When determining how to manage social media marketing efforts, many businesses – particularly smaller businesses – default to putting the intern in charge.
And why not?
They have time. They’re young and ‘into social media’. They have 1,000 Facebook friends, and 2,000 Twitter followers.
They’re perfect, right?
Well, not exactly. Putting an intern in charge of your business’ social media marketing is all but a guaranteed recipe for disappointment. Here are a few reasons why:
Do you expect them to fully understand and drive results for your business?
In order for social media marketing activity to generate real results for your business, a solid understanding of your business is required. Sure you can have others assist with developing your social media strategy, but at the end of the day, the person/people responsible for bringing it to life on a day-to-day basis, and those who will be engaging and interacting with your audience, need to know how to do these things in meaningful, impactful, and strategically relevant ways to your business.
Do you think they’ll be able to correlate all of your business’ functions and apply them to social media activity?
Activity on social media tends to yield the best results when it works in concert with other business functions such as marketing, advertising, sales, human resources, operations, customer service, and more. Simply put, for interns or junior employees to be able to draw connections between all of these functions and correlate them to appropriate efforts on social media will be all but impossible for them to pull off with any level of effectiveness.
Are you expecting them to be champions of social media for your organization?
Particularly in organizations with small social media teams, or perhaps no social media team, you need individuals involved to be real champions for your social media marketing efforts to ensure they are sustained and carried out with dedication and integrity.
Additionally, they should be able to fulfill responsibilities including the delegation of content creation, work with individuals that are resistant to contributing to your business’ social media activity, measure, analyze, interpret and make learning from analytics applicable and actionable, justify resources for social media to management, and many more. If your interns can fulfill these types of responsibilities, I’d love to know where you’re finding them.
What results do you expect to achieve in the next 4 months?
By their nature, internships are limited term employment and learning opportunities for those who fill them. Social media, on the other hand, requires long-term and consistent investment and effort. Needless to say, it’s far less than ideal to have to train someone new to fulfill your business’ needs on social media every three to four months. Also, it’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to achieve long-term goals without long-term leadership and consistency.
These are just a few of the reasons why putting an intern in charge of your business’ social media presence is not advisable. Just like any business function, achieving real results through social media requires experience, expertise, strategy, problem solving, management, project management, and many more qualities that just aren’t characteristic of, or found, in your average intern.
In your opinion, what are some of the drawbacks of putting an intern in charge of a business’ social media efforts?
If you’ve hired or assigned an intern to manage your social media properties, how did it work for you?
If you have any thoughts on this, it would be great to chat with you more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
A blog post shouldn’t just be a blog post.
Any time you put the effort into writing a blog post, you should consider how to deconstruct it into several pieces of shorter form content to feed your business’ social media content pipeline.
I’ll describe how you can do this and a few things you should consider for each social media platform here:
Facebook, Google+ & LinkedIn
Each blog post should at the very least be cross-promoted on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or whatever social media platforms your business is utilizing. Instead of just posting the title to your blog post, try also sharing a key point, or posing an interesting question to drive engagement.
A word of caution here is to not over-promote your content on these platforms. Limit your cross-promotion to a single post on each of these social media networks so you don’t come across as spamming your audiences’ timelines.
Get the most out of your blog post by also cross-promoting it on Twitter. In addition to tweeting the title of your article with a link, schedule follow-up tweets to share each of the key points, statistics, and otherwise tweet-worthy anecdotes.
The number of tweets that can be created from the contents of a blog post is dependent on how many points of value you’re able to extrapolate. The key here is to ensure that each of your tweets can stand on its own as being of value to your audience.
Pinterest might not seem at first like an obvious social media network through which to extend the value of your blog post, but there are often opportunities to share content from your blog here as well. Create images that highlight key points, lists, ideas, how-to’s, or other information from your blog post.
Similar to Twitter, the number of Pinterest pins that can be created from your blog post is reliant on how many individual points from your blog post alone can provide value to your consumers. When creating Pinterest pins, ensure that the content you will be sharing from your blog post is enhanced by the added visual element that is inherent on the platform.
Your blog posts can be reimagined as scripts or speaking points for YouTube videos. Video content can be created to touch on all of the points included on your blog, or you can create a series of shorter vignettes to engage your consumers with more bite-sized content.
Alternatively, your blog posts don’t need to be the beginning and end of a conversation. YouTube can be used to dig into certain points, provide additional context, highlight practical application, or interview others to gain their perspective on your content.
In addition to placing a huge amount of effort into creating content that will provide value to your consumers, you should also be focused on how you can get the most value from the content you create. By deconstructing your blog posts into content for your business’ other social media properties you’ll be able to extend the reach of your content by reaching different consumers on different platforms, and you’ll be able to save your social media and content marketing teams a huge amount of time creating content.
How do you deconstruct your blog content for use on other social media networks?
It would be great to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Having a steady flow of engaging and valuable content is a constant challenge for most businesses and brands.
The time and effort required to produce incredible Facebook updates, powerful tweets, stunning pins, captivating videos for YouTube, and longer format blog posts is a challenge that many businesses find overwhelming.
Social media and content marketing require incredibly hard work if you are going to experience the full benefits they have to offer. That’s just a fact.
A result of businesses coming to this realization, I’ve found that many turn to content curation as their primary method of feeding their content pipelines. There’s a ton of great content being published all the time about every imaginable topic, so why not share that with your audience? Right? Well, there are drawbacks to this.
While you might assume that based on what I’ve just written I’ll be going on to preach the virtues of content creation, there are actually pros and cons to exclusively applying one approach over the other to engage your business’ audience.
Before I get to providing a recommendation about creating versus curating your business’ content, I think it’s worth exploring the pros and cons of each.
The benefits of content creation are numerous to say the least.
- The content you create is exclusively yours.
- Consumers who enjoy your content will need to come to you as the source, and return for more.
- The value you offer will be unique to your audience.
- You will be more likely to build a stronger, more loyal audience.
- You will be able to directly demonstrate your business’ knowledge, expertise and experience.
- It is possible to very specifically tailor content to your target demographic.
- The content you create can be optimized for search to give your business better search engine rankings.
- The tone, voice and personality of your business can be showcased.
- Your content can work toward addressing your business’ unique goals and objectives.
… and on.
On the flip side, there are many reasons that keep some businesses from creating their own content on an ongoing and regular basis. And these reasons are completely legitimate. Again, not a comprehensive list, but here are some of the downsides.
- Content creation can be incredibly time consuming.
- It adds an extra layer of pressure to sustain regular creation of content.
- It can take a great deal of time and dedication before your business can experience real measurable success through content marketing.
- The creation or rich multimedia content such as audio, video or still imagery can be expensive.
- Depending on the category in which your organization competes, and the nature of the content you create, you can be opening your business up to criticism.
- You are providing your audience with only a single perspective on the subject of your content.
Finding relevant content to your business, posting it to your social media channels, and engaging with your audience around other organizations’ content can be amazing for your business’ social media channels for reasons of its own.
- Content is incredibly abundant.
- It’s less time consuming to curate content than to create it.
- You can likely post with greater regularity if content is curated.
- It’s easy to offer your audience numerous perspectives on a given subject.
- Sharing other peoples’ content is inherently social; always a good thing on social media.
- There are many tools that are available to make curating content incredibly efficient.
Similar to just about anything in life that is relatively easy to do, curating content as your business’ primary method of engagement on social media has its drawbacks.
- Curated content will never be demonstrative of your capabilities, expertise or experience.
- By featuring others’ relevant content, you could inadvertently be promoting your competition.
- Your content calendar can become a bit of a slave to the content being created by others.
- Engagement with curated content can be lower than with content you’ve created by virtue of the fact that your audience could be engaging with it elsewhere.
- It might be more difficult to achieve your business objectives by solely posting curated content.
WHAT TO TAKE FROM THIS
Creating unique social media content for your business, and curating relevant content for your audience, are both valid approaches to filling your content pipeline. This said, there is no single approach that will yield the best results.
You may want to experiment with the balance of content you publish that is created by your organization versus curated. Factors that influence this ratio are likely to include the time and resources you have to put toward creating unique content, the level of organizational support you have for social media and content marketing, the value that can be gained by developing relationships with other content creators, and your business objectives to list a few.
Providing your audience with a healthy and manageable mix of uniquely created content and curated content will maximize your ability to consistently provide value to them while also demonstrating what your business is all about.
Do you find it is typically your unique content, or curated content, that your audience is most interested in?
How do you balance the content you create with the content you curate?
What keeps you from either creating your own content, or including curated content as part of your social media strategy?
It would be awesome to discuss this with you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
There are amazing businesses and brands producing absolutely killer content every day. This post will highlight the awesome video, ‘Ship My Pants’, created by Kmart to raise awareness of their free online shipping, what makes it so amazing, and present a few strategies and tactics that can be applied to your business.
What they did
Kmart found an entertaining way to introduce a relatively dry offering – free online shipping – with video content that will play well on traditional media and online.
Why it’s killer
Whether you find this video humourous, crass, smart, or just downright stupid, you can’t deny that it has injected Kmart into the consciousness of consumers who probably didn’t even realize they were still in existence.
With the onslaught of noise that advertisers and marketers spew out each and every day, Kmart found a way to get noticed and generate conversations on social media in the meantime. As of now, the official ‘Ship my pants’ video has reached over 6.7 million views in just five days on YouTube, which is pretty killer.
What can be applied to your business?
Try something new
Opportunities in social media and content marketing are abundant, but if you’re not ever willing to try something new, you’ll never know how just how effective your efforts could be. A beautiful thing about social media and content marketing is that even if you try something new and it flops, you can cut it, learn from it, and move on. This is the worst-case scenario. Best-case scenario is that you try something new and your audience loves you for it. So, why not try something new?
Behave like an underdog
A funny thing happens to many businesses when they’re leaders in their category. They get complacent. They stop pushing themselves. They stop reinventing themselves. They leave themselves open to the competition changing the game on them. You should do everything possible to push your business to behave like an underdog, even if you’re on top. If you can gain a leadership position within your category but you keep pushing yourself to be better, your competition will always be playing catch-up.
Don’t let greatness be a one-off
It’s easy to get high on success, even if it just strikes once. When you’ve done something amazing, it’s important to enjoy your success, but you can’t stop pushing. You need to figure out how to continue adding value to your consumers, or the effects of your success will quickly subside, and you’ll be right back where you started.
Create multi-channel content
Maximize your investment in both time and resources when creating content, and consider all of the channels on which that content can add value to your audience. If you’re creating video content, consider how it will work for your YouTube, Facebook, digital advertising, and mass media advertising audiences. With a bit of forethought you can more efficiently produce your content, feed your content pipeline, and fill your paid media.
What do you think of Kmart’s ‘Ship your pants’ video content?
Have you seen any killer content recently that you’d like to share?
It would be great to chat with you about this more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Not to take away from the amazing results that can be achieve by reaching a large and highly targeted audience with your blog content, but not every benefit of maintaining a business blog is dependent on having huge readership.
The reality for most business blogs, at least when they’re first starting out, is that readership can be low… very low.
It can be discouraging to those who are contributing content, and working like crazy to keep a blog afloat to not see unique visitors, page views and subscribers come in droves from the get-go.
Additionally, it can be tough to justify the ROI of your business’ blog to supervisors, management or ownership without having incredible reach.
If this feels familiar, don’t sweat it. There is huge value to be had in maintaining a business blog, even if your readership is low.
Demonstrate knowledge, expertise and experience
Direct prospective consumers or clients to your blog so that they can learn about your depth of knowledge, expertise, and industry or categorical experience. You don’t need massive readership for these incredibly targeted visitors to your blog to experience value from their visit.
If your content is compelling and created to differentiate your business from the competition, you can expect huge conversion rates from these limited visits to your blog.
Feed your social media content pipeline
An article on your blog isn’t necessarily just an article on your blog. A single article can easily be reverse engineered into updates for Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, a multitude of tweets, inspiration for your next YouTube video, a series of Pinterest pins, and more. Needless to say, a single blog post can feed your social media content pipeline and translate to huge value across the various social media properties you are engaging consumers on.
Supplement pitch or RFP submissions
Many pitch and RFP requirements dictate what material is to be submitted, which limits opportunity for some organizations to showcase their the full breadth and depth of their capabilities. While decisions under these circumstances are typically supposed to be made based only on officially submitted materials, it would be negligent to think that there isn’t accompanying research done on contending businesses such as yours. Take advantage of this by strategically posting content to your business’ blog to support or prop up key capabilities, demonstrate relevant thought leadership to the RFP requirements, or otherwise supplement your case to be awarded the business you’re pitching for.
Have you ever been discouraged to continue putting effort into your business’ blog?
What value have you experienced as a result of maintaining your business’ blog?
It would be great to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
There are many great sources of information about what Google TrueView ads are, about the value they offer, the various types of TrueView ads, and generally how to use them. However, after the searches I recently conducted, there aren’t a great number of sources to inform you about the results you can achieve with TrueView ads.
This is the information gap I’m hoping to help fill by sharing my recent experience with these ad units, and I’ll share a few tips toward the end of this article.
Admittedly, I don’t have worlds of experience with Google TrueView ads, but I was recently challenged by a friend to help to generate relevant views on their small business’ video content and we decided together to put them to the test.
For context, this business is just getting started strategically utilizing social media and currently does not have a huge community. Also, their presence on YouTube is virtually non-existent, meaning they have literally zero subscribers (yet).
Here are the results of our test-buy of YouTube TrueView ads:
Investment – $250
Views – 5,500
Cost per view (CPV) – $0.045
Impressions – 32,500
Click-throughs – 437
Cost per click (CPC) – $0.57
To achieve these results I really didn’t do anything overly special. I spent a bit of time working through the targeting options – which are robust – and set up my campaign to run through my budget as quickly as the network would allow. I ended up spending the $250 in roughly 2 hours.
Overall, I was fairly happy with the results. The CPV seemed reasonable, I was happy to achieve a CPC that is competitive to Facebook’s suggested bid for my targeting selections, and I was very happy with the targeting options.
On the flip side, I was a little disappointed with the lack of engagement by way of likes and comments, though the content we were pushing could probably be optimized to encourage increased engagement, so I’m eager to test these ads with different content.
Despite having limited experience using these ads, I do have a few tips or suggestions to consider when diving in:
1. You can burn through cash
If you want to run a campaign with a longer duration, set your daily spend to allow for it. Otherwise, you’ll burn through your dollars in no time.
2. Google will charge you more than you want to pay
If your campaign is successful, Google will automatically run your ads to exceed your daily spend by 20%. This doesn’t make much sense to me, but you can account for this by setting your maximum daily spend to a total that is lower than your budget.
3. Not all ads are created equal
Of the various types of TrueView ads, there’s something about the ‘in-slate’ ads that makes them feel less valuable to me. With the promise of a 10+ minute video on the other end of viewing an ad, I think consumers are more likely to put up with watching an ad and aren’t necessarily openly opting into watching your video content. When setting up your ad buy, all options are automatically selected, so if you want to avoid running ‘in-slate’ ads, you’ll have to deselect those manually.
4. Give your video content a fighting chance
Don’t feel guilty for promoting your content with paid advertising. I find that particularly with small business owners, they feel a sense of pride or obligation to grow their audience organically, without the help of paid ads. The reality is that most video content that garners a huge view count has a number of traffic and view drivers including paid media, supporting advertising campaigns, PR, influencer support, seeding programs, and on. Use the tools at your disposal to give your content a helping hand.
There you go. I hope this article helps you out with predicting the results you can achieve with TrueView ads. Also, if you’ve got some killer video content to promote for your business or brand, I recommend at least experimenting with these ad units.
Do you have any experience with TrueView ads to share?
Is there a particular TrueView ad unit you’ve had particularly good success with?
It’d be awesome to chat with you about your experience in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial