Social Media

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The goal of this article is to share with you common objectives you may encounter when working with a business and how to overcome them.  You can copy the content and paste it into a document for your reference.

There’s no return on investment in social media.

What is the ROI for your phone?  If you don’t have a phone or a website or a social media profile, you do not exist on the business landscape of your customer. That doesn’t mean that you just throw money at social media and hope it delivers results. Use sound business principles. Set business goals and start comparing the investment you currently have in getting and keeping customers with new social media tools.

We don’t have the money or the time to waste on social media.

This is another ROI question. If you currently make cold calls, send sales reps into the field, go to networking events, travel to trade shows, gather business cards, make sales calls, make appointments, drive to appointments and make more appointment to generate a new sale, then you might actually be saving time and money by using social media tools. I still have face-to-face meetings, but these often come AFTER a lengthy relationship building series over LinkedIn, Facebook and even Skype. I’ve just calculated my mileage for taxes and have seen a 50 percent decrease in travel miles over the last three years. The same is true for my “meals” category!

We can’t control our message.

Yes. Tony Hayward from BP had this same objection and we see how much good it did him. The way you control your message with social media is by putting it out there in the form of blog articles, guest articles, Twitter posts, Facebook updates, LinkedIn updates, answering questions and simply being present online. Think of Google as your homepage. When people search on your name or your company name—the content that you created should overwhelm the page.  

We’ll lose privacy and expose ourselves to the competition.

You will lose as much privacy as you would by sharing information at a networking event or a customer presentation. In fact, social media is a sales and marketing tool. The last thing you want is privacy! Worrying about privacy is like sending your sales rep to a trade show and saying, "Don’t tell anyone we’re there." You wouldn’t do that at a trade show, why do it online?  Maybe you’re stuck on the Twitter idea that people share what they’re having for breakfast.  That might have been true in the early days, but overwhelmingly Twitter is a place where conversations happen about brands.  There are marketing research tools out there designed to pull and analyze what products and services people are talking about.  

We Don’t Have Time

Does the business in question have people within it that take care of customer service? Perhaps they take phone calls, respond to emails or even snail mail letters.

Is their time as efficient as possible? Many companies train their customer service staff in the use of social media so they can respond to queries and issues in-between calls and email responses. This approach ensures the business is using staff who live and breath customer service and are at the heart of social media efforts, but it also alleviates the need to have dedicated social staff.

In an ideal world a business would have people with the sole purpose of delivering service via the social media platforms, however that is an understandable step too far for many businesses.  You can help them by providing social media services for a monthly fee.

We Dont Have The Money

This objection may be the easiest to overcome. Social media offers an attractive low-cost alternative to media advertising buys. Social media is not a free alternative as some suggest. Related to the no time objection, it may be necessary to hire a part-time employee to manage your business’s social media presence. And, you may incur modest expense to produce content to share on your sites. But again, we can turn the no money objection around. Are you saying you cannot afford to market your business? If no, there are bigger issues that need to be addressed to fight for survival.

We won’t make any money/no ROI potential; it will take too long to pay off

I’ll be the first to say, from personal experience, that social media will not have an immediate financial impact, but it will have an immediate impact on brand recognition.  Social media takes time and energy, but what successful venture doesn’t require time and energy?  Don’t just think about the revenue that is generated, but also the cost savings involved.  Look at the traffic your website is getting due to your social media efforts.  Are you noticing more positive mentions?  It’s all part of the benefits of social media.

We can’t control the message

Social media is the voice of the customer and a channel that is influenced by the customer.  By taking part in social media, you can start to monitor conversations about your brand and competitors.  People will say whatever they want about your company whether you like it or not, but isn’t it better to know what they are saying rather than standing on the sidelines and not knowing?  It feels like a common sense business practice to monitor, engage, and understand the situation.  In reality, social media actually gives you MORE control over the message.  An example: a customer starts badmouthing your company because of outdated pricing information on a website.  [Scenario 1]-not participating in social media results in you never knowing so this bad testimonial spreads (which you don’t know about).  [Scenario 2]-by participating in social media, you can reach out to the dissatisfied customer, ask where they got the information, correct the issue due to this customer’s feedback, and explain the situation to the customer.  More likely than not, that customer will thank you for the correction, correcting any negative misconceptions about the company.

Our customers are not on social networks/don’t use social media; Not our target market

This is just a bad excuse.  You will be surprised to see how many of your customers and potential customers are using social media.  You know what they say about assumptions right?  The most useful social networking sites are meant for the general audience.

Don’t want to acknowledge negatives

With the global acceptance of social media across all types of businesses and industries, negative comments will happen whether you want it to or not.  The power of social media is in the public, i.e., the users.  It gives your customers and potential customers a voice they didn’t have before.  Negative comments is inevitable so instead of ignoring it, embrace this opportunity to reach out as needed.  The missed opportunity is to let it happen behind your back.  You will be surprised to find out that many negative comments are based on inaccurate information.  In addition this type of feedback can lead to improved business processes or product/service enhancements.  The power to influence is extremely powerful.  You don’t have to respond to every negative mention, but at least follow the conversation.

We tried it and it didn’t work.

Trying is good until I ask these type of questions:  how long did you “try” social media?  Did you have a strategy in place?  What did the strategy consist of?  How did you measure success? What were your goals and objectives?  What gave you the conclusion that social media did not work?  What results from social media would you have considered a success?  What process did you go through when participating in social media?

It doesn’t fit the company’s brand.

The most useful social networking sites are meant for the general public with no preference to any type of brand or industry.  Social media is not a fad and is starting to become a best practice for PR, marketing, customer service, business development etc.   What is important to consider is your company culture.  I truly believe that your company culture is reflected in whatever social media participation you do.  Whether you’re in a bland industry or not, your brand will come out shining.

My industry is different

No it isn’t, and that's good. When social media first became a fixture, companies tried to start their own social networks. They were unsuccessful, because they missed a key point: people don’t want to hang out on your web site all day, hovering around your particular product or service they want to hang around where other people already are and choose and follow their own interests. The upside is that the social web has become a primary referral source for companies selling products or services, who have a non-salesy presence in the social web. This means, too, that your industry is NOT different not if it caters to people who are not only about one thing, who only do one thing, and spend all their time on web sites about one thing. If they’re real people, who have a variety of interests, they’re pursuing those, and that’s good news, because you can go where they are with confidence. Companies that participate in social networking have increased substantially each year. Businesses that are integrated with social media get the leads, while businesses that are isolated don’t, and repeat Clients (fans) will often refer others by social sharing. Social media has every kind of person and, if you’re not active there, you will miss the opportunity to grow your community and brand recognition.

 

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Do you wonder how fellow marketers are using social media?

Wondering if you should focus more on ads or bots?

In our tenth-annual social media study, more than 5,700 marketers reveal where they’ll focus their social media efforts.

This industry report also shows you how marketers’ organic activities have changed and what their future plans are with organic and paid social media.

2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report on Social Media Examiner.

2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report on Social Media Examiner.

 

How Are Marketers Using Social Media?

To understand how marketers are using social media, Social Media Examiner commissioned its 10th annual study, the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.

Watch this video overview:

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This is one of the longest-running studies in our industry. The report covers all of the major social platforms, organic and paid activities, content marketing, and much more.

A significant 5,700+ marketers provided valuable insight you won’t find elsewhere.

In this free report, you’ll discover:

  • Which social platforms marketers will focus on in the future
  • Whether Facebook marketing is still working
  • The top benefits of social media marketing and how experience affects results
  • Organic and paid social media trends
  • What marketers think about Facebook Messenger bots
  • The most common forms of content for social media marketing
  • And so much more!

We examine how B2B social media marketing differs from B2C businesses and much more.

If you’re responsible for marketing your business, you’ll want to closely analyze all of the information in this free 44-page report and use it to persuade others.

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Social ROI: Challenges and Solutions

Social ROI: Challenges and Solutions

Social media marketing can be a big driver for marketing growth, since it is one of the newest marketing channels. As this article by Taylor Pearson points out,

In 1994, a display ad might get a 70% click-through rate. Display ad click-through rates are now in the neighborhood of 0.05%…So we starting sending more email. Marketers in the late ’90’s regularly saw 99% of their emails get opened. However, the more emails that got sent in an attempt to prove that people like to open their email, the less people liked to open their email. Open rates for email today are around 15–25%.

Social marketing is the new frontier. Just think about where email marketing was 10-15 years ago, and where it is today. Email marketing is still important and always will be, but it no longer has the growth potential that social does. Even my VP of Marketing sees the value in social.

Social’s role in the customer journey is changing and evolving. Let’s compare social benefits from 2017 with 2012. You can see the change from brand awareness to impact on sales (AKA revenue).

Source: Introduction to Full-Funnel Social Analytics

Older marketing channels, such as email and display advertising, have been successful because you can measure their effect on revenue. So how can you link social activity to conversion metrics like visits, purchases, and revenue?

The Challenges

Social poses some unique challenges. Converting fans and followers into paying customers can seem impossible both to implement and to track. In fact, one of the key findings from our annual State of Social Marketing Report was that social is definitively a marketing function, and ROI is definitively our #1 challenge. 

The percentage of social media teams that live within the marketing organization has grown from 49% in 2015, to 63.2% in 2016, to remaining relatively stable at 64.7% in 2017. Meanwhile, 61% of social marketers grapple with determining ROI in 2017—the same percentage as 2016.

Source: 2017 State of Social Marketing Report

We asked marketers from around the world to reveal their biggest social media challenges in 2017. A majority of brands and agencies said measuring ROI was their greatest challenge.

Marketing departments own social media by and large, but are failing to understand how it contributes to the bottom line. Social is a newer marketing channel, but it is evolving at an impressive rate. Why are analytics and tracking mechanisms not evolving? Measurement looks nearly the same from 2013 to 2017.

Why Is ROI So Difficult?

Determining ROI is difficult for three reasons:

  1. You aren’t clear on what your goals are. Are you supposed to be focused only on building a strong community on social, or are you responsible for driving a certain number of leads/purchases/revenue? Who sets these goals—you? Your boss? Without firm, role-defining goals, it is hard to track towards said goals. 
  2. You don’t have the right tools to track the metrics that will help you map towards the goals you’ve set. Usually this means that you don’t have access to the software you need.
  3. You’re missing the big picture. The ability to see what happens past UTMs and different tracking codes becomes very difficult through channels like private messaging (things like Facebook messenger, text messages, emails, Slack, and Whats App).

All this communication does not pass a referrer, which means Google Analytics counts this traffic as “direct.” This is more commonly known as dark social. By understanding how people engage with your content via private channels and learning which social channels and pieces of content are driving actual web visits and purchases, you and your social team can finally prove the real ROI of your campaigns.

The Solutions

By seeing how all of your social content is being consumed, you can learn which content is driving which type of behavior, and optimize for it. For example, Lucy learned that Twitter drives traffic, but dark social drives goal completions.

Relate your current metrics you track and go down-funnel to tell the entire story; always mention revenue. Shamless plug: conversion tracking will speak in terms of revenue for you. Make a total social impact scorecard that tracks things like total engagements, site visits, page views, conversions, purchases, and revenue from purchases.

Measure and optimize your campaigns based on revenue. This way you can speak the same language as your CMO, which is key in order to get budget and show ROI.

First, let your campaigns run for a period of time before making any changes. This way you have a true baseline to test against. This will also inform you about what type of posts and content are driving conversions and revenue compared to visits and page views.

Now it’s time to learn and test. Test different messaging, images, and even channels to see which has the largest impact on revenue. This information will then drive your strategy going forward. You will know what type of content and messaging will work best depending on your goal (engagement, traffic, conversion).

You might be thinking, “This sounds great if I am a retailer or sell something directly from my website, but what if I don’t?” No worries. This is perfect for retailers or eCommerce, but can also work if you don’t directly sell on your website. You can assign a form fill, email sign-up, or goal completion a monetary value (based on your business) and learn how social is impacting your top conversion goals.

I’ve been taught to always end with a punch, something that means something to your audience.

Garmentory, a leading online retailer for emerging and contemporary fashion, saw a 79% increase in revenue from purchases driven by social in the first 90 days of using Social Analytics, Content Share Tracking, and Conversion Tracking.

That is a great conversation to have with your boss. You can show that you have a scorecard and how you are improving social to optimize for multiple metrics, especially revenue. This is what your executive team has been waiting to see from social.

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