What is a social media issue? A social media issue, also known as a social media risk, this is any type of activity that can expose a company or an individual to loss, damage, trouble or any or adjectives that can be a problem in the future. In other words, there isn’t a problem yet but there is a chance there might be. There are so many of these possible issue, that we wouldn’t have time to go through them all so a few examples are as follows: customer services issues, miscommunication on behalf of a brand or negative or flagged comments on a social media channel. Social media issues can also be ongoing concerns that aren’t triggered by a specific event, but are seeds that can grow into larger problems for a company in the future if the social climate changes in a particular way. The better a social media marketer knows these issues and how to respond if they begin to grow, the more in control of the situation they will be.
Other social media issues can come from simple rebranding that the public disagrees with. One example of this is with the well-known clothing store brand Gap. In 2010 they attempted to change their logo and get rid of the blue box altogether. What was supposed to be an exciting moment for the company quickly turned into an embarrassing nightmare as the public responded with comical disgust to the new look, causing Gap to cancel the change. As social media has become even more powerful since that occurred, the response to these issues is all the more important.
In the aforementioned example for Gap, what began as an issue would have turned into a crisis had the company not responded and kept the logo change from occurring. Many customers would have probably turned their backs on the brand, writing them off as being stubborn or out of touch, causing serious problems for the clothing brand’s business.
It’s also important to remember that social media crises always have an element of surprise. Everyone has a smartphone and can communicate with many other people incredibly quickly. This means that something that would have otherwise been forgotten about in the past can become a very big deal very quickly. Another element to remember is that many crises evolve out of an environment where there is insufficient information about the relevant facts and the emerging public perception of the issue. This should be addressed when trying to stem a crisis as well, and it should be done quickly as there is a real need for speed so that the misconception or the size of the crisis doesn’t reach more people and become any bigger.
The Gap example given earlier was self-inflicted, as would be the Melissa Mayer rule at Yahoo about Mom’s not being given ample maternity leave time. Stories that break via major media have a number of different elements to them, ranging between what the headline says and where the focus of the story directs the public initially, to what the public’s collective response is though the numerous comments on different media outlets. Viral content grows out of people spreading information about a company themselves, like a cell phone video of a FedEx driver throwing a computer monitor over a gate to make a delivery. 5 million people saw that, instantly giving the company a lot of negative press, The best way to deal with this type of crisis is to respond publicly, which FedEx did quickly and it went away.
So what is the difference between a social media issue and crisis. An issue is something that could become a problem in the future, is currently small, but won’t grow out of control with proper management. A social media crisis is one that has grabbed the larger public’s attention because it touches on one or more of the characterizations of a crisis. There are various ways to deal with these issues and crises, depending on what categories they fall into. But the one thing they all have in common is the social media manager and the company understanding why the public is upset in the first place.
As an online marketer, sooner or later you’re going to have to face facts. It might seem daunting, or even like a waste of time at first. But it’s more than necessary. It’s an essential part of any well-rounded social media presence and should be a priority for all types of marketing professionals. It’s LinkedIn.
But if all you’re going to do is slap together a resume and add your fraternity brothers as contacts, you will not be harnessing the true power of LinkedIn. That’s why we’ve put together this list of five rarely spoken of tips that can help you to get the most out of this particular social experience.
This may indeed go against a lot of LinkedIn advice you have heard before that encourages you only to add those people you know outside of social media, either personally or professionally. But the sheer number of people on LinkedIn means that if you limit yourself in that way, you’ll never see the site work its magic for you. That doesn’t mean sending unsolicited messages to tons of strangers. Instead, find people with common interests. One great way to do this is by connection with people who are in the same LinkedIn groups as you are. Which brings us to tip number two.
Whether your main focus on LinkedIn is lead generation, professional networking, or competitor research, Groups and the discussions that take place within those groups can be invaluable. But don’t just join one group, find a lot of relevant groups and join them all. You don’t have participate in all of them, but the notifications you receive may prompt you to chime in or just make you think. And remember, if you can’t find the exact group you want, you can always create one yourself. Chances are you aren’t the only one looking for an “Oregon State Dog Walker’s” group or a “Social Media Marketers Who Live on Sailboats” group. (Okay, maybe you are the only one looking for that second one).
No, it’s true. You can use LinkedIn for more than looking for jobs and connecting with former colleague. If you take advantage of the tools they offer, you can actually generate high quality leads from your LinkedIn presence. Part of this strategy should definitely involve using groups, including those of your own creation. But you can also mine LinkedIn advertising, which is highly targetable, as well as any integration between your other social media efforts and your LinkedIn profile in order to generate leads with genuine interest in what you have to offer.
You should already have an amazing LinkedIn profile, since you know the importance of a complete LinkedIn profile. But one thing you may not have thought of, particularly if you’re the creative marketing type, is that being fancy on your LinkedIn profile, whether you are an individual or a business, can actually be a hindrance. People use LinkedIn search to find profiles and if you use words that are more cute than descriptive, it’s less likely that they will be able to search for you. You want them to find you, right? Be straightforward.
Sure, LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch with contacts when you’re sitting in front of a computer and you can type in their names, but what about in the real world where you actually meet people? As the saying goes, there’s an app for that. The LinkedIn CardMunch app will turn real business cards into LinkedIn contacts instantly. Get it. Use it. Watch your network grow.
With our focus on social media, ManoByte knows there are a lot of aspects that come into play when creating a social media marketing strategy. Working from the ground up, you need to think about who is going to spend their time on your social media profiles, how often you want them to be interacting, and identify who they should be interacting with. But one of the most important parts of your social media strategy also needs to be the content that you’re putting onto these social media platforms.
The first thing to do when considering your social media content strategy is to identify your target audience. If you don’t know who you need to be talking to, it’s impossible to know what you need to say. Identify some key demographics and find out where they hang out online. If you’re a B2B marketer, you’ll probably find LinkedIn to be more of a focus than if your key demographic is tweens.
Once you have figured out who you need to talk to, make sure that you know how to use their platform of choice. Not only are there rules and regulations that govern behavior on the various social networks, there is also a spectrum of unwritten rules that govern the communities. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the tone and overall tenor of conversations on that particular platform before you try to jump in.
With the right people in your sights and the right platform knowledge under your belt, it is time to open your ears (or eyes, technically) and listen. Chances are, your potential clients and customers are already having a conversation about you – if not directly about you, then about your competitors or your industry in general. You need to listen to this conversation. There are a few ways to do this (and really you should use all of them):
By listening to what people are already saying, you can learn what they want, which brings us to the actual content portion of your social media content strategy: the content.
The most important thing to do when creating social media content to bring traffic and recognition to your brand is to give your followers (or friends, or fans, depending on the platform) VALUE. Anyone can tweet an advertisement for their own product all day long, but that won’t get you far in the interactive environment of social media. Instead, you need to create content that is not only relevant to your company, but is relevant and interesting to your potential customers. This could take the form of original research, SlideShare presentations, infographics, or blog posts. Remember how we suggested that you listen before jumping in? Use that listening time to figure out what your customers want and what they need, and then give it to them.
When you can use your social media content to add value to your customers’ lives is when your social media strategy is working.
But don’t stop there! Once you begin to implement your social media content strategy, you can’t just quit listening. Instead, go back and listen to how people respond to the content you’ve shared. Is it getting Liked or Retweeted? Are you getting a ton of comments or is it being ignored? Pay attention to these metrics and continue to tweak and improve your social media content strategy. The internet can be a fickle place and it’s important to pay attention to the responses you are getting so that you can always try to play into what people want. Keep your social media content strategy fresh and repeat the listening cycle until something sticks, then listen some more and you’ll be on your way to a successful content strategy.
Although it may seem like the stuffier cousin of the more youthful and exciting social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn should be an integral part of your social media life, particularly if you are a business professional. As with any social network, in order to get the most out of it, you have to actively participate on LinkedIn and the first step is to make sure that you have a complete profile.
You’ll be able to see if your profile is complete by looking at it while you are logged into your account. In the right hand column you will find a circle that is either empty, partly filled in, or full. This corresponds to the different levels of profile completeness. There was a time when LinkedIn used percentages to convey this information, but they’ve switched to the slight cutesier classifications of:
Of course, your ultimate goal should be to reach the level of All-Star, which means your profile is complete. But why is a complete LinkedIn profile even important?
First off, your LinkedIn profile represents you to the professional world. When you have a complete LinkedIn profile, your colleagues, potential clients, and even potential customers will have an easier time finding you – not just on LinkedIn, but also on search engines. This is because social media profiles rank highly on many search engines. When a professional contact is googling you, it would be a lot better for them to find your complete, professional LinkedIn profile come up first than a blog entry about the last beer pong competition you won.
A complete profile also makes it more likely for someone that finds you to actually get in touch with you. According to LinkedIn, it actually makes that 40 times more likely to happen. For instance, if someone was searching for social media specialists and ran across a member of the ManoByte team, they could see from his or her complete profile that they knew what they were doing. This means more offers, more contacts, more lead generation, and a wider network to mine for customers, clients, and mentors. That definitely seems worth the extra effort.
But having a complete LinkedIn profile can directly benefit your business, too. LinkedIn gives you opportunities to link out from your profile to other sites like your Twitter page, your blog, or even your company’s site. This is driving people who are interested in you and your company directly to a place where they can engage with you and hopefully buy from you. This is inbound marketing and it’s great.
Finally, having a complete LinkedIn profile makes it that much easier to leverage all the tools that are available to you on LinkedIn. Participate in groups, send InMail, post updates. With a complete profile, people are more likely to be interested in what you have to say and to engage with you, which is what social media participation is all about.
If you don’t have a complete LinkedIn profile now, it’s time to get one. Add your former employers, your skills, and your education and watch your completion meter climb. Take advantage of the “boring” social network and see what kind of exciting results come your way.
Social media marketers know that a robust social media presence can have a very real impact on a business. But it doesn’t stop with having thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook friends. Proper social media engagement can generate leads for all types of businesses by driving high value traffic to your site and encouraging those visitors to stay, return, and share what they found.
There are a lot of reasons to utilize social media for your lead generation goals, but tops among them is the fact that social media is simply enormous. Facebook alone has more than a billion users. It’s safe to assume that there are at least a few of those who want whatever you’re selling.
Additionally, social media lead generation is effective, affordable, and measurable: all key reasons to reconsider your social media lead generation strategy today.
The best way to start utilizing social media as a lead generation platform is to make sure all your social media profiles are up to date and active. This is social media 101 stuff so hopefully you’re already at least part way there.
Then you need to utilize your lead generation skills in a way that is conducive to social media interaction. Listen to the conversations that people are having about your brand, your competitors, and your industry. Gauge what people want to know and what they want to talk about. This will be the most valuable information you can have as you set out to get new leads.
The listening portion of this strategy should never stop. Initially, you can use it to generate ideas and strategize. Then, as you launch a more concerted effort, you must continue to listen not only so that you can keep getting ideas for content, but so you can know how effective your strategy has been thus far. Always keep an ear open across social media channels.
The best way to use social media for lead generation is with content. A lot of this can be original content that you create yourself. It is important to keep in mind that the content that will have the biggest impact is content that your demographic wants. Posting a sales pitch is all well and good (and there’s a place for it) but it’s not what lead generation is about. Find out what people need: infographics, statistics, information, research and give it to them. Remember that you don’t have to create all of this content yourself. To fully participate in social media and be credible as a source, you have to link to relevant content from other sites as well.
So you have great content that you are publishing across your social media channels and it’s driving people to your site. How can you turn these curious visitors into leads and keep them on the site? With targeted landing pages. Make sure that whenever someone clicks a link you post, they know exactly what to expect, can easily find what they’re looking for, and can easily share it. One lead in the world of social media can beget many more through webs of friends, followers, and other connections.
Finally, use your analysis tools to keep track of your campaigns. How many new leads are coming in via social media? How can you increase that number? The instant nature of social media means that you can test, try, create, and finesse new ideas and get nearly instantaneous feedback.
Don’t underestimate the power of social media in generating new leads for your business. It’s one of the most effective and affordable tools you have and you should be using it!
There are a lot of reasons that people start blogs – from driving new traffic to their ecommerce site to improving their writing skills for professional development. But no matter what your reason for blogging, ultimately you want people to read your blog. There are endless tips online for creating clickable headlines and irresistible calls to action, but we’re not going to cover that today. Instead, we’re going to talk about *yawn* consistency.
I know, consistency is not the most exciting topic. But what we and bloggers around the world have already found is that glamorous or not, consistent blogging is the key to a successful blog. This is true for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, consistent blogging is the easiest and best way to develop your voice as a blogger. Blogging regularly helps you to become a better writer, to become a faster writer, and overall to be more effective at conveying your message while nurturing your own personal style. There is no shortcut to developing a voice and when you first start, you probably won’t even know what your voice is. But that’s okay because if you blog regularly you will figure it out fast and it will become more and more apparent and therefore more and more compelling.
Most bloggers also want to get an audience and get one fast. Think about this: if your blog only has one or two posts you can attract as many readers as you want but they’ll never come back because they’ve already seen all you have to offer. If you’re blogging regularly, you’ll have a whole archive that they can explore. New readers are a lot more likely to stick around and to check back later if you post regularly. Even better, if you’re consistent with days and times you post, your readers can know exactly when they’ll be able to get new content. They like that.
Also up towards the top of the list of reasons to blog and blog regularly is the fact that blogging regularly is good for your SEO. Period. Fresh, new content is always smiled upon by the search gods so you want it. Especially if it’s unique, interesting, and relevant to the rest of your site.
The faster the internet moves and the more content is out there, the more difficult it becomes to get a “big hit.” I mean a post that goes viral, hundreds or thousands of shares, Likes, comments. It’s not easy to cut through the noise so even if you dedicate hours and hours to crafting the perfect post, it could still fall flat. While a disappointment, that failure is going to be all the more acute if you don’t have another post in the works. Don’t put all your chickens into one infographic. Post regularly and you’re more likely to find that hit (and hopefully keep finding them).
You have to agree that these are all good reasons to keep at it and blog regularly. (If you don’t agree then you probably didn’t read this far down anyway). “But blogging is so hard!” you say. “And it takes so much time!” you also say. Yes, blogging can be hard and it does take time. But blogging regularly will help you improve in both these areas. You don’t have to blog every day, but posting even once a week keeps things fresh and will have major benefits in the long run.