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.
[02:01] My First Social Media Conference -- Social Tools Summit
[03:10] My List of 9 Things You Should Focus Your Social Media Efforts On In 2015
[03:40] Number #1: Content
[04:07] A Positive Move In The Evolution of Content Marketing
[05:47] Central Content
[07:05] Type Of Visual Content You Can Use
[08:42] Why Mobile Personal Line Is Emerging
[10:35] Have A Process If You Want To Scale
[12:09] My Advocacy
[12:49] What's Fueling Employee Advocacy Storm
[16:14] Start Exploring Paid Social
- And what I'm going to be talking about is really an extension of that, because some things have changed, but a lot really hasn't. And it takes time for people. And sometimes technology to catch up with some of the trends that I see. 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.
- 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 marketing as well.
- With the convergence of information, communication, brands and companies need to have content to engage with people, right. And that's just a fact. It's a fact of social media.
- I believe with most companies, whether it's social media strategy alignment, whether it's a choice of platform, whether it's 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 visual is very important on a number of different levels.
- Mobile is prevalent, and in some communities are some target user audiences with demographics, they spend more time on 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.
- 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.
- And what is really fueling the employee advocacy storm right now, from a lot of clients that I have is social selling is the hidden gap between getting salespeople to be sharing marketing content into their networks and to brand themselves as experts to generate more inbound leads to create deeper relationships with their clients.
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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 Center of Excellence, and the social tools Summit, Neal Schaffer. Hey, there, this is Neal Schaffer, welcome to 2015. First 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, I actually had a two night three day business trip to Tokyo, Japan, at the very end of 2014. So I was still sort of catching up in the timezone during New Year's Eve, but I had a fantastic new year took my kids scheme 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 recharged and ready both physically, mentally, spiritually for the new year. And with that in mind, I should have published this podcast earlier in the week, I actually wanted to wait for one week of work in 2015, that come my way, talk to customers, tool vendors, practitioners, and really get my finger on the pulse 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 blog it. So that's, that's why you should definitely be listening in to this podcast when you publish. And 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 in iTunes that you will 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 I don't know how many of you have heard this or if you listen to my previous podcast, but I announced that I am co organizing my first social media conference called the social tools Summit. It's going to be in Boston in May 12. I've 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 isn't and a speaker role being corporate practitioners of social as well as just general attendees. So what I'm going to talk about here is really interesting, because in 2014, I talked about six trends that I see evolving in social media in 2014. I published this in January 1 on maximize social business. And what I'm going to be talking about is really an extension of that, because some things have changed, but a lot really hasn't. And it takes time for people. And sometimes technology to catch up with some of the trends that I see. 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 podcasts because I really want to help you get to the next level of your social. And I really think that you're going to find this advice to be valuable, and at 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 marketing as well. So with the convergence of information, communication, brands and companies need to have content to engage with people, right. 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 ROI? Are you just, you know, whether it's curating or creating original content? Are you just throwing it out there because there's keywords? Or are you strategically trying to tell stories through all the different types of content that are going to lead people into your funnel or whatever objective you have for your social media program? You know, take it one step further. Are you on all the platforms? Are you sharing that content on all the platforms that you should be? Are you on SlideShare, are you on Instagram Heck, I even on Sue, where I see more companies doing sponsored content, and already emerging communities they're like we saw in the early days of Google Plus, interestingly enough, on this note, I actually recorded a video session, it's going to 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 be the final title where I'll be sharing a lot of this, my all of my advice, very targeted advice and like a 45 minute online class. So I hope you'll be on the lookout for that you can go to pop expert.com, sign up for there or be on the lookout when I announce it on my Neal Schaffer or maximize your social or maximize social business channels. 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 it's 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 blog, 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 going to be the second area you 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 b2b brands, if you've heard me speak and talk about Maersk line, or Maersk, but you know, the corporate companies shipping line and how they have been able to adopt a visual strategy for a seemingly boring, quote unquote, b2b company. I'm seeing more b2b companies, whether they're in software or what have you launch really, really great visual marketing. If you already have a consumer facing product, it's a lot easier to do if you don't it is still possible. If you're looking for ideas, check out on Pinterest. Right. I have a Neal Schaffer slash maximize social business account on Pinterest where I have 1000s of pins. And this is well it's a b2b audience, right? It's a b2b blog, where I pin primarily b2b 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, a visual strategy, visual content, you also need visuals to spruce up whatever content you post on social because it's going to help you get more visibility in the social media streams or news feeds or whatever it might be. And then you have purely social platforms that are based on visuals, primarily Pinterest, and Instagram, and also Snapchat, are you on those platforms? Is there potential for you to 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 podcasts. I'm gonna just squeeze all this in and my promise, 10 minutes is going to be hard. Let's move on. So when I talked about Snapchat, and I talked about Instagram, these are purely mobile social networks. 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 WhatsApp from Facebook, or Facebook Messenger, is a great example. And just the other day online, I noticed that Linkin Park was online, and they're one of my favorite rock bands. 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, and celebrities, anybody can use these platforms. But it just goes to show you. Number one, mobile is prevalent and in some communities are some target user audiences with demographics, they spend more time on 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, any link that you put down on your website or any landing page has to be responsive. You know, the more active you become on social, the more mobile ready your website or whatever digital assets are have to be. But just by spending more time in social is going to help your mobile indirectly. But also looking at the purely mobile platforms are going to help you as well. The purely mobile platforms being primarily Instagram, but also for some depending on your target demographic, Snapchat, if you didn't think Instagram was for you. Well wake up. It's 2015. Just as we saw with other social platforms, Instagram has already started sponsored content. There's b2b companies on there. Now, I see people becoming a lot more self promotional as we've had with 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 gonna 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. Look in Snapchat might be number three. So when you think mobile think social, more importantly, think Instagram and potentially Snapchat. Well, we're already at 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 going to happen is not only are you going to be slicing and dicing your content for the different platforms, but even the visuals you're going to be using, you're going to 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 listening to this podcast are 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 of you've been watching me, tweet out and post out quotes like from Edwards Deming, who I'm a big fan of and I talk about and maximize your social, which hopefully, you've all read by now. PDCA, 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 solely on your behalf was to leave and go to another company, how you're going to do all this. It has to be defined by process. And it's going to be something I'm going to 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, maximise your social last year was on big social data and how to 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 repurposing that into other content as we go along during 2015. But I also am going to be talking a lot about process and release social media operations operations for your social media marketing. Now, when I'm talking 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 advocacy, but I want to talk about advocacy in general, whether it's influencer engagement or influencer advocacy, whether it is your brand advocates, you know, fan advocacy, or brand advocacy, or whether it's your employees employee advocacy, the whole idea is that it's going to allow you to 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 influencer marketing is sort of where we talked about since the early days a cloud or what have you these days, we're talking more about brand advocates. Now 2014. At the beginning, we talked a lot more about employee advocacy. And what is really fueling the employee advocacy storm right now, from a lot of clients that I have is social selling is the hidden gap between getting salespeople to be sharing marketing content into their networks and to brand themselves as experts to generate more inbound leads to create deeper relationships with their 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 employee 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 at least to implement one if you're going to decide on 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 influencer marketing, if you feel like you already have an optimized fan base that are already heavily promoting you in social now's the time to start thinking about influencer marketing if you haven't done it. And 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, which 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 employee advocacy, something that is missing is ownership, ownership by the brand, by the business of your content of your strategy of your process, because you don't have it, your content, sorry to say, is not going to be as effective, you're going to lack a process because it's been completely outsourced. And I think when you get to advocacy, especially employee advocacy, it's going to be a lot harder to really have an authentic effort unless it's created in house. I have great respect for agencies have worked with agencies before, there's some great ones out there. So don't get me wrong, there's a role that can play. But ownership has to be at the brand and company level. And I'm 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. It 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 that of this, especially when we talk about advocacy 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 want to launch, there's a need to educate with every social selling program, there's need to educate. I do a lot of these employee advocacy trainings, social selling trainings, social media, marketing, trainings, whatever it might be. And really, my existence is about education, whether it is this podcast, whether it's the social tools summit, the Social Media Center of Excellence, maximize your social maximize social business, it's all about that education. That's what fuels my passion, passionate 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 going to be thrown a fit here, already over 15 minutes. So let's end this up with the last two. Now, the first seven I talked about really had a more natural flow to them. The last two don't, but they are themes that we should not forget about when we think about things that we should focus on. One is an old theme one is a relatively new thing. But they're both platform and technology dependent one being paid social, really, you need to be putting more of your budget into 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, whether it's $5, or $20, or $50, or $100, or 1000, or 10,000 or 100,000 a week, depending on the scale your marketing budget, I just think it makes good sense. And it can 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 people, and you're getting clicks from the people that you should be getting them from. And what's exciting is Pinterest and Instagram are offering new paid products on a more mainstream basis. Starting in 2015. We hope I have not been invited to neither Instagram nor Pinterest, although I'm 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 HubSpot Marketo 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. And 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 out so Seto SOC II do and I'm gonna throw out social centive Soca il CE en ti ve these are two platforms that based on different triggers based on listening, you can sort of architect either campaigns, communication follows what have you. I'm a big fan of sido I am a user of secede I'm an evangelist necesito hope they are they will be at the social tool Summit. And I hope that one of the panels I have at social tool summit will 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, you know, Joe rally one of the big names in social selling but has a famous quote saying a fool with a tool is still a fool. And with marketing automation, or even social media automation, even more so right? It's very, very easy to do it wrong. But there are 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 in social media marketing, too much to do too little time. And everybody's looking for results. And that's where these tools are going to 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 are you focusing on? Hopefully, anything that you're focusing on your social media efforts is within one of these nine things. If it's not, hey, let me know. suggest me what I should cover in a future podcasts 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, I'd really appreciate your comments and ratings since we're starting from scratch again on iTunes. And that's it. This week, I hope to have a second podcast for you on playing catch up. But there's so much to talk about. But regardless, this is one of my longer ones. Wherever you are on the world. Make it a great social Day. Bye Bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate all of your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the show or recommend content, please contact Neal Schaffer at Neal at maximize your social.com Please also make sure to check out Neil's new community, the Social Media Center of Excellence at social media ce o e.com. As well as Neil's first social media event, the social tools Summit, which will be in Boston on May 12. Thanks again and make it a social day