Archives For Social Media

Recovering the Lost Soul of Social Media Remember when brands and companies wanted to be on Twitter instead of having to be there? Remember when someone posting the same tweet to the same article was grounds for an unfollow?

Long gone are those days. In the past month I’ve tracked one prominent online magazine tweet the same link with essentially the same text more than four times. That’s at least four well-deserved unfollows by 2008 standards.

We live in the age of the triple (and unfortunately, the quadruple and quintuple) tweet. It’s not accidental either – it’s a recommended strategy by most digital strategists. And a regular practice for most marketers. Entire infographics are devoted to ideal posting schedules as automation services multiply like rabbits. Even Twitter added a scheduling module to its platform last fall.

What does this amount to? Scott Stratten of UnMarketing put its starkly,

Syncing, scheduling, and absentee tweeting has killed Twitter.

This isn’t 2006 when Twitter was nothing more than a glorified status update platform (Facebook’s status updates used to be limited to 140 characters too). There were no scheduling or syndication tools. If you wanted to be on Twitter you had to be virtually present. Following over 100 people was a big deal because that implied – get this – you actually read what they tweeted.

“Wait a minute,” you argue, “I don’t need to be on Twitter. I get email updates when someone mentions me. I get push notifications for my favorite users.”

But to Stratten’s point, even this shows the shift in platform use. If this is how everyone used it, Twitter would no longer be a social community – a place to come, learn, and contribute. Instead, it’s only community so long as it’s convenient for me and people are mentioning me. In other words, it’s conditional.

Now, before we cry foul on the marketers, I have to admit my own part in this. Though the triple tweet is not my bag of tricks, I regularly use Buffer to schedule my published content.

I get it. Social media is now a viable marketing tool for brands, businesses, and publications. But instead of taking the time to learn the craft, many marketers have hijacked Twitter and other social platforms to push content and shout loudly with no intention of listening. Twitter is about distribution more than it is about socializing.

With over 500 million tweets a day, it’s a given that less and less people see your single tweet. The Twitter user base is increasing, more people are tweeting, and more followers are added. But as social media becomes more and more automated, how can we retain its real-time and personal soul? A glimpse of the old days only seems to come in national or global events, like the World Cup.

Far from this being a rally cry to abandon the platform, this is a gentle pleading to consider how you use Twitter whether as a person or on behalf of a business. Social media is just that: social media. Don’t treat the platform as yet another megaphone to shout. Take time to listen, invest, contribute, learn, and give.

Image credit: Josh Semans on Flickr.

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World's Largest Webinar (#WLW14)

Dan Zarella at Hubspot hosted the World’s Largest Webinar on the “Secrets of Social Media Today.” Here are my notes from the presentations with live link examples:

Speakers: Dan Zarella, Russ Laraway, Scott Engelman, Jed Clevenger

Topic #1: How to Make Your Social Media Presence Awesome

  • Twitter: Create a Twitter profile that attracts more followers
    • Use bio to be descriptive & reflective of why you should follow
    • Include a URL
    • Make it easy to be found
    • Use photos to draw in people visually
    • 75% access people by mobile, so don’t disregard mobile
    • Ex. @Bonobos
  • Facebook: Build presence & make the right connections
    • Fill out complete and accurate info for a page
    • Great profile pictures
    • Use free tools: contact importer, friend invites
    • Test new types of content and explore page insights
    • Ex. SweetHaus
  • LinkedIn: Create a company page that is informative & engaging
    • Write a compelling business description
    • Use an eye-catching image
    • Ex. Huge

Topic #2: Getting the Most Out of Your Posts & Audience

  • Twitter: Get more engagements for your tweets
    • Give your followers what they want
    • 80% of content not focused on selling
    • Tweet about relevant industry topics
    • Use #Hashtags correctly – think of them like structured search.
    • Build communities around these.
  • LinkedIn: use snackable content, taking audiences mind into consideration
  • Facebook: Post engaging content and get in the right conversations.

Topic #3: Don’t Waste Money; Advertise Smartly

  • LinkedIn: use sponsored updates to amplify your message.
    • Get target content to an extended audience.
    • Get advertising to mobile, desktop and tablet audiences.
    • Ex. LinkedIn Talent Solutions
  • Facebook: use direct response advertising for amazing audience targeting.
    • Can reach whoever matters to you.
    • Four pillars of Facebook ad strategy:
      1. Ad Formats: create newsfeed ads
      2. Targeting: target people not cookies. Four types:
        1. Interest & demographic
        2. Custom audiences
        3. Website custom audiences (been to your website)
        4. Look-like audience
      3. Conversion tracking: link off site to a website
      4. Measurement: manage campaign costs and optimize
    • Ex. Little Passports
  • Twitter: Campaign copy should work for you.
    • Get more mileage out of your content.
    • Don’t distract with hashtags or mentions if you don’t need them.
    • Communicate a sense of urgency.
    • Deliver a compelling offer.
  • Facebook: be human – talk to people the way you would talk to them in person. Go to for help.
  • Twitter: Ad Performance Tips
    • On twitter it all comes down to relevancy – people connected to what they are interested in.
    • Ex. @BuzzStream
  • Facebook: Ad Performance Tips
    • Objective base create flow.
    • Power Editor is for scaling your ad creation.
    • Use targeting to make the ad relevant to the audience but not too narrow.
    • Use a clear call-to-action.
    • Refresh your ads every 2-4 weeks.
    • Ex. NatureBox
  • LinkedIn: Making the most of your ad dollars
    • Use your most engaging organic post rates (shoot for something above 1%).
    • Always monitor CTR.
    • Test different bids with various audiences.
    • Keep your ROI in mind with each campaign.
    • Ex. Mutual Mobile

Topic #4: Social Media-Wide Best Practices

  • Twitter: Ex. @Chegg
  • Facebook:Be authentic and use relevant images.
    • Don’t use too much “me”-content.
    • Ex. Facebook for Business (the irony here)
  • LinkedIn:
    • Consider images that are eye-catching.

Miscellaneous Questions

  • Should I post the same thing on all three accounts?
    • Different networks and deserve to be utilized individually.
  • Should I use “Follow Me” links on my website?
    • Use calls-to-action and spread your following around.

Final Thought

  • Always be testing – marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.


Overall the webinar was large, but also misleading. Unless you’re new to social media, none of the material mentioned was a “secret” of any kind. While the webinar was not a waste of time, three things could’ve been done to improve its quality:

  1. Better sound. The mic was terrible and most that engaged using the hashtag #WLW14 mentioned this.
  2. Better speakers. Aside from Zarella, Laraway was the only one who did not use notes.
  3. A More Accurate Title or More Promising Material. Based on the content of the hour long webinar, it should’ve been titled “An Overview of Social Media Today.”

So you’ve heard of big data, the internet of things (IoT) and other technological advances that are allowing businesses to know more than ever about their customers, but what does this mean for marketing as we know it? Well, if marketing is the effective promotion of a product, brand or service toward a profitable end, digital marketing, then, is a shift in the medium utilized to promote that product, brand or service. And if we combine the shift in medium and the shift in knowledge of our customers, then we’re in the midst of a much larger shift than you may realize. Thus, while we continue to grasp and leverage web-based innovations, social tools and mobile technology for marketing purposes, we cannot neglect the opportunity to maximize our marketing efforts through customer optimization. Funnel Envy’s infographic below  provides helpful insight on how we can do just that:

How to Generate Value from Digital Marketing
Source: How to Generate Value from Digital Marketing