• 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.
  • This infographic highlights the three major enterprise use cases for social media along with products that support them.

    According to a new report published this morning, Customer Care, Social Intelligence and Marketing are the three primary social media software use cases for companies with more than 500 employees.

    The research is based on the analysis of 400+ in-depth reviews across 23 social media management products and thousands of insights from real software users reviews on TrustRadius, the leading peer review site for business software.

    Below is an infographic that summarizes which enterprise social media platform each use case. The report also lists the tool functionalities that are required for each use case and and feature in-depth case studies of Comcast, British Telecommunications and Groupon.

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    I like LinkedIn messaging. It’s a great networking tool and every bit as powerful as face-to-face networking opportunities both in group and one on one meetings. LinkedIn offers the ability to showcase one’s expertise, create authority and build great business and personal relationships.

    I like LinkedIn messaging. It’s a great networking tool and every bit as powerful as face to face networking opportunities both in group and one on one meetings. LinkedIn offers the ability to showcase one’s expertise, create authority and build great business and personal relationships.

    Sadly, I've seen a shift over the past few years to more sales pitches in the form of status updates and messages, connections being made for that sole purpose and more bulk messages. While bulk messages in themselves aren't always a negative, when you’re looking to strengthen the relationships you have already established, lumping me in with 20+ other ‘Robert’s in your contacts is certainly not a positive way to connect with me.

    LinkedIn Messaging Etiquette

    I received a LinkedIn message from an individual connection recently. It was a Season’s Greetings eCard with a clickable link.  From a professional perspective, LinkedIn is about connecting and building relationships. I think sending a Christmas message, and any personal message for that matter, is a great idea. Connecting personally develops stronger professional relationships.  What bothers me in this case – not only wasn't the post personalized, but it was sent, as I reference above, to more than 35 contacts and clearly from a block of the sender’s contacts as the majority of the names where ‘Robert’ or alphabetically close.

    Regardless if the intent of the message, it came across as merely an attempt to keep the sender’s name top of mind. Personally, I see this as spam. Since every relationship I have on LinkedIn is considered before simply accepting, I’m hesitant to just remove someone from my list so I sent a simple message:

    While I appreciate the card, I find being included on bulk messages like this to be spam. 

    I would prefer to be left off such messages and those other than of a personal nature.

    Thank you.

    Robert

    I expected a short apology and in the end, no true harm done and as they say, no foul. What I received back, however, surprised me:

    This is LinkedIn!! I prefer to only do or discuss business matters that are not of personal nature on the Professional Business Entrepreneur LinkedIn website. 

    Just simply wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays hope the rest of the season warms you up from being so suspicious and you actually enjoy yourself!!

    Not only did I not receive an apology, I ended up being accused of being suspicious and not enjoying myself or the holidays. What struck a chord with me more – this individual prefers not to use LinkedIn for business matters (cannot say I really understand that one since LinkedIn is a professional oriented networking site) and the sender wasn't actually wishing ME anything. It was a wish to a collective. At least make it personal to me so I know you care about me as a connection.

    I normally would have let it drop at this point but as a social media and marketing consultant I felt it was a good teaching opportunity.  I sent this……

    It's not about being suspicious.  Your initial message was not personalized (something I teach being critical for developing relationships) and that message was only a link to an ecard. 

    I have used LinkedIn messaging successfully to grow my businesses and consult with others to do the same. I regularly send greetings and other personal messages as well as those for business but I do so with each tailored to the recipient. If I include you as part of a bulk mailing it, to me it (and it should to you) shows I don't value you personally. How does one grow a relationship if nothing is personalized and the recipient is just part of a collective?

    Even the vast majority of my connection requests are personalized with how we know each other or why I want to connect if we do not.

    Since this is a network to build relationships, I simply asked to be left off bulk messages as I find them to be spam. I would have openly welcomed a personalized greeting sent only to me.

    Case in point, I did recently receive a similar message, replied with a thank you, spent some time on their profile and found they could be a valuable resource for a colleague whom I then referred. Why? They took the time to build that relationship with me.

    Robert


    …..to which I received no further replies.

    So how do you send that ‘message’ to all of your connections? A status update like Maria Orth’s may not be seen by everyone, but it is the right way to do it.

    The LinkedIn Messaging Protocol: So how do you send that ‘message’ to all of your #LinkedIn connections?  A status update like Maria Orth’s may not be seen by everyone, but it is the right way to do it.

    The Take Away:

    Regardless of the social site you use and regardless of whether the nature of your message is personal or professional – the end goal is to develop and grow relationships. You do that by connecting personally. Bulk messages have value when used correctly. Just make sure you are using them correctly.

    I’d love your thoughts on how LinkedIn messaging is being used or how you use it. 

    Make them laugh, cry or smile. It’s very difficult to get people to share the content you post on Facebook without making some kind of an emotional impact on them. No one really feels the need to share boring content. Would you?

    We all know how important social media is to our overall digital marketing efforts. Not only can it help your brand reach more and more people online through effective social media campaigns, but it can also improve your rankings through search. Here are 5 ways you can get people to share your content on Facebook.

    Ask for it.

    Yep, it may sound simple enough, but placing a call-to-action at the bottom of your Facebook post can encourage more people to share your stuff. Numerous studies, including this one, have demonstrated that specifically asking readers to share your content on Facebook dramatically increases the likelihood of further social sharing. These findings are consistent with the general marketing principle that if you want people to take a specific action, you need to specifically ask for it. (The same study found that the same holds true on other social channels, including Twitter, and that blogs that contained a call-to-action received more comments, views and links than those that did not.)

    Make them laugh, cry or smile.

    It’s very difficult to get people to share the content you post on Facebook without making some kind of an emotional impact on them. No one really feels the need to share boring content. Would you? However, create a post that makes your readers laugh, smile or even cry, and your content is much more likely to go viral on many a Facebook newsfeed. It’s a well known technique to inspire more engagement with online content, repeatedly put forward by many of the top social media monitoring companies such as iSentia.

    Go visual.

    Whenever possible, always include an image to go along with your Facebook post. The average user online prefers to consume visual content instead of reading lines and lines of text – especially when it comes to Facebook. In fact, using an image or infographic in your post can increase user engagement by as much as 53%, resulting in more likes, comments, and inevitably, shares.

    Create a connection.

    In an age of seemingly diminishing face-to-face contact and interaction, creating a connection with your customers in any way possible – including via Facebook – is extremely important. One of the best ways to foster a connection with users online is to showcase your company’s charitable efforts. A recent New York Times study found that 84% of people share content they come across online that allows them to be supportive of specific charities and causes. For example, creating a post that brings awareness to the fight against heart disease can help create a personal connection with Facebook users who may then share your post to build further awareness. Not only will this allow users to show their support for the cause, but it will also promote the company to more and more people online.

    Provide an incentive.

    Finally, if you really want to get more people to share the content you post on Facebook, then provide some kind of an incentive, such as a discount, special offer or gift certificate. Everyone loves a freebie, or at least a discount. Try and tie in a special offer for your Facebook audience and hopefully you’ll inspire them to share your content – if only for their own self benefit!

    So there you have it. Try and incorporate at least one of the above the next time you’re crafting your Facebook posts, and hopefully you’ll increase your audience online and ultimately take your business to the next level.

    SXSW is right around the corner, and to maximize opportunities at SXSW Interactive 2015 this year, you need to prepare. Luckily, I am here to help.

    I have been to SXSW for the music. And I can quickly list out the rules for that week: THERE ARE NONE.

    Now, take this concept and try to place it over top SXSW Interactive and you have a massive headache of time constraints, conflicting wants/needs and getting lost in a hotel. Which has happened to me before. Stop laughing.

    So, here are 4 simple things you should do to make your SXSW.

    1. Plan.

    This sounds super simple.

    And of course, it sounds like a straight-forward idea. But, this event has lots of speakers. LOTS. Download the SXSW 2015 app.

    Plan out each day with speakers to see, people to meet and events to attend. The app will deliver push notifications and location mapping to help you get wherever you need to go-on time! Log into social.sxsw.com and search for the kind of people you may want to meet while you’re in Austin (Like me!).

    It’s way better to get basic intros out of the way and plan a rough time to meet before you get to Austin. Once you’re there, everyone is too “busy” to plan.

    2. Go Together.

    Going with a group allows you to see the most and learn the most from the overall event. You can divide and conquer. The best sessions and speakers aren’t always right by each other. And, a lot of amazing speakers are giving their talks at the same time. Also, it’s far less awkward and threatening for two people to nudge into a group and introduce themselves than one.

    3. Connect with People.

    It seems like everyone at SXSW, literally everyone, is willing to talk with you. So, don’t go to SXSW and shell up and simply write notes about the speakers or record the presentation. Further, if you are having a great conversation that runs into the time you were planning on attending a session, seriously consider skipping the session.

    The relationship you are forming is likely more valuable. The connections you make with people in “meat-space” at the convention can help generate multiple additional connections online, either with their brand, their fellow employees or other members of their organization, or their plain old “friends”.

    4. Post on Social Media.

    If your account goes radio silent at SXSW, then you are managing your social media poorly. If you think it is because, “I am too busy,” you aren’t. Many of the sessions have their own hashtags and everyone (including the presenter) expects you to be tweeting during the presentation. Sometimes the underground conversations are at least, if not more, informative than the listed speaker’s PowerPoint.

    It’s also a smart way to see who in your sessions might be mart, interesting and worth introducing yourself to afterward.

    Also, I forgot three last points.

    EXTRA POINT 1: Wear comfortable shoes. Seriously. You look fine. Just wear something you can walk in easily for longer than 1 mile.

    EXTRA POINT 2: And if you are coming from the Northern Lands (aka Chicago and above) wear sunscreen. The sun in Austin feels like it sits on your neck.

    EXTRA POINT 3: Bring a reusable water bottle. Fill it at the drinking fountains around the convention center. Trust me, between the dry Austin air and the free alcohol some corporate sponsor supplied the night before, you will be dehydrated if you’re not careful.

    So, take the time now to plan your itinerary, along with who is going with you and how everyone will talk about being at SXSW. And don’t forget comfortable shoes and sunscreen.

    See you there.

    Did you know that social media marketing is a component of search engine marketing? If you have ever been confused, learn the main differences between SEO and SEM.

    Did you know that social media marketing is a component of search engine marketing? All digital marketers should know the primary difference between SEO and SEM. Whether you handle social, search or design, being aware of different terminology when it comes to online marketing is useful so you can understand the different digital tasks that marketers are working on.

    There are so many jargons to learn when it comes to online marketing. But surely you've heard of the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by now. Even if you don't know what it entails, you probably know your website has to be optimized in a certain way to rank higher on the search engines like Google and Yahoo. Higher rank means more traffic, hopefully leading to more conversion.

    Let’s say you are in the real estate business, just like our company. Search engine optimization is an important marketing component because we can drive visitors searching for valuable keywords related to our apartments directly to our website. The beauty is that once you are ranked well organically, you don’t have to pay for Pay-Per-Click advertising

    Then what is SEM (Search Engine Marketing)? The two terms, SEO and SEM are often used interchangeably, even by industry experts. But they are only half correct. While SEO can be a part of SEM, it doesn't work the other way around. Simply put, SEO is a subset of SEM.

    What is SEM?

    Search Engine Marketing encompasses different techniques to harness a search engine's technology. The two major tenets of SEM include SEO and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads. Google AdWords and Bing Ads are some of the most popular PPC vendors.

    You might have seen PPC ads on Google – they are generally located above or on the right-hand side of the search results and you can distinguish them quite easily. In this way, SEM incorporates both free and paid means to achieve higher ranking on search engines.

    SEM can also include social media marketing, as social media has risen in prominence in the last few years to influence consumer behavior. In short, SEM refers to all available forms of marketing to increase your website's visibility on search engines.

    How is SEO different from SEM?

    There is no main difference per se, as SEO is simply a narrower discipline of SEM. SEO's primary aim is to provide natural, organic search results for free. With SEM, things may not always be free as it uses paid ads for the certain keywords on search engine results page.

    If you are a social media marketer and have not yet added, “Search Engine Marketing” to your LinkedIn skillset, you can now confidently do so. Social marketing is just one of the many pieces to the pie of search engine marketing. Just make sure you know the difference between SEO and SEM so you can be prepared to answer this in your next big meeting!