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

The 10 essential but lesser known social media tools that you should know about

Social media tools that aren't well known but are great (Image via Dreamstime)

 

The social media landscape is changing rapidly and we’re sure that by now, you’ve hopped on the bandwagon too. Every company, agency, or person uses their own set of social media tools to get the most out of their business. But we’ve got a few tools we use and think that they’re great! Although some are in beta or aren’t as well known you might find that they do wonders for your business!

 

Here are our top 10 tools that got our attention and will get yours too!

 

  1. Mention – A tool that replaces Google Alerts for capturing mentions, social media monitoring, it is really easy to use with great functionality. It also has simple controls to turn specific sources off with emails that take you straight to the source!
  2. Editflow– A WordPress plugin that allows you to manage your editorial team seamlessly. It gives you custom statuses, a calendar, editorial comments etc. This tool makes it easy to collaborate with your teams and is especially useful for those with many blogs.  If it’s a single tool you’re looking for to manage your accounts, this one is for you
  3. Tweetreach – Another great tool to see how far your tweets travel and how effective your tweets are. Who doesn’t want that!
  4. Addvocate– A social sharing tool for employees in your company. All you have to do is install a simple browser plugin that allows them to receive recommendations and to recommend content to the marketing or social media team.  You can get detailed statistics showing which employees are sharing content and how many clicks you get.
  5. Argylesocial.com– Perfect for team- based collaboration, publishing and merging social media with your business. A dashboard that allows you to monitor Facebook and Twitter, delegate tasks to your team. It’s easy to use and has easy reporting of your social media efforts. It is your go to tool if you are a social media manager or a client or agency to prove to your management that your social media campaign is paying off.
  6. Crowdbooster– This is a highly recommended tool for many. It offers social media analytics with suggestions to help improve your online presence. You get a bird’s eye view of analytics, audience insights and content schedules.
  7. Swayy – Swayy helps you discover the most engaging content to share with your audience. The articles are right in front of you as a dashboard and you can share articles across multiple platforms. Plus you can schedule them too!
  8. Twitter Search: A lot of people love this , in fact it’s one of Chris Brogan’s favorite tool. Most of us use this tool but here are a few tips on how to make the most of it (Source: Kissmetrics) Use Twitter to uncover top trending topics– by using the  -rt filter:links  code. So if you’re looking for “Social Media –rt filter:links” , the code will remove all retweets.

Find out who’s talking about you– what conversations are you in, or are you not involved in. Just use the search string. X-to:x-from :x-@x  replace x with your name. Ex: CoolEgg-to: CoolEgg-from: CoolEgg-@CoolEgg

 

Track multiple profiles– search using to: plus your twitter handle. For example; to: Patel plus your other Twitter handles.

 

Follow conversations about your competitors- Search with to: competitor or from: competitor. Replace competitor with their Twitter handle.

 

See pictures with trending topic– search for these using the string ‘trending topic twitpic/post.ly/twitgoo filter: links

 

Twitter search is also great for finding topics to blog about.

9. Traackr.com – A simple way to find and follow influential people in your space. Identify the authorities in your industry and watch how they respond and contribute to content that is shared. It’s great for agencies or brands who want to build their campaign.

10.Tagboard We saw Kim Garst talk about it and decided to try it out. It is fantastic! It monitors hashtag searches across multiple social media channels. You can check specific hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+ and create a custom board filled with content from across all platforms. It is useful for brand monitoring for your own or your competitor’s brands and content curation for a specific hashtag. You can also reply to the conversations right from within Tagboard.

These are our recommendations for you to try out; integrate them into your plan and see how it works for you!

Tell us your views of the tools and if you use any that is not as well known as the other social media tools.

 

-Social Pandora

 

Lucky Number 27!

Don’t you just love the world we live in?

Things change faster than a girl changes her hair color. From using social media as an after dinner activity, it’s progressed to being something of a necessity. One that we can’t do without anyway!

No, we’re not obsessed with it but just having it is such a good thing! There are a lot of social media platforms out there and with more coming out everyday! So how do we chose amongst the ones that are already there? If you’re relatively new to using social media it can be daunting to get your head around it. So we have broken it down to the essential 27, across different platforms that are good to get you started, up and running in full swing.

Whether it’s for business – needing to market your company , personal branding, reputation management or just  plain networking; you need the right set of tools and resources to get you through it.

With the wave of websites, apps,tools ,blogs & resources to choose from, here is the list of our favorites that we use and recommend to get you accustomed to this wonderful social media world.

1.Blogging and Blog comments:

It’s a no brainer but  we love WordPress because of it’s flexibility, user friendly interface and it’s a good beginning for low cost users. There are over 200 themes to choose from for a unique blog design without all the ground work ! You can start using WordPress.com or WordPress.org for self hosting. WordPress allows you to import from other blogging sites too.

2. You can also use Themefuse for a varied range of WordPress themes as well as packs including domains and hosting.

Okay, So to manage comments on blog posts, Disqus    is a good tool as it makes commenting easier, works with many different platforms like Tumblr,Blogger, Drupal etc however it doesn’t always work with other plug-ins.

3. Twitter Tools:

You will need tools to manage and control the tweets, here are some that we recommend.

Socialoomph – Professional edition. This tool does the scheduling and publishing of tweets, recurring tweets , auto follow back, tracking keywords among others. All time saving options

Tweetdeck – For serious tweeting!  It is invaluable for updating Twitter,Facebook and LinkedIn Simultaneously. schedule tweets,arrange feeds – the works basically!

Tweepi – Manage and grow your twitter account- with statistics.

Twitterfeed Have blog content to share? This little wonder allows you to share bloggers content without having to manually tweet your latest blog posts. It’s handy when you want your content to be available to your twitter followers too.

TwitterCounter Want to be Mr Popular? This tool allows you to see how many twitter followers you have from  as far back as 6 months ago to a month ago and compare with other users you like! Nifty huh?!

Tweetadder Twitter marketing and promotion is done best with this tool! All within the rules of twitter

Tweetcaster   for adding photos, unique profile view, send tweets to Facebook, operate multiple accounts -all with this app.

4. Facebook  Tools:

If you’re not on Facebook, get in there now! It’s the biggest social network to be on. Apart from networking , Facebook allows you to have business pages as well

Shortstack If you’re not a programmer and you want custom Facebook pages, this is the tool for you. Customize your page with promotions, videos, contests etc.

5. Virality and Search

SEO- Google Analytics  one of the best tools that is not only free but also excellent at measuring phrases that drive traffic to your site.

Google Adwords-Keywords tool- Also free, it tells you what keywords potential customers are looking for as well as the level of demand for those words.

Topsy – Virality, Tracking , Social listening all rolled into one. it also has great metrics. Find a tweet that your competitor has sent and check how many times it was Retweeted! ( Cool ain’t it ?) great data analysis tool

6 .Photos

When using social media, it is vital to have striking images or photos. they are great for traffic building and conversation generators. So here are our recommendations

Flickr- Access free photos under a creative common license. The pictures are varied and of great quality

ShutterStock -Absolutely wonderful collection of images and photos- but they don’t come free

Big Stock photo– Perfect for high definition photos that has a paid service.

Skitch- Who doesn’t love a little photo manipulation, and if you’re not a Photoshop whiz  you will love this tool. It’s great for saying a lot through it’s annotation and shapes

7.Tracking

Bitly – this is very good at tracking  and analytic , apart from being a URL shorten-er. Add “+” at the end of any bit.ly URL to see how many times it’s been clicked on , and by whom. Pretty neat eh?!

Source metrics – All your social media analytics in one nifty dashboard. Track your audience and engagement, integrate campaign publishing, check your blog traffic, subscribers, fan followers  and so much more!

8.Content marketing

Hubspot – One of the best software providers! Generate traffic leads, manage your sales funnel, improve search rankings and so much more.

9.Content creation

Slideshare Upload and download thousands of presentations on various topics, grow your audience just through its magnifying power of shares. we  find that the content posted or shared is both varied and up to date, so get sharing!

10. E-mail

Mail Chimp – easy to use email marketing platform that is cost effective.  features include, email templates, Multi -user accounts,spam filter accounts, RSS to email, analytics and others.

FeedBurner – Power your RSS feed and send daily emails using Google  feed burner service. It’s free and easy to use

11. Listening

Social Mention – Most comprehensive social media searching tool that indexes tweets, blogs,posts etc. real time social media search and analysis

Radian6 – Advanced social media listening tool that helps gains insight about your brand, products and those of your competitors, get all the latest trends. It offers a wide range of services- that comes as different packages

Google Alerts – Very valuable tool for finding bloggers that have linked to your posts, get email updates on all the latest news, web  based on your queries while also keeping an eye on your competition !

There you are! 27 of our most used tools broken down to make easy to understand and use right away

What tools do you use? How have they worked for you? Let us know!

This week, we’re asking our followers for topics they’d like to hear about, so keep writing and let us know ! We look forward to a good discussion

-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

Are you measuring up? Performance indicators for Retail Marketing

 measure success

(Image by Shutterstock)

 

Yay’ it’s Friday!

 Did you have a good week? By good we mean busy of course! We know that it’s almost the end of the day but, we had promised a post on metrics and we’re delivering on that promise now!

Whichever industry you’re in, KPI’s are always measured. You need to understand how well you’ve performed, right? It’s no different for retailers either and having the right metrics and KPI’s are essential for having that competitive edge. If you aren’t measuring it, you’re likely to miss a few key aspects of your business and will eventually lose out on opportunities.

It can be confusing at first to know which ones to measure so to help you get started we’ve put together a list of retail KPI’s and metrics to monitor your performance.

We begin with a few suggestions by SocialBakers

Social media metrics:

  1. Fan /Follower Growth: How many new fans are you gaining during a select time frame?
  2. Engagement rate: The number of users interactions (Likes, comments, mentions, re-tweets, replies and shares)
  3. Response rate: The percentage of user posts or questions that the administrator responded to
  4. Response time: The average amount of time it takes for the administrator to respond to user posts or questions
  5. User activity: Identifying the hours and days of the week your users are engaging most frequently
  6. Shareability: The number of shares and re-tweets a post gets
  7. Interactions: The number of interactions that a page or post receives and the types of interactions (likes, comments, re-tweets, replies and shares)
  8. Direct ROI for hits on the page- After posting content on your page or twitter profile, which includes a link to the product on your online store, pull analytics off your website to see if the consumer was on your social media page before coming to your website. Measure Post engagement rate, Shareability and interactions.
  9. ROI for in-store Transaction via social promotions- After a social promotion, track the sales increase of that particular product promotion. Measure post engagement rate, Shareability and interactions.

Other Metrics:

10. Conversion rate: How many people have you converted? Divide the number of visitors by the number of customers to understand the rate of conversion

11. Stock turn rate- Most retailers own 30% of excess inventory. You can reduce it by monitoring and improving upon your stock turn. Just divide the cost of goods sold during sales period by the inventory cost over the sales period multiplied by 365 days

12. Sell Through: It is very important when looking to replenish seasonal merchandise. Divide the quantity of goods sold during the sales period by the quantity sold during sales period+ on hand quantity on inventory date.

13. Gross Margin ROI- The overall performance indicator. Divide the profits during sales period by the inventory cost over sales period and multiply that by 365

 

retail business (Image by Shutterstock)

In recent news however, a study of retailers within the internet retailers top 500 found that their web site performance improved significantly after using a system for managing software tags that were used to activate and measure online marketing campaigns.

 

Tags are snippets of code, typically JavaScript that retailers add into their website pages to track activity on the site such as when customers click links.

 

The study, conducted by Observe Point, and Lima Consulting Group, found that retailers with tag management systems compared with retailers who do not use such systems, had faster average page load times, less duplicated web pages and fewer JavaScript errors that can cause web pages to fail to load content. (Source: Internetretailers.com)

 

Using tag management system and the right metrics, analysis can be done to gain insights that will be both qualitatively and quantitatively beneficial to you as a retailer.

 

We hope you found this useful as you begin setting Metrics for your retail business.

 

There are a good many more out there, and for more tips you could check Publitas for their metric suggestions.

 

Have a good Friday!

 

If you’re relaxing or thinking of content to create, remember to wear cozy fuzzy slippers. Always helps!

 

-Social Pandora