Make your business agile

Is Your Business Socially Agile?

Make your business agile

(Image Credit: tech-clarity.com)

Hello!

It’s almost the end of yet another year! As we reach the end of another year, businesses look back and see how they went the previous year. What worked, what didn’t and key takeaways from next year. We too are gearing up for a good 2015 and we have learnt a few lessons along the way.

Among other things; we have changed the way we work. Moving from time consuming, micromanaged, sequential projects to finding a more agile result oriented process.

Is your social media strategy agile? Are you spending too much time on your content marketing? Is SEO and SEM a distant possibility than an immediate task for your company?

Do you work an environment that values interactions and individuals over processes and tools? If you aren’t, it is time to rethink your strategy.

keep-calm-and-rethink-your-strategyMany businesses and entrepreneurs use different marketing and sales tactics to promote their business, gain customers and gain revenue. While social media and content marketing boost your company’s efforts; incorporating an agile marketing approach will take it to another level!

Agile-mindset-2 Time To adapt (Image credit:planit.net.au)

Don’t believe us?

Imagine this scenario- You come up with a concept for your business or you outsource it to an agency, after which work is initiated, consolidated, website design is complete, analysis is done and voila! Your project is signed, sealed and delivered! But after a year or so, you notice that it isn’t getting enough traction, your website has bugs and you need SEO, it’s too slow etc etc.

Sound familiar?

Now try this scenario- You, your team, outsourced agency or stakeholders sit together every morning for 15 minutes. No longer, and discuss these 3 questions.

  • What did we do yesterday?
  • What are we doing today?
  • What setbacks did we have?

Everyone has their say in regard to these questions and the day officially begins. It may sound like a wasteful exercise but really what you are doing is bridging the communication gap, addressing issues and creating a transparent work atmosphere. Who doesn’t’ like that?

You can make use of the SCRUM methodology which breaks down each project into smaller work modules, breaking the organization into smaller teams, break the time frame into shorter work cycles. Allowing room to revisit plans, rectify errors and optimize to deliver great results!

agile_development_value_proposition

(Image credit: empireone.com.au)

Make your social and content marketing agile:

Break the marketing team or social media team into smaller teams. If you already have a small team, simple assign roles and tasks differently.

  • One small team collects real time data about your company or various clients you work with social environment.
  • Another team of either 2 or more creates the content calendar , content across various platforms for your company or clients and deploys that content quickly
  • One more person then reacts to emerging conversations as they happen, tweet responses, or comment on the networks as they continue to happen
  • Collectively they all gather results and analyze at the end of the week
  • Next day- same 3 questions are addressed and issues are sorted, you stick to what is working and change what doesn’t.

Your manager will work as the Scrum master and ensure that everything happens seamlessly.

Scrum Technique Infographic(Image credit: Scruminc.com)

Why will this work for me?

Because your working cycle is not as long ensuring quick transition between phases or scrums, you are being responsive and approachable which is what social media is all about! All your team members are engaged and empowered to achieve results. Communication is happening every day between teams and stakeholders ensuring no gaps; issues are sorted then and there leading to high levels of productivity and results.

agile-marketing-cycle(Image credit: smashwords.com)

By incorporating an agile method; you understand your customers and the market as it keeps changing as well as you are relevant to your customer’s needs. Smaller , effective teams with distributed tasks or in this case product backlogs , testing can happen and you stick with what works and change what doesn’t before results get catastrophic.

Especially when it comes to testing your social media and content marketing strategy, you want to get your business up and running ASAP! Think of the time saved on implementing SEO or paid methods along with social and content marketing for various audiences.

Why don’t you try and incorporate an agile marketing structure for your business in the New Year!? Give it a burl for SEO and get your website noticed quickly!

Talk to an expert at Social Pandora to see how we can help you with your business today!

Have you tried an agile structure for your business? Let us know in the comments below!

-Social Pandora

 

MAKING SOCIAL SELLING WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS

 

 

The hot new buzzword on everyone’s lips is Social Selling. The tool that today’s sales people are using to become the top performers in their firm as well as get new clients through the door.

 

With the use of Social media; the way we connect with people has changed. Using social media to do business, plan our everyday lives, stay in touch with friends, try out new restaurants has become a way of life for us. In fact social media merges word of mouth advertising, selling and marketing beautifully. Social media marketing is so powerful that you can’t afford to miss out!

 

Word of mouth marketing has always been around much before social media. Neighbours would buy similar stuff; friends would seek advice from others on what to buy, where to go for a service, what recipe to try, all over a game or over a fence at the backyard. Today, we do the same thing, except that we use tools for it and seek out reviews on a global level. Advertisers too now know how to sell to you and the vital role that friends play in influencing your decision.

 

What is social selling and how do you make it work for your business?

 Social Selling is making use of social media to make your sales more effective. It’s using warm, conversations that are both inviting and engaging with mutual benefits to the company and clients over cold calling, knocking on people’s doors and talking about what you do and who you are.

It generates insights and information into what customers want and what decisions they are influenced by before they buy. It also helps build relationships, make better strategic deals and grow the brand.

Making Social Selling work for your business:

 Sure, you have tried cold calling and noticed that there are more people who say “Thanks but we’re not interested” than those who say “Sure! sounds interesting, come on over!”

Here are some tactics you can use for your business:

  1. Using social media tools like Google Alerts, Tweet deck, Radian6 etc. can give you real time insight into what your customers are talking about. You can then understand their needs, unmet demands in the market and leverage that information and use it for your business.
  2. If your customers are not using social media, find out what’s being said about the industry in general. Check out some reviews and understand the customer’s point of view.
  3. Use social CRM tools that allows you to capture user’s Twitter profiles, contact details, details of a consumer or user-anything that is publicly available.
  4. Dig a little deeper: Understand whom you are selling to. Who are the key people involved to seal the deal? Who are their customers? What are the customers talking about? What is the level of engagement that they have? What contacts do your contacts have?

With so much information up your sleeve, you can now make a pitch that doesn’t always talk about ‘YOU’ but rather ‘THEM’. You can tell them how you can solve their issues and how you can help them. Doesn’t that sound better? It’s a serious competitive advantage!

 

  1. Make use of communities & blogs– read other people’s blogs, reviews, and any visual media they have shared and connect with them. You can also use LinkedIn to connect to vendors; participate in LinkedIn groups and find new prospects!
  2. Set up Social Media Monitoring tools like Radian6, Buzznumbers, and Google Alerts to get active updates on the industry, your customers and potential influencers.
  3. Create your own Blog and Social Media Channels: In order to be successful at social selling, you must have a strong brand yourself. The company you are selling and sourcing for must develop strong connections. You must also develop the knack of story telling and increasing your social influence score. Also include a ‘subscribe to the company blog or RSS feed’ icon on your website.
  4. Identify competitor moves: We all want to be ahead of the pack but finding an advantage amongst the various players in the market is challenging. If you were using traditional methods of sales and marketing, you’d know as soon as there is a new ad, press release or  product on the shelf! But now, you can anticipate your competitor’s moves by using social media monitoring tools. You can find that perfect opportunity to gain an edge over your competitors that you may have otherwise not known about!
  5. Prevent Customer Retaliation: By using these tools, you can avoid customer’s negative feedback by finding solutions to the problems they have mentioned. Doing a sentiment analysis will help you understand their emotions in regard to your product or service or your competitors products.

 

If you’re a stockist or distributor, you can understand which products to stock up on and which ones to drop. Imagine having all that shelf space for products that sell quicker!

With so many benefits to using social selling over traditional selling and cold calling, you can find opportunities everywhere! It’s time to embrace the new buzzword and make it work for you!

You can set up the tools and make it work for you and your sales team or you can give us a call and we can do it for you! You get all the information you need right in your inbox!

Talk to us now and let us know how you can make social selling work for your business! What tools do you use?

Join us for the conversation on #socialpandora

 

 

 

Putting the success back into your social media campaign!

Putting the success back into your social media campaign!

2 Part series

 PART 1

 

Putting success back into your social media campaign

(Image via http://www.switch-magazine.net)

 

By now you’ve run a campaign or two across a few social media platforms and you are noticing people take note of your brand; what you have to offer and maybe even dropped by your office! While all these are great signs of progress; you still need to measure how well that progress has been. Measuring the campaign will tell you where you’ve been successful and where you can improve.

 

At the start, you would have set goals for your campaign, the number of followers, fans you want, the levels of engagement for your campaign etc. so when you measure your results, you will have two kinds of analytics –ongoing analytics and campaign focused analytics to focus on. Measuring the success of your social media campaign is not very different from you measuring the success of your marketing efforts. You will still see where your customers are from, how many times the ad or campaign on TV and social media was clicked; what do they like, socio- economic and cultural backgrounds etc.

 

As marketers, we are all on a mission to be better than our competitors, out-think others, deliver better products and services and track our efforts.

Ongoing analytics are those that you will keep tracking over time. These are necessary to understand the trend; the peaks and pulses about your brand and that of the competition over a period of time. To do this, you need to set up brand tracking and check the results every now and then.

Campaign metrics will measure the results of your targeted marketing activities or campaigns. These can also vary from campaign to campaign and depend upon the goals you set.

To get the best possible results, you will need a combination of both

So without further ado; here’s a list of what you should be measuring

1.Measure your social media listening activities: If you aren’t listening as part of your campaign, you’re missing out on the conversations people are having about your brand. When you do listen you gain insights into your brand

How engaged are your target audience?

What customer support issues are they happy with?

What customer support need gap can be filled?

Are there any changes to your product or service you need to make?

Performance management?

 social media listening

(Image via www.leadformix.com)

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”– Stephen R.Covey

Use listening tools to understand how many people you’re helping through your campaign, are your fan followers increasing, etc. prioritize the points and use the information gathered to make changes to your business.

 

2. Measure Growths and Reach:

 

 

 

Measuring social media growth

                  (Image via http://www.marketingzen.com)

 

How healthy is your growth rate? Watch for a steady increase in the number of your fans, followers and subscribers. We also like to club growth, reach, volume, exposure under one metric- Awareness-how far is your message spreading?

3. Engagement: Are your followers interested in what you post? Do they comment? Interact? Maybe even poke, write an LOL? Well that’s great! It’s exactly what you need! It cannot get any easier really, just monitor the quick interactions to your channel- starting with how many likes, shares, +1’s, comments, retweets, mentions repins etc. Always set a target and then work your way up to measure the targets on a bi=weekly or monthly level. See how far your interactions increase, decrease or remain neutral. The idea is to keep increasing but also maintaining a good engagement level.

 

(PART 2 CONTD ..)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Content Marketing Forecast for 2014 that you should know about !

The Content Marketing Forecast for 2014 that you should know about !

 

What you should know for your Business

What you should know for your Business

(Image via submitedge.com)

 Content Marketing has definitely come a long way! Something that began as a niche strategy has quickly grown to become one of the dominant methods of attracting meaningful and good leads. Harnessing the power of words, or images or videos is essential for building long-term success and an online presence.

 

So here’s a gist of what we believe are trends for this year and where it is headed!

content-marketing- has to be Original and valuable

 (Image via siliconangle.com)

 Did you know that 92% of marketers are using content marketing? According to infinigraph.com 2014, is all about going beyond experimenting to full content marketing integration and executions.

 

Instead of arguing about its significance and wondering what strategies to follow and the budgets to go along with it, this will be the year where you will need to have your content marketing strategies organized and in place.

 

58% of B2B and 60% of B2C marketers will increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months. That being said, companies need to become aware of the importance of content marketing so that CFO’s can make investments in solid content strategies; meaning creating more positions and teams that are dedicated to creating great content. Without a good strategy in place, results won’t be as effective for every aspect of content marketing

 

Online Marketers have seen an explosion of how people are accessing the web via their mobile devices. From when they wake up until their heads hit the pillow at night, people are on their phones. So why shouldn’t marketers take advantage of this trend and offer consistent and effective content that is accessible on not just mobiles but also tablets? – Trend to look out for is Multi-screens

 

Marketing needs to be Integrative – it’s not enough to just simply focus on content marketing or social media marketing but to take a holistic view of online marketing in general. Connecting e-mails, content and social media would do a lot to promote the brand and to build relationships.

 

 

New SEO –Google’s new algorithm Hummingbird, delivers better results based on the way we speak, so you will now need better and greater content. This update means better use of grammar, synonyms and words that deliver results.

 

Content Curation:  As more content is being churned out everyday, 2014 will see a greater need of efforts to organize all the information into relevant and better ways for audiences to absorb them- like Custom Timeline in Twitter to tweet about a specific topic or event or LinkedIn Showcase pages that allows brands to segment content for audiences based on different aspects of their business.

 

Providing value and quality content:  The overall quality of content will grow more than ever this year and as more people consume this content; brands and marketers will step up their game by integrating photos, videos, journalism and innovative story telling into their strategies.

 

So it’s time to get your Business on board and incorporate these into your strategy!

What are your content trends for 2014? What do you think people should include into their content strategy?

 

Let us know!

 

-Social Pandora

 

 

 

 

What Leadership Lessons Can Businesses Learn From Sports?

leadership and sports(Image by WeSEE)

 In light of Sachin Tendulkar’s recent retirement, dozens of articles, posts, Tweets have spread all over the web, about his skills as a cricketer, his career moves and more so his leadership skills. Businesses have over the years had a fascination with sports. What are the sports stars like? How do they motivate themselves to play their best at every game? How do they do so well when faced with adversity?

We’ve known of a lot of companies who have inspirational sessions with these sports players, athletes and their teams to understand how these sporting legends do what they do. In fact running a business and playing a sport aren’t that different from each other. People learn to play a sport, as early as 4 years old and more often than ever, this sport will change them, mould them to be who they are today. Lessons we can apply to every day life. Fierce competition, dedication, courage, passion, teamwork, winning by the slimmest of margins, establishing short term and long term goals, strategies to achieve targets, hard work, dealing with success and recovering from failure in the same breath- all of these are prevalent in both worlds and will shape you as a human being.

What do these sports stars do? Have you noticed that after they retire, most sportsmen make good businessmen?

Here are  our top 15 tips to shape your business to success

  1. Always project a positive attitude: Having positive mental attitude increases self-esteem, self – confidence promotes self worth, and you gain greater self-control and are less likely to be affected by stress. During a peak performance, winners are free from anxiety, they are relaxed and alert. Try using this (Source: Richard F. Gerson) to help you focus and stay ahead.

F– Focus

I-Imagine

R-Relax

E– Execute

2. Set goals after careful planning and setting: Goals aren’t just action oriented but also outcome oriented. Setting short term, mid term and long term goals will help you plan for each stage and adapt to changes, if any. Don’t forget to make them S.M.A.R.T.

3.Develop mental toughness and strength. The stress caused by the expectation of success can be huge; overwhelming and definitely daunting. Performing well under such circumstances would mean to train your mind to relax; focus on the task at hand and performing in front of customers, bosses, suppliers etc. train your mind by removing negative thoughts and replacing it  with positive outcomes.

4. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: Intrinsic motivation comes from the inherent ability of a person to perform simply because they love what they are doing. Extrinsic motivation may include monetary rewards, holidays, incentives etc. You need both for success but you can’t achieve it without being intrinsically motivated.

5.Visualization and Imagery: Heard of a visual board? When your mind believes something it sees, the body achieves it. Create visual boards that help you visualise your goal. Every day you’re one step  closer to achieving it!

6.Learning continuously: In order to succeed, you are always expected to expand your minds and think laterally. Read, attend webinars, and learn on the job. Seek out your mentors or coaches. Continuous learning will not only broaden your thinking capacity, but will always ensure that you are in tune with what’s happening around the world and make you prepared.

7.Learn to Manage stress: it’s very hard to accomplish tasks without the stress of the job, but managing it is imperative. If you do you’re more likely to be alert, confident, insightful, creative and goal oriented. If most employees in an organization are able to manage stress efficiently, you’ll have increased levels of productivity, effective time management and improved decision making skills.

8.Maintain good health and well being

9.Provide continuous engagement:

What leaders do different

(Image by WeSEE)

10.                 Treat everyone as Equals:  In a sports team, everyone is equal and is addressed in the same way. Likewise, treat each member of your team the same way. Never play favourites.

11.Don’t dwell on Mistakes:  Making mistakes is part of the job and it is what will make you prepared as you progress further. But dwelling on the mistakes will make you lose confidence, and will lower your productivity.

12.Involve Everyone- make them feel a part of the same team

13.Communicate Effectively

14.Practice Performing Under pressure: What were the triggers for great performance before? Or what were the reasons for poor performance? Track your pattern so that you’re ready for when it happens again. Doing this will help you perform better the next time. Pressure and stress are good so long as it motivates you and keeps you alert, not if it affects you mentally and physically.

15.Work hard and be Persistent in your efforts.

What it means to be a leader(Image by WeSEE)

Leaders aren’t born but are made. “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders and not followers”- Ralph Nader

These top tips are what we have learnt observing sports legends and athletes and how you can implement them in your business.

What tips do you use that you’ve learnt from playing a  sport?

-Social Pandora

20 tips to bringing in Traffic to your Blog and getting seen!

Driving traffic to your blog(Image source: WeSEE)

Personal or otherwise, blogging is in demand. Businesses blog to drive traffic to their website, inform, educate an audience as part of their blogging strategy. But it’s not easy to gain a large set of followers right away, and we often find that the followers are mostly not from the region that you want them to be such as from specific regions like Melbourne for example.

 

The Blogosphere is a big and busy world with over 100 million blogs and growing! So how exactly do you attract visitors to your blog? If you’re a small business, we’ve got some tips for you!

 

Here is our top 20 Tips to drive traffic to your blog:

 How to increase Blog traffic

 (Image via :WeSEE)

 

  1. Build a large following on Twitter
  2. Link your Twitter account to your profile
  3. Increase your likes on Facebook
  4. Link your blog to Facebook
  5. Create effective and varied content–  The content should provide value to your readers. Does your blog provide answers to solutions? or answer queries? or inform them about different topics.
  6. Create a list post of your best articles: They provide variety and an opportunity for new readers to click through further on your blog. Plus it allows you to show some of our well read classic posts
  7. Write as often as you can! – Frequently blogging is the first step to building your blog’s audience. It’s because of the content you write that will keep readers coming back for more.
  8. Harness the power of comments: Commenting is a simple yet effective way to increase your blog’s traffic. Responding to comments on your blog shows that you value their opinions and draws them into a 2-way conversation. This is sure to increase the reader’s loyalty.

Leave comments on other blogs too to drive new traffic to your blog. But remember to leave meaningful comments that will get people to engage in conversations

9.Tag your posts: Adding tags to your posts will increase the traffic to your blog instantly. Search engines easily notice tags, and it makes it easier for people to find your blog.

10. Share your content on smaller networks too

11. Create a 6 second preview of your post using Vine (we got this idea from Social Media Examiner) What a great way to give viewers a teaser about what your blog post is about!

12. Build an email subscriber list

13. Include multiple locations for people to subscribe to

14. Include an RSS feed option

15. Make use of Twitter’s ‘Promoted accounts ‘ and Facebook ads to drive traffic to your blog

16. Emulate the strategies of top influential bloggers

17. Participate in LinkedIn groups and get a conversation going

18. Make use of Google+ Hangouts for all trending topics

19. Create a Slideshare overview of your post. Pam Moore (of the Marketing Nut) shows the cross- promotional opportunities between Slideshare and her Blog. We think it’s a great idea!

20. Make use of Instagram and Pinterest to promote posts.

So here’s our handy list. If you have used some or all the methods above, how have they worked for you?

 

This week, we’re asking our followers to tell us what they’d like us to write about, so write in the comments below and we’ll get cracking on it!

 

Enjoy your day at the races tomorrow! We know it’ll be a blast!

 

-Social Pandora