• Act-On Software
    Act-On Software on January 22, 2015

    The Rules of Engagement on Facebook

    If you want to make your content sharable and searchable on Facebook, you need to have a thorough understanding of Facebook principles and the general rules that apply to content and behavior.
  • If your brand is talking to your customers on social media, how do you know if you are living up to their expectations? How do you know you’re truly providing value to your customers? True social media engagement is all about identifying your customers' needs, and being able to engage and reply in real-time to their issues and complaints. If not, customers will easily flock to your competitors.

    If your brand is talking to your customers on social media, how do you know if you are living up to their expectations? How do you know you’re truly providing value to your customers? Brands often believe social media is about applying the wittiest tone of voice, and being the cool kid around the block by rewarding your customers with silly gifts. No, true social media engagement is all about being able to engage and reply in real-time to your customers’ issues and complaints. If not, customers will easily flock to a competitor.

    According to an Immediate Future report on real-time social media engagement, 51% of brands believe real-time social media engagement is their biggest challenge on social media. Always on, always connected customers demand quick and easy solutions, on the fly, to the the issues they’re dealing with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, brands can’t live up to those expectations and are quickly losing customers, money, and time.

    So how can brands meet their customers' expectations? How can you rapidly take matters into your own hands?

    1. Reply to Customer Queries Within The Hour

    According to Hubshout, 72% of customers expect brands to reply within the hour. In most cases, they simply want their voice to be heard. “We are very sorry for the inconvenience and are dedicating all our efforts to find a solution to your problem” sounds like music to their ears. Just let them know you care, and apologize for the issue. Never forget that brands are just a quick online search away: if brands don’t provide a swift and timely reply, customers will easily feel uncared for.

    If you want to be able to reply within the hour, there’s only one thing left to do: organize, and get your act together. Make sure your social media team feels empowered enough to deal with heavy stress levels and knows what to do in a variety of scenarios (e.g. during a crisis, when dealing with complex questions, etc.). Your employees truly are the backbone of any successful organization. Beyond your team, organize your incoming messages and structure the way you're going to reply. With the help of advanced monitoring and filtering, and organizing your data through specific mailboxes, each social media team member will easily follow up on every incoming customer query.

    2. Add Context to A Conversation

    Customers don’t want to go through too much hassle to get a solution to their problems. Plus, they want personalized, real conversations. It’s often the case that large enterprises find it hard to make sense of interactions. They fail to integrate and structure all of the information about their individual customers to help customize conversations and make them more relevant and authentic.

    Brands should be able to quickly identify and acknowledge their issues by scanning through customers’ profiles. By collecting information about previous interactions, each new question can be put in a certain context. To make better sense of future interactions and rapidly solve problems, brands should be able to create well-rounded, and complete profiles of their customers.

    3. Collect Up To Date Information In An Online Knowledge Hub

    When it comes to responding in real-time, brands need to be able to present customers with accurate information in a very dynamic and straightforward way. That’s why brands’ support centers (or online knowledge hubs) should be extensive and continuously updated in order for social media teams to easily find and pass on accurate information through relevant links to the right people.

    Customers don’t want to be continuously redirected to internal “specialists” or outdated forms on static web pages. Customers simply demand timely, easy-to-consume information. How you handle complaints online speaks volumes about your business. Therefore, customer feedback is crucial. Unfortunately, large enterprises are often clueless when it comes to the type of questions customers frequently ask. To optimize their products and services, brands must get a better hold on the issues people struggle with.

    Curious how your brand can actually meet your customers' expectations and put these ideas into practice? Read on, and discover what it takes to engage in real-time on social media.

    Most trending hashtags are about news or celebrities. They relate to subjects that interest thousands or millions of people. Making your hashtag trend needs a lot of planning.

    Why bother trying to make your hashtag trend? Simple answer; it will bring you more visits.

    Most trending hashtags are about news or celebrities. They relate to subjects that interest thousands or millions of people. Making your hashtag trend needs a lot of planning.

    You need to have a network of people who care about your hashtag before you even start your campaign to make it popular.

    There are 3 stages; planning, launch, fuel. Some of the launch stage items need you to set up a site profile and build credibility ahead of the launch date.

    Planning

    No fire will burn unless you have everything in place. Planning and laying the fire are the most important parts of going viral.

    1. Choosing the Right Hashtag

    Your hashtag must be unique. Just search for it on Twitter to check if it has been used before. The subject you plan to push must interest a lot of people.

    2. Use WhatTheTrend.com

    Register your hashtag and give it a definition before anyone else does. Visit the site regularly to make sure all is well.

    3. Time Zone

    Twitter rush hour is from 11am to 3pm US Eastern Standard Time. It is easier to get a hashtag to trend outside those times, but it will be seen by fewer people. Your potential benefits are reduced, too.

    If your target market is outside the USA then aim to get the most tweets by 10am EST. This means launching in Australia, the Far East, India and Europe about 6pm EST. This will help your hashtag to go viral in time for peak US traffic.

    Plan your launch date and time bearing all this in mind.

    4. Get Lots of People Interested

    You need a cascade effect to happen. This is more likely if you have many sources, so you need to start getting people interested in your subject days or even weeks ahead.

    Find people who will benefit from your products. Talk to Twitter users with lots of followers. Hold 5 or 6 Twitter Chats and invite important Twitter users. Boost their egos and get them involved ahead of launch time.

    5. CrowdSpeaking.Co

    Crowd Speaking is a way of getting people to post shares with your hashtag. The shares do not happen straight away though. They are all released at the same time, giving you much more chance to get your hashtag to trend.

    6.Blog Posts

    You are going to need these in place shortly before launch date so you can promote them. Posts can be on your own site or guest posts but each one needs Tweet This links embedded with your hashtag included.

    Launch

    Have all the preparations come to ahead in time for the big launch.

    7. Start the Fire

    Have all your fire-starting materials ready ahead of time. Have your team release everything at the same time.

    8. Tag the Right People

    Be sure to tag the big movers and shakers you found in the planning stage. They will share with their followers and your hashtag growth is certain.

    9. Start Twitter Chats

    You used this in the planning stage and you need to do it again. Everyone is busy and you need to bring all those big movers fully onboard to boost their egos.

    10. EmpireAvenue.Com

    Empire Avenue has many people who are happy to share your news/Facebook page/tweet/LinkedIn page/etc to gain points. You can earn and buy points on the site ahead of the launch date to fund your project. You do need to establish a reputation on the site before you can use it fully.

    11.Promoted Tweets

    Twitter lets you promote tweets with your hashtag to your Twitter users. You can choose your target group of users so they are people who will be interested in your product.

    12.Twitter contests

    If you offer people who retweet your tweet a chance to win $100 you will get many more retweets. Tweet about your contest once an hour for maximum effect.

    13. ViralContentBuzz.Com

    Viral Content Buzz is another site where people share your content for points. You need to establish a reputation ahead of launch date and can buy points. The shared content is blog posts and they do need to be good. You can then embed a few Tweet This links in your post. Success

    14. Reddit.Com

    Reddit success depends on your reputation there. You need to join and contribute to Subreddits that are related to your product. You need to do this long before your intended launch. Reddit users will not tolerate people who try to hijack the site, so prepare a super blog post to share there.

    15. Newsjacking

    Have your most creative minds scouring the news as you launch. Ask them to find a way to inject your content into a big news story. This could be offering your product to help reduce the impact of a disaster. Yu might rush 1,000 teeshirts printed with your hashtag to a typhoon-hit island. It could be that you launch a funding appeal for a sick child. All it takes is a creative approach.

    Fuel

    Your hashtag does not trend instantly. Like a rocket it needs fuel to keep it going up.

    16. Quiz

    Release competitions on all social media channels as your hashtag is moving up. If you require sharing to enter a draw you will get a lot more shares. You used this tactic in the launch phase, but it is important to keep it going now.

    17. Update

    You need to release more articles, more videos, more memes and more infographics hour by hour. This will give the big-hitters who are onboard more stuff to share with their followers. Send links to these updates by private messages and email to make sure they are seen.

    18. Reddit

    A Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) would help to fuel the sharing burn. Just put yourself or another well-known and interesting top person from your company.

    Conclusion

    The benefits to getting your hashtag in the top 10 are massive. Extra visitors will find your site. Are you ready for them?

    You need to have attractive products in place to earn money from the extra traffic. These need to be in place before you even start the hashtag planning.

    You only get one crack at any one hashtag campaign, so put your time and money into getting it right. It is better to be too prepared than to be caught on the hop.

    The voice your business uses in social media is crucial to your branding. Your marketing team needs to know what your business' personality is so that your voice is consistent and leads to conversions. You are one among a sea of many. It’s time to standout.

    The voice your business uses in social media is crucial to your branding. Your marketing team needs to know what your business' personality is so that your voice in social media is consistent and leads to conversions.

    The Business Personality in Social Media

    It doesn't matter what kind of social media you use; from YouTube to Facebook, when you start a channel or profile, you need to set your business up with a distinctive personality. You are one among a sea of many. It’s time to standout. Humanize your social media.

    As a business, you need to be intentional about your social media personality. You might want to plan your social media personality like a novelist plans their characters.

    Identifying Your Social Media Personality

    • What motivates your personality?
    • What things about your brand history influence the social media personality?
    • How do your family/employees, enemies/competition influence your personality?
    • How would your personality react to anger? Cynicism? Praise?
    • What are three of your most important brand personality traits?

    Consistency In Your Brand Voice

    While real people tend to be ruled by their emotions and make poor decisions, your social media personality shouldn't. The only rule you need to abide by is consistency. Take these examples:

    • When you're promoting something, you ALWAYS add a joke
    • When a customer complains, you ALWAYS respond politely
    • When you win an award, you ALWAYS accept it graciously
    • When a customer has a problem, you ALWAYS try to solve it immediately

    It doesn't matter how your team is feeling personally. If the personality of your business is jovial, then your social media presence always needs to be happy and funny. If the personality of your business is generous, then your social media presence always needs to be giving something.

    Everyone involved with your business' social media personality needs to be on the same page with "who" your business is. Consistency creates a voice, and a voice makes your business more personable to your customers.

    Creating a Distinctive Social Media Voice

    Voice in writing is a nebulous term, but absolutely distinctive. Just lke you can recognize your favorite singer even when you don't know the song, you can recognize writers even if you don't know the media.

    Here are some tips you can use to help create a distinctive social media voice:

    • Use catch phrases and create inside jokes between you and readers
    • Find a broad topic that you can use for all of your metaphors
    • Start and/or end everything you post online the same way
    • Use your business' personality to create your own lingo

    A huge part of a social media voice is in creating meaningful bonds between your audience and your business personality. Allow your readers and customers to influence your personality and how you engage with them. Keep them engaged and it will keep you engaged.

    Treat your business' social media personality like a character in a novel; make it three dimensional, believable, and consistent, and you will find your voice in social media.

    Be distinct and likeable. Blend in with the crowd and be forgotten. Be unique and focused and be remembered.

    What is your brand social media personality? If you don’t have one, starting creating one right away. Get with your team, ask your customers and review your social media. You might already have a voice and not even realize it.

    Have you recently seen your email open rates going down? Are you wondering where to go next? It’s all about A/B split testing.

    Have you recently seen your email open rates going down? Are you wondering where to go next? It’s all about A/B split testing.

    Read on to learn all you need to know and start being proud of your email campaigns.

    To perform A/B split testing, you must:

    1)      Assess engagement levels from your emails

    2)      Make just one change to your email e.g. the subject title, the day you send your emails

    Once you have judged whether one version works better than the other, hey presto you can move on to testing something else. If not, try another variation until you reach a level of engagement you are happy with.

    Yes, it really is that easy!

    So what tests can you conduct?

    ·         Day to send: Generally speaking Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday appear to be the preferred days to send emails, generating the best open rates. This is because, the Monday blues have disappeared and people tend to be more focussed, getting on with their weeks tasks.

     

    ·         Time: This is a funny one. If you are sending emails on a Thursday, send between 8-9am, however on a Tuesday and Wednesday, whatever you do, do not send between 8-10am as they appear to only have a 5% click through rate. But why listen to me, test first and see what time works well for you.

     

    ·         Subject line: For the best results, ensure this is not too long and that it is clear. Misleading subject lines are a no-no as they will annoy your subscribers, affecting future engagement. Variations could include; positive subject lines, rhetorical questions, amusing phrasing, varying lengths of subject title, brand in the subject title, localised phrasing and word order of content.

     

    ·         The design: Font, background colour and images used may also be worth testing, encouraging an aesthetically appealing template to be created. If content is displayed attractively, you may find this will increase engagement for your business.

     

    ·         Tone of voice: Ensure your message is direct, clear and perceived in a way that suits your business. You could try being friendly, formal, localised, factual or funny.

     

    ·         Length of email: Test the length of your emails. Too long and you risk boring your subscribers, too short and they may wonder why they bothered opening your email in the first place.

     

    ·         Personalised emails:  94% of companies agree that personalisation is king, but what is the best way to achieve this? Do you write ‘Dear Mrs Smith’ or do your send generic emails to everyone? This may make a huge difference, try it.

     

    ·         Call to action: Try varying the text in which you apply a link to, known as an ‘Anchor Text’, by using different keywords. See how this affects subscribers clicking on the link.

    The trick here is to evaluate what you normally do, starting with making one of your better email templates even better! The good news is A/B testing will not cost you anything. Most email campaign software allows you to generate these reports so they will be readily accessible for you.

     

    REMEMBER, what works for one company does not necessarily work for another. You need to carefully consider what works for your target market.  Some Social Media platforms allow you to target your messages to your audience, be they your customers, channel partners or employees. Your audience will receive just the specific news they want, when they want it… not more spamming!!!

    Yes it can be time consuming to create the perfect email, but once you have you will wreak the benefits. Well worth a test I’d say. 

    Football pits the offense, the team with the ball, against the defense, which tries to prevent the offense from scoring. Yes, we’re all thinking about the Super Bowl, but what does that have to do with content marketing? Everything! Here’s why.

    Football pits the offense, the team with the ball, against the defense, which tries to prevent the offense from scoring. Yes, we’re all thinking about the Super Bowl, but what does that have to do with content marketing? Everything! Here’s why:

    Consider that your content is the ball. Through the process of ideation, creation, publication, and promotion, it moves across the field with the end goal of reaching your target audience. Touchdown! Right? Well, we all know that in the game of football, there are forward moving plays, and those that set you back. There are also various members of your team that help you contribute to your end goal, though, and their ability to succeed will directly impact your content’s success.

    Here are some things to keep in mind when executing your content marketing power plays, and how you can make sure your team is stacked against the opponent for that championship title.

    Ideation & The Punt Returner. Receives the ball upon kickoff and determines what the most efficient route will be for the first leg of the content process. This team member must be creative, goal-oriented, agile, and persistent in the face of the defensive line when some ideas don’t prove strong enough to make it down the line.

    Creation & The Quarterback. Leads the process by calling plays, and determining what moves to make to get the content farther down the field. This person can author the content, and run it themselves, or signal and hand it off to another member of the team. Plays including, but not limited to: Titles, Topics, Copy, Design. The rest of the team must trust this member’s judgment a great deal, in order to unify the team for success.

    Publication & The Running Back. Takes the content, and runs with it towards the goal line. Their ability to receive and block incoming blows from the defensive line makes them critical to finding the correct avenues to carry the content. Be it a blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and so-forth, the running back will determine the path of least resistance, and which channels will prove the most beneficial.

    Promotion &The Offensive Guard. Blocks for both running and passing plays. In the face of competition, and growing defensive pressure, the Offensive Guard will ensure that content integrity, value, and voice (even #deflategate) is blocked from the noise of outside sources via a strong promotional plan. They will know the ins and outs of things like: Adwords, Facebook Marketing, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Advertising and more.

    When you sit down to the Super Bowl this year, think about some other ways in which content marketing can relate to football. Can you think of what the defensive line might look like in terms of your content process? Share your thoughts in the comments below.