No Engagement On Your Social Media Posts? So What?

No Engagement On Your Posts? Who Cares!

One of the challenges for small brands on social media is simply getting engagement.  We stress over writing and posting good content our readers want at the perfect time only to find it doesn’t get seen or worse – it does – and still there is no engagement! Rather than tell you why and how to get that engagement (I’ll save that for a later post), I’m going to throw this out there and tell you to:

Stop worrying about how many likes, comments, and shares you’re getting. You do NOT need engagement on your social media posts for your efforts to be successful.

For the record, your efforts should be focused on creating engagement but not seeing good levels of does not mean your efforts were worthless and social media as a failure as a result. I stress this point because it is possible, no matter what efforts you undertake, you may never actually get good levels of engagement.

 

Maybe it’s your product or service?

If you’re a fertility doctor, a divorce attorney or therapist, there’s a good chance not only won’t someone want to like or comment on your posts, they may not even want to like your page. The same may be true for lawyers, financial planners, and doctors. On the off-chance, someone they know will see that activity is enough of a reason to not engage.

Some just prefer to lurk.

Some people don’t like to comment. They may like the page and lurk on purpose. They want the information, not the conversation. They’re learning, researching and making a determination of what they need or want and if they’ll buy from you. Unless they have a specific question, you won’t likely hear from them until they’re ready to buy. Even then, contact is likely to be them emailing, calling or stopping by, not social engagement.

 

Stop stressing over post-level engagement

It isn’t necessary to drive sales

A  very compelling CTA in radio spot or print ad may get your customer’s attention and trigger that ‘buy response’ but by the time they get home or take few minutes to think about it, they can find all kinds of reasons not to buy. The moment passes and it’s forgotten.

The big value for smaller brands using social media is the direct connection and interaction it enables. You can talk to your customer, ask questions and work to move them to action in real-time on a piece of content. This direct, immediate communication makes it much easier to work through customer objections.

But what if you don’t get the engagement? Those compelling CTAs in a radio or print ad still work. Not every customer will have or create obstacles. The same holds true for CTAs in social content. Even though social media’s value is predominantly its inbound capability, it still can be successful as an outbound tool. A post with a great CTA doesn’t need engagement to convert.

A word of advice here. Leveraging social media in this way over the long-term is not a good practice. What you may gain with this approach will be far less than otherwise possible using social media as a relationship tool. I am merely pointing out it’s possible for social media to generate revenue as an outbound tool when the inbound aspect isn’t working.

 

It isn’t necessary to drive website traffic

This is another area where engagement simply isn’t needed to convert. A great intro which makes the reader want to click throughOptimized link content for a Facebook post - title, meta description and featured image + source and Facebook Authorship and an optimized link (think visually appealing featured image a great meta description and title) is enough.

In fact, a post which doesn’t see a like or comment but drives traffic may result in even better engagement later. Once on your site, there is an opportunity to capture email or other lead generation information allowing you to provide more tailored content and to engage with a prospective client when you want, rather than waiting for them to take action.

Focusing on writing content which drives web traffic is a great tactic for those whose businesses, like those mentioned above, tend not to get post-level engagement.

 

It isn’t necessary to build relationships

How do you build relationships and connect with your audience if you’re getting limited or no engagement?

Limited: With the exception of Facebook (it’s not as easy but still possible – why you need to leverage your personal profile for business) you can see who liked or +1’d your content and privately or publicly thank them, even ask them a question to drive further interaction  They still may not reply with more than a like, but they are aware you noticed them and took the time to acknowledge them. That is a simple gesture which goes a long way.

None: Even with lurkers on your profiles, you can still create relationships.

 

If you cannot build relationships through conversation, build it through your content.

 

Original Content.  I urge my clients to be more personal on their business profiles. Bring some of yourself into your brand. If you’re a small business owner or solopreneur, it’s already there. You just need to showcase it and put it out in the open. Bonds form over commonalities and shared interests. They form when there are natural connections.

This is one of the primary reasons knowing your audience is so important. Knowing their likes, wants, desires and interests, their buyer persona, allows you to create content which speaks to them. Posting stories which appeal to your audience on a personal level as part of your content mix is a simple way of connecting without the actual conversation.

 

Shared Content.  Sharing content is a terrific way to reduce your time commitment while still showing authority but it is also one of the best ways to create relationships through content. Consider HOW you post the content you are sharing.

 

You do not need to engage with your audience to form a connection or bond if you’re creating content which resonates with them.

 

The Bottom Line

Without question, you want the engagement. You want likes, comments, and shares. You want to write content to drive them, but knowing you may never get that engagement, make sure your content needs to ‘speak’ directly to your audience, to make them connect with you and your brand.

Stuck On How To Make Instagram Work For You Instagram?

Questioning How To Make Instagram Work For You?

Making Instagram Work For Your Brand

For many small businesses and solopreneurs, especially those in the business to business sector, finding value in or leveraging Instagram can be difficult. It’s been a challenge for me as well. Over the past 6 months in my quest to figure out how to crack Instagram for myself (all part of walking the talk), I’ve learned a few things.

 

What To Post

Like Pinterest, Instagram is a visual based platform. The big difference between the two social media sites – curation vs original content. While much of the content I see posted are memes, quotes and other assorted images pulled from other places, Instagram’s Community Guidelines clearly state:

“As always, you own the content you post on Instagram. Remember to post authentic content, and don’t post anything you’ve copied or collected from the Internet that you don’t have the right to post.”

To use Instagram you need to be taking and posting your own images. I’ve posted before I don’t generally take many pictures (though I am getting better – to a fault. I was recently scolded for taking pictures in the grocery store) and then there’s the issue of what to even post. If your business isn’t visual, what then?  No pictures means no post. This was one of my issues until I started rethinking how I approached Instagram.

 

My shift in how I approached Instagram – more personal than business – helped. Finding images was easier. Anything which makes me laugh is worth posting. A ‘saga’ has even started to emerge based on the antics of my daughter’s little men:

Tactical Social Media Instagram Ikea men saga

Being primarily personal has helped build a following and highlight my brand’s personality (and it’s more fun), but hasn’t done wonders for driving traffic. I decided to experiment with adding images from my blog posts.

I now have a mix of content – business for the traffic, personal for the fun and, well consistent content – and all original.

 

Driving Engagement, Interaction and Web Traffic

Engagement

Getting engagement matters, but only to a point. How you interact with those engaging on your content matters more. It’s where the relationships are built.  Getting engagement on Instagram is about getting your images seen.  The platform is a cross between feed driven (seeing the posts from profiles you follow) and search driven (looking for new content).

Building a following helps, but like Twitter, having your image show in a feed can be a challenge. A great image when seen, will get the viewer to stop. Adding the good description will help get the engagement.  The right use of hashtags will get your image will get it found and assuming your image is perfect and a great description, you should get your engagement. It can be overwhelming to excel enough at each point. My advice – stop trying!

You may get the most engagement from the perfect image posted at the perfect time but in the end it’s not about how much engagement you get but how you interact with it that matters. You don’t need the perfect post. That quest, at some point, ultimately ends with frustration (been there).

 

[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”#123517″ class=”” size=””]There is a diminishing law of returns when you start calculating the time to find, craft and post the perfect content in the quest for the perfect post and most engagement.[/perfectpullquote]

 

Here’s my approach:

Images: Keep it simple. I see something – I post it. I may even specifically look for something. What I don’t do is stress over the image’s colors or how it might look when posted. The perfect image may be the route to the most engagement but requires quite a bit of work.  Stop over thinking and aiming for the ideal. Post what makes you take notice, smile or laugh. Besides, if the image was good enough to have caught your eye, chances are pretty good it will catch someone else’s and you may just be seen as more genuine to your followers.

As for the comment about specifically looking for something – when you do find something that connects with your audience, put the effort into finding similar content.

Stress less over what the ‘experts’ tell you is best. Social will be less like work if you just post and more likely you’ll do it consistently. Have fun with it.

Descriptions: Keep it short. Aside from blog images where I can simply cut and paste the text and I’m after ‘readers’, I try to keep the wording to a minimum. It’s a visual platform. I want to make you take notice and get a glimpse at who I am and my brand’s personality. Short, sweet and simple.

Hashtags: Use them to your heart’s content. HStuck On How To Make Instagram Work For You Instagram?ere is one time more is
better. Engagement rises as the number of hashtags increase. Hashtags are the default search method. Seems the optimal number is 11 or more. My personal rule of thumb – just make sure all of them are relevant to your image.  Can’t think of more than one or two? Try this:

  • Grab your phone
  • Open Instagram
  • Search for the one hashtag you plan to use
  • Open a few images and check out the hashtags used.

And if you can’t come up with 11 – just post it! You’ll notice most of my content has far short of 11. Again, diminishing ROI. Too much time and stress for me.

 

Interaction

Interaction is the key to social. I don’t care how many people like you. They need to connect with you. What you do with the likes is what truly matters and there is a way to do it on Instagram.

 

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#123517″ class=”” size=””]Engagement is good but to really leverage Instagram or any social site for that matter, you ultimately need interaction.[/perfectpullquote]

 

Hats off to my friend Debra Jason, author of Millionaire Marketing On A Shoestring Budget, does a better job in this area than anyone I know. She does it using a tactic she borrows from her LinkedIn experience. Not only does she reply to everyone who comments, doing so in a way to foster conversation (HINT!!), she takes the time to add a simple comment thanking even those who liked her post.  A simple thank you goes a long way towards building relationships and support.

Brilliant!

 

Web Traffic

Here’s the real challenge. Converting social into web traffic requires links (though someone could see your business name and search it).  The only place working links will appear on Instagram is in your bio.  Not only do you need images and descriptions which get seen and earn engagement, your content needs to be compelling enough to get the viewer back to your profile and clicking the link.  It may seem like you’re asking a lot but Mike Allton points out in his article for The Social Media Hat Instagram followers are devoted and will take that time!

One area I ‘break’ with most experts is on use of links within image descriptions. The prevailing wisdom is the lack of value links provide (by not being live) makes it pointless to include them. Including them can be seen, like using hashtags in LinkedIn posts – those don’t work either – as ignorant

 

So why do I include links in my descriptions?

In a word, opportunity.  Adding a link within your post description may not result in traffic,  but more do equate to more opportunity, even if they’re not active links.

  • Remember and manually enter:  Cut and paste isn’t possible in Instagram posts (on your smartphone) but shortened links are easy to remember and manually enter into your mobile browser.  Mike Allton spoke to the dedication of Instagram devotees in his recent   If they’re willing to track back to your bio, hit the link to your homepage and then find the content, they’re every bit as likely to type a short link directly into their browser.
  • Desktop use. Instagram may be a mobile-based platform but you can still access profiles from your desktop. You cannot post, edit or comment on posts via your browser but you can log into your account. That enables you to view your feed and search for content.  For those using this method, albeit a very small minority, cut and paste is quick and easy.  Viewing feeds also allows them to be pinned from Instagram. While the preference would be pinning directly from your site (leveraging Rich Pins), any link in the description, will carry over to Pinterest. It may still not be a working link, but there is another opportunity to cut and paste.
    .
    Some third-party Instagram web viewers like Websta have enabled active links. If you were smart enough to include a link within your description and I view you image on Websta….. a simple click will take me to your website.Active links in Instagram posts with Instwogram; Making INstagram work for you.
  • Working Links:
    Links aren’t clickable when using the OEM app BUT they are with the Instwogram Android app. This makes it extremely beneficial for those of us using this application (I originally came across it when researching a method for posting to multiple Instagram accounts) and following you. If you’re including links, you make it far more likely (than even the most devoted follower) to click-through.

Adding a link within your content may not look as clean and could show ‘ignorance’ as to how Instagram works, but for me, what others see as ignorance I see as a potential opportunity.

One point to note here. Instagram’s predominant mobile bias means unlike the rest of the big social media sites, clicking a link within an Instagram bio will attribute the link as direct and not from Instagram in Google Analytics. To accurately identify the traffic you will need to use tracking links in your bio. The same holds true for links within the body of you post.

Hootsuite users can follow the details laid out by Mike is his above-referenced post or by using Google’s URL Builder.

 

The Bottom Line

 

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#123517″ class=”” size=””]Instagram not working for you? #BeTactical: Maybe you need to take a fresh look at it, stress less and just have some fun with it.[/perfectpullquote]

 

The Evolution of Our Branding from Tactical Social Media to

Maybe It Should Be Called Unsocial Media #BeTactical

Maybe It Should Be Called ‘Unsocial Media’

Maybe We Should Call It “Unsocial Media”

Too often people using social media as a tool to build an audience to pitch or as a broadcast platform rather than as a relationship tool.  Social media is a powerful tool when used right….but it takes time (sometimes lots of it) to generate that ROI.

5 Signs you’re unsocial and doing it wrong!

  • You’re only posting your own content.
  • You’re sharing content from others but not commenting or replying first – It’s great you’re sharing and it’s better than complete self-promotion but it’s still broadcasting. (Read: Why I Don’t Use Twitter’s Retweet Button by Bridget Willard)
  • It’s all business.  Yes, it is a business account but I not only recommend you post personal content, I recommend it.  There’s a reason business deals are made on the golf course, at the bar or over 2-hour martini lunches (do they even do those anymore?). You learn quite a bit about someone when they’re having fun and relaxed.
  • You don’t respond when spoken to (or you take too long) or acknowledge when someone mentions you. Ignoring people isn’t social. It’s just plain rude.
  • You use social media for cold calling.  This one is prevalent on LinkedIn and Twitter and it’s one of my biggest pet peeves!
Social media isn't supposed to be a broadcast platform. It's supposed to be social! Click To Tweet

 

Nothing bothers me much more than following someone on Twitter or connecting here and then getting “a buy/download/ attend my….” Tweet or message (and don’t get me started on the automated direct message thing!).

A few weeks back a very unsocial Twitter conversation started with receiving a download request via Tweet within 30 seconds of following a brand:

Why wouldn’t you want fitness combined with personal safety? Download……

My immediate response (and yes, not using their handle first made this public):

Wow! XXXXXX Followed you and secs later you’re asking me to download stuff from your site. .

The remainder of the conversation had me thinking they understood:

They tweeted an apology and stated they thought I might find it a good, useful app…

I do XXXXXX Think it’s a great idea.  builds relationships; Relationships drive biz. 

‘Social’ builds relationships; Relationships drive business. 

Thanks! Didn’t intend on being unsocial, just want to get the word out about our … tech! Downloading is up to you!

Sure thing XXXXXX. Great app for hikers, cyclists too. Getting the word out effectively comes down to how you craft the message.

You’re right! We appreciate the input!

I even helped them by crafting a tweet and sending it out to my audience with their handle and link!

Sadly, a look back at their posts for the day showed a constant unsocial stream of tagging individuals asking them to download their app.  Really?

Needless to say, I deleted my tweet.

Whatever happened to building relationships and being social?

Are we so focused on making a quick buck? Do we see our fans and followers as merely ‘targets’? Are they just a means to an end….money in our pockets?  Are we really that unsocial?  I’m beginning to think we are.

I know they will likely get some to buy their app as a result of the practice, but it’s short-term gains.  Business runs on relationships.  Social media is an incredible tool for building relationships.  Use it right and you’ll see a return on your time and money.  Use it right and you’ll have customers for life.

Do social right and be social!

FYI:

1.  I will call you out (and unfollow you) if you spam me with a DM or tweet me to buy /download/visit/ attend something of yours simply because I followed you.  I follow because I looked at your profile and liked what I saw.  What you have to offer by way of your tweets (or products/services) interests me.  If you want to sell to me, fine.  Just buy me a drink first.

I get enough direct solicitation via email, direct mail, TV, radio…. I don’t need or want it on Twitter, Facebook or any other social – or is that ‘unsocial’ – channel

2.  If I give you advice, you’re welcome to do with it as you please. Tell me I’m right, then resort to your old ways….UNFOLLOWED.  They obviously had no intention of doing anything different and simply paid me lip service.

How much 'Fun' you're having might be the best measure of ROI for your social media efforts.

Are You Doing Social Well?

Measuring The Effectiveness Of Social Media…

….is not and will never be easy. Determining how your time or financial investment is paying off isn’t black and white.  Short of a sale where you’re informed you were found on a social site or a social media post prompted the sale or call, you may never know how your social media activity impacts the bottom line. (I won’t say ‘if’ as I know it does when done right).

But what if we look at how we measure social media success based on its core role – community and relationship building
rather than as a sales channel? We’d have to focus on what best builds those relationships and that community – personality and fun. Who really wants to start a friendship with Oscar The Grouch or the grumpy old neighbor? We gravitate to those who are upbeat, engaged, inviting, friendly and fun.

Fun, actually how much fun you’re having, it would seem, might be a great way to determine the successfulness of your social media efforts.

I love Carol Stephen’s (be sure to follow her on Twitter at @Carol_Stephen) ‘gamification’ take on how social and fun are intertwined – or should be!)

How much ‘Fun’ you’re having might be the best measure of ROI for your social efforts.

 

So Are You Having Fun?

Psst! I am. You can see just how much at the end of this post!

Too many small businesses owners see social media as a chore – a must do activity – instead of a ‘want to do activity’.  I think we’re flooded with everything we should be doing that social is no longer natural, no longer fun. It’s forced. That further overwhelms us and increases our resolve not to do it or reinforces our lack of enjoyment in doing it. As a result, we outsource all of it.  Either way, the real value of social media is lost.

If you feel forced to post or engage, it will show through. It’s as easy to see as when talking face to face with someone in a bad mood. Our emotions do show in our posts and responses. That certainly won’t help you build or maintain relationships.

Outsourcing? I’m not against all outsourcing of social activity but you have to admit paying someone to engage and build relationships on your behalf isn’t really authentic.  Remember the movie scene where the boy recites a poem to the girl in the window?  She thinks it’s coming from his heart when in reality he was simply saying what his friend hiding in the bushes told him to say.  At some point, the truth always comes out and you’re sure to lose more than you gained.

Paying someone to engage and build relationships on your behalf isn’t authentic.

So how do you have more fun?

 

Change The Way You Approach Social Media

Easier if you’re just getting started but if you’re already at that ‘overwhelmed’ point, slow down and regroup.

Frame your social activity the way you would approach joining a new networking group.  Most of us feel intimidated, uncomfortable, out-of-place when showing up the first time.  We tend to be quiet and reserved.  We listen and watch.  We’ll introduce ourselves and we’ll do the 60-second infomercial, our elevator speech, but usually it’s stressed or unnatural.

Over time we start to see the ‘flow’ of how the group works. We warm up to others and they to us.  We begin to relax. We start more conversations. We’re quick to jump in, to introduce ourselves. Over time we grow more comfortable, our elevator speeches (by the way I hate this term since it makes them seem so rehearsed and mechanical – something opposite of what they should be for real impact) become more animated and natural.

After a few weeks or months (in case you’re more introverted and need that time), we’re quick to introduce ourselves to new guests and to start conversations.  We start having fun.

What changed?  We’re now among friends.  We’re more comfortable with our surroundings, in terms of how things work and the people around us. We’re relaxed. Our actions are natural and genuine. We now truly like what we’re doing.

Case in point: I remained involved in a group in AZ for several years, including after I closed my business because I was able to have breakfast with my friends! I measured the ROI of the membership cost on what I personally got out of the group. Since good relationships are priceless, I think I made out pretty well!

If you approach social media in the same way, you’ll see social as not simply a tool you need to use, but one you enjoy using. The ROI is not solely about dollars and cents, but something more intangible and infinitely more valuable.

Oh. I almost forgot!

So how much fun do I have on social? Here’s one exchange between myself and Adam Fout of Blue Steele Solutions (one of those awesome relationships I have thanks to Twitter).

Twitter conversation with Adam Fout; How much 'Fun' you're having might be the best measure of ROI for your social media efforts.

I love my time spent online, especially Twitter.  I’ve built some great relationships which are priceless in and of themselves.  I also know, over time, those relationships will lead to opportunities and ultimately increased revenue.  It simply starts with being social and having fun.

If you’re on Twitter, follow me at @rnissenbaum.

If you're not listening, do you know what you're missing? A lesson in reputation management and social listening from Smart Car USA

If You’re Not Listening, Do You Know What You’re Missing?

A Lesson In Reputation Management

This has to be one of the more creative ways to leverage a negative slanted social media post in your favor.  What Smart USA did was nothing short of brilliant.

What makes this such a great teaching tool, though, isn’t what they received as a result of how they handled the Tweet.  It’s about the very fact that they found the post in the first place.  It’s about…

Social Listening and Reputation Management

If you look at the Tweet that started the poop flying…

Saw a bird had crapped on a Smart Car. Totaled it. Why social listening tools are vital to your reputation management strategy.

Smart Car USA was never mentioned. That meant no notification from Twitter.  (If the Tweet was about your brand, would you have caught it?)  Smart Car USA was clearly using social listening tools like Mention (my favorite) or Google Alerts (not really a fan anymore) to monitor for brand mentions and keywords (in this case Smart Car). Reputation management is about maintaining your brand image. That doesn’t happen if you don’t know what others are saying and where and when they’re saying it.

Smart Car USA’s response was possible only as a direct result of social listening. While this post wasn’t an outright negative about the brand or business, it did play on a stereotype with negative connotations.  It could have easily been a direct attack and something that needed a response.

Brand reputation management is critical for even the smallest brands and solopreneurs. It can take a single negative post left unanswered to undo years of reputation building. 

A well thought out response in a timely manner can minimize the damage, or completely spin it in your favor. (I have seen and helped clients handle posts questioning their integrity, quality of their service and levels of competence – one initial poster not only thanking the client in the end for a job well done, but baking cookies for the staff!)

Make the time to develop a good reputation management strategy (and don’t forget about online reviews).  If you’re not sure what to monitor or what tools you should be using, ask me!

If you’re not listening, you have no idea what you’re missing – and it can hurt you.

Are you missing out on driving traffic to your website by not using Twitter? #BeTactical

Are You Missing Out Not Using Twitter?

Are You Missing Out On Web Traffic By Not Using Twitter?

While Twitter is one of the best social channels a small business owner can leverage, far too many I speak with want little to do with it.  That’s an absolute shame.

When I look at the effectiveness of a social media strategy, I’m looking to see how much web traffic is being driven more than page growth or post activity.  Those numbers are valuable, but in the end, your relationship building, page growth, and likes, comments and shares have one end goal – increased sales. Since most social posts don’t usually convert directly, they, along with your activity elsewhere on these social sites, need to drive traffic to an external lead generation point – your website.  Of course, you still need the traffic to convert but that’s the role of your website and sales teams, not your social pages and profiles.

How well a social channel does at driving traffic to your website depends on a number of variables, but all things being equal, or at least similar, Twitter is one of the best social platforms for that purpose.  Since I have active and engaged profiles on each of the six major social sites and I post similar content, it’s easy to see just how well (and easily) Twitter works.

So how well does Twitter work?

 

Social media referral traffic drive to tacticalsocialmedia.org over a 90 day period

 

  • Twitter drove more traffic as reported by Google Analytics than the other 4 big sites.
  • Twitter drove as much traffic as organic search over the same time period.
  • Twitter was actually the 2nd highest source of web traffic during the time frame measured.

 

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#123517″ class=”” size=””]Twitter is an amazing platform for converting social engagement into leads.[/perfectpullquote]

 

What’s even more impressive:

  • Twitter had the lowest percentage (58.04%) of 1st-time visits meaning it drove the most repeat traffic (and if they’re coming back, you know your content is on the mark and your tweets are crafted properly).
  • Twitter had the 2nd lowest bounce rate (Google+ was tops in that category)
  • Twitter had the most pages per session and the highest measurable onsite time (Not a valuable measure in and of itself but notable for comparison purposes)

 

Google Analytics report showing how well Twitter drives website traffic, 2015

 

To be fair, Twitter’s conversion rate for goals I have set was minimal BUT anecdotally, it drove the 2nd most business (behind LinkedIn). The low numbers could be due to the goals I am measuring and/or how Twitter users chose to reach out to me when they decided to purchase. Twitter users may simply have chosen to come back by going directly to my site rather than through Twitter. With direct traffic being the second highest source of website views, the lowest bounce rate and the highest conversion rate at close to 17%, the latter is certainly plausible. 

Direct traffic is a good indication of effective branding.

Unless someone knows your site URL (generally through traditional marketing, networking or social activity), they wouldn’t be going directly to it. In my case I haven’t done any traditional advertising and do (as of now) minimal networking.  The majority of my branding is done via online activity (and I’ll add – none of it paid).

What makes Twitter’s ability to drive traffic even better?  The ease of using it.

 

How Easy Is It To Drive Traffic Using Twitter?

The beauty of Twitter is in how little posting, and therefore time and effort, it takes to drive traffic. You still need good content and to learn how to craft your Tweets to attract attention, but master it (heck, just moderately excel at it) and you’ll be surprised at how well it works.

Over a 90 day period, I post just 514 Tweets from content on this site (the smaller light blue circle).

 

Twitter traffic report: Twitter Card data from May 20 to Aug 19, 2015

 

Those tweets earned 44,617 impressions and 53 link clicks (the smaller circles)! My following at the time?  Roughly 2400-2600; a relatively small number by standards.

 

How Little Work Was Actually Involved?

Think about it.  Only 514 tweets over 90 days. That’s less than 6 per day!  Since my content was already written, all I did was leverage my previous work. My tweets came directly from work I already did.  Posting time? My Tweets were scheduled via Hootsuite‘s bulk scheduler reducing the actual time spent posting to maybe an hour one afternoon per week! (Not sure how to do this?)

Here’s a better graphic showing just how much value I received from only a handful of Tweets.  You can clearly see the number of impressions relative to the number of tweets.

 

Twitter traffic report: Twitter Card data from May 20 to Aug 19.2

 

Disclaimer:

Simply posting a handful of 100 -140 character snippets from your blog posts probably won’t drive the traffic you need but it will get you on the right track.  I’m actually tweeting 15+ times per day.  It’s the additional posting, the sharing content of others and being social, which has helped increase my following and build the great relationships which have contributed to my results.

Yes, it does mean more time posting, but since there is no stress on me to find or post content, I spend more time reading, engaging, being social and having fun.  That makes it easy and enjoyable to find a few minutes at various points during my day to Tweet. It’s actually time I look forward to having.  As an added bonus, it has made finding content almost effortless too! (Things tend to fall into your lap when you’re not really looking.)

The bottom line

Twitter is phenomenal for building relationships, creating visibility for you or your brand and driving traffic to your website.

If you’re not using it, why?

Facebook is Still Viable For B2B Lead Generation. Facebook might not be the best choice for your brand, but the decision as to whether it is shouldn't be based on the notion it can't or doesn't work for B2B firms.

Facebook Is Still Viable For Lead Generation (even for B2B)

Facebook Is Still A Viable For Lead Generation!

Updated July, 7, 2016:Facebook is a viable social channel for B2B

 

The original article below provides an excellent example of a Facebook post directly responsible for a lead.  To show this is not an isolated example, I caught (through social monitoring) a post I wrote and published for the same client on March 29th of 2016 generate a lead more than 3 months later!

 

What makes this example an even better testament to the value of Facebook:

  1. The link shared was NOT from my client’s website.
  2. The original post was not ‘boosted’ or part of a paid ad.
  3. The original post had very poor initial reach.

Facebook works.

 

Original article:

Yesterday I posted an article to Facebook for a B2B consulting client, Darling Geomatics. Do You Need Proof That Facebook Is Still Viable #PTFISV

It included a quick snippet, a link to an article run by the Sierra Vista Herald written about a particular project they recently completed and a thank you.  The post itself was completely non-promotiona.  No CTA. No “how could this help you?” Just a simple informational post.

After allowing the post to ‘run its course’ for a few hours, it was strategically (and inexpensively) boosted through targeting.  Just 20 hours later it has:

  • 44 likes
  • 2 shares
  • 5 comments
  • An organic reach of 404
  • A paid reach of 2851
  • Has generated 2 new likes

AND…….

  • It resulted in a request for services:

Do You Need Proof That Facebook Is Still Viable? #PTFISV. Facebook is still a viable channel for lead generation.

 

Keep in mind that this is for a local business with only 355 Likes prior to the post!

 

Why did this post work?

That’s hard to assess and on quite honestly know why. I’m not sure I could even duplicate it on purpose. It could simply have
been the right post, the right targeting, and some dumb luck.  The point though – social and specifically Facebook – can and do still generate direct leads and sales when used properly.

Without question Darling Geomatics’ approach to how they use Facebook  creates the foundation for such successes:

  • The strategy for the page (and all of their social profiles) is branding and to be informational and educational around their services, not promotional.
  • The content is quality.  Consistency and regularity may be critical but quality content still trumps both if you have a loyal following.
  • Following: It’s not bought. It’s been earned through what they post and their reputation. Page growth is primarily driven by offline channels.
  • Paid advertising (boosting) is limited and strategic.
  • Tactical engagement (how and when they engage)
  • It was posted based on the optimal time according to their insights and my experience monitoring when they see their best engagement, NOT at a time the ‘experts’ say is optimal.

 

Does Facebook generate leads for you?

Most overlook the platform, though, based on the notion it’s not where the decision maker is active.  There are 2 issues with the thought process.

First – you’re focused solely on the decision maker. Ever wonder who influences the decision maker? It could be a lower level manager, the office manager or even his or her spouse. Back in the day, to get in the door, I ‘sold’ the office manager. I let them sell the person controlling the checkbook. I focused on the influencer.

Second – Facebook, more so than any other platform, is a social destination. It’s where people go to hang out, keep up with friends and family and look for referrals/advice. Small business owners are present on the social media site. They’re employees certainly are.

 

A few final notes

  • Make sure you have a monitoring system in place or having a reputable firm doing it. Once a lead comes in, your timing in how it’s handled can make the difference between getting and losing the sale.  In this case, the comment was initially acknowledged and responded to within 38 minutes.  That allows time for a follow-up later without the client thinking they were ignored.
    .
  • While you should not look to social channels as a sales tool and not every post will perform this well, a good strategy, smart posting tactics (that do not revolve around ‘expert’ generalizations) and monitoring works.

Do You Need Proof That Facebook Is Still Viable #PTFISV #BeTactical

Did your brand benefit from the latest Facebook algorithm change, Tactical Social Media; #BeTactical

Facebook Algorithm Change (2015): Did Your Brand Benefit?

The 2015 Facebook Algorithm Change

Back in April, when Facebook updated its algorithm back in April (2015), rather than simply post what changed, I decided to break down what each change in the latest Facebook algorithm meant for brand pages. I stated at the time that “(f)or some brands, this latest Facebook algorithm change will be a major benefit” for brand pages who post good content, drive interaction and engagement with their fan base and are truly social will see big gains.”

Did your brand benefit from the latest Facebook algorithm change, Tactical Social Media; #BeTactical

My question two months later?  Did your brand actually benefit?  There is more than enough anecdotal evidence in my personal feed alone (backed up by page insights) to make some general conclusions regarding the impact of the latest change.  Brand pages who posted good content drove interaction and engagement with their fan base and were truly social saw big gains from April’s Facebook algorithm change.

I spent a good deal of time recently scrolling through my personal feed tallying posts and looking at the content and ‘publisher’.  Combined with the activity I’ve noticed on close to two dozen pages I manage/admin over the past couple of months, what I am seeing is a clear win for brand pages.

Recap: The three significant Facebook algorithm changes

 

Significant Facebook Algorithm Change:  Posts about friends liking or commenting on a page’s content will be pushed down the news feed.

The Anecdotal Evidence:  Just looking at my personal feed, posts about what my friends like and comment on is all but gone.  I ran through 25 posts (my feed is defaulted to ‘recent stories’) just yesterday afternoon and found only 1.  It was the first time in several weeks I can recall seeing stories about friends liking or even commenting on content from others.  I have seen more shares, however.  I posted previously that the removal of ‘like and comment’ stories could hurt brands (liking your own content, leveraging a few friends or ‘core fans’ to like posts for visibility was a short-term tactic many employed to get visibility) and this has proven to be the case.  The flip side – shared content is now more likely to be seen, even if it’s shared by someone who is constantly posting!

I do want to add for several pages I manage, comments on posts DO have a positive impact on reach.  I tracked a few posts over a 24 hour period, then commented as myself and tagged another individual to comment as well. Within a few hours, post reach tripled.  To avoid the possibility that the posts were already viral, relevant or otherwise ‘Top Stories’ I purposely posted at off times based on page insights and in some cases, content was truly irrelevant to the brand’s audience.  Most of the posts saw an initial reach of single digits or low double digits.

Since post reach is only a measure of how many see a specific piece of content in their feed either Facebook is choosing to show comments and likes at random, is counting views in the ticker as feed views, or quite possibly, Facebook is toying with ‘influencers’ and comments and likes by certain individuals affect what you see in your feed (similar to how your connections and influencers in Google+ affect SERPs).

 

Significant Facebook Algorithm Change:  Facebook will allow multiple content from individual publishers to show in your feed.

The Anecdotal Evidence:  In that same string of 25 posts I found one instance of multiple posts from the same author. This morning, with the next 25 posts I looked at, there were 3 by one author.  Over the past two weeks, I have consistently seen multiple content from individual publishers.

What makes what I’m seeing more impressive?  In many cases, it hasn’t just been multiple content from individual publishers.  It’s been multiple content from brand pages!

 

Significant Facebook Algorithm Change:  Trying to balance the content you see in the right mix.

The Anecdotal Evidence:  This one can be a little harder to quantify as I’m not sure if ‘content mix’ referred to brand vs individual, content type (video, link, image) or a combination.  I can tell you my feed is still more heavily video posts, but I am seeing more links and text only posts than previously.

Interesting note –  I’ve seen overall video views decrease for pages with smaller fan bases since the latest Facebook algorithm change.

With respect to individuals vs brands, I think Facebook has done a better job of showing a mix.  While I can run through my feed at any given time and only see a handful of brand page posts (2 in 25 as I am writing this) I have seen brand posts dominate my feed.  Remember that 25 post reference above? Fifteen of those 25 posts were from brand pages!

I’ve run a few tests purposely posting when I know certain fans are online and without prompting they’ve been liking that content.  Without question brand page posts are much more likely to show in feeds since the April Facebook algorithm update.  What I found most telling – I now see content from my own pages in my feed!

The Insights

Of course, anecdotal evidence only tells part of the story.  I pulled insights for posts on the Tactical Social Media brand page activity for January through April and then again for May through mid-July.

Tactical Social Media's Insights BEFORE the latest Facebook algorithm change in April of 2015; #BeTactical

There is a very noticeable spike in activity at the end of April, and while that level wasn’t sustained in later months, there was a noticeable increase in post engagement after the latest algorithm update.

Tactical Social Media's Insights AFTER the latest Facebook algorithm change in April of 2015; #BeTactical

To be fair, there are still plenty of low points (I do experiment with my own posting tactics) but there was clearly an increase in overall post engagement since algorithm update.  What stood out was the jump in posts seeing more than 10 points of engagement.

With only 149 fans on the page at this point and only a few increases per week, page likes didn’t contribute to the numbers and as I have generally only posted once daily over the past 6 months, the increases aren’t attributable to frequency.

The April 2015 Facebook algorithm change is a ‘win’ for brand page owners.

My Take

While this is not a real study by any means, the April 2015 Facebook algorithm change is a ‘win’ for brand page owners.  It isn’t, however, a return the ‘post it and they’ll see it days’ of the past.  I mentioned purposely posting content at odd times and of irrelevant content to limit reach – well, reach WAS limited.  While the change helps, “Brand pages who post good content, drive interaction and engagement with their fan base and are truly social will see big gains.”

Benefiting from the update still requires:

  • Posting timely, relevant and shareable content (#BeTactical)
  • Driving interaction and engagement, and being engaged (#BeSocial)
  • Posting timely – it’s critical you regularly monitor your insights to find the best times for you to post)
  • Posting consistently

.

The Latest Facebook Algorithm Change, April 2015: Facebook Organic Reach = (Quality Content + Post Timing) x Post Frequency + Engaged Fans; Tactical Social Media: a Tacoma, WA / South Sound Social Media Consulting Agency

Facebook Organic Reach = {(Quality Content + Post Timing) x Post Frequency} + Engaged Fans
Where Quality Content = Content x (Relevant + Timely + Sharable)
Where Engaged Fans = Active Fans / Total Fans

What’s Your Take?

Are you seeing more page stories in your personal feed?  Have you seen any increase in post reach?  Do you think the April 2015 Facebook algorithm change has helped?  If not, could it just be your content or posting strategy/tactics?