide

Macro Conversions:

  • Filling an online lead capture form (B2B)
  • Buying a product online (Ecommerce)
  • Calling to enquire about the product/service (which is usually a miss-tracked macro conversion)*

On the last Macro conversion example, you must use a call tracking technology with multiple proxy numbers. Proxy numbers are temporary numbers that you can buy in bulk to track different traffic sources to your online properties. For example, when someone visits your website with a call tracking technology enabled, instead of the visitor seeing the default business phone number, he/she would see a unique number that tracks the source through which has come to your website.

Sorry for digression… Ok, so why it is important to understand and identify conversion types, i.e. Macro vs Micro, and measure them effectively?! Well this an FUQ (Frequently Un-asked Question) but I will explain here… As they say, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – or can’t improve it!

If you don’t define the different types of conversions, then you don’t know what to measure and how to make your online results better!

So, what are the types for conversion measurement tools?

  • Web Analytical Tools (such as Google Analytics)
  • Built in conversion tracking on Ad Platforms (Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook, etc.).
  • Custom tracking codes developed specifically for your website
  • Call tracking codes for phone conversions

The most simple method used by conversion tracking tools (to identify a conversion) is by using what it’s called a conversion pixel. This is a zero size image that gets injected into the HTML code of a web page on which a conversion would happen. When one visits that page, the image loads and is tracked as a conversion by the tracking tool for each load/visit.

So to go back to business, what are the benefits of macro-micro conversion tracking?

Let’s say you are running a B2B business (B2B is business-to-business), and your ultimate macro conversion is online form submissions from lead capture forms. What if you find that 80% of your customers buy your service/product only after subscribing to your weekly newsletter (which you are not measuring as a ‘micro’ conversion, or not measuring at all!). That may lead to changing your content priorities to put more focus on encouraging users to fill-in the newsletter subscription field, instead of trying too hard to ask them to call you or filling an online lead capture form (or adding the product to their shopping cart for ecommerce websites). Also, your CTA (Call to action) will change across the website to make the newsletter subscription more prominent and to have your messaging pointing to it. The same applies to the design of the website, and almost everything else that you have online will be influenced by this important finding!

Now, I hope you start appreciating the need for identifying all conversion types (macro and micro) and measure each one in aggregation (as a team) and in isolation to see how they perform together and independently to lead to your ultimate goals, whatever they might be!

Conversion types can be the most important factor in distributing your marketing budget, by gauging your willingness to spend for each conversion.

Let’s say you have a budget of 10,000 ($, Euro, or whatever the currency you use!), and using the story above, you may chose to allocate at least 80% of that to e-newsletter subscriptions (which is a micro conversion!) instead of killing your self to convince a visitor to contact you, while they would be be more likely to do so if they get kicked first by another player!

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social-viral-content

Word of mouth, street corner gossip and graffiti have been spreading ideas since the beginning of civilization. In the modern day, social media networks have taken over. But the social media universe is noisy! To give you an idea – over 500 million tweets are sent out daily, some 100 hours of video YouTube videos are uploaded every minute, and some 4.75 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook every single day. And this, is just a small chunk of the entire cosmos!

The underlying message is clear – sharing average pieces of content randomly in the social media world just isn’t going to cut it for your brand! While there is no single magic formula to guarantee that your content will receive a million unique views, following a few key principles can increase immensely its chances of receiving maximum eyeballs, and perhaps even going viral!

Think “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” or “WestJet Airlines Christmas” or “Bat Kid Saves San Francisco” – and you would have seen it, or heard about it, or read about it sometime in the last few months – that is, unless you have been hiding away somewhere under a rock! Each of these campaigns were uploaded and shared, liked, tweeted and retweeted, published and republished, commented on, blogged about and discussed in every single corner of the world, on every social media platform that exists, making them impossible to miss out.

Experts who have studied the “science of virality” say that there are some key principles that get people to share some content more than others in the social media realm. Obviously the makers of the above mentioned campaigns mastered some of the key principles of this science!

Your content deserves that kind of popularity too! Are you interested in creating social media content that shines?

If you have any comments, or if you like this topic, then please add your thoughts below or just thumbs up! Also, feel free to share with your network so they can benefit as well – I am sure they will thank you for it (sharing is caring!)…

 

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social-media-sucks

Have you ever wondered why your business sucks on social media? I bet it has nothing to do with your budget! If you don’t want your business to be the next funeral I attend, you better read carefully, pay attention, take notes, and oh yeah… you can share this too!

If you are struggling with the competition in your marketplace, and your company has not been producing the revenue or leads needed to meet your sales targets, than you need to act fast, and start by changing the way you do business.

Keep in Mind to be Adapting Well to:

  • Change,
  • Technology, and
  • Social Media

These aren’t choices anymore. If you can’t make it, expect to break the bank. Your company’s bank. If you don’t like change, you will be hating extinction.

In Order to Make Necessary Changes You Should:

  • Be inquisitive
  • Have an open mind set
  • Not ignore social media

You shouldn’t make assumptions either, and just roll with them. You might as well be throwing in the white flag. This happens with too many companies, who have started out with social media without clear direction. Seeking the truth behind social media will lead you down a path–one where you will find what you like, or you won’t. Either way, you will be leaving yourself open for better opportunities for your business, and no longer preventing your company from reaping the benefits it gives. But first, you must dig into it.

The World is Shifting

Ten years ago we used beepers, spread traffic through television, magazines, yellow pages, and radio. Today, however, we spend much more time online–especially on social media channels. Technology has gifted us with the ability to select what we do or don’t like–watch movies we want to watch, listen to music we love, and none that we hate–think about the future, it lies in the crevasses of the unknown–the Internet.

Recognizing this is the first step to becoming successful in social media. The second, is being able to stay up-to-date with all of this technology–specifically social media technologies.

We Are All Born Social Butterflies

The majority of internet users are on:

  • Twitter
  • Linkedin, and/or
  • Facebook

I am guessing you are there too, and guess what? So is everyone else–if you want to swim with the big fish, you must first go where the fish are–fish where the fish are. Makes sense, doesn’t it? You should use your social media properties to your advantage. You can use the various social media networks to connect with potential clients, who are also spending time on all of these social channels.

The State of Business

Most businesses aren’t focusing on the Internet, or social media, although the numbers are climbing in terms of ad spending. In 2005, companies were spending approximately $500 million on online advertising. In 2013, the numbers jumped from $500 million, to an astonishing $3.8 billion being spent online!

Why Social Media?

Social media is effective, and low cost, simply put. You are able to connect with your clients on a level which other marketing can’t convey.

  • Effective
  • Low Cost
  • Timely
  • Engaging
  • Long Term
  • Targeted
  • Viral
  • Personable
  • Measurable

Are you using social media for your business? Let me know how that is working for you (you can type your comments below)… Not good? Well, why not?! Let me guess… No clear strategy or professional training!

You are in business, and you want to connect with your potential clients in a personable, measurable manner. But let me ask you this: How can you be correctly connecting virtually with your target market, and not having a clear strategy for what you are doing?

So you see, your problem does not lie in the fact that you are consistently budgeting social media into your company, but rather that you are not correctly executing things because of your knowledge gap. You just don’t know what you are doing, do you?!

You think these billion dollar companies, who are generating massive sales and exposure from social media, just woke up one morning, decided to start using social media, and thought, “Oh! Hey! I am going to start my social media today.” You think they signed on to their social media accounts talked to people, thought, “Wow, this is easy!” I’ll just talk to a few people here, do something there, put stuff here and there, and BOOM: Success. Clients. Leads. Money… Nonsense! It just doesn’t work this way.

From over 12 years of experience in the industry, most businesses have 3 major objectives:

  • Customer Communication and Retention
  • Credibility and Awareness
  • Sales and Lead Generation

All of the above can be achieved via social media, but you need to learn and strategize for it. Bottom line. Success will not come easy for those who do not–if it comes at all. Social media networks are great channels for credibility, sales, and communication. Each has their own importance in the growth of your business. If you don’t pay attention to specifics, you will be left behind, and I am sure to be attending your business funeral next.

Interested in learning more?

Watch the below recorded presentation which I did on this topic. I hope you enjoy it…

 

 

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SocialSelling

Admitting you have a problem is the first step in solving it. If you are reading this, you acknowledge you have a problem in your business. You’re working harder than ever, yet sales are slagging. You’re missing opportunities, but you’re not sure why.

You may have heard good things about “social selling”. Finding time to investigate it is another matter, however. More likely, you’re not familiar with the term social selling. That’s understandable. It’s not (yet) as common as terms such as e-commerce, online sales, or social media.

Here’s what we mean by social selling:

“Social selling is the practice of leveraging social networks and the associated tools in the overall sales function, from lead generation to closed deal to account management.”

Sounds powerful, doesn’t it? It is powerful. Extremely powerful.

So what’s stopping you from being a superstar social salesperson?

Here are the six most common “excuses” I hear all the time:

1. Change-averse. You’re unhappy that the internet has fundamentally changed consumer behavior. Consumers are doing more and more of their pre-purchase research online. In fact, 70 percent of their purchase occurs before they ever talk to a salesperson. Their criteria for choosing a product/vendor/provider have evolved. They now have instant access to a range of publicly available information and peer-to-peer reviews and discussions.

Today’s customers are driving the buying process. As a result, the traditional way of selling (e.g., cold calling) is dead.

This makes you uncomfortable. You don’t like change. You don’t like “losing control” of your sales process. Especially if your business is not technology driven, this sales process shift may be confusing/overwhelming/annoying/hard to accept.

Here’s the good news: Social media is changing the sales process for the better. A whopping 82 percent of the world’s online population is using social networking sites. Nearly one in five minutes spent online is devoted to social networking. No wonder those prospects aren’t answering your calls. They’re busy working the social networking sites. They are waiting for you to engage them.

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus said, “All is flux, nothing stays still – there is nothing permanent except change.” Instead of denying social media, embrace it.

You will see you haven’t lost control of anything. Quite the opposite is true.

2. Fear of obsolescence. Many sales people I meet are afraid of losing their relevance, or even their jobs. With the shift to online social networking, they don’t quite know where they fit or what skills are transferrable from the old, traditional way of selling. You may be one of those natural-born, silver-tongued sales pros who could sell ice to an Eskimo. That’s your talent. Along with your Rolodex and expense account, you don’t want to lose that personal touch that’s worked so well for you all these years. I don’t blame you.

More good news about social selling: Your buyers, prospects and customers are actually making your sales job easier. They’re voluntarily giving up all kinds of useful information about themselves on social media. This information makes you even more efficient and effective, and more relevant than ever. It’s a lot easier to do your research when the information is right there in real time. You can discover key decision-makers and purchase influencers and what’s on their mind. With social sales intelligence, you can reach buyers at exactly the right moment. Isn’t that your goal?

Social media doesn’t replace the fundamentals of good sales. You’re still creating meaningful one-on-one relationships with the people you want to sell to. You’re still solving customer needs. The major difference is that instead of pitching, you are providing value.

3. Unclear on the concept. “I don’t have time to play around on Facebook and Twitter” is another complaint I hear from reluctant social sellers. With an attitude like that, you’ll thwart your social selling efforts before you even get started. Of course you don’t have time to play! Social selling is serious business!

I believe this negative, dismissive attitude stems from the outdated beliefs that:

a) Social media = only Facebook and Twitter, and

b) Social media is only for social (personal) networking and fun.

Although Facebook and Twitter are by far the most widely recognized social media platforms, they’re hardly the only ones available to you. You already know that. You’re here on LinkedIn. You’re already engaging in professional social networking. That’s a great start. LinkedIn makes a great foundation for your social selling strategy. However, a LinkedIn profile and a few dozen (or even a few hundred) connections is a far cry from leveraging the full power of social selling. It’s like putting on the uniform and sitting on the bench. You’re missing out on the real action.

The idea of social selling is to create a digital brand that represents you in social media even when you’re not there. Consider it your “online salesforce.” The key is to identify which social media channels your prospects/buyers/customers are using and how. Tune in to what your market is thinking. Then turn your online salesforce into a customer- and influencer-engaging trusted adviser. Offer valuable, credible information at every step of the sales process.

4. Doesn’t apply to me. “I sell B2B, not B2C,” or, “We’re a nonprofit. What can social media possibly do for us?”

Misconceptions about social media abound. You might be surprised who is using social media and how.

Sixty-five percent of businesses are using social media in their sales efforts. Fifty-five percent believe their sales organisation would be more productive if they had a larger social presence, according to The Sales Management Association.

In a recent survey, 72 percent of B2B buyers said social media would likely have an influence on a future purchase decision. Nonprofits, too, increasingly are using social selling to drive awareness, solidify branding and demonstrate their thought-leadership around issues/causes. Only 11 percent continue to rely on traditional media exclusively.

Truth: If you don’t adopt social selling, your competition will — and likely already has.

5. I need hard numbers. Every so often, I still hear this complaint: “The word ‘social’ sounds too touchy feely. What about my sales quotas? Will I be able to measure results?”

The answer is a resounding “yes.” Internet selling is completely analytics driven. Social selling is no different. With the tools of social selling, you’ll get customer insights galore. Monitoring tools (some free, some subscription) let you listen to your prospects and customers in real time. You can also track your social buyer behavior using the measurement associated with each social media platform (e.g., mentions, shares, likes, retweets, etc.). Overall, you’ll be able to quantify and track your ROI by social media source and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Here’s a hard number that should get you excited:

According to CSO Insights: “Effective use of sales intelligence increases revenue productivity per sales rep by 17 percent.”

6. Lack of training. “I know I should be doing it, but I don’t know how.”

You’re not alone. A full 93 percent of salespeople have no training in using social media. Fifty-three percent say they want help doing so.

Chances are very good you fall into this group. You are savvy enough to be using LinkedIn. As I mentioned above, LinkedIn is the best foundation for any social selling effort.

Now you know a little bit more about social selling. You understand why avoiding social selling is deadly for the future of your business. So what’s stopping you now from becoming a social selling superstar? (Add your comment below).

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Facebook for Businesses

The best social media platform for businesses is Facebook. Are you using it effectively for your business?

Almost 16 years ago, the founder of Microsoft (Bill Gates) made an interesting statement. He said in the future there will be only two kinds of businesses: those with an Internet presence, and those with no business at all.

Today, I would modify that statement to say that in the future there will be only two kinds of businesses: those with a Facebook presence, and those with no business at all!

So why do companies need to be on Facebook in the first place? Well, here some real-life reasons of being on the blue social platform:

  1. Increase brand awareness and stay top-of-mind with customers and target audiences.
  2. Save on marketing spend. Yes, Facebook is totally free (except if you choose to advertise) and you can connect with all your potential and existing customers with a single ‘Status Update’ 24 hours, 7 days a week.
  3. Lead generation and promotions. Many companies enjoy constant amount of new enquires generated from Facebook. Those customers are easy to acquire and loyal due to the fact that they found you from Facebook word-of-mouth.
  4. Sales and business development. The concept of Socially Facilitated Selling has changed how business is done today. Now you need to be social and understand the buying cycle of your customers on Facebook.
  5. Customer service. If you want to do the bare minimum in being customer oriented and customer centred, then you need to be communicating with your customers thru their preferred channel, and today it is Facebook.
  6. Research and feedback on product or services. Facebook allows you to post questions and polls to get instant feedback from your target audience. The days of hiring a research firm to conduct surveys are gone forever.
  7. One last reason… Simply if you are not on Facebook, your competitors are. So guess what will happen in the long run if you don’t get in quickly. Most probably you will have lost this market space, and even if you move in late you will be playing a catch-up game.

Now that we have covered some of the most basic reasons why companies need to be on Facebook, let me show you 3 kinds of businesses that are using Facebook differently:

1) LOSERS: These are the companies that are just watching from a distance for the following reasons:

  • Afraid of things going wrong on the largest social platform, i.e. Facebook!
  • Lacking the knowledge of how to conduct business on Facebook: how to start, manage, and plan
  • Worried about their brand reputation, and the possibility that their fans might complain about their products or services
  • Unable to identify or measure the true ROI from starting and investing in Facebook
  • Ignorant! Yes, there are many companies that are simply comfortable with traditional media and resisting to change
  • They don’t have a clear idea of how to do business on Facebook

 2) RISK-TAKERS: A lot of companies are jumping into the Facebook bandwagon to get into the social conversation. Most of them suffer from excitement-withdrawal symptoms when they don’t get the expected results after spending time and effort on Facebook. Usually they experience most, if not all, of the following:

  • They have been attracted to the cool features on Facebook and try do nice things, but they find there is no tangible business benefit
  • They have not been able to break through the Facebook clutter and establish brand awareness
  • They have realized that Facebook takes a lot of time, and almost impossible to manage effectively without necessary resources
  • They have tried to promote their brand only to get a backlash and negative PR
  • They build a fan base, but they don’t know how to keep them engaged or what to do with it, or how to monetize it
  • Unable to answer the question of what their Facebook investment has added to their bottom-line?

 3) WINNERS: These companies have reacted to Facebook with a different mentality. They are a smart-crowd and tend to learn and invest in elevating their knowledge about Facebook before they do anything serious on it. The usually do the following:

  • Invest in themselves and their staff by educating and by attending social media courses
  • Join training workshops about Facebook, and involve their team members from all levels and functions
  • Develop a complete plan and strategy for Facebook before even touching the ‘Like’ button
  • Have a research and development process in place to monitor the competition and identify relevant benchmarks
  • Seek advice and consult with experts to avoid guesswork and negative results
  • Set clear business objectives and allocate the necessary resources to Facebook effectively

If you are really serious in helping yourself and your organization to make it in this Facebook-driven world, then I would highly recommend that you consider the winners approach. Do invest your time, and involve your team, in learning more about this powerful platform.

I have been asked by many companies and professionals to enhance their knowledge so that they and their organizations can succeed on Facebook. However, this requires commitment, as they need to be ready to learn! Therefore, I have worked with a global team of Facebook experts and developed a complete training and coaching program called “Facebook for Businesses“.

If you are interested in this program, then check out the details on WSI Academy website. I hope to meet with you soon (if you choose to become a winner) at the upcoming workshop where you will learn how to use Facebook for your Business.

Are you ready to know about the success strategy of Facebook for Businesses? Contact me for more details.

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