Social Media Tips & Blog

The Ultimate Approach to Social Media in 2016 and Beyond (Infographic)

As we move into 2016, the landscape of social media is changing once again. As always, we need to start thinking about social media differently if we want to stay ahead of the curve. Today we’ll look at several ways social media is changing in 2016 and beyond.

Next I’ll show you an infographic that allows you to harness the best practices of today’s top five social media platforms. Let’s get started!

The Landscape of Social Media Marketing in 2016

When preparing your social media strategy, you should begin by starting a blogging resource. This will allow you to create an entire database of information and content that is valuable to your readers. You’ll be glad you did when you see these three ways social media is changing in 2016:

  1. Organic Reach is Dwindling

Whether your on Facebook or Twitter, organic reach is becoming more and more difficult as increased amounts of content are shared on a daily basis. To combat this, you’ll need to start producing content that is relevant and timely for your readers. This will increase the odds that it hits their timelines/feeds.

  1. You’ll Need to Start Investing

Promoted Tweets and boosted posts? Today’s social platforms know what they can do for a business, and now they’re going to start charging for it. It’s important to follow social media’s best practices when you’re seeking organic traffic, but its doubly important when you’re paying for it.

  1. Visuals and Varied Content Types are Required

The last thing you’ll need to consider is the types of content you’re sharing. That means you need to mix up your strategy across sharing links, posts, visuals, and videos. A varied approach to social media will be key moving forward.

Social Media’s Hidden Secrets (Infographic)

The power of these platforms is only growing. This infographic will help you harness each one to its fullest potential. Check it out and let us know how it helped you in the comments below!

Social Media Image Sizing Cheat Sheet

What Does It Cost for Social Media Marketing Services?

How much does social media marketing cost?
How much does social media marketing cost?

When prospective client contacts me to learn about the social media marketing services I offer, the question on their minds is – what’s this going to cost? Sometimes when they find out my fee, they are taken aback. So I did a little research to find out what other companies are charging for social media marketing services. It was my turn to be taken aback!

One company has a generic proposal for Package A starting at $4,000 per month for marketing on three social media channels. You can learn more about their services here.

Mark Collier has done a couple of blog posts in the past about the cost of social media. His post for the costs in 2012 are interesting. He reached out to some friends and consultants that offer Social Media marketing services to their clients who gave him their rates so he could provide the most accurate price information. His results for a Social Media Strategy Audit showed that most charge anywhere from $5,000 - $10,000. More results can be found here.

Another company provides this table of their pricing.

Finally, there is the Peace of Mind Package provided by HavePresence.com. Their pricing just to update Facebook and Twitter is $995 a month and if you want updates on other social media platforms, you’re looking at $1,995 a month!

So what does it cost for social media marketing services? It depends on who you choose. These are just a few of the many choices I found doing a Google search. As you can see, the fees can range from $995 per month for a few updates on Facebook and Twitter to up to $4,000 per month or more!

Next time a prospect asks me why I charge so much, I’m going to refer them to this blog post and tell them the question they really need to ask is why do these companies charge so much. I charge what I do because I know the work involved and also want to keep my rates affordable for my clients.

More important than pricing is finding a social media consultant that you can trust and that will work with you to determine the best strategies for your specific needs. Be sure to ask for references and find out if they are reliable and responsive.

Breaking Through to a New Mindset for Social Media

Telesummit Spring 2016 Presenters at NAMW
Telesummit Spring 2016 Presenters at NAMW

On May 6, 2016 I will be presenting on the topic of "Breaking Through to a New Mindset for Social Media" during the 2016 Spring Telesummit hosted by the National Association for Memoir Writers.

During this discussion I will share why a transformation to a new mindset is important to memoir writers using social media. I will explain how to break through the resistance memoir writers may feel to using social media. Attendees will learn how social media can be used effectively in just 15 minutes a day. They will also learn specific strategies and processes that are fun and easy to use. If you’ve been holding back from using social media or want to learn how to use it to share your message and not just market your book, you won’t want to miss this discussion.

What You Will Learn:

  • Why Social Media Matters for Memoir Writers
  • Where to Start in Social Media
  • Strategies & Processes to Use Effectively
  • How to Manage Your Social Media in 15 minutes a day

It's free to all so come sign up!

 

How To Get Awesome Testimonials

How to Get Awesome Testimonials
How to Get Awesome Testimonials

Testimonials from satisfied clients help build trust and gain new clients. Don't hold back from asking for a testimonial from your clients. Since clients will sometimes say they want to provide a testimonial but then get busy and forget, here are some tips to get awesome testimonials.

  1. Create a simple web form at your website for clients to submit their testimonial online.
  2. Ask for a short video testimonial.
  3. Ask your client if you can use a complimentary email they've sent you as a testimonial.
  4. Create a sample testimonial that your client can tweak and make their own.
  5. Ask your client to be specific, testifying to specific benefits they have received using your services.

The best time to ask for a testimonial is just after  your client has told you what a great job you've done!

Read what some of our clients have to say about using our services.

What other ideas have you used to get awesome testimonials?

Is Marketing Automation a Solution for You? Guest Post by Melanie Valenzuela

checklistUse This Checklist to See If Your Organization is Ready

When you checked your email this morning, did you find a message like this, “Dear John, have you been to Panama? You need to go today! Panama is the next big vacation destination. Get a discount if you book NOW!”? Did you spend time thinking about the offer? Would you want to get another, similar one tomorrow? Or would you respond better to, “Dear John, we’ve got some great information to share with you on the best value vacation destinations you prefer. Click here to download your favorite, and read when you’re planning that next trip.” Three destinations you’ve researched are listed.

Yes, marketing automation, done right, can help you seem more like a friend sharing information for someone’s benefit rather than a hard sell. Use the following checklist to see if this integrated solution could be exactly what your company’s digital marketing department needs….or not.

1. You Have Clearly Defined Goals. What are your goals? Automation can’t decide that for you. But it can help you achieve them once defined. All else is predicated on your definition so be sure your focus is crystal clear.

2. You Have Reasonable Expectations. Complete marketing automation is complex. Translated, this means you need to do your work to make the significant investment worth the money. Most companies don’t go as in depth as the system can provide and that’s when you hear negative comments. This isn’t just an email system. Remember adding ERP? Like that.

3. You Know What You Need. Keep in mind that you can purchase one or some components that you use most vs. buying an entire suite of automation. But you need to know your business well enough to know which will help you the most. Refer back to #1.

4. You Can Afford the Cost. A full marketing automation suite IS expensive, no one will deny that. That’s why some companies still choose to focus on content marketing and SEO. They feel that’s where their money is best spent. Where are you?

5. You Are Committed to Making It Work. You must be committed because you will need to integrate this automation piece with your CRM system. You’ll only get the maximum benefit when merging with all your client information. You’re adding another layer of information to what you have.

6. Your Staff Has the Technical Ability and Time to Learn the System. Speaking of complexity, many companies get bogged down here. It is a new layer to your system so there will be a learning curve. You staff will need the technical ability for the information you need. Is everyone not just willing, but able?

7. Your Sales Group Believes In the System. This is not just a marketing tool. This should be an integral way for your organization to reach its goals. That means sales will use the information as their own. Marketing will define conversion metrics and benchmarks and will share accountability for results. No squabbling siblings here.

8. You Will Commit to Personalizing More Content More Often. Yes, a full system will allow you to personalize content like never before. But you still have to do all the segmenting and personalize content on a regular basis. Do you have people dedicated to doing that? It will take more time than you currently spend because you’re wanting and paying for more information. This is the gem of the system. You’re the horse...automation can only lead you there….

9. You Know How to Use the Data. Even if your IT group knows how to report the data you’re asking for, you need to know what trends to look for and how to interpret the analytics. Which combination gives you the best information? How often and how much data will get you where you need to be? Do you still need some help figuring out your analytics?

Congratulations if you’ve done an honest assessment of your company and are ready to take the next step! Now it’s on to evaluating the marketing automation companies to find your best fit...

Marketing automation is meant to be a very powerful tool. It can help you create an informative and personal experience to convert people into loyal customers. You want to make sure you recognize the scope and commitment of resources it takes to make it work well.

If you’re hesitating, congrats on knowing your organization well. That doesn’t mean it can’t be a fit for you later down the road. If you want more information, talk to a digital marketing firm to help you assess your current needs. And the next time you hear someone’s opinion of marketing automation, you can decide for yourself if it’s the system or the user that needs the tweaking.

Author Bio:
Melanie Valenzuela has been writing about business topics for several years and currently writes on behalf of the digital marketing firm, Marketing Zen. When not writing, she can be found working on her world perspective through travel; or challenging her heart rate through tennis, running or attending a Kansas City Royals baseball game. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.