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

 

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Putting the success back into your social media campaign! PART 2

 

(PART 2 CONTD…)

 

Every industry is different, so try being in the required range for your industry. All this does is to help gauge your scores.

 

Ford’s Global Head of Social Media –Scott Monty also suggests using a tiered point system in place rather than looking at how many likes you have. It’s a simple yet effective strategy to use. You can measure the response to your efforts on any social media channel you use.

 

Here’s how it works (Source: Socialmediaexaminer.com)

If you’re launching a product or a service, you want to generate a buzz about it on Facebook. You post an update to your page about your launch and get a few likes on it. The next day, post a different update, get likes on it and you begin to see people engaging with the post. Shares are more valuable than likes or comments because that update is moved to another page, which increases your reach.

 

At the beginning of your campaign, translate your objective into a numeric goal. Then, use the tiered point system to weight different types of engagement according to what is valuable to you.

 

For ex: (For Facebook)  -Likes- 1 point each

Comments- 5 points each

Shares- 10 points each

During the campaign, a quick sum of values will help you determine if your efforts are paying off. You can create similar systems for any of the social media channels.

 

4. Visibilities and Brand Perception:

 

 

visibility

 (Image via www.xeus.co.uk)

Social media monitoring tools will provide you data on your brand, your products to see who’s talking about you , how, why,where from? The key to getting good scores here is to add tonnes of value for your customers. Gradually build it up and then begin to sell and then measure. Building relationships with customers is vital, and this is the best way to get there.

 

How do your numbers compare to your expectations? How have you fared with respect to your industry?

 

5. Measure traffic to your website:

Link each social media channel to your website; then track which of them send the most and the best traffic to your site. Track URL shares, click conversions, what do they do once they’re on your site?

6. Audit, Adjust, Repeat:

Review your measurement program periodically. Always include benchmarks or competitor information so that your stakeholders will understand how well you have fared.

It also helps to include visual representations of your data to describe your readings better. Editing and improving your measurement program will help you rectify errors if any. Enter new metrics, you may have missed before and alter content that is needed to help achieve your goals.

 

And. That’s it! 6 super simple steps to show your stakeholders the money! Soon enough you will be raking in results! We hope this gives you ideas on how you can simply measure your social media campaigns and do so without all the expensive tools!

But, hey, if it’s a little too much to do in too little a time, give us a call! We’d do all the hard work for you!

Let us know how you go! What do you think? Can some of the above-mentioned strategies improve the effectiveness of your campaign?

 

-Social Pandora

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 ..)

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you need to know to be a successful entrepreneur

Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you “ – Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

 

Mark Zucherberg, Richard Branson, Reggie Brown, Evan Spiegel are all names you’ve heard of or even people who you’ve looked up to. Entrepreneurs come in different shapes and sizes, educational and economic backgrounds but there’s not many things that are common except for the passion, perseverance, never say die attitude and the ability to take risks that comes with the job.

In order to get to where they are, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ve faced hardships, made numerous mistakes, and tried various things before they perfected their business.

 

The difference between most entrepreneurs, you will notice is their attitude. Either to persevere or to give up when faced with adversity, to not let competition pull you down or shut shop when there are a few bad reviews. It takes a lot more to be a good entrepreneur.

 

What makes them successful?

 They:

  1. Figure out what they want to do; and take baby steps towards their goal
  2. Pause in-between steps to see how far they’ve come and reassess their next step. It’s more a routine of Act.Pause.Learn.Pause.Build.Pause.Repeat
  3. Deal with uncertainty and contingency by experience and not just theoretical plans that have been put in place.
  4. Put yourself out there and try new things and at some point you will figure out what you’re good at and stick to it.
  5. See over every detail of your business. It’s good to look at the big picture but also the smaller details. Especially the case when you’re just starting out.
  6. Never give up-No matter what! They’ll always be moments that bring you down, leave you faithless and competitors will try to cut you off. But, remember why you started your business and stick to it.
  7. Get out of your comfort zone– It’s important to stay scared in the beginning. Some call it staying hungry and some call it staying scared. Either way, the sentiment’s bottom line is the same. Which is to use it as an important motivator.  Go outside of your comfort zone, learn to survive, grow and evolve.
  8. Create what the market needs: This is an important thing you will find most entrepreneurs doing. There are a lot of people with a lot of ideas out there but not every idea is a lucrative business to pursue. If you begin with a current market need, you have a market that is already present with the people who need what you have.
  9. Don’t begin by thinking you will be rich and famous: Believe it or not, entrepreneurs don’t’ have money, success or fame as their goal but rather the by-product.  They begin by working on their product or service, perfecting it until they’re the best at it. The fame, fortune and success will follow on it’s own.
  10. Push yourself harder
  11.                   Learn to finance your business well: Begin with sufficient financing before you move on
  12.        Manage your time well: Remember that time is money
  13.               Learn to function as teams and play to everyone’s strengths
  14.                   Turn Obstacles into assets
  15.                 Learn to say ‘NO’ when the need arises. It’s essential to say no to some great ideas in order to get to the brilliant ones.

 

“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”—Thomas Edison, General Electric Co-founder

 

 We hope that these 15 tips from successful entrepreneurs and business owners will help motivate you and give you  the ideas you need to keep surging ahead.

 

“Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” —Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder

There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.” —Jason Fried, 37signals founder

What tips do you use for your business? Let us know!

-Social Pandora

 

20 + Creative ideas for Social Media Marketing

creativity in social media(Image via WeSEE.com)

 If you’re a small or medium sized enterprise, churning out content everyday can be monotonous and most often, you find that you need to shake things up a bit to get your page noticed.

 

93% of businesses are currently leveraging social media to gain more customers, acquire new businesses deals or to build brand loyalty. So if you need to stand out from the competition and effectively attract customers and other businesses, you need creative social media content. So here are our top tips to get you started!

 

  1. Share your experience:Share your experience

 (Image via @brainwaves-ni.org)

 

While a lot of information can be got over the Internet, you’re more likely to get heard when you share your experience. It could be anything- A problem you solved, an issue you faced, tips etc. It helps to build relationships and find other like minded people to share expert tips with.

2.   Post a Photo and ask your fans what they think it could be- Our Mystery Photo round !
Help create a sense of excitement with your brand.

3.    Caption this- National Geographic on their Facebook channel does this beautifully and it gets high engagement too! Post a photo and ask your fans to caption it or what they think it represents. It’s perfect for increasing engagement and you get an idea what your audience are like.

4.   Share a Video- Videos are the most shared form of content and gets maximum attention in the social media world! So share a video of your own or something that interested you. It’s good to cross promote too !

5.   Where’s Waldo or the picture hunt-  Post a photo and ask your fans to find any of your brand items, raw materials, finished products etc. It’s fun and gets people to participate!

6.   “I spy something with my  little eye”  – Similar to the picture hunt but you can give them specific things to look for in the picture rather than looking for random things in the picture.

7.   Change the Profile picture and Cover photo:  Spice it up with different pictures to keep the page active. Keep coming up with creative images that reflect your brand’s vision.

8.   Share Funny Stuff- Photos of your office fun, videos you stumble upon from the web, funny images etc. Humour always works well on social media and it helps to lighten the posts for the day.

9.   Share 2-3 pictures and ask which of them your fans like best -It garners interesting responses and provides good insights to what your audience likes.

10.                Riddle me this!

 

riddles for creative social media marketing

(Image via Bubbleviews.com)

 Ask a Riddle or ask them to unscramble a word Jumble-Break the monotony of posts with this fun game!

11. Create a teaser campaign: When you want to test a thought that hasn’t quite made it big as yet, create a teaser and keep referring to it in your posts to gather curiosity and to build conversations about the topic or thought. You will know what works , how to change anything or how to make it better.

12.Create a ‘ Behind the Scenes’ video series: Use a smartphone or tablet to record your own ‘behind the scenes’ video to show what you’re working on (outlines, schedules, raw materials and so on). Remember to keep it short and sweet!

13.Share your ideas on a new marketing plan or campaign idea and ask your audience what they think of it. What  better way to find out what they really like?

14.                Did you know’?  Fun fact or Trivia- Each week post a fun fact or trivia, a small way to merge education and entertainment don’t you think?

15.                Share inspirational quotes- Short Inspirational quotes to motivate your fans during the week.

16.                Share Live testimonies: Share the testimonies your clients, fans or friends have of you and your work. Show your fans what you’re like!

17.                Fill in the blanks:

 

I prefer ______________________ to chocolate. A once a week post to build engagement and personalize with your fans.

18.                Provide Expert or Handy tips –

19.Pin it to win it! A contest that works like this. Ask your fans to follow you on Pinterest and repin photos from your board named ‘Brand X’s Pin it to win it Board’ and a #BrandXpinittowinit and get fans to participate from across your social media channels. Choose a winner at the end and offer them a prize.

20.                Offer a Facebook Fan’s only offer

21.                Ask me anything day!- A chance for your fans to ask you questions on that particular day every week. A chance to give them hands on advice, tips, lessons etc

22.                Fact or Myth? Works similar to Did you know? at no 14

23.                Use the ‘Coming Soon’ Message across all your social media channels to let your audience know that something exciting is about to happen!

 

Try these handy tips and get more followers and build relationships with your fans on all your channels!

 

Let us know how it works! What creative ideas do you use on your campaign?

-Social Pandora

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Content Curation for Google Plus

content curation(Image via WeSEE)

Howdy!

You might be sitting in front of your computer tapping way fervently at the keyboard creating posts, articles, tweets or status messages for your different profiles or you could be staring into space wondering what to say! (You’re not alone) and we know that it’s not easy. We’ve got a few pointers that might help you. While we’ve written posts on how to create content on Twitter (Applicable to Facebook too) this one is a post focusing on using Google+ page for curating content.

Simple and effective steps to creating content that saves time and adds value to your business page. In the last post; we compared Facebook and Google+ and found that Google+ is the second biggest social networking platform to have a presence on.

Google+ can be used because of the following advantages:

  1. Easy to use, easy to create a page and if you so choose, you can assign multiple people to manage the page and then assign different responsibilities for each.
  2. The layout is easy on the eye and allows for rich media and attractive images.
  3. Integrated Hashtag function
  4. Its seamless integration with all things Google, YouTube and Picasa (If you have a Picasa account)
  5. Users can comment and recieve notifications when there’s new content
  6. Video hangouts for multiples people
  7. A Google + page can be connected to your website and blog
  8. No paying to promote your posts!
  9. Google + allows for indexing, gaining page rank and authority which will help it’s performance in search results

A Google Plus page will need a personal account to log in, making you the face of the brand as opposed to just having a brand page sharing the content.

Discovering content:

Like other networks, you can collect and curate content from sites like Scoop.itCurata , Bagtheweb, Curationsoft , Bundlr.com or alternatively from Blogs, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  You can also use tools like Sproutsocial and Hootsuite.com to post content on Google plus page. So if you are connected to your Twitter account and your Google plus page, you can cross- post it.

HINT: When you’re browsing for cool content, save to Pocket and Evernote and use it for posts later.

Make use of communities:

These are organized around interests or particular topics.  You will notice that when you search or post about a particular topic, you will find discussions being made around it.  That’s a great way to find content as they would have done the discovery for you and you’ll have a wide range of perspectives.

Make use of circles:

You can organize people into different circles such as customers, influencers, or a reading circle or even subscription circles. As you find others who post regularly on certain topics, you can put them into the corresponding circle and share the content. Better still if they belong to a community, join it for more content.

Creating circles also lets you target your messaging to share the right things to the right audience. It’s a simple drag and drop process, all you have to do is follow the user and then pull their icon into the circle of your choice.  You can additionally also see which users have added you to their circles under the ‘Added you’; as a user needs to be following you before any content can be shared with them.

Make use of search:

Create Hashtag and keyword searches for curating topics of interests. You can also search for conversations by typing either your name or the other user’s name, and Google + will return every single post that you’ve both interacted on. Use the ‘More’ drop down at the top of the search results to filter the post types.

Use Google Ripples to locate your shares, see who has shared your post or URL and how many times, and the comments they’ve made.

Crafting Content:

Google + posts should have a Title, some description and attribution to the author. If you want to mention someone either to cite them or for attribution, you can use the G+ compose box or use their Google plus ID proceeded by a ‘+’ symbol. Add relevant Hashtags to make your post searchable and spend time to look up the author of a post on Google+ for trackbacks.

Here are 5-steps by Stephan Hovnanian to rock your attribution and citations

  1. Write your blog post like you normally would and link to the relevant content
  2. Go to G+ and find the profile of the author of the posts you’re linking to.
  3. Go back to your blog post and link to their profile in a citation next to their link. This creates a back-link to their Google profile.
  4. Publish your blog post
  5. Share your blog post on Google Plus

For sharing, you can either schedule it post it straight away on Google+

Building Followers:

Google+ is the ideal platform for establishing yourself as an authority on a subject matter.

  1. Share the business page to your personal profile with a gist of what it’s about. This helps build trust and have a face that people can relate to.
  2. You can re-share your business page’s posts to your personal profile- Just include a ‘+’ mention of the page, your own follower base will re-share the content.
  3. Shared circles- Look for users who might be interested in your topic and add those people to your page’s circles to share their content and they could follow you back!
  4. Interact with those who interact with your page-   Always thank them for commenting on your posts. You could use your personal profile or the business page to respond but use your personal profile more as its more personal and makes it easier to manage notifications afterwards.

Although this is how to get your business page out there, making it successful will require continuous refinement on how you want to engage with your subscribers. Authenticity and attribution always work well on Google+.

Be sure to provide content on specific topics your audience or subscribers are interested in or if they see content that they aren’t keen on they might just leave you or your page from their circles.

One of the downsides of posting on Facebook and Twitter is that you can’t control the font. You can’t make words bold, you can’t strike-through, and you can’t put words in italics. However, you can do this on Google+, which means you can get very creative with your posts.

Check out this infographic by Big Mouth Media, on how to format your fonts and make them more interesting.

Get creative with your Google+ posts

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.