Where should you focus your social media efforts and budget in 2015? In this episode, Neal Schaffer encourages you to start the year by analyzing your content and process. This means helping you find more places to share your content, explaining the importance of internal education and ownership, and advocating for systems that help you amplify your strategies, like paid social and automation.
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welcome to maximize your social actionable 10 minute advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of Maximize Your Social Social Media Author, speaker, consultant, founder of Maximize Social Business, The Social Media Centre of Excellence and the Social Tool Summit. Neil Schaefer. Hey there, this is Meal Schaefer. Welcome to 2015 1st episode of Maximize Your Social Wherever you Are in the World. I hope you had a fantastic new year. I actually I didn't really talk about it much in Social actually had a to knight three day business trip to Tokyo, Japan, at the very end of 2014. Cell still sort of catching up in the time zone during a New Year's Eve, but had a fantastic near took my kids skiing for the first time over their winter break. It was awesome. And really, you know, what we should be doing is really clear in our head and getting be charged and ready both physically, mentally, spiritually for the New year. And with that in mind, I should have published his podcast earlier in the week. I actually wanted to wait for one week of work in 2015 to come my way, talk to customers, tool vendors, practitioners and really get my finger on the poles of what I believe you all should be concentrating on in 2015. Well, for the purpose of this podcast, right? So as usual, I'll be podcasting this before I block it. So that's that's why you should definitely be listening in to this podcast money publishing. I hope you're finding me on the new feed. If you found this in social, note that I just moved over to a new feed and therefore a new page and iTunes that you'll need to re subscribe to. So my apologies in advance for the inconvenience. But it's sort of my own 2015 plan to optimize what I am doing in social media. So let me talk about, and some of this is based on it. I don't know how many of you have heard this or physician my previous podcast, but I announce that I am co organizing my first social media conference called the Social Tool Summit. It's going to be in Boston on May 12 had great conversations already with a few of our soon to be announced early sponsors, speakers as well as a number of people that will be attending both a speaker role being corporate practitioners of social as well as just general attendees. So what I'm gonna talk about here is really interesting, because in 2014 I talked about six trends that I see evolving in social media in 2014. I publish this in January 1st on maximize social business, and what I'm gonna be talking about is really an extension of that because some things have changed a lot really has it. And it takes time for people and sometimes technology to catch up with some of the trends and icy. And therefore I don't see it as repetition. I see it as a further evolution of things in 2015. Some of these have evolved more rapidly or are more mainstream than others. But either way, there's always room for improvement for optimization, and therefore, let me get started with my list of nine things you should focus your social media efforts on in 2015. By the way, usually when I do these podcasts, I stand and I pace literally to keep my energy up. I am sitting for this one, but hopefully it's one of my more energetic podcast because I really want to help you get to the next level of your social. And I really think that you're gonna find this advice to be valuable and at the least, a confirmation that you're already doing what you should be doing right. So number one content content, content, content. You know you can't talk about marketing these days without talking about content marketing, and you almost can't talk about content marketing without talking about social media, marketing and social media, marketing and content market as well. So with the convergence of information and communication brands and companies need depth content to engage in people right and and that's that's just a fact. It's a fact of social media, and a positive move is this evolution of content marketing, which gives companies something to talk about in social. But it really comes down to Is your content more of a traditional marketing Web copy type of content, or is it truly useful and resourceful? Is it written in a voice that is friendly and acceptable to your social media target? audience, whoever they might be. Is it delivering the R A. Y? Are you just, you know, whether it's curating or creating original content? Are you just throwing it out there because those keywords or I use strategically trying to tell stories through all the different types of content they're going to lead people into your funnel or whatever objective you have for your Social media program? You know, taking it one step further. Are you on all the platforms? You sharing that content on all the platforms that you should be? Are you on slide share? Are you on instagram? Heck, I even on Sue, where I see more companies doing sponsored content and already emerging communities there like we saw in the early days of Google. Plus, interestingly enough on this note, I actually recorded a video session. It's gonna be a video educational class or course or online education for lack of a better term with pop. Expert on content marketing for social media, marketing or content marketing for social media will probably the final title where I'll be sharing a lot of this. All of my advice, very target advice and like a 45 minute online class, so I hope you'll be on the lookout for that. You're gonna pop expert dot com signed up for there or be on the lookout when I announce it on my meal, Schaeffer. Or maximize your social or maximize social business Gentles. I digress. So we all know about the central content. But I believe with most companies, whether it's social media strategy alignment, whether it's a choice of platform, whether its voice or just the content itself or even the frequency of the content, there's always little tweaks you can do to further optimize and improve upon it. So that's really one of the central ones. Or do you even have a blogger? Right? That's another key one when when we're talking about content. But when we talk about content in 2015 we must talk about the visual that's gonna be the second area should be focusing on. And when we talk about visual, there's a few different things we can talk about visual content as content in itself, right? And even for boring B to B brands. If you've heard me speak and talk about Maersk line, um, or mayor, But you know the corporate company, the shipping line and how they have been able to adopt a visual strategy for a seemingly boring quote unquote B to B company. I'm seeing MME. Or B to B companies. Whether they're in software, what have you launched? Really, really great visual marketing? If you already have a consumer face product, it's a lot easier to do. If you don't, it is still possible if you're looking for ideas. Checkouts on Pinterest right? I have a Neil Schaeffer's last maximize social business account on Pinterest, where have thousands of pins and this is, well, it's a B to B audience, right? It's a B to be blogged where I pin primarily be to be content, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the types of visuals that you can use even for something like that. So you need to have a visual voice, visual strategy, visual content. You also need visuals to spruce up whatever content you post on social because it's gonna help you get more visibility in the social media streams or newsfeed's or whatever it might be. And then you have purely social platforms that are based on visuals, primarily Pinterest and instagram. It also Snapchat Are you on these platforms? Is there potential future? Leverage them for your audience so visual is very, very important on a number of different levels and a lot of great tools you can use Right now. There's new video platforms coming out. What have you to help support your video social media marketing efforts or, I say, visual, social media marketing efforts. But it's something you really, really need to look into. Wow, this might be one of my longer podcast for much. Just squeeze all the sin of my promised 10 minutes. Gonna be hard. Let's move on. So what? I talked about Snapchat and attack, but instagram thes air purity mobile social network. So we then talk about the mobile right? In 2014 I talked about the emergence of mobile personal line. This Japanese app, which is similar to what's up from Facebook or Facebook Messenger, is a great example. And just the other day online, I noticed that Lincoln Park was online and they're one of my favorite rock band. So I I now follow them online and immediately I get a notification online. I don't know who it's from, I think it's more friend Boom. It's from Lincoln Park, right? It's not just for musicians of celebrities. Anybody can use these platforms, but it just goes to show you. Number one mobile is prevalent, and in some communities or some target user audiences of demographics, they spend more time a mobile than on the Web. So being active and social, considering that a lot of people do social from a mobile phone or smartphone, I should say is a start is part of a mobile strategy. I mean, obviously, anything that you put down on your website on the landing page has to be responsive. You know, the more active you becoming social them or mobile ready your website or whatever digital assets are have to be. But just by spending more time in social is gonna help your mobile indirectly. But also looking at the purely mobile platforms are gonna help you as well. The purely mobile platforms being primarily instagram but also for some, depending on your target demographic. Snap chap, If you didn't think Instagram was for you, well, wake up. It's 2015 Justus we saw with other social platforms. Instagram has already started sponsored content. There's B to B companies on there. Now I see people becoming a lot more self promotional as we've had the Facebook and other networks. If you've never been self promotional Instagram you know you want to take a step back and do it very, very carefully and really test the waters and experiment. But 2015 I think we're going to see Instagram explode. We already know there are more active users and instagram mobile than on Twitter. For instance, it's probably number two right now to Facebook, and snapshot might be number three. So when you think mobile, think sociable. More importantly, think instagram and potentially Snapchat. Well, we're already a 10 minutes, but I got six more to go. I've only gone through three. So we talked about content. We talked about the visual. We talked about mobile and what's gonna happen is not only are you going to be slicing and dicing your content for the different platforms, but even the visuals you're gonna be using you're gonna have to recreate and reformat for each of the platforms, including mobile. So it's gonna get really, really complicated really, really fast. And what I am stressing in 2015 especially, is a lot of you're listening to this podcast already. You know, implementing social media marketing for your company. On behalf of your clients for yourself, we need to scale. The only way to scale is if you have a process Some Have you been watching me tweet out and post out quotes like from Edwards Demming, who I'm a big fan of and I talk about and maximize your social, which hopefully you've all read by now PDC And what have you If you don't have a process, you don't have a product and you need to have a process around your social media so you can scale. You can teach others to do it If something, God forbid was to happen to you or if the person you have doing soldier on your behalf was the leave and go to another company, how you going to do all this? It has to be defined by process, and it's gonna be something I'm gonna be talking a lot more about. In fact, that social media marketing world I plan to do my keynote on process. Two years ago, I did it on social media strategy. I wrote Maximize Your Social last year was on big Social data and had a leverage it to compete with your competitors using best practices and really big social data that showcases what those best practices are, and I'll be repurpose ing that into other content as we go along during 2015. But I also am gonna be talking a lot about process and really social media operations operations for your social media marketing. Now, when I talk about operations for your social media marketing process, one of the things the other thing I should say that's driving. The need for it is advocacy now. Advocacy is something I talked specifically about the beginning of 2014. I talked specifically about employee of Dixie, but I want to talk about advocacy in general, whether it's influence or engagement, influence or advocacy. Whether it is your brand advocates, you know, fan advocacy of brand advocacy or whether it's your employees employees advocacy. The whole idea is that it's gonna light scale and access and to generate brand awareness and networks that you are not at as a brand period. Regardless of which of these three that you choose. I think that's influence or marketing to sort of where we talked about since the early days. A cloud would have you these days. We're talking more about brand advocates now 2014. At the beginning, we talk a lot more about employee efficacy and what is really fueling the employer Efficacy storm right now from a lot of clients that I have is social selling is the hidden gap between getting sales people to be sharing marketing content into their networks and to brand themselves as experts to generate more in mount leads to create deeper relationships with your clients and the actual creation of that content. There's an alignment that needs to take place. It's probably a great subject for another podcast, but the whole notion of advocacy to meet a lot of different objectives with employ advocacy being, you know, the latest flavor of it. It's important to be doing. You don't have to do all three of these, but least implement one. If you're going to decide on one or two, I go with your own employees as well as your own fans. I would put influencer marketing number three on that list. If you are a newcomer to the market, you don't have fans. That might be a great thing to do. Influence the market. If you feel like you're already haven't optimized fan base that already heavily promoting you and social, now's the time to start thinking about influencer marketing If you haven't done it. If you've only done influencer marketing, you definitely want to try these other two types of advocacy. So that's advocacy and my little thing on social selling what you'll hear a lot more about for me in 2015. Obviously, the next thing I want to talk about when we talk about process and we talk about advocacy, especially employees advocacy something that is missing is ownership ownership by the brand, by the business of your content, of your strategy of your process because we don't have it. Your content, sorry to say, is not gonna be as effective. You're gonna lack a process because it's been completely outsourced. And I think when you get to advocacy, especially employees advocacy, it's gonna be a lot harder to really have an authentic effort unless it's created in house. I have great respect for agencies. I've worked with agencies before. There's some great ones out there, so don't get me wrong. There's a role they can play, but ownership has to be at the brand in company level in a very passionate about this. Anyone who read Maximize your social knows my views on this. So if you do a lot of work with agencies, it's time. I'm not saying to stop doing that work, but to get more ownership. And if you're doing it internally, you need to have more ownership throughout the company, not just in one department or one person. It has to be by group, right, because this is social media, really. It involves everyone out there in the public. It also involves every single department that you have in your company. And so the natural extension then of this, especially when we talk about obviously and ownership, is the need for internal education that need is not going away. It is just stronger with every employee advocacy program that companies wanted lunch. There's a need to educate with every social selling program there's need to educate. I do a lot of these employees advocacy, trainings, social selling, training's social media, marketing trains, whatever it might be. And really, my existence is about education, whether it is this podcast, whether it's the social tool Summit, the social media centre of excellence. Maximize your social maximize social business. It's all about that education. That's what fuels my passion, passion about empowering others. And I hope that you will take it to heart, that you will need to focus more on education in 2015 especially if you haven't done it before. All right, I'm running out of time here. My podcast editors are gonna be throwing a fit here. Um, already over 15 minutes. So let's end this up in the last two Now, the 1st 7 I talked about really had a more natural flow to them. The last two don't but their themes that we should not forget about when we think about things that we should focus on one is an old theme. One is relatively new thing, but they're both platform and technology dependent. One being paid social. Really. You need to be pretty more of your budget paid and really use it to amplify your content to build brand awareness to up people into the beginning of what is a social media funnel and just to augment your efforts? It's just, you know, but it's $5 for $20 or $50.100 dollars or 1000 or 10,000, 100,000 weak dependant on the scale, your marketing budget. I just think it makes good sense and it could be very, very effective if you do it right. And it just helps your social media efforts become a lot more targeted and ensure that you're getting in front of the people and you're getting clicks from the people that you should be getting them from. And what's exciting is Pinterest and Instagram, offering new paid products on a more mainstream basis starting in 2015. We hope I have not been invited in the neither Instagram nor Pinterest, although hoping to get access to Pinterest platform very soon. Finally, we have automation. Now we all know about marketing, automation and marketing automation platforms like the hub spots, and Marquette is what have you are adding more social media to them. On the other hand, there are new marketing platforms that are purely based on automating things that you do in social media I think we're gonna see a lot more of these platforms in the future. If I was to throw out two names now, I'm gonna throw its aceto eso CEO and I'm gonna throw out social scent of S o c a I l c e n t I ve These are two platforms that based on different triggers based on listening you consort of architect, either campaigns, Communication follows What have you I'm a big fan of Sous Edo. I'm a user of sissy Dormant Vangelis Aceto I hope there they will be at the social tool some And I hope that one of the panels I have at Social two of seven we'll talk about a lot of these emerging companies in this new field of social media automation automation is not evil. If it's done right at a Twitter chat, I was on this week Joel Rally, one of the big names and social selling. What has a famous quote saying, Ah, fool with a tool is still a fool, and with market automation or social media automation even more so right, it's very, very easy to do it wrong, but they're savvy ways of doing it and with the technology with the platforms I'm seeing. I think it's a really, really great way to scale because we all know what social media marketing two months to do, too little time and everybody's looking for results. And that's where these tools are gonna come in handy. And like I said, I can't wait to see them develop in 2015. That's it. Did I miss any? What do you focusing on? Hopefully, anything that you're focusing on your social references within one of these nine things. If it's not, hey, let me know. Suggest me what I should cover the future podcast. Make sure that you're subscribing to this new link on iTunes. If you're on Soundcloud or some of the other ones, it's the same link. Don't have to worry and thank you again for listening for iTunes ratings and comments. If you haven't really appreciate your comments and radiant since we're starting from scratch again on iTunes and that's it this week, I hope to have a second podcast for you. I'm playing catch up, but there's so much to talk about, but regardless, this is one of my longer ones. Wherever you are in the world make it a great social day, but by everybody. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate all of your iTunes descriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the show or recommend content, please contact Neil Schaffer at Neil at Maximize Your social dot com. Please also make sure to check out Neil's new community, the Social Media Centre of Excellence at Social Media, c o e dot com, as well as Neil's first social media event, the Social Tool Summit, which will be in Boston on May 12th. Thanks again and make it a social day.