Seven thoughts on effective social campaigns

The original hed was The 7 Secrets to the Most Effective Social-Media Campaigns which was a little click-baity for my tastes but, nonetheless, the post had some good tidbits. My biggest takeaway? “Filter out mobile traffic” on paid social ads, which after reading, made sense. What do you think?

I’ve resisted social media advertising for a long time, believing that there are a host of free tools and free strategies that can help your business grow on social media organically.

What I’ve come to find out (and I’d imagine many of you have discovered this already) is this:

If you’re spending money to advertise online, social media ads may very well earn you the biggest returns.

(In some cases, it’s the cheapest way to reach people.) 

There are so many inspiring digital marketers who are pioneering the best practices and cool strategies for social media advertising. As we dip our toes further into social ads here at Buffer, it’s been fun to discover all the great tips we might try. I’ve collected seven of my favorite ones here in this blog post—a list of simple, actionable tips that drive successful social media ads. 

I’d love to hear in the comments any strategies you might add!

1. Create multiple versions of the ad

When we write headlines for Buffer blog posts, we often come up with a big handful of options (15 or more headlines per post when we can manage it) so that we can test and see what works best.

The same idea works with social media ads.

When you read about a successful social media ad, it’s likely that the ad has gone through a few key variations based on these actions:

  1. Write several versions of ad copy
  2. Test different images
  3. Adjust and hone your target audience

In the comments of our post on Facebook advertising budgets, Lucie shared this great tidbit about how to gauge what’s working and what’s not:

I always have several versions of the ad and anything with lower than 1.5% CTR after few hours I deactivate.

The strategy then would look something like this:

  1. Create lots of ad variations
  2. Check often to see what’s working
  3. Deactivate the lowest performers and try something new

In terms of testing out different ad copy, there are many popular recommendations for what might work (including a few ideas I’ll share below). This SlideShare from e-CBD, while a couple years old, has some interesting ideas for things to try: power words, time prompts (“now,” “limited time”), and question marks.

Question Marks in social media ads

For images, you can test things like product pictures, people and faces, evenmemes.

And when it comes to custom audiences, there are some great tactics on different ways to hone in on a segment that converts (probably enough tactics for a post of its own, which we’d love to cover separately). One bit of advice I’ve found helpful in thinking through things is another useful comment on our Facebook Ads post, from Bill Grunau:

You want to cast a large net, BUT not try to scoop up the entire ocean.

A target audience of 3,000 to 5,000 is very, very small. For FB ads it should be in the high five or six figures as a minimum. If it is many millions then it is likely too big.

2. Use the “Learn More” button

When creating ads for the Facebook News Feed, you get the chance to include one of seven buttons with your ad.

If in doubt, it’s best to choose a button instead of no button.

And the best button of all? The “Learn More” button.

Learn More button

You can add the button in the bottom section of the Facebook Ads editor. These are the seven button options to choose from:

  1. Shop Now
  2. Book Now
  3. Learn More
  4. Sign Up
  5. Download
  6. Watch More
  7. Contact Us

The theory behind why this button works is that it helps focus your ad to an even greater degree, like a Mario mushroom for your already great copy. Adding a button enhances the call-to-action and primes a reader to take the action.

As for which button works best, you’re might notice that one fits your niche particularly well (“Book Now,” for instance, would be great for vacation spots). For the “Learn More” button, there seems to be growing evidence that it’s the best overall bet for engagement.

Noah Kagan found that “Learn More” converted better than the other optionsand better than using no button at all.

And Facebook ad tool Heyo ran an A/B test to see the effect that the “Learn More” button had, compared to no button at all. The result: a 63.6% increase in conversions and 40% decrease in cost-per-click just from the Learn More.

Heyo Facebook ads test

3. Create a custom landing page

If the goal of your social media ad is conversions—sales, signups, what-have-you—then you’ll want to think not only of the ad itself but also where a person might end up once they click.

Picture social media ads as a two-step process:

  1. Create the ad
  2. Create the destination 

Some of the most successful social media advertising campaigns include custom landing pages, where the copy carries over from the ad and the action crystal clear.

The more targeted your ad, the more targeted your landing page needs to be.

You’ll see this often with e-commerce ads that do a great job targeting a single product and then send the person from the ad to the main product page, full of menus and related products and all sorts of potentially distracting (albeit eminently useful) places to click.

Siddharth Bharath, writing at Unbounce, suggests a click-through landing page, which is an intermediate page between an ad and a final destination (shopping cart, for instance).

This keeps the focus on the offer – the reason the prospect clicked – and leaves them with two options: buy now or lose the deal forever.

As Unbounce describes it:

Videos or product images paired with a description and product benefits help to persuade the visitor to click the call-to-action.

click-through-landing-page-th

Socialmouths shared five key elements of these social media ad landing pages.

  1. Goal-Driven Copy Length
  2. Limited Form Fields
  3. Key Visuals
  4. Responsive, i.e., “Mobile-ready,” Design
  5. A Single Call to Action

Of these, the single call-to-action stands out as a potentially quite key element.

Also of note, the goal-driven copy length suggests the idea that there could be multiple goals for your social media campaign, something like a spectrum from immediate goals to long-term goals or sales/lead-gen to awareness/education. In general, a landing page for an immediate goal has short copy. A landing page for a long-term goal has long copy.

4. Mention price up front

Another interesting tip from Siddharth Bharath involves the idea of pre-qualifying your traffic. Essentially, it works like this:

You only want people clicking through to your ad who are comfortable paying the price for your product. 

The key then is to share your product’s price early.

Udemy price ad

Doing so will help qualify the traffic that heads to your landing page. Instead of filtering out people when they reach your pricing page, you can do so before they even click—thereby saving you pay-per-click costs that wouldn’t have amounted to a conversion.

The goal, in other words, wouldn’t be about people clicking your ad. The goal would be people clicking your ad and eventually buying your product or service.

5. Promote a discount

In a survey of Facebook users67 percent of people said they were likely to click on a discount offer. 

A simple strategy for a successful social media ad: Mention a discount in your copy.

In a really cool case study from Hautelook, the clothing website ran a 50% off sale on their Diane Von Furstenberg line. Mentioning a discount in their ads led to a huge sales day—the third largest sales day in company history.

Hautelook discount

And discounts don’t necessarily always need to be tied to huge sales events. At Buffer for instance, we have three different pricing options (free, Awesome,Business), and at the Awesome price the price is lower when paying a year in advance rather than month-to-month. It’s kind of a built-in discount and one we could explore using in our social media ad copy.

6. Filter out mobile traffic

When creating a social media ad, you’ll typically have the option of segmenting the audience by a number of factors, including those using a desktop/laptop versus a mobile device.

To fully optimize your conversion rate, show your ad to those on desktops and laptops. Don’t show your ad on mobile.

This slide deck from Ad Espresso (a Facebook ads management tool) does a great job explaining the differences between types of social media ad placement, particularly on Facebook.

 

The mobile News Feed is great for mobile app installs and engagement. It’s tough to get website conversions.

Here’s the key slide:

Facebook mobile news feed ads

Noah Kagan also mentions excluding mobile traffic in his steps for getting started with Facebook ads.

Avoid showing your ads to mobile traffic. Most likely your page is not mobile designed and that traffic is less likely to purchase or sign up for an email address. 

That last sentiment seems key here: Mobile visitors are less likely to convert to a sign up or a sale. If conversions are the goal of your social ad campaign, then it might be great to focus solely on the desktop audience.

A couple of additional notes here also:

  1. Not only do the most successful social media ads hone in on the device type, they also keep in mind the location of the ad. Typically sidebar display ads—like those offered by Twitter or Facebook—see lower click through numbers (they’re recommended as a great option for retargeting). The best results are those that appear natively in the News Feed or timeline. Ezra Firestone calls these “advertisements that blend in with the platform.”
  2. Removing mobile display from your ads is an often-recommended strategy, though there’s definitely two sides to the discussion. Brian Honigman,writing at SumAll, mentions that your ads should focus on mobile first in order to capture the huge volume of Facebook traffic that accesses the site from mobile devices.

7. Focus on relevance score

facebook-ad-relevance-score-performance-10

When I wrote about our Facebook Ads experiments a few weeks back, I was so grateful for all the advice and learnings that folks shared in the comments. This bit from Lucie has stuck with me:

I test my ad on a small budget and see the relevance score first. If it is less than 8/10, it means I should adjust my targeting. If it is higher, then I know I hit the nail on the head.

Jon Loomer wrote a detailed breakdown of Facebook’s relevance score, explaining what it is and how it’s calculated.

Briefly, relevance score helps explain the way Facebook views your ad and why it might prefer certain ads you’ve created versus others.

Facebook says they use relevance score to determine “expected” interaction with your ad.

Relevance score is calculated based on actual and expected positive and negative feedback from the ad’s target audience. The score is updated in real-time as users interact with and provide feedback — both positive and negative — with that ad.

Positive feedback includes people liking, commenting, and sharing your ad and also any desired actions taken with your ad (clicks to website for instance).

Negative feedback includes those instances when people hide your ad or ask not to see ads from you.

It’s all delivered on a 1 to 10 scale and based on real interactions with your ad; there’s a 500 daily impressions minimum in order to receive your first score.

From Lucie and Jon’s advice, there are a couple of great takeaways and strategies on how successful social media ads look at relevance score.

  1. Test your ad with a small budget first, to see where your relevance score lies. Once you achieve relevance of 8/10 or higher, then promote the ad more heavily.
  2. Since relevance scores update in real time, check your ads often. If the score dips below 8/10, adjust the ad.

(This second point hints at a higher-level bit of advice with social media ads: Don’t just set ’em and forget ’em. Consistent, active monitoring is key.)

Summary

As we’re in the early stages of testing out social media ads at Buffer, it’s a real privilege to be able to learn from those who have gone before us, trying and testing to see what works in social ads. We’re excited to take all the great advice here and use it in our own experiments and campaigns.

One of the best blueprints I’ve seen for creating a social media ad (particularly a Facebook ad) is this brief list from Noah Kagan, which condenses a lot of the sentiment from the above strategies.

  1. Call to action: Choose “Learn More”
  2. Headline: Give away something for free
  3. Text: Social proof showing why the reader should care
  4. Link Description: Give call to action for them to get benefit

Try to create an ad that uses natural text versus something that seems like an advertisement.

What have you found works well for you with social media ads?

 

Original POST

 

KEVAN LEE
FROM BUFFER
Content Crafter. Buffer

Why no one pays attention to your marketing

Moz is one of those companies that really understands that sharing great information and helping others to understand (“Youtility” as Jay Baer calls it) the intricacies of digital marketing puts them on the map as accessible professionals. Rand Fishkin often contributes to a feature called “Whiteboard Fridays” which are always worth a read. Below is just one of a number of really terrific posts.


Ever mass-deleted a bunch of impersonal emails from your inbox? Brand fatigue is a real threat to your marketing strategy. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses why brands become “background noise” and how you can avoid it.

Why No One Pays Attention to Your Marketing - The Painful Pitfall of Brand Fatigue Whiteboard Friday

For reference, here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard. Click on it to open a high resolution image in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat a little bit about why no one is paying attention to your brand, to your marketing. It’s the perilous pitfall of brand fatigue.

Brand fatigue sucks

So you have all had this happen to you. I promise you have. It’s happened in your email. It’s happened in your social streams. It’s happened through advertising in the real world, online and offline.

I’ll give you an illustration. So I sign up for this newsletter. I decide, “Hey, I want to get some houseplants. My house has no greenery in it.” So I sign up for Green Dude Houseplants’ newsletter. What do I get? Well, I get a, “Welcome to Our Newsletter.” Oh, okay.

And then maybe the next day I get, “Meet Our New Hires.” Meet our new hires? I’m sure that your new hires are very important to you and your team, but I just got introduced to your brand. I’m not sure I care that much. To me, you’re all new hires. You might as well be, right? I don’t know you or the team yet.

“Best Summer Ever Event,” okay, maybe, maybe an event. “Edible Backyard Gardens, you know, I don’t have a backyard. I was signing up for a houseplant newsletter because it was in my house. “See Us at the Garden Show,” I don’t want to go to the garden show. I was going to buy from you. That’s why I’m online.

Okay, thanks.

How to cause brand fatigue

It’s not just the value of the messaging. It’s the frequency that it happens at. You’ve seen this. I’m on an email list that I signed up for, I think it’s called FounderDating. It’s here in Seattle. I think it’s in San Francisco. I thought it was a really cool idea when I signed up for it. Then I have just been inundated with messages from them. I think some of them are actually worthy of my participation, like I should have gone to the forum. I should have replied. I should have checked out what this particular person wanted. But I get so much email from them that I’ve just begun to hit Delete as soon as I get it.

We’ve actually had this problem at Moz too. If you’re a Moz subscriber, you probably get a new email every time a new crawl is completed, and a campaign is set up, and you have new rankings data. Some of that’s really important, right? Like if you’re paying attention to this particular site’s rankings and you want to see every time you get an update, well yeah, you need that email. But it’s actually kind of tough to opt in to which ones you want and with what frequency and control it all from one place.

We have found that our email open rates, engagement rates have actually drifted way, way down over time because, probably, we’ve inundated you with so much email. This is a big mistake that Moz has made in our email marketing, but a lot of brands make it in tons of places. So I want to help you avoid that.

1) Too many messages on a medium

Brand fatigue happens when there are too many messages, just too many raw messages on a medium. You start to see the same brand, the same name, the same person again and again. Their logo, their colors, the association you have, it just becomes background noise. Your brain goes into this mode where it just filters it out because it can’t handle the volume of stuff that’s coming through. It needs a filtration mechanism. So it starts to identify and associate your brand or your logo or your name or a person’s name with “filter.” Filter that out. That goes in the background.

2) Value provided is too low or infrequent to deserve attention

It also happens when the value provided is too low or too infrequent to deserve attention. So this might be what I’m talking about with FounderDating. One out of every maybe five or six messages, I’m like, “Oh yeah, that was interesting. I should pay attention to that.” But when it becomes too infrequent, that same filtration happens.

Too few of the high value messages means you’re not going to pay attention, you’re not going to engage with that brand, with that company anymore. All of us marketers will see that in the engagement rates. No matter the medium, we can look at our numbers and see that those are going down on a percentile basis, and that gets really frustrating.

3) The messaging can’t be effectively tuned or controlled by the user

So this is the problem that Moz is having where we don’t have that one email control center where you say how often you want exactly which messages updating you of which notifications about which campaigns, and newsletter and da, da, da. So your message frequency is either all the time high or very high and so you’re, “I don’t like any of those options.”

Very frustrating.

How NOT to cause brand fatigue

Now, I do have some solutions and suggestions. But it’s platform by platform.

Email

Start very conservative with your email marketing and highly personal. In fact, I would actually recommend personally sending all the messages out to your first few hundred users if you possibly can, because you will get a great rapport that you develop individually with person by person. That will give you a sense for what your audiences like and what kind of messaging they prefer, and they’ll know they can reply directly to you.

You’ll create that highly-engaged experience through email that will mean that, as you scale, you have the experience from the past to tell you how often you can and can’t email people, what they care about and don’t, what they filter and don’t, what they’re looking for from you, etc. You can thenwatch your open, unsubscribe and engagement rates through your email program. No matter what program you might be using, you can almost always see these.

Then you can watch for, “Oh, we had a spike.” That spike is a good thing. That means that people were highly engaged on this email. Let’s figure out what resonated there. Let’s go talk to folks. Let’s reach out to the people who engaged with it and just say, “Hey, why did you love this? What did you love about it? What can we do to give you more value like this?”

Or you watch for dips. Then you can say, “Oh man, the last three email newsletters that we’ve sent out, we’ve seen successive declines in engagement and open rates, and we’ve seen a rise in unsubscribe rates. We’re doing something wrong. What’s going on? What’s the root cause? Is it who we’re acquiring? Is it new people that signed up, or is it old-timers who are getting frustrated with the new stuff we’re sending out? Does this fit with our strategy? What can we fix?”

Be careful. The thing that sucks about brand fatigue is a lot of platforms, email included, have systems, algorithmic systems set up to penalize you for this. With email, if you get high unsubscribes and low engagement, that will actually kill your long-term chances for email marketing success, because Gmail and Yahoo Mail and Microsoft’s various mail programs and whatever installed mail your targets might have, whatever they’re using, you will no longer be able to break through those email filters.

The email filter that Gmail has says, “Hey, a lot of people click Unsubscribe and Report Spam. Let’s put this in the Promotions tab.” Or, “Hey, a lot of people are clicking Report Spam. You know what? Let’s just block this sender entirely.” Or, “Gosh, this person has in the past not engaged very much with these messages. We’re going to not make them high priority anymore.” Gmail has that automatic high priority system. So you’re getting algorithmically turned into noise even if you might have had something that your customers really cared about.

Blog or other content platform

This is a really interesting one. I would strongly urge you to read Trevor Klein from Moz’s blog postabout the experiment that we and HubSpot did around how much content to produce and whether lowering content or increasing content had positive effects. There are some fascinating results from that study.

But the valuable thing to me in that is if you don’t test, you’ll never know. You’ll never know the limits of what your audience wants, what will frustrate them, what will delight them. I recommend you don’t create content unless you can have a great answer for the question, “Who will help amplify this and why?” I don’t mean, like, “Oh, well I think people who really like houseplants will help amplify this.” That’s not a great answer.

A great answer is, “Oh, you know, I know this guy named Jerry. Jerry runs a Twitter account that’s all about gardening. Jerry loves our houseplants. He’s a big fan of this. He’s particularly interested in flowering cacti. I know if we publish this post, Jerry will help amplify it.” That’s a great answer. You have 10 Jerrys, great. Hit Publish. Go for it. You don’t? Why are you making it?

Watch your browse rate, your conversion rate, and conversion rate…. I don’t mean necessarily all the way to whatever you’re selling, your ecommerce store products or your subscription or whatever that is. Conversion rate could be conversion rate to an email newsletter or to following you on a social platform or whatever.

You can watch time on site and amplification per post to essentially get a sense for like, “Hey, as we’re producing content, are we seeing the metrics that would indicate that our content marketing is being successful?” If the answer to that is no, well we need to retool it. It turns out there’s actually no prize for hitting Publish.

You might think that your job as a content producer or a content marketer is to make content every day or content every week. That’s not your job. Your job is to have success with the metrics that are going to predict and correlate to the strategies you need as a business to acquire customers, to grow your marketing channels, to grow your brand’s impact, to help people, whatever it is that your mission is.

I highly recommend finding your audiences’ sweet spot for both focus and frequency. If you do those things, you’re going to do a great job with avoiding brand fatigue around your content.

Twitter, Facebook, and other social media

Last one is social. I’ll talk specifically about Twitter and Facebook, because most things can be classified in there, even things like Instagram and LinkedIn and the fading, sadly, Google+ and those sorts of things.

Twitter, generally speaking, more forgiving as a platform. Facebook has more of those algorithmic elements to punish you for low engagement.

So, for example, I’ve had this happen on my personal Facebook page where I’ve published a few things that people just didn’t really find interesting. This is on my Rand Fishkin Facebook page, different from the Moz one. It turns out that that meant that it was much harder for me next time, even with content that people were very engaged around, to reach them.

Facebook essentially had pushed in. They were like, “You know what? That’s three or four posts in a row from Rand Fishkin that people did not like, didn’t engage with. The next one we’re going to set the bar much higher for him to have to climb back up before we decide, ‘Hey, we’ll show that to more and more people.'”

Lately I’ve been having more success getting a higher percentage of my audience into the impression count of people who are actually seeing my posts on Facebook by getting better engagement there. But that’s a very challenging platform.

Users of both, however, are pretty sensitive, nearly equally sensitive. It’s not like Facebook users are more sensitive. It’s just that Facebook’s platform is more sensitive because Facebook doesn’t show you all the content you could possibly see.

Twitter is just a super simplistic newsfeed algorithm. It’s just, who posted last. So Twitter has that real time kind of thing. So I would still say for both of these, aim to only share stuff that gets high engagement, especially as your brand.

Personal account, do whatever you want, test whatever you want. But as your brand’s account, you want that high engagement over and over again because that will predict more people paying attention to you when you do post, going back and looking through your old social posts, subscribing to you, following you, all that sort of thing, considering you a leader.

You can watch both Twitter Analytics and your Facebook page’s stats to see if you’re having a dip or a spike, where you’re having success, where you’re not.

I actually love using Twitter and a little bit LinkedIn or Google+ to see what gets very high engagement and then I know, “Okay, I should re-share that on Twitter because my audience on Twitter is very temporal.” Two hours from now it’s going to be less than 1% overlap between who sees a Twitter post now and who sees a Twitter post 2 hours from now, and that’s a great test bed for Facebook as well.

So if I see something doing extremely well on Twitter or on Google+ or on LinkedIn, I go, “Aha, that’s the kind of thing I should post on Facebook. That will increase my engagement there. Now I can go post and get more engagement next time and build up my authority in Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm.

So with all of this stuff, hopefully, as you’re producing content, sharing content, building an email subscription, building a blog platform, you’re going to have a little less brand fatigue and a little more engagement from your users.

I look forward to chatting with you all in the comments. We’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

Original POST

 

12 social media tips for business

Ah, social. Still the wild west of marketing and populated with a mix of guns for hire and snake oil salesmen who, unfortunately, outnumber the authentic Gary Coopers out there. Sigh. I despise watching businesses that don’t have the time to understand what social can really do for their business get taken advantage of by folks promising more followers and reach. So what? How about grow revenue, inquiries, email lists, orders, bookings, downloads? It would seem a novel concept and an expectation to which many snake oil social media consultants don’t wish to be held accountable. So next time you hear another “social media guru/jedi/ninja/sherpa/expert,” etc. pitching you all about the awesome new followers, content and reach they can get you on the social platform du jour, step back and ask why that’s important to your business. The beauty of digital marketing is most everything can be tracked, and if your “hired gun” can’t provide analytics to show you what their efforts are specifically doing for your business, well…

The title on this post was modified from the original slightly clickbait-ish hed, 12 Social Media Truths No One Tells You – otherwise the content is the same and I agree with these “truths.” The following thoughts go hand in hand with a previous post, 7 things to quit doing with social marketing. Read on!


 

There’s no shortage of social media tips, how-tos, and advice for small businesses and entrepreneurs getting started and building a strategy. But if you’re like most business owners, you don’t have a lot of time. So here are 12 social media truths I hope can save you some time, avoid some common pitfalls, and focus your efforts on success.

1. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have.

People often fall into the trap of chasing follower numbers (or worse, paying for them). I’d rather have a network of 500 people in my industry who I can learn from and influence than 10,000 randomly-acquired bots and spammers and self-promoting chuckleheads. Build your networks by engaging like a real human being and helping people and you won’t have to worry about this.

2. You don’t have to be on every network.

I love Pinterest. These days I’m pinning ideas to spruce up our back patio. (It’s a thrill a minute ’round our place.) As a former social media snake oil salesman, I can make a convincing argument why any business can get value out of Pinterest or Instagram or Periscope or Glabberplat (I made one of those up). But if you have limited time, focus on providing value on the networks where your customers and prospects are most active. Better to not be somewhere than to have a presence there and ignore it.

3. You know your audience better than anyone. And if you don’t, ask.

You could pay a consultant to do an audience survey and explain the demographics of each social network and make recommendations about what networks you should use and what your customers want to see from you. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of smart consultants out there who can do that well. Or you could just spend the next couple of weeks asking your customers yourself.

4.Yes, your customers are on Facebook.

There’s, like, a billion people on Facebook. No, I mean literally. The number grows so rapidly that I check it every time I mention it. Your customers may not use Facebook daily to conduct business, but they’re definitely there, sharing pictures of their kids and finding out which Game of Thrones character they are and researching products and checking out local businesses. If you’re there too, and are interesting and helpful and human, they’ll appreciate that and remember you.

5. Social media isn’t free.

Have we thoroughly debunked this by now? Even if you only use free channels to engage and don’t pay to promote your posts, social media requires a time commitment, and like everything in life except making hamburger patties, the more time you put into it, the better it will be. Is your time free? Nope.

6. You don’t have to be a millennial.

Yes, “digital natives” have a lower learning curve when it comes to picking up apps and new social networks, but none of this is hard, no matter your age. Can you balance a checkbook? Can you do a Sudoku puzzle? I can’t, and I do social media for a living. Apps and networks won’t get traction if they’re hard to use, so the makers have an incentive to create a good user experience.

7. No, your cousin’s kid can’t do it for you.

Maybe Little Jimmy can build a wicked house in Minecraft, but does he know your business? Your customers? Does he have anything of value to add to a conversation about your industry? He can probably use a telephone, too (as long as it isn’t a pay phone, because how does that thing work and who even has change, gah!) but would you ask him to lead a call with your biggest client?

8. Yes, you do have time.

You’re busy. I’m busy. Everybody’s busy. Do you ever watch television? Then watch a little less and spend that time building your business. Need another example? I’m writing this post on my smartphone on the…train. (What did you think I was going to say?)

9. You can produce content. Yes. You can.

Have you ever sent an email to a business associate giving your take on the impact of some piece of industry news? Do you talk to your sales team about the potential ramifications of a piece of legislation, or a big move by a competitor or industry leader? That’s content. Just type it up next time. Your customers will find it valuable too. Don’t you want to be a thought leader? It’s so much better than being a guru. The hours are better and you don’t have to sit on the ground.

10. A blog post is whatever you say it is.

Some people think a blog post is a 2,000-word white paper. Some of the most useful posts I read are lists of links to important news in my industry. They might take 10 minutes to create, start to finish, but they can be very valuable. One paragraph that gets a customer thinking (and thinking about you) is a successful blog post.

11. Your customers really do care where you went on vacation.

Have you ever had a prickly email or telephone exchange with a new prospect or client, and then you met in person and found out your kids both play volleyball and are going to the same tournament in two weeks and then you were pals? That’s Facebook.

12. You can do it.

Building a social media strategy doesn’t have to be a big, hairy, difficult thing; in fact, it can and should be fun. Imagine having better, more human relationships with your prospects and customers, all the time. Social media can be the part of your marketing strategy you’ll actually enjoy. And if you’re having fun, your customers and prospects will have fun, too, and they’ll want to work with you. And that’s how you’ll know it’s working.

David B. Thomas is Senior Director of Content and Engagement at Salesforce.

 

Original post on VentureBeat