Be inspired to take on the web and use social media to the maximum in your business and dominate. Keynote speaker and author of Maximize Your Social Neal Schaffer reveals the keys to knowing whether you are doing social media right, who should and should not be doing social, how to track and measure your social ROI and then leverage up your results.
Whether you are B-to-B or B-to-C can social media play an integral part in marketing your business? Neal Schaffer and James Reynolds reveal all.
- How To Measure Social Media Success
- Social Media Strategy
- Social Media For Business
- Why Businesses Must Invest On Social
- Social KPIs
- Social Media Platforms for B2B and B2C
- Social Media Management Tips
- Finding the Right Social Media Manager Internally
- Organic vs. Paid Social
- Biggest Business Mistakes in Social Media
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Hello! You’re tuned in to Traffic Jam, I am James Reynolds, and welcome back to the podcast show that teaches you how to get more traffic and build a profitable audience for your website. This is Episode #20.
So you may have noticed, the show has been a little less frequent recently but I am glad to say that is all about to change; over the coming weeks I’ve got a packed agenda with some very, very exciting guests. I wouldn’t normally do this but I am going to give you a sneak peek of who’s coming up in the next few shows: firstly we’ve got David Siteman Garland, he’s from Rise To The Top and the creator of Create awesome online courses. We are going to be talking about becoming a mediapreneur and using paid courses to drive traffic to your site. I am inviting on to the show Amy Porterfield who is probably one of the leading influencers in all things Facebook marketing. Following that we’ve got Melanie Duncan who’s a Pinterest expert from the Online Edge Academy. And I have also got coming up, Rand Fischkin from Moz.com. Now if you are in to SEO, Rand really needs no introduction. He is a spearhead figure within the community so that is going to ba an exciting show too. And plus I have Greg Hickman coming up. He is from Mobile Mix and of course we are going to be talking about Mobile Marketing with Greg.
So those are just a small selection of the guests that I have got coming up; I’ve kept some big players up my sleeve so you’re going to have to stay tuned to see who they might be. In fact, really if you have not subscribed yet in iTunes now is a very good time to do it. Log in to your iTunes, look for Traffic Jam ad hit the subscribe button because that is going to ensure that you get first access to these interviews as soon they get posted.
What have we got coming up on today’s show? Today we turn the traffic chat to social media: how do we know if we are doing it well? Should we even be on social media? How do we effectively track results; All leading to the question how do we maximize what we do on social media platforms? To provide the answer I invited on to the show Neal Schaeffer, creator of the ad age top 100 global marketing blog, Maximize Social Business. Neal is a global social media speaker and author; and as an author he is best known for his definitive book Social Media Strategy Creation, Implementation and Optimization Maximize Your Social, a one stop guide to building a social media strategy for marketing and business success. And that book is out to Wiley and also published to other thickly acclaimed social media books Maximizing LinkedIn for sales and social media marketing and Windmill Networking: Maximizing LinkedIn. It’s another great interview and of course that’s coming right up next but don’t go anywhere after that as we give you some more other actionable traffic tips in our regular segment the one minute traffic tip plus of course we have all of this week’s news from the past seven days in traffic in this week’s news in traffic. I have your feedback in the listener comment section and of course we’ll end the show as we always do with a Traffic Jam jam chosen by our guest today.
Okay, so let’s get stuck right in to the content and learn how to maximize your social media with Neal Schaeffer.
James Reynolds: So this is Traffic Jam episode #20 and joining me today is Forbes Top 30 Social Media Power Influencer, Neal Schaeffer from Maximize Your Social. Neal, a warm welcome to Traffic Jam!
Neal: Well, thank you very much it’s an honor to be here.
James: Forbes Top 30 Social Media Power Influencer sounds pretty impressive but what does it actually mean?
Neal: Well, Forbes, this is actually their online website did a survey in to who are the people within the social media industry that seemed to have a lot of influence. Now a lot of your experience in social marketing, how do you measure influence that people have and it is obviously very, very hard to do. You can actually read the article that Forbes created and they used a few different things and it was basically metrics from things that you can pull down from social media sites but I am because what I do for a living is social media, obviously I am very active in social media, I have written three books, my third book just came out last week, on social media, I speak a lot on social media, I blog, so I think it is representative of how active and your reader base and how many people are actually acting upon what you are writing about, so that’s how it came about. You couldn’t apply for it, they really did their own research and came out with those figures.
James: Well it is an interesting topic and it is one that we will touch upon in the next 20 minutes or so because I think being able to measure and understand the effectiveness of your social media is important, I think it might be a question that I might open up to Neal. None of our listeners are new to social media, some of them will be doing it to a greater or lesser extent, how do they actually know if they’re doing a good job of it?
Neal: That’s really a great question; I think that’s the question that people are frankly starting to ask because they are spinning their wheels on social and say, you know it is eating a lot of time, it may be eating a lot of resources, are we getting tangible business benefits from it and what I have been doing for a living since January of 2010 when I launched my social media strategy consultancy is really helping companies figure it out. The problem is, if you don’t have a strategy, you don’t have objectives and therefore you don’t have metrics to measure how well you’re doing right so instead of jumping in to hey how do I audit myself or how do I measure the ROI, I take a step back and go, what are you trying to achieve? Obviously a lot of small businesses out there it’s all about generating new business, new leads what have you but it’s not the same for some businesses. There are businesses that already have a majority market share. They want to create a deeper connection with their client base, maybe they want to create a new product- it could be for a variety of reasons, so really without that strategy and my book Maximize Your Social can really help you create that strategy, and when you create that strategy, you create the metrics because you are creating the objectives like how will you know if you are successful or not, so that’s where having a strategy, define an objective and creating metrics that that align with your objective which is probably the most difficult part because getting more followers and a higher average retweet per tweet or average like per Facebook post, that doesn’t help you feed your product right? It doesn’t feed in to your bottom line. These are what I call secondary metrics which do give you an idea how effective your social media is purely from a social media perspective. But it really comes down to how it affects your business and with that in mind, there is no social media dashboard like social marketing suite that’s going to be able to give you that answer. You’re going to have to create that. Now if you are in e-commerce and everything is digital and everything is healthy on your side you have Google and you have your conversion funnel set up, obviously it gets a lot easier to measure this right? If you are purely looking at are you converting from your social. If you’re like many businesses that don’t have that, you’re going to have to be more creative on how you define those metrics.
James: Good well I am glad you bought up this topic on having a sort of social media strategy or a road map to social media, because this to seems a likely a fuzzy subject because to me at least, I would say that social media is a conversation with your customers and your target market and to kind of have a strategy in conversion would seem to me anti-social, so what do you actually mean by a social media strategy and what would one actually look like?
Neal: Yeah that’s a great question! It’s funny I was on a podcast yesterday and I got asked that same question. It social dynamic when people are having a conversation how can you schedule tweets in advance right? Isn’t that anti-social? And it comes down to this – social media was made for people, not for businesses, we all know that so businesses are at a disadvantage. The other disadvantage that businesses have is that they have limited resources and limited time, and they have to answer on how they are spending their time and therefore if you are going to be spending any time in social media just like any other function that you do, it is no different than if you’re in HR, if you’re in legal, if you’re in sales, you have to answer up to how you’re spending your time so that’s why in order for companies to really gauge how well they’re doing and to control their spend on social – the funny thing with social is that it’s free right? And you put people on it, and it does not look like you’re spending money but people cost money and they cost time and if you can calculate that, you can start to get an idea literally in dollars, pounds, euros or what have you as to how much you are spending and companies are in business to make profit right? It’s about increasing sales or decreasing expenses and social can help you do that but if you don’t have that strategy in place, you’re just doing it in the blind without knowing how effective you are and therefore there are some companies that say you know what we did it organically we are doing great and that is fine right? But for others who are trying to figure out how to deal with social, get a feel for what you’re spending and how much you’re making from that and tweak that. My whole idea about Maximize Your Social is there’s so many businesses can do but social is always changing almost like there’s this never-ending experiment; if I had asked a bunch of business people three years ago if they were on Facebook they will laugh at me right? Two years ago, Pinterest did not even exist. Google+ is obviously gaining traction and it is always changing and therefore without this data driven approach that I recommend, you’re never going to know how you’re doing, you’re never going to get optimized and therefore you may be wasting a lot of time and a lot of money so social media is now mainstream, it is a business tool. 92% of American companies with 100 or more employees are using social media for marketing. It’s like having a website, it’s not like some fringy hey we’ve got to do this to be cool, we need to show that we have a lot of likes; the ending does come down to integrating to social media everything that your company does. So I think if you had asked me that question 2-3 years ago, the answer may have been different, I don’t think the industry would have been ready then. Right now it really is mainstream content for search engines. Isn’t that unnatural? But we know that it’s a respected practice and we need to do that in order that Google discovers our relevant content and sere it up to a relevant audience so I believe with social media it really is the same thing.
James: So you just said that somewhere around 90% of large businesses are using social and this is probably going to be a bit of a 101 question but is it essential now that as businesses we are present on social media?
Neal: I believe it is and when I said that number, I have spoken in Europe and in Asia and I’m at Southern California right, so I understand that the pace of social media and its adoption by people and therefore by businesses is different throughout the world wherever you are right? There are some countries that are 6 months behind the US, 12 months behind the US. There are even some who if not are ahead of the US in some aspects but at this point the global usage of social media, I know that there are some sites like Pinterest that are not as global like LinkedIn it’s not US centric, I know that there are European countries like Germany that still prefer Zing, the German social network so I know that some of the platforms are not global but Facebook and Twitter are global platforms, YouTube is a global platform and if you think about blogging as a way to give your company a social voice and also a way to get content discovered but inside social and outside social that is something global as well so assuming that your audience is in social and that there are benefits for your company to be in social, I would say yes it is a requirement. It’s almost like having a website and in fact a website is a requirement now right? But a website you’re only reaching 75% of the online audience because 25% of them are in social so if you think about it that way then yes it is a requirement to have even a minimal presence and I wouldn’t just chop shop because you want to keep up with the Joneses and everybody else’s setting up shop, I would not start with that strategy but if you’re thinking about creating a website you should be thinking about creating that social presence.
James: Yeah, well it’s a question I wanted to ask because I hear businesses say and perhaps rightly so, why should I invest time and energy and money depending on their approach in social when perhaps doing SEO or buying a bunch of banners on a banner network might get them more immediate traffic and conversion so what would your response be to that Neal?
Neal: I would say that social media doesn’t replace anything, it complements everything so keep doing what you have been doing and you know what if you don’t have social media going and your company is still profitable and you’re meeting your business objectives, sure you don’t need to be in social right? But I think about 90% of the companies that I meet want to increase profit and increase sales and are looking for more sales so definitely, SEO is not dead, it’s more important than ever, online ads is more important than ever as well as we shift to mobile and we have retargeting technology and all these great things that are coming out that allow us to do be more effective with these online ads then keep doing that. But I also say that right now the average spend – this is in the United States – but the average spend of the companies that are doing it, of how much they put aside for social is between 10-20% so if you are skeptical, don’t even start at 10%. Take a few percent of your marketing budget; and you don’t even need to add money, take a few percent out of SEO and or PPC, right? And experiment. You’re never going to know how successful you’ll be, and you know, paid social, you brought up the term James, I bring it up in my book, I’m a huge fan of paid social, I think that social ads are one of the most unrealized ads especially on social media marketing and I have seen companies being successful at a relatively low price depending on their objectives so if you want to start somewhere, maybe that’s where you start.
James: Got it, good. Okay, so we have got our strategy down, we have decided we are going to invest a little bit of money in it and dip our toes in social, what KPIs do you recommend that businesses track and I am aware it might be different depending on that strategy to kind of understand whether it is working for them or not.
Neal: Here’s the thing, it comes down to no cookie cutter to strategy in social so every company’s social strategy is going to be different because every company has a different objective, their KPI is going to be different as well so it is hard to say this is one universal KPI but at the end of the day, for instance, the easiest to understand example is if you are an e-commerce site and you’re tracking your conversions where they’re coming from, you know that you have conversions coming from organic search and therefore there’s the ROI of your SEO. You have conversions coming from your ads and you have an expense to that, there’s your ROI. Now hopefully you are going to start to get conversions if not leads that are coming from the different social media sites where you have a presence and or you have ads on and the easiest way to track it, it’s there but for some companies it’s not just about the conversion, it’s also how do we generate more website traffic, how do we get more leads, what is the cost of a lead? What is the cost of acquiring a new visitor to our website? And if you have those statistics, and once again, it may not be relevant for sites that don’t have e-commerce but if you have those metrics and you start getting active in social I think you can pretty easily and quickly create some analogies as to okay I am doing this and now I am seeing this effect of it. I have met with small business owners and the CEO is saying, what’s the ROI of social and I am like what’s the ROI of your print ads, what’s the ROI of your website? What’s the ROI of all the other advertising that you are doing? And a lot of companies have never tracked that ROI, believe it or not. So social when you start to look at it is extremely trackable in certain aspects. Now there are a lot of other aspects that are not trackable and intangible but are also beneficial to your company but if you really want to go for the jugular and go for that what’s the specific ROI KPI that’s some place to look at. If you are a B2B company and you have a conversion form on your site, where are people coming from? If you start to blog and you see people coming in from your blog content moving over to your conversion form whether it is generating a lead or a whitepaper download, a webinar registration, you can quickly start to paint a picture as to how much social is generating leads for you as well so I think that’s the easiest, most intuitive and practical way of tracking the potential of this.
James: Yeah, and I’ll tell you something interesting. If I typically log in to my analytics and I look at my conversions and I go down to the multi-channel conversion report, in a large percentage of cases social has had some point of influence on converting. It might be a small part, it might have started the stream of traffic, it might have been the final step that caused them to convert but social does play a big influence and my business is a B2B business it’s not a typical business where you would expect social to be a major influence so I’m sure it’s at work there in most businesses whether we actually know it or not.
Neal: Yeah, absolutely! And you know social touches so much these days; I often get asked where do I get my leads as I am B2B as well and I don’t know where people find me on social because usually they find me on multiple platforms, they may have gone on the blog, went to my Twitter stream, checked me in my LinkedIn so yes if we are spending 25% of our time on social when we’re online then chances are if we have multi-channel touches, one out of every four touches is going to be a social touch somewhere and so many people really, to check out your business, they’re really looking at your social media profile, they’re looking at your Facebook page, you LinkedIn company page and in the B2B we call it solution selling, my background is B2B enterprise; sales and stuff and marketing and in the solution sales, you’re trying to find the solution and pitch the solution to your client based on asking them questions and xp-raying their budget and finding out all this information. Well that has been flipped on its head because now when someone is contacting us James, the data is that 56% of the deal of all the due diligence has been done because our prospective customers are researching the heck out of us with all this data that is available online; I think that’s the same for any business out there.
James: Yeah, it has turned its head it used to be that we have the powerful position as the business because we can kind of retain some sort of black box and secure information from the customer but it’s all in their hands now, right? I mean everything is available to them if they want to dig and find a little bit of it out.
Neal: Well that’s the analogy of my book because when I was doing B2B technologies sales, I lived in Japan for 15 years; I was selling to Asian consumer electronics manufacturers. They contacted me, the sales person because they knew that if they wanted access to the technology, it was my FAE (Field Application Engineer) who had the demos, who had the knowledge. They want to get access to that knowledge right? Well now that knowledge with contact marketing, there’s a heck a lot of knowledge out there, they don’t need the sales people are not the gatekeeper anymore right, they’ll be able to find that out on their own.
James: Cool, alright let’s move forward from there. We’ve talked about some platforms in passing and there are so many platforms out there, many of which we’ve covered here on Traffic Jam. How does a business go about identifying which playing field they should be playing on?
Neal: Great question and I think with social, whether how you use it inside your organization or where you establish shop, you really need to think holistically right? So it all comes down to where your target audience is. If we look at the stats of where Fortune 500 companies here in the US here are investing in social, Twitter is actually the platform that gets the most investment. More than Facebook, more than YouTube and it is interesting because Twitter is in itself is a search engine. It is a real time search engine. If it’s data are adjusted, it is getting about as many data on it or as many search queries on it as Youtube would so I think if I was going to create a social media strategy for you and you were B2B and you were B2C, Twitter would probably play a role in it because it’s where the media is, it’s where people are looking for news;; it generates a lot of traffic and what have you’s. so I think the no brainer for most businesses and I will name a lot of different platforms, you don’t have to need to be on all these platforms, you’re going to have to decide which of these are relevant to your businesses. If you are B2C, Facebook is a no-brainer. If you are B2B LinkedIn is a no brainer. Twitter I believe both B2B and B2C should be on. And then we get in to a blog, I think every company should have a blog as a part of their social media strategy. I think that of the Fortune 500 only one third of the companies are blogging but I would recommend that for B2B as well as B2C as well as YouTube also, I would not be creating videos on a weekly basis but YouTube can be extremely beneficial for both B2B and B2C as well and with blogs and Twitter, I would also throw Google+ in thereas another channel that I think that every company that believes that Google is important to them that that should have a role in it. And then you get to other networks. Those are not the only networks out there, there’s a bunch of fringe networks out there obviously but the only other networks that I would bring up are Pinterest and Instagram. If you are B2C, go to Pinterest, if you press at the top left corner you do a search you’ll see all those categories; is your product pinnable? Do you have a product that is consumer facing; that provides inspiration to the female demographic that’s on Pinterest? If not, don’t spend your time there although I do see some B2B companies experimenting and some are successful but really that’s what Pinterest comes down to. Instagram gets even more difficult because there is no direct linkage. You can’t click on a link on instagram and go anywhere like you can on Pinterest so I think Instagram is more for consumer facing brands especially if mobile is your focus. It is a very, very young demographic so Pinterest and Instagram would be the sort of the special ones but within all these platforms that I talk about you have limited resources. The easiest thing to do and I do this a lot for Twitter when I have skeptical business owners saying I don’t care what you ate for breakfast. I go, okay let’s put in some keywords that are relevant to your company and relevant to your industry. Put in some competitor keywords and see what comes up and every single time I do this they are always shocked that what their competitor is tweeting has a relevant audience or people aren’t talking about things that are relevant to the business. So with any of these social networks, do a search and if you see a lot of conversations you see your competitors there, you’re going to have an idea that there’s a potential to have that conversation it could be something there.
James: Cool! Well let’s have a conversation now about who should actually be doing the social media management because in your book Maximize Your Social recently published on Wiley, I will get that little credit in there; you say that businesses you say that social media should not a drop a chunk of cash on social media consultant instead they should manage their own social media. Why do you advocate businesses do it themselves and not outsource it Neal?
Neal: When I started my consultancy in January of 2010 I was approached by four different businesses here in Southern California that wanted me to help them with their social media and I decided at that time that the right thing to do was just like any other function was to help them become self-sufficient in doing that so I still think that there is a need for consultants to come in at a strategic level and at an educational level in terms of training but I do think that it’s established of outsourcing some work, for example ad agencies have incredible creative edge, know what consumers have a lot of experience can replicate the message in a way that can generate business. And I you could say the same for social, but social is a little bit different than that. It’s a lot more of sending higher frequency messages out and at the end of the day it really does represent your brand on a day in and day out basis to a huge amount of people. So I really believe that it becomes an inseparable part of a company’s brand and therefore for a company to tell that story, it has to come internally. It’s like me when I was in sales, whenever we had the CEO come out and we went to the customer, the CEO is always able to tell these stories of how he was able to help out his early customers, how our company was founded, what are we doing with other clients around the world and it’s that story telling that is the heart of what companies are trying to do in social and it really comes down to being able to tell an authentic and transparent story. I think a lot of people are switching off to that sort of speak that is very market and is not authentic as the younger generation so yes it is enough to say that isn’t there – I know there are probably agencies that are listening to this podcast- not to say that there isn’t a role, there is a need to coordinate all this activity, there is a need to create a lot of content that some companies just can’t do so I tell companies look if you can’t create all the content and we have the advent of content marketing agencies, work with great agencies that can help you but make sure that you revoice that content in your brand voice and make sure that you own the strategy and what type of content is being created and that it goes to a quality control check, it goes to a revoice check for your brand and I think it can be extremely effective if you use these agencies to help you scale your social media so there’s an ideal but unless you are a huge company with lots of resources it’s hard for you to do everything internally if you want to scale very quickly in social so there’s the role that agencies can play. At the minimum, companies need to own the strategy. you can’t give up the strategy – you know what your business objectives are, don’t listen to anyone else, work with a consultant to help you create that strategy or remaximize your social to create one. But then from there that means that you’re in control and therefore when you work with an agency and they’re working aligned with your strategy it’s going to be a much better and a longer term relationship for everybody I believe.
James: Good! And how will a company go about identifying a suitable person internally to manage it if they have internally to manage it if they have that resource available to them.
Neal: Yeah another great question and I would encourage more companies to do this. You know what? Ask. Social media is a wonderful thing. A lot of people are very, very passionate about it. There are some people who like us want to do social media for their career looking for opportunity so I always tell people, especially people who are marketing and PR, say, we are doing social media and PR, what should we do? Ask people internally. Your HR people may want to get involved with social recruiting, your sales people may have an interest in using Twitter, I don’t know but once you start internal conversations, everybody has a pretty good opinion about social. You may get good ideas on how to collaborate internally and undoubtedly you’re probably going to find people that will want to play a role in it. Now, just because they are passionate does not mean that they are going to be good in that role because as we know, using social media from a professional perspective is very different from using it on a professional perspective. And I would tell companies when they did not want to go that route they wanted to literally say Neal, who should we pick? I tell them that the customer service people are usually very good because in the customer service role they are used to dealing with customers that have difficult situations, they know your products and they’re used to getting things done internally when there’s a problem. That is almost an ideal type of person but that’s like the outward facing community manager. On the inside you still need content management. That person may not have the skill set for the content. That may be a different person so in an ideal world you have an outward facing socialite customer support community manager and on the flip side you have to have someone really good facing the copywriting content- that would be the ideal organization.
James: Excellent! Well let’s wrap up with a couple of topics and the first one I quickly want to ask you about is paid social media traffic, we touched upon it just briefly earlier. Can you still get results with pure organic social or is there a need now to amplify with some sort of paid social advertising?
Neal: It is getting more and more important for companies to supplement their organic social with paid social; we all know what Facebook has done and now obviously Twitter has been doing it for a while. LinkedIn now has promoted posts show up in our news feeds as well so it really comes down to when you have a strategy and you create your KPIs and you benchmark how well you are doing with your competitors, you create certain metrics right and you are monitoring those metrics and if you don’t feel that your social is as effective as could be that’s when you may want to consider supplementing your paid. The problem with social is people don’t scale but paid social scales. It scales very, very quickly if you have the budget. And it’s funny I was on a podcast recently with Michael Steltson of the Social Media Examiner. Why would you want to pay $100 on social media? What is 1 hour of your time worth? If you could get 200 clicks at 50cents a click at with an extremely relevant audience on Facebook, how much value does it have on your business? It probably has a lot more than the $100 that you think your hour may be worth for instance. I’m sure James you tried a lot more than a $100 like I do. So that’s where it comes down to. The paid social can be extremely effective because you have the ability to target individuals or businesses in a way that just never been possible and to not take advantage of that I think that you missed out on the opportunity and think what happens when your competitor starts to take advantage of that so it’s one big experiment. If you have not experimented with paid social, you should and if you have those KPIs and say you know what we’re doing great organically, we’re hitting all our numbers and what have you that’s great but if you ever want to maximize your social you really need to have a paid component right now. It’s funny because you can’t advertise on all the social networks but when I was in Japan I started Google Adwords ads for Google pages so you can get pretty creative about this. Pinterest just started ads, they’re only doing it with a few different brands but there is no reason why you could not have a pin me ad in Google Adwords so that’s what I love in social media; it’s that creative aspect. All the advertising agencies will have the creative zen. Every business can do that now in their own paid social as well as organic social and do some wonderful things to engage with their audience so we’ll see how much more important paid can become just since I’ve seen Facebook and Twitter release their paid social platforms and they’ve become more mainstream, I don’t see people leaving Facebook because of ads. I see some people grumbling but I think it’s successful and one reason why I see its successful is when you have companies with IPO, they’re going to need to increase the profits and if Facebook is already at the point of saturation, you’re going to see more advertising appear in the network and I think it is going to be great for companies there’s going to be more opportunities. But as long as there are no backlash you’re going to be needing to do more and more paid social just to the Joneses in essence.
James: And ramp things up; it’s going to be difficult to get started and you’ve just got a few fans and you hardly get any sort of reach so I think that paid element just to get things moving for you is becoming almost essential. So Neal, let me wrap up with one question. You of course consult with a lot of companies and I am sure you did plenty of research for your recent book; what are some of the big mistakes that you’ve seen businesses make because I want to know some of the real bloopers that you’ve witnessed.
Neal: Wow! It’s funny I was just asked to contribute to an e-book about LinkedIn and one of the questions was what are the big mistakes people make? LinkedIn is something I have written two books about so the question goes on and on about the mistakes I see there so obviously the biggest mistake is that companies are not aligning their social media presence with their business objectives. It’s that lack of strategy that is obviously the biggest problem and if you’re in that boat, you are not alone. I think 80% of businesses if not more are also in that boat so that’s you know, what you are trying to do. The second thing is not responding. And it really is just common sense but I see a lot of companies that have presence as you go to their Facebook page, they have fans asking questions and they are not responding right? You tweet at them and there’s just no response. If you’re a huge brand that gets a thousand tweets a day I understand but if you are a smaller business you have no excuse because with every conversation you can have in social, you can start to leverage the potential of marketing by followers seeing the conversation, when you like someone’s comment you respond to them so it really is social media 101 but it is forgotten about and that’s a lot of things. I think the other thing that I see about the United States is that companies are still operating in social media as if it was 2010- 2011. They have not looked at Google+, Pinterest and Instagram which are the next three emerging social networks that I think if you are in e-commerce Pinterest is extremely important. Instagram, depending on your audience and then Google+ really is important for every business that considers Google or wants to become friends with Google. It really is a no-brainer to get a verified profile and to map out digital properties using your Google+ profile. I can go on and on about the mistakes but those are some of the big- and I think companies really misunderstand Google+ as not just a social network but social layer is another huge mistake that 90% of businesses that I talk to are doing. I mean if you are on Twitter and you are tweeting 3 or 4 times a day, why can’t you take it to Google+ and replicate it? Even at minimum, you can reap the benefits. So those are a few tips for you out there listening.
James: Excellent! Neal that’s been absolute marketing gold! Thank you so much for that. Where should our listeners go and find out more about you?
Neal: Well, the name of my book, Maximize Your Social is also the name of my website so go to MaximizeYourSocial.com. You can download a free excerpt of the book. The book is published by Wiiley’s so it is available internationally in hard cover and as well as in e-book Kindle iTunes or whatever reader you have. And I also run a blog called Maximize Social Business which I founded that has about 20 different contributors with a wide variety of social media for business topics and I blog there as well so MaximizeYourSocial.com, MaximizeSocialBusiness.com.
James: Excellent! And listener you’ll get links to both of those websites within the show notes of Episode#20 of Traffic Jam so head on over to the website for that. Neal Schaffer, MaximizeYourSocial.com, thanks for joining us on Traffic Jam.
Neal: Thank you so much for the opportunity James, it was a lot of fun and I wish every the best of luck in maximizing your social.
This week’s news in Traffic: If you are an app developer, Facebook have added some options allowing you to display customized calls to action within your ads promoting your ads on Facebook. These options include general actions like use app and more specific ones like shop now, book now, or listen now. Behind the scenes, as an advertiser you can now deep links area. This new calls to action which are to be used in targeting users who have already downloaded your app should encourage engagement and in some cases if you have an app that sells something, drive sales too.
Google is believed to be working a new and anonymous for advertisers to track what website visitors like based on the sites they have visited. The anonymous identifier for advertising being referred to as ad ID would be an alternative to the third party cookies currently used by advertisers to serve relevant personalized adverts. So how would this work? According to the Daily Mail under the plans when a person visits a site an anonymous ad ID would be sent to advertisers and advertising networks that have signed up to the system. These advertisers would have to adhere to a set of basic guidelines about what they can and can’t track and how they can and can’t user the information they are sent. Only advertisers who stick to the guidelines will be given the IDs and if they break the terms and conditions, they would lose access to them. Users may be able to create secondary ad IDs for when they want to keep their browsing history private. It is also thought that the system will be opted in similar to the way cookies are handled and people can disable the tracking at any time.
Lastly and going back to Facebook, it’s as if they knew what our topic of conversation was today on the interview with Neal because they need some changes to Facebook page insights so you can better understand and track the effectiveness of your Facebook Marketing. If you haven’t checked those updates out yet, log in to your Facebook account and look at the new insights section.
A thank you and a shout out to Ben Lanoy from the United Kingdom who gave me a really nice 5-star iTunes review this week and he said James gave real time tips that work through seeing everyday results from his own business. His credibility and passion allows him to interview which allows him to interview some of the internet marketing greats. Gaining traffic and customers online no longer needs to be guess work. Essential listening for anybody for established internet marketer. So thank you Ben I really do appreciate you dropping by iTunes and leaving me a review. To you the listener I would really appreciate you leaving your review as well. Please log in to iTunes, head on over to the ratings tab and leave your review along with the star rating for the show, whatever you feel it deserves- five stars, four stars, even three stars, I really would appreciate that.
The one minute traffic tip: Okay, so Google have made searched encrypted meaning no keyword data now gets past in to Google Analytics. So how do you know what keyword searches bring traffic to your website And are good targets for SEO? The answer is Google webmaster tools. Google webmaster tools can be installed in a similar fashion to Google Analytics. You’ll first need to create an account and then add the unique code provided to your website. From webmaster tools you’ll be alerted to problems Google find with your site but additionally you get to see how many times your site shows up in the search results for a particular keyword search. Plus how many clicks it got and the average position your site ranks for any given phrase. If you use this data effectively, you can spot high potential keywords that are good targets for an SEO campaign. So what are you looking for? A. you want to find keywords with a high number of impressions. B. you want to make sure that the keywords are relevant, and C. You rank well for those phrases already but you’re not on the top half of page 1. Once identified, you can create more content on your site themed around these keywords to make your site relevant and then power up those pages with a reputable SEO agency, perhaps someone like my SEO agency SEO Sherpa or similar. That will move those potential keywords form the strong position up to the high position where you’ll get all of the traffic.
Okay, so that rounds out Episode #20. I’ll be back again real soon with another episode of Traffic Jam for your listening pleasure. For more tips on training to help you get more traffic leads and sale from your website, check out the latest post at Veravo.com. Some of the most recent posts for you there are crafting your user’s journey, how relevance can increase your SEO rank and your conversions. We’ve got mobile site design must haves, tips on creating compelling and high converting landing pages for your mobile website plus I have got a whole report on Hummingbird, the new algorithm from Google, what has changed and how it affects you so head on over to Veravo.com for those posts.
To close out this week’s episode we have a musical jam which of course is chosen by my guest today Neal Schaffer. It’s his favorite band Jamiroquai who happen to be one of my favorite bands too Neal so great choice in music. The track is called Virtual Insanity and as I said it’s by Jamiroquai. Enjoy!
THIS WEEKS NEWS IN TRAFFIC
- Facebook Customized Calls To Action
- Google Anonymous Identifier for Advertisers
- Facebook Page Insights Changes
ONE MINUTE TRAFFIC TIP
- Keyword Research Using Webmaster Tools
THE TRAFFIC JAM
- Jamiroquai – Virtual Insanity
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