Should you Outsource your Social Media Efforts?

Posted May 24th, 2012 by

The answer to this question is neither yes, nor No. The answer is really dependent upon each business and business person’s situation.

 A recent survey released by Social Media Examiner asked marketers if they were outsourcing any of their social media efforts and an overwhelming majority said no. (My guess is because most of those surveyed, were marketers, and not simply small business owners or larger companies with varying departments.) Only about 30% of marketers are currently outsourcing. Of those outsourcing their social media to third parties, design and development, analtyics and content creation were listed as the top tasks outsourced. See the breakdown below…

20% Design and development
11% Analytics
10% Content creation
7% Monitoring
6% Strategy
6% Status updates, tweets, etc.
4% Community management

“An experienced social media marketing consultant has the advantage of thinking about social media 24/7 — with multiple clients, they’re also sharing the cost of staying ahead of the curve. They not only know what works, but they also have the luxury of experimenting and trying new things with different clients.” – Mashable This is a great argument for outsourcing your social media efforts however every business is different and has varying resources and needs so there are a few other factors that you need to take into consideration.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when determining your need for outsourcing:

- Have you seen some initial results from Social media that you know would possibly improve if you had more time or more social media knowledge?
- Do you have time to create content and respond to fans and followers?
- Do you have enough resources? This can mean two things, resources within your business to take the time to get done what needs to be done or resources to financially afford outside help.
- Are you feeling overwhelmed?
- Could you afford to hire an in house social media marketer/expert?
- Do you have goals and ways to manage your efforts in place?
- Do you have a social media strategy or do you need help in creating one?

So what services can be outsourced? It depends on the company or social media professional you go with, but pretty much any aspect of social media can be outsourced, including:

- Creating a social media strategy
- Creating a social media editorial calendar
- Monitoring different social media channels
- Creating content (this can be anything from creating updates on Twitter and Facebook, to engaging in group discussions on LinkedIn, to writing blog posts or creating videos)
- Measuring ROI and Analytics
- Reporting
- Creating social media campaigns and contests
- And more…

Before outsourcing, or participating in social media in house you should have specific goals outlined. What are you trying to accomplish? Is it driving more traffic to your site? Driving more foot traffic into the store? Having folks participate in offers, contests or purchases? Or is it creating more leads or brand awareness? Not only will setting up goals and measuring the impact of your social media efforts help you to see how your efforts are panning out, if you have these in place it will be a good measure of if outsourcing is proving to be helpful or more of a drain on your already low resources.

What about a hybrid approach? Can you hire a company to conduct social media personal training while also helping to augment your efforts in the interim?

There are many questions and options when outsourcing social media. In the end, it’s about what is going to make your business the most successful.

Are you outsourcing your social media efforts? What questions did you ask that lead you to that decision? What is working for you? Share with us here in the comments section!

 

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
Flyte Trainer

 

What is the Best Way to Measure Social Media Marketing ROI? The Ultimate Mashup of Social Media ROI Strategies

Posted May 23rd, 2012 by

One of the top questions folks have regarding social media is what is the ROI? Not only are marketers wondering what the ROI is, but how do you measure it?

There have been arguments made that social media is like a business card, you can’t measure the ROI of a business card, it just creates possible opportunities. While I think there is some validity to this statement, it does seem that many marketers have been able to find a way to measure their Social Media ROI. Sense there have been so many great posts on the matter, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. Below is a round up of several blog posts and articles I found online that I believe give the best answer to the question “What is the Best Way to Measure ROI of Social Media Marketing?”

 Measuring Social Media ROI – 3 Things to Consider,

“Social media ROI is a mystery to most marketers, and the pros who are measuring it all have their own theories and practices. But there isn’t a one-stop tool that solves the problem of how to understand and calculate social media ROI.” This post explores how then, are marketers supposed to measure campaign success and gives 3 things to take into consideration.

Social Media ROI: ROI doesn’t Stand for Return on Ignorance.

Brian Solis from Altimeter group wrote a great forward addressing this issue for his friend, Olivier Blanchard’s book, Social Media ROI. He highlights the importance of having your end goal in mind before you can begin to measure anything.He also makes a great point of how most platforms and social media efforts don’t cost anything, however, hiring an employee or taking the time to do it can have a number associated to it. Remember… Time is money.

A Simple Way to Calculate Social Media Return on Investment.

“Social media return on investment (ROI) is simply a measurement of efficiency. It’s a lot of things to a lot of people: “return on inactivity,” “return on innovation” and “return on engagement.”However, in a stricter sense, social media ROI is defined as a measure of the efficiency of a social media marketing campaign. This definition might sound complicated, but in reality, it’s quite simple.” Take a peek at the simple method of calculating ROI.

4 Unique Approaches for Measuring Social Media ROI,

Gain some insight from a former financial analyst at P&G in this great post that gives us some creative Ways to Measure (or at Least Validate) Your Social Media Efforts.

How do you measure your Social Media ROI? Share your tips with us in the comments below!

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
Flyte New Media

Hashtag Spam: What to Do when Your Event Hashtag Gets Hijacked

Posted May 18th, 2012 by

While it was an awesome Social Media Breakfast this morning, one thing happened that wasn’t so awesome. Our event hashtag became overrun by Twitter spammers.  See image below… 5 out of 6 tweets are spam!

Hashtags are extremely useful during events for people to follow along with the conversation and interact with each other. This is because, Twitter has set it up so that:

  • People use the hashtag symbol # before relevant keywords or phrases (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets in that category.
  • Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
  • Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.

It’s the last piece of that puzzle however that makes it so attractive for spammers. These spammers are usually scantily clad women pointing you to some shortened URL that is probably of an unsavory site. When your hashtag gets hacked, the event feed become very frustrating for those at the event trying to follow along with the conversation. So, what are the proper steps to take if your event hashtag gets hijacked by twitter spammers? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Block and Report Spam: Although this may not take care of the problem immediately and it may feel like an endless battle taking up your time, it will at least get the ball rolling for making Twitter aware of the misuse and spam. Second, it will also make it so you can’t see those particular tweets anymore, making it easier for you to see the valuable ones.
  2. Ask others at the event to also start blocking and reporting spam. The more reports on the person the more likely Twitter will shut their account down.
  3. File a report. You can click here to File a Report on Twitter.

Fortunately, for our Social Media Breakfast this morning the spammers lost interest after a lull in tweets due to a quick break between talks. Or possibly a tweet that was created letting them know we were in a Masonic Temple having a Social Media Breakfast about Social Media Policies presented by a lawyer… Or maybe it was because we all started blocking them and reporting them as spam. Either way, start fighting your Twitter Spam as soon as it happens and take back your hashtag feed!

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
SPAM FIGHTER

 

 

Is There A Way to Unlike Multiple Facebook Pages at Once?

Posted May 14th, 2012 by

There is no current way to delete all Facebook Pages you’ve liked at once. But, if you are anything like me, at times your news feed starts filling up with posts from pages you’ve totally forgotten that you even liked. Maybe you liked it to help support a friend, or maybe you liked it because there was a contest going on, but now you want to clean up your feed. Here is the easiest way to do it…

Head to your Timeline and Click on ‘Likes.’


You will then land on the page shown below. This gives you a glimpse of some of your likes, by showing you the icons for the different pages.

 

From here you want to click the edit button to the top right hand of the page.

This will show all your pages organized by category and shown in icon format. In any of the categories just click on the pages icon, once you see the blue highlight around it you can just click delete on your keyboard to remove it. You can also hit the drop down to the right to see a list of all the pages liked in that category. From there you can go ahead and highlight each and hit delete. Once you have removed all the pages, from all of the categories you want removed, you can simply click the “Done Editing” button at the top. This will refresh your lists leaving only what’s left.

You can also hit the button that says “Other pages you like” and it will bring up a pop up box (See below). From this box it’s as easy as scrolling down the list and hitting the “unlike” button.

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
A Fan Of Spring Cleaning

Facebook Offers are Here! Facebook Free Offers for Business Pages

Posted May 4th, 2012 by

We speculated a while back that Facebook may be rolling out Offers to all business pages and as of today it looks like Facebook offers are here! Offers are really Facebook’s way of taking advantage of the coupon craze. The set up of offers is super easy to use. Below is the tour from Facebook on how to use Facebook offers.

So, first off you find offers right in the same bar that you create all your other status updates. Circled below…

After you click on the “offer, event +” button you will get a drop down of options. Choose “Offer.”

 

They you will want to choose a great image. Make sure that you use an image that will stand out. You want it to fit well in the space provided, be bright and interesting. If you the offer is for a specific product the image should be of that product, if it’s for a particular service, it should be related to the service.

 

Like with any ad that you would create you want to make sure that you have a very clear, concise and clever headline that will draw your audiences attention.

 

Next fill in some of the offers details. When does the deal end? Is there an expiration date on the coupon? Etc.

Then share with your coworkers etc. so everyone knows about the offer.

When folks redeem your offer it’s very easy. They will see the offer in their news feed be able to click to redeem and then it will be sent directly to their email that is attached to their Facebook account. To learn more about how offers work, check out our blogpost “Facebook Offers Coming Soon! Facebook Marketing.”

 

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
Anyone seen a good deal?

4 Solutions for Scheduling Tweets and Facebook Posts: Which one is right for you?

Posted April 30th, 2012 by

While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for everyone or every business, scheduling tweets and Facebook posts can be a great solution for those who simply cannot get to their social profiles during the peak hours their audience is online. That said, there are a ton of great options for scheduling posts, so it’s just a matter of finding one that’s the best for you!

Simple solutions

TweetDeck

If you already use a social management tool like TweetDeck, then this simple solution might be for you. As long as you have the Twitter account(s) and Facebook account linked with your TweetDeck account, you’re able to check off every account you’d like to use.

LaterBro

Very similar to TweetDeck, you can link your Twitter account and Facebook account to update your profiles whenever you’d like with LaterBro. The one downfall to this method is that it’s unclear whether or not you’re able to hook up multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts to update.

Complex solutions

Raven Tools

If you already use Raven Tools, this solution might be for you! Raven’s solution is a tad bit more complex, as you do need an account, but we think it’s totally worth it! Once you’re all set up, you’re able to create as many posts as you’d like and go back and edit them at any time.

Also, not only can you manage your Facebook and Twitter accounts through this tool, but YouTube as well! While you can’t upload videos via Raven Tools – yet! – you are able to view metrics.

HootSuite

With HootSuite, you’ll get very similar options as some of the other solutions; but if you upgrade to Pro, you’re also able to bulk upload updates quickly.

And there you have it! Those are only four solutions, so be sure to fill us in on what your favorite scheduled posting tools are in the comment section below!

Nicki Hicks
Schedulers Anonymous

Facebook Timeline for Business Pages – Facebook Profile Image Changes Size

Posted April 24th, 2012 by

Yes, I know we just got done cleaning up all of our Facebook business pages and maxing out the new dimensions for the cover image and profile photo. But, Facebook has decided to switch it up again.

Facebook sent out an update on the image size change in the weekly page update.

“On April 26, we will be updating the size of the pro­file pic­ture on all Pages. We are let­ting you know about this small change in advance so that you can update your pro­file pic­ture on April 26. The new pro­file pic­ture will be 160 x 160 pixels and will sit at 23 pixels from the left and 210 pixels from the top of the Page.”

Previously the image was 125 x 125 pixels. The new change will make your profile image slightly bigger.

Facebook Image Size Change

 

So, if you have a logo as your profile image you may need to clean it up so that it remains sharp and fits correctly using up the proper amount of space. And, if you have an image that integrates into your cover image, such as the “handle” (to make it look like a shopping bag) shown above on the Macy’s Facebook Business page, you will need to also recreate the image in your cover so it matches up appropriately.

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
Thanks for the heads up Facebook!

3 Must-Read Blogs for the Aspiring Web Marketer in You

Posted April 16th, 2012 by

There are hundreds of web marketing and SEO blogs out there and I subscribe to quite a few; but depending on my workload and – let’s face it – attention span, I only avidly read a handful. Here are my top 3 must-reads, as far as I’m concerned:

Copyblogger

 

If you ever have or ever will write – especially for the web – then you’re crazy not to read Copyblogger. Get insights, tips, and tricks from industry leaders on everything from blogging to SEO to email marketing. While you’re at it, make sure you also subscribe to their email newsletter; you’ll get some emails about whitepapers that you may or may not be interested in, but you’ll get super valuable articles, too!

SEOmoz Blog

The ever-brilliant team at SEOmoz brings both technical and interesting when they blog. You’ll learn why search engines do what they do from one of the industry’s best data-crunching team. These guys are figuring out why things happen, first-hand; and while the majority will be about SEO, you’ll also get some great overall web marketing advice, too!

Social Media Examiner

For the best on what’s happening web marketing-wise, look no further than the Social Media Examiner. Specialists on social, this blog will give you incredibly informative and content-rich posts on the topics that you should be familiar with. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that our own Rich Brooks is a club leader and regular expert contributor to the blog!

What are your favorite web marketing blogs to read?

Nicki Hicks
Blog Supporter

How to Bulk Upload your Tweets & Facebook Updates | Hootsuite Bulk Upload on a Mac

Posted April 3rd, 2012 by

I wanted to create an editorial calendar for our updates on Twitter. Not only to make sure that I was focused on a topic for the month but also to make sure that regardless of my schedule I was staying active on Twitter. So, I created a spreadsheet with all my updates and decided to go over to Hootsuite and bulk upload them. The instructions simply said to format your date, enter your update, a link if you were linking to something, save as a .csv and then use the bulk upload scheduler. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong.

After struggling with Hootsuite trying to upload my Twitter updates in bulk I read through some help forums that stated that if you save your excel spreadsheet as a .csv on a mac it needs to be reformatted to UTF-8 doc before Hootsuite will upload it correctly. So, below are my instructions for those who have been having difficulties on how to bulk upload your updates to Hootsuite using a Mac.

Tip: Make the video Full screen to see the details!

Joan Woodbrey Crocker
Scheduling Tweets 50 at a time!

Post to Your Facebook Business Page As You [Update]

Posted March 20th, 2012 by

A while back we wrote a blog about How to post to your Facebook Business Page as You. Ever since this post was created it’s been one of the most highly visited on the site. Now with the new Facebook changes I just wanted to make sure that you still knew how to post on a page as yourself.  So here are the new instructions of how to post on your Facebook business page as you with the new Timeline for Facebook Pages design.

Step 1. Go to the page that you admin.

Step 2. Click on the Manage Button and go to the edit page drop down.

Step 3. Go to “Your Settings”

Step 4. Make sure the check box next to “Always comment and post on your page as “Your Page Name“, even when using Facebook as “Yourself.” is UNCHECKED.

 

 

Step 5. Now you have the ability to switch back and forth on when posting on your page as yourself and the page.

Note: Now when you are signed into Facebook the default is for you to post as yourself. So, when you want to post an update on your page as your page you need to make sure that you switch users. See the steps below.

Step 6. Go to your page to make the update.

Step 7. From the admin panel go to the Manage Drop Down and Click on “Use page as ‘Your Page’”.


And, it’s as easy as that! To switch back to yourself all you have to do is follow step 5 through 7 and choose “Use Facebook as ‘Yourself’”.

Tip: To get conversation started on your page it’s always a good idea to post a question first as your page and then answer it as yourself. People are more likely to comment on an update/post that already has other responses.

 

Joan Woodbrey Crocker



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