Twitter

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

10 Simple Ways To Think About Content Marketing

Content marketing is not as complex and complicated as we make it be.  You don’t have to be an Einstein to be successful. Einstein himself said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

So, let’s talk about a simple content marketing strategy!

Many marketers and sales professionals still struggle with the concept of modern marketing. They struggle with social media profiles, improving their reputation currency, and using content to develop an audience – so the by-product of all of these actions is more sales and higher value sales.

Do We Agree On The Definition of Content Marketing?

The Content Marketing Institute states “Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” My experience in marketing leadership roles with IKEA, SAP, Cognizant and many award-winning agencies validates CMI’s definition is spot on!

Research Backs Up The Impact Of A Content Marketing Strategy

Much research suggests that a robust content marketing strategy leads to more business.

  • More Sales Quotas Reached. Social media pros, using relevant content, are 6x more likely to make quota than those who do not use social media. This research suggests all sales organizations need to use content and social selling immediately! Source: KiteDesk, The Ultimate Sales Guide To Crushing Your Quota

6X Reach Quota - Gerry Moran

  • Content Helps You Break Through To Decision Makers. 90% of B2B decision makers never answer a cold call. This statistic indicates content is the key to opening the relationship door! Source: LinkedIn, How Leading Sales Pros Use LinkedIn For Social Selling

90% Don't Answer Phone Calls - Gerry Moran

  • Content Influences Decisions. 65% of buyers (and an overwhelming 82% of senior executives) say the winning vendor’s content had a significant impact on their purchase decision. So, if I am a sales leader I would focus on an efficient content strategy for a competitive edge. Source: The Knowledge Tree

65% Say Content Sealed Deal - Gerry Moran

All of this research indicates that a messaging strategy will help create the competitive edge for your organization – and deliver sales!

10 Ways To Simplify Your Content Marketing

 

1. Build Your Content Marketing Foundation – so you have a sustainable platform from which to amplify your story. Start your content plan by writing down your strategy. 68% of marketers do not have a written plan, reports the Content Marketing Institute. Develop a foundational approach to your content creation and distribution to inspire your audience to do what you want them to do. Most of all, build a foundation by adding value. Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2016 Content Trends

68% Don't Have A Written Content Plan - Gerry Moran

2. Model Your Target Audience After Your Current Audience – to focus your efforts on ‘look-alikes’ vs. ‘look-aways.’ Develop target audience profiles – i.e., personas – with public-facing information from LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. This digital due diligence enables modeling your content after your current readers and customers. This approach will help deepen more relationships and close more sales. When it comes to what you audience wants, 97% want you to improve the quality of your content by including benchmarking data. Source: Demand Gen Report

97% Want Benchmarking Data - Gerry Moran

3. Build A Content Supply Chain – to efficiently create custom messaging and deliver valuable knowledge to your readers. Architect your content to be easy-to-read, real-time and relevant to today’s conversation. Focusing on this step-by-step plan creates a well-oiled supply chain. This production approach to your storytelling ensures clear thinking create the right message – enabling connection with the right audience on the right channel at the right time. With 32% of companies reporting they do not have the talent to pull off an effective content marketing strategy you may have to invest in a new infrastructure or a hire a consultant. Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2015 Content Trends

32% Don't Have The Talent

4. Be A Storyteller – to help your audience remember your value proposition. Chip and Dan Heath say 5% of an audience remembers a presentation based on statistics – while 63% remember the storytelling. We are all trying to sell something or convince someone. Developing analogies and telling stories helps to make your point! Source: Chip & Dan Heath, 23 Facts about Buyers and Purchasing

63% Remember Your Story — Gerry Moran

5. Properly Position Your Value Proposition – to help guide your readers to know what they should do and why they should do it after reading your messaging. Developing awareness, association and consideration of your expertise and offer takes time. Presenting a call to action is not always about the direct response like selling Miracle Mops on QVC. Plan to develop 7-10 different ways to communicate your story on several different channels and always provide a way to get to the next stop on the customer’s buying journey.

6. You Ought To Be In Pictures – since your readers are visual content consumers. A picture tells a thousand words. There is no better way to tell your story than by using custom-made graphics to support your relevant point. KissMetrics reports appropriate visuals drive 94% more views than content without visuals. So, make sure to use pictures, graphics, and videos in each of your go-to-market social media channels. Source: KissMetrics,  6 Types of Visual Content You Need To Use In Your Marketing Campaigns

94% More Views - Gerry Moran

7. Embrace Your Influencers – since they have the attention of your target audience. 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth, while 47% use blogs to influence their decisions. Marketers also report there is a 3-to-1 ROI for using influencers. So, it appears that investing in influencer outreach will pay out handsomely for you! Source: AdWeek, Why Influencer Marketing Is The New Content King

92% Rely on WOM - Gerry Moran

8.  Focus On Your Form Factor – since Google and native reader behavior requires it. Article titles, keywords, hashtags, subtitles, tags and other form factors help readers find you. If no one can find your content  – did you ever write it? No! Looking for proof? Tweets with hashtags get 16% more retweets than those without. Source: Kim Garst, 20 Quick & Easy Ways To Get More Twitter Retweets

47% Turn To Blogs - Gerry Moran

9. Stay In Touch With Your Touch Points – since it’s easier to be where your customers are vs. getting them to come to you. Think through how to connect with the right audience on the right channel at the right time with the right message. With B2B marketers using an average of 13 ways to communicate with content, you have to use the best mix of touch points to tell the best story to tell on the best channel. Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2016 B2B Content Trends

10. Plan To Make A Measurable Difference – to help you understand if you are successful with your content marketing strategy. You can’t succeed unless you measure it – so set measurable goals and then measure how you performed against those objectives. Once you determine how you performed, optimize your plan and do more of the right ‘stuff’ and less of the ‘stuff’ that doesn’t work.

Do you have a few more simple tips to plan and activate your content? If so, please share below. Or, reach out to me on MarketingThink!

5 More Content Marketing Posts You Might Enjoy

Einstein also said if you can’t explain it simply then you don’t know it well enough. By creating a simple content marketing strategy, you can begin to simply explain your value proposition to your customers – Ka-Ching!

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Make Your Content Marketing More Newsworthy!

Many of us started our content marketing careers delivering newspapers in our local communities. What a great lesson in sales, customer service, marketing, and being social!

In the days before social media, social selling and content marketing,  people consumed content via newspapers. And, some of that native behavior still exists! However, your self-promotional use of Twitter is likely missing the mark because it is just not newsworthy.

Content marketing

Brands need to activate their content and awareness messaging – to make it more like a newsfeed and less like a promotional feed. By making your content more newsworthy, your customers will increase their likelihood to read it, count on it, and act on it – especially those who do not have a long relationship with you. Think less about the features and benefits of your products services and more about the news. Show that you understand your audience’s industry, category and company challenges. This approach will help you win their trust.

Remember you have to show your ability to deliver the news before they pay for the newspaper.

Reading The News Is A Native Behavior. Reading The Ads Is Not.

My paper route customers had a news reading ritual:

  • Delivery. Expect delivery of the paper every day.
  • Headline Scan. Scan the paper for meaningful headlines to learn something without having to read any further.
  • Read What Was Relevant and Interesting. Dive deeper into the content to get to the heart of the story – expanded from headline.

These are content consumption behaviors today’s consumers still practice – only now they do it with Twitter.

5 Reasons To Make Your Marketing Messaging More Newsworthy

I am not sure to whom we can attribute the phrase, “The news and nothing but the news” – however, it appears to have been foreshadowing for what your consumers want on Twitter.

  • It’s All About The Headline. 80% get their news by scrolling through their timelines – while 67% by browsing the timelines of others. This native scrolling behavior indicates the need to break through the clutter. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
  • More News Consumption. 60% of Twitter users say they get more news now than before they joined the service – indicating our audience is using Twitter for news content. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
  • Easier News Consumption. 79% of Twitter users say staying on top of the news was easier compared to 62% of non-Twitter users – indicating your audience consumes news on Twitter to consume and probably does not engage as much as you think. (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
  • Active News Consumption. 86% of Twitter users use the service for the news – 75% using it daily – suggesting the need to be relevant and active with your content creation (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)
  • Taking The Relationship To The Next Level. 92% click through, at least sometimes, to read the news – showing you that great newsworthy headlines will help you advance your customer relationship (Source: American Press Institute, Twitter, and DB5)

The Big Question You Should Ask About Twitter, Consumption And Content Marketing

“Should I be using Twitter as a way to position my awareness messaging as a news feed?” Well, the above research provides one very clear takeaway for your content marketing strategy – make sure your messaging is more newsworthy …  and distribute it on Twitter!

How To Make Your Brand’s Twitter Feed More Newsworthy

Even though your company is not a collection of journalists or a news publication, you can take a page out of their playbook with these simple tips:

1.  Headlines.  Write your tweets in 70- to 100-character capitalized headlines to capture your readers’ attention.

2. Facts And Lists. Feature facts and lists to convey your understanding of your audience’s business. You need to make your readers’ life a little better because you got them to think about things a little differently – or you taught them something. Have an informative approach to your messaging and you’ll be building your relationship in no time!

3. Pictures. The old saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ also applies to content marketing and Twitter. Try to include a custom-made and newsworthy graphic in 75% of your messaging to help break through the clutter and capture the hearts, minds, and most importantly the eyes of your readers.

4. Call To Action (CTA) Connected To The ‘Story’. You need to deliver the news. However, you also need to give your audience a clear next step to ‘learn more’. Accomplish this ‘click’ with a ‘Read More:’, [WHITE PAPER] or similar CTA.

5. User Experience. Make sure to link your tweet to an informative landing page or blog post that naturally ‘fits’ the headline in your tweet. Think of this experience as a story supporting the newspaper headline.

Do you have another tip or idea to create more newsworthy messaging in your tweets? If so, please comment below or contact me at moran.gerry@gmail.com, at MarketingThink.com, on Twitter @GerryMoran or on LinkedIn at in/GerryMoran.

A Few More Posts To Help You Deliver Newsworthy Messages

So, how can your brand use content or content marketing to secure the attention of your readers? Give your audience the news and nothing but the news and they will start to pay for it with their social and relationship currency.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Can Content Marketing Accelerate Sales Pipeline?

Can posting the right content for the right customer on the right channel at the right time really speed up a sale?

When it’s put that way, that type of sales success sounds more like it’s driven by publishing instead of selling, right? I thought only call-blitzing sales rep could make a sale close faster.

ontent Vs. Phone | MarketingThink.com | @GerryMoran

So, here’s a news flash! Successful sales reps and marketers need to be good at publishing, too. Good content skills speed up the quota-busting long game. If you are not integrating your content marketing strategy into your field marketing, corporate marketing and field sales organizations, then you need to make this change – to create more sales opportunities, increase sale size, and decrease the sale cycle.

The Content Marketing, Social Media and Social Selling Recipe

Unlike email or telemarketing, content marketing is not a direct marketing tactic. It is an ingredient in the sales recipe – something that will make it ‘cook quicker.’ The three steps to create this marketing mix to accelerate the sales pipeline are:

1. Awareness. Establish your brand awareness and credibility by showing you understand the customer’s challenge through content posted on your social channels. Your customers find out about you from your reputation, which manifests through your social posts in relevant watering holes.

2. Consideration. Drive purchase consideration by getting customers to click through to your destination or reply with a comment. This engagement connects so you can help them solve their problem. This initial conversation, combined with content, will help your customer understand you can solve their problem.

3. Acceleration. Increase relationships and accelerate pipeline by delivering the right content at the right time – via 1-1 and other broader nurturing channels.

Using these three steps will accelerate sales more than if selling without social media and content marketing.

Content marketing can help accelerate pipeline on two levels – at the marketing department/organization AND from the individual sale rep level.

How Marketing Departments Can Use Content To Accelerate Sales

Marketing organizations can use content to activate late-funnel conversations and consideration by delivering relevant information to specific customer watering holes – LinkedIn Groups, external communities, etc. For instance, if the marketing team was close to closing key deals around cloud-based point of sales solutions, then content could be created in a format (e.g., infographic) to resonate in watering holes.

Unfortunately, many companies have not adopted an end-to-end content model to take advantage of these targeted opportunities. And, just loading up Twitter with a selection of branded Tweets won’t work either. Neither will blog posts placed on company-owned sites since they need to be amplified, in addition to being posted.

How Social Media Can Accelerate Pipeline From An Account Based Marketing or Sales Organization Perspective

Content can also accelerate ABM- or sales team-based pipeline. A company can create targeted content to speak to the key point that will help close the sale. For instance, if a company is selling analytics solutions to the target account, then they could create a SlideShare presentation to speak to the key  customer needs. After syndicating this content on owned social channels get the team to distribute and deliver this content – infographics, SlideShares, blog posts, etc. – via individual digital, social and email channels.

In regards to sales- and ABM-focused social listening, companies can monitor key accounts to understand if there are any dots to connect – to help handle an objection or double-down on a point of interest with custom content.

Do you have a way in which you have used content to accelerate pipeline? If so, please share below. Or, contact me directly at MarketingThink.com.

So, if you are trying to accelerate pipeline, you need first to build a process to map content to the right customer on the right channel at the right time. There is no one size fits all when it comes to pipeline acceleration and content creation.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Break Off The Social Media Engagement

We need to end the love affair we have with the social media engagement metric. It’s time to break off the engagement and begin to ask the hard questions to understand how to measure the meaningful triggers that convert customers into long-term relationships.

Social Media Engagement | MarketingThink.com | @GerryMoran

How many times have you heard a marketer who sets a business goal to drive ‘engagement?’ What does that metric really mean, anyway? The definition of social media engagement is so broad that it’s almost meaningless in the context with the ability to impact business.

The Definition of Twitter Engagement

According to Twitter, engagement is the total number of times a user has interacted with a Tweet. This interaction includes clicks anywhere on the Tweet – including hashtags, links, avatars, username, and Tweet expansion – retweets, replies, follows and favorites. This collection of measurements does not help identify the business impact – however individual engagement activities, such as link clicks, do.

Just like the marriage experience, engagement is the time that a couple spends before they get married – the ultimate conversion. With content, there are many nuances that marketers need to measure to get a discrete read on how the customer courtship is developing. Adding a catch-all ‘engagement’ metric blurs the lines of business impact. Marketers need to have clear metrics to support articulated goals!

7 Ways To Break Up The Social Media Engagement Metric To Focus On Business Impact

1. Valued Content. Is your content valued and engaging enough to be ‘owned’ and curated by others? When your content is shared (e.g., retweet) the key insight you gain is its relevancy to the reader and the credibility it has to be shared with an incremental audience.

Tip: Take a look at the audience of your retweeters to understand your content’s true value and impact on your business.

2. Interesting Content. Is your content valued enough to be saved for your network’s later reference? If so, then pay attention to Twitter’s Favorite engagement!

3. Social Referrals. Is your content valued enough to incite a click through to more content? The best marketers track referral metrics. A social media post with a link (e.g., bit.ly links) that gets clicked is a solid way to determine if your messaging is inspiring enough to drive customer action – and deepen their relationship with your brand.

Tip: Think about offering up a key fact or statistic in your social media post to get your readers to want to learn more about your value proposition. You need to give great information first, so your readers will click through to the next destination.

4. Part Of The Conversation. Is your content part of a great conversation with which your network wants to know more about? Many people search for hashtags, however fewer customers click on them. Clicking on a hashtag highlights the past week’s Tweets with the same hashtag. When someone clicks on a hashtag, it indicates their interest in a greater conversation and underlines your ability to contribute to a potentially trending topic.

Tip: Reach out to Tweeters, who use a particular hashtag, with question or comment to develop a conversation that will help your research or relationship development.

5. Develop A Reputation. Does your content get others, who are not part of your network, to want to know more about you? When your content ‘clicks’ with others, readers click your profile or avatar to find out more about you. If you want to build your reputation with a relevant and incremental audience, create more content that incites others to click your Twitter profile.

Tip: Optimize your Twitter profile to shine the best light on your reputation when others check you out!

6. Drive A Relationship. Does your content incite others, who are not part of your network, to follow you? If your goal is to increase the size of your relevant network, then measure the content that picks up new followers.

7. Conversation Starter. Does your content inspire your network or network-to-be to start a conversation with you or ask you a question? If you want to understand the type of messaging that inspires a discussion with your network, then measure the amount of replies (or mentions) that your Tweets receive.

Tip: Make sure you respond to all of your Twitter mentions and blog comments to do your part in the conversation.

Do you have another way to map social media engagement to business impact? If so, please share below. Or reach out to me directly at MarketingThink.com.

Just like a marriage and the engagement, we use content and social media interaction as a way to see how activities support the end-game goals. If you pay attention to the right metrics, then your customer relationship can be a marriage made in heaven!

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

Is Your Kingdom Interested In Your Content?

80% of B2B decision makers visit vendor-independent communities, vendor-sponsored forums, and LinkedIn at least monthly for business purposes, says Marketing Charts. I’d call these communities the customer conten kingdoms!

Content Is King | MarketingThink.com

This analogy derived from when I read bedtime stories to my children, Reily and Taylor, and I got to the story about the king. You know, where content is king. My kids always loved that part and invariably asked me “What if the kingdom does not think the king is interesting? Doesn’t the kingdom need to be interested in what the king has to say?” Now there is an interesting point to ponder!

If you know where your customers are going, or the kingdom in which they reside, then you need to find the best way to connect with them. Delivering content in the digital and social way that they want and expect will be your key to B2B marketing success and the customer kingdom.

5 Content Marketing Keys To The Customer Kingdom

1. Understand the anatomy of your B2B customer. Knowing what they consider relevant and how they consume content will help you create a win-win editorial strategy. Creating a customer feedback loop between sales and product marketing will help create the best content marketing materials as possible.

2. Use content to map to specific ‘sweet-spots’ in the buying journey. A content marketing strategy that drives awareness and engagement at the right time will set you up for success to have a relevant conversation with your B2B customers. Social media’s one-to-many delivery strength will always be in the awareness and engagement phase of the buyer journey. So, make sure to create content for the different parts of the journey – the customers expect it.

3. Deliver relevant content, like video, to help make a connection with your B2B customer.  B2B content takes all forms. And, video is an under-used and highly consumed medium. Integrating YouTube videos into your marketing strategy will help you reach your audience and achieve your goals.

4. Deliver content where your B2B customers spend their time. My daughter, Taylor, who is an avid ‘fisherwoman’ always tells me that you have to fish where the fish are if you are going to catch anything. So, with 27% of B2B customers using social media to inform a business decision, you need to be using it to connect with them!

5. Always provide a next step for your B2B customers with a clear call-to-action. Once you understand your customer, find where they buy and create consumable content, you need to direct them to the next step – more content, a relevant event, or even a phone call. Always include a clear call-to-action in your content to make it easy for the customer to deepen the relationship on their terms.

Do you have a few pointers that help you create customer centric content? If so, please share below. Or, contact me directly at MarketingThink.com, or on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

My darling children, Reily and Taylor, make an excellent point! For content to be king, the kingdom needs to be interested in what the king is saying. If the emperor has no clothes, then he will know by the kingdom voting – no page views, no sharing, and no engagement. Long live relevant and kingdom-centric content!

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran 2 Comments

What Does Twitter Success Look Like?

What do you need to achieve Twitter success?

Is Twitter a means to an end or is it the end goal? Do you need 100,000 Twitter followers to be successful? Do you need to have engaging content to be a winner on Twitter? Or, do you need to increase your social and personal brand currency to help you reach your bigger goals?

Twitter Success Formula

Winning marketing leaders, sales executives and thought leaders understand this differentiation and the need to do five key things to be successful with Twitter.

5 Things You Need To Be Successful With Twitter

1. A Twitter Goal Mapped To Your Overall Objective. You cannot determine what Twitter success looks like until you articulate your goal. Are you looking to learn? Do you want to become a thought leader and brand amplifier? Are you trying to sell more products or services? If you understand what you are trying to do then you can determine what you need – more followers, better content or to be following more relevant contacts.

2. Secure More Relevant and Targeted Twitter Followers. More relevant followers enables your message  to reach more people and make an impression with this targeted audience. It’s harder to drive earned messaging if you do not have a critical mass of followers on your earned channel. Just make sure your followers align to your goal and are not purchased from a Twitter follower broker in Russia!

3. Follow More Relevant People On Twitter. The more relevant people you follow, the better handle you can have on pertinent information needed to help you reach our overarching goals and objectives. This listening will help you learn and move your agenda forward.

4. You Need Great Twitter Content. Once you have Twitter followers and are following the right group of people, then you need to ‘feed the machine’ with great content.  You’ll know if you have great content by measuring engagement – retweets, mentions, and favorites. Engaging content will drive new network additions and reduce overall network drops.

5. Rising Social and Personal Brand Currency. It is impossible to have a 1-1 relationship with more than a few hundred followers. No one on Twitter expects you to have a personal relationship with them. The Twitter platform is not built for this reason. However, you need to authentically engage with your total audience on a regular basis. This interaction will build the value of your social and personal brand currency so you can increase your awareness, influence, and sales.

Do you have an additional to this approach that makes you successful with Twitter? If so, please comment below or reach out to me at gerry@marketingthink.com  

A vanity metric is a wrong thing to use to measure your Twitter success. However, you do need a goal, lots of followers, to be following many people, and great content to help you increase the value of your social and personal brand’s currency to help you meet your business objectives.

Read more

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran 2 Comments

How 15 Top CEOs Started Using Twitter

Everyone has to start somewhere; even CEOs and the C-suite with using social media. Some CEOs have embraced social media to authentically connect with their constituency. And, they have done it more effectively than the pointy-haired boss characterized in Dilbert!

 

Why Aren’t There More Social CEO Leaders?

However, not every CEO has jumped on this “new corporate communications” opportunity. Many are not relating with customers, coworkers and ‘the street’ and leaving valuable social currency on the table. In fact, only 30% of executive directors within NASDAQ 100 companies are present and active on social networks, compared to the 70% that have no presence on online platforms, reports Wired Investor.

Why aren’t more CEOs using social media to build their reputation, communicate their company’s story and drive business results? Everyone wants to see more c-level social media engagement. Weber Shandwick’s recent research reports that 76% of executives think it’s a good idea for CEOs to be social, so they can narrate their business story and news. There are many ways for CEOs and other members of the C-suite to socially connect with their customers, including blogging, Twitter and LinkedIn. When someone, including a customer or an employee, Googles a CEO, the search results should point to various channels that help the CEO’s influential story that inspires, informs and deepens relationships.

Every CEO and C-level executive has the power to connect and engage with social media. Below are 15 prominent and social CEOs and their very first tweet. What an authentic and great start for each CEO, which spring-boarded their message to connecting with customers, co-workers and analytics on their terms!

Social CEO | MarketingThink.com | @GerryMoran

First Tweets From 15 Very Influential Social CEO Leaders

These C-suite leaders all get an A for their authentic and engaging jump into social media and Twitter. Their respective tweets from as far back as when Twitter started were a springboard to their current recognition as a social CEO, most of whom were recently recognized by the World of CEOs study, published in late 2013.

1. @JeffWeiner | Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.14.22 PM

Jeff’s first tweet was a customer-service reply. Great way to connect with customers!

2. @AngelaAhrendts | Angela Ahrendts, SVP of Retail and Online Stores for Apple

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.13.48 PMAngela initially reached out directly to the Ball State Millennials on their own channel. She shows she is comfortable with hashtagging, too!

3. @EricSchmidt | Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google
Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.12.49 PMEric used his first post to attribute a great interview experience, expertly engaging with the press.

4. @ReidHoffman | Reid Hoffman, Chairman of LinkedIn
Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.12.05 PMReid nicely shares someone else’s content with his first tweet, showing that CEOs can be great curators.

5. @BillGates | Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft
Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.11.25 PMBill starts his tweeting referencing his philanthropic work, indicating the good work that Twitter can do.

6. @Tim_Cook | Tim Cook, CEO of Apple
Great Twitter start by Tim Cook connecting with the real in-store customers and co-workers and sharing his experiences.

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 1.08.35 PM

7. @AmFamJack | Jack Salzwedel, CEO of American Family Mutual Insurance Group

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.09.52 PM Jack first approaches Twitter with an open invitation for all to engage. Nice!

8. @ManpowerGroupJJ | Jeff Joerres, CEO of Manpower Group

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.09.00 PMJeff uses his first tweet to share a live appearance, which could have teed up the opportunity for others to engage.

9. @Levie | Aaron Levie, CEO of Box

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.07.27 PMAaron first Twitter attempt answers a customer service question with technical support. Now, here is a CEO keeping it real by using Twitter as a social customer service tool.

10. @DrewHouston | Drew Houston, CEO of DropBox

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.05.27 PMDrew shows that he is listening first and then tweeting, by providing insight, and an authentic apology, into a customer-service challenge.

11. @BillRMcdermott | Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP
Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.15.35 PMBill does a great job of rallying and supporting his 67,000 SAP evangelists; everyone that works at SAP. Great job keeping it real and engaging with the assets that walk in and out of the doors every day.

12. @PLibin | Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote
Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.16.17 PMPhil listened first and then leaped into Twitter with an answer to a negative customer experience. He demonstrateda a great way to turn around that sentiment to work to make it positive.

13. @MichaelDell | Michael Dell, CEO of Dell
Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.16.54 PMYou have to love when a CEO uses his first tweet to syndicate a customer case study. Nice work by Michael.

14. @BruceDBroussard | Bruce Broussard, President and CEO of Humana
Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.17.30 PMBruce uses his first tweet to announce his accessibility. Nice way to keep in touch with the customer base!

15. @CEOMikeJackson | Mike Jackson, CEO of Autonation
Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 8.18.27 PMMike used his first tweet to speak directly to the shareholders. More and more of this audience expect this type of CEO connection.

Do you know of another CEO that jumped into social media the right way? If so, please share below. Or reach out directly to me on MarketingThink.com, or on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

Remember, everyone has to start somewhere and this is how 15 great CEOs did it on Twitter! You can learn a great lesson and start to use social media to engage with your own clients, co-workers or network too, whether or not you are a CEO.

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran 3 Comments

These Are A Few Of My Twitter Favorites Things

I simply remember my Twitter Favorites things and then I don’t feel so bad.

If I were to try to sell something to the Sound Of Music’s Maria Von Trapp, I’d have a better chance of getting her to buy if I could first start a relevant and personal conversation with her. To prepare for my first contact with her I would listen to her sing … My Favorite Things. She organized her favorites, like “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens”, so it would be easy for me to find them. Once I found them it would be easy to start a conversation.

article-0-19F3244F00000578-777_634x354-1

Twitter Favorites can give you a similar edge in your social business, social selling or social media strategy. They provide you the power to distribute better content to your network, get on the radar of your potential network and get a better understanding of everyone’s interests and potential priorities. It’s important for you to know how to use “favorites” to gain a competitive edge to get closer to making a sale.

Tweets with pictures are favorited 89% more than Tweets without pictures.

Tweets with pictures are favorited 89% more than Tweets without pictures.

3 Ways To Use Twitter Favorites

1. Organize your stream of tweets, so you can reference them later. Staying on top of the real-time content on Twitter is tougher than catching “wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings”. So, think of Twitter Favorites like a bookmarking featureto enable you to return to read your tweet, click on the link to read the content, or retweet it with a customized message. This feature will give you the time to use this content in the most effective way as possible.

2. Cleverly get on the radar of your customer, thought leaders or target audience, so you can build your relationship. Great social-skilling skills include making early non-intrusive connections, like “doorbells and sleigh bells”. Favoriting a customer’s tweet is a subtle way of making a one-to-one contact, by showing up in their Twitter mail box. If you favorite several tweets over a short amount of time, you will certainly make an impression with them.

3. Understand what your customer or competition is favoriting, so you understand what is important to them. If you can easily find the interests of your customers or competition, why would you bother paying for competitive intelligence wrapped up in “brown paper packages tied up with strings”? Just read their tweets for a view into their world. Or better yet, read THEIR Twitter favorites to give you insight into their favorite things!

Do you have a favorite outcome from using Twitter Favorites? If so, please share in the comments below. Or,contact me directly at MarketingThink.com, on LinkedIn or on Twitter.

If you feel the dog bite, the bee sting, or you are losing the social-selling game to your competition, then you might be feeling sad. Think of Twitter Favorites to help turn around your luck, then you won’t feel so bad (and you will hear the sound of music … KA CHING)!

Picture source: Daily Mail UK

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran 3 Comments

The Role Of Timing With Your Marketing Strategy

As the greatest rock and roll band of our time, The Rolling Stones, say … “Time is on our side”, especially when it comes to creating a winning content and marketing strategy. You can have the greatest blog posts, videos, infographics, slides or resources in the world, however if you do not consider the role of timing you may miss out!

Time Is On My Side

Timing is something you have complete control over; deploying content, responding to an inquiry, and keeping the user experience as simple as possible. Timely response, execution, user experience and content delivery can help you build a strong foundational approach to your business’s content, customer service and business plan execution.

5 Tips To Create A Timely Marketing Strategy

1. Enable Your Content To Be Found Quickly. With 89% of people starting their purchase process using a search engine, you need to structure your content in a way that it is quickly found. SlideShare, blogging, YouTube videos and infographics all have keyword and structure nuances that will help increase their ability to be found more quickly. Help your potential readers save time and effort by using fundamental search strategies so they can easily find and engage with you.

2. Deliver Content On A Regular Basis. Whether it’s the evening news, the morning newspaper, or the Sunday Football games, we all expect content we know and love to be delivered consistently. We like our expectations managed so there is consistency in our lives. Leverage customer expectations by updating your social media channels and blogs. HubSpot notes companies who blog 15 or more times per month get 5X more site traffic. Now THAT is “return on consistency”!

3. Be A Quick and Easy Read To Save Your Reader Time. There is no right length for a blog post or a piece of content. However, a good rule of thumb is a 500-word blog post takes about 2 minutes to read. Two minutes seems to be the attention span of many readers. Also, readers like to skim content and  get to the point that is relevant to them. If you need more words to get your point across, then use more words, but take your reader’s time into consideration.

4. Make It Easy For Readers To Share Your Content Quickly. Good content gets shared and reaches a relevant and incremental audience to your present network. ShareThis research indicates most content is shared on a mobile device, with consumers twice as likely clicking and sharing content through a mobile device, than a desktop device. On a mobile device, Pinterest and Twitter are the networks, aside from Facebook, where content gets shared the most. So your content needs to be mobile-optimized for reading and sharing to save time and reach more customers more quickly.

5. Respond To Content Inquiries, Comments And Affirmations In 24 Hours (within an hour if there is a complaint). When customers use Twitter to express a customer service concern, eConsultancy reports that 72% of them expect a response within an hour. And, when they ask a brand a question, 53% of them expect an answer in an hour. So, you can put time on the side of your marketing strategy by quickly building up a reputation for quick social media response!

Do you have a timely strategy to share? If so, please share below. Or, reach out to me directly on MarketingThink.com, LinkedIn or Twitter. And, I will give YOU a timely response.

Get the moves like Jagger and strategically think about the timing of your content, customer response and marketing execution. This approach will help you to create and manage the expectations of your readers. Time is on your side, yes it is …. so use it to your marketing and content advantage, and your customers will come running back … yes they will.

Picture source: Etsy

by Gerry Moran Gerry Moran No Comments

10 Things On My Social Santa List. What’s On Yours?

Dear Social Santa,

I tried dropping my Social Santa Christmas list to you at the mall this weekend, but the lines were too long! I thought that you’d rather receive a blog post or tweet instead of a letter since you are Social Santa and you do have a Twitter account, after all!

Screen Shot 2013-12-24 at 9.02.54 AM

The things I am asking for this year can help us all, big business bloggers, small business tweeters and social selling LinkedIn users to be better social media publishers. I want to make communication easy to read, to engage with and to pass on to others.

10 Things On My Social Santa List … And Festivus Grievance List

1. Customized Social URL Links. When I condense my links on Twitter, HootSuite and LinkedIn, I’d like to customize my URL, so my followers and readers know exactly they are clicking on! Owl.ly/SocialSantaList! (not a real URL!)

2. Better Blogging Formatting. My reading attention span is about 2-3 minutes, so 1,500-word blogs that are written without bullets, subheads or pictures are tough to read. I want easy-reading blogs posts with thoughtful formatting!

Social-Media-Santa-Reversed3. Better Blogging Grammar. If everyone had listened to Sister Mary Of The Golden Staircase or Mr. Joe Bagadonuts in grade school, we’d all be better writers. No one should publish a blog post without checking the spelling AND grammar! There are too many great products like Grammarly that will catch most posting faux pas. An easy-to-read blog post is a successful blog post!

4. No Crazy And Spammy Messages. I want those crazy blog comments and weird tweeters who want to sell me followers to stop! I want authentic and real followers who are not social media posers!

5. Creative Storytellers. Dragnet’s Joe Friday was all about “just the fact’s ma’am”, but a blog, tweet or SlideShare presentation that is just a collection of facts does not always hold my attention. I’d like authors to do more social storytelling. Storytelling helps to set the context and makes the post easier to understand.

6. Social Media Rock Stars To Start Following Back. Are you a pompous pundit or other type of thought leader who does not follow back on Twitter? Unless you have an extensive Twitter listing strategy or are truly a publisher like Social Media Examiner, then you are not embracing the conversational spirit of the medium.

7. Find More Time To Respond And Engage A Little Bit More On Twitter, LinkedIn and My Blog. Between my day job, creating blog content and using Twitter and LinkedIn, I wish I had more time to engage at a higher level with my network and community. Maybe I need to use HootSuite to do more in less time!

8. For Businesses To Understand The Power Of Social Media To Impact Awareness, Engagement and Conversion. Big brands, small businesses, and solopreneurs need to evolve their marketing strategy. Their strategy should use social media and social selling with rigor and structure to drive leads. This evolution will create a better buying experience for me and others. If some leading brands have done it, so can you!

9. People To Stop Using Auto-responders. At times, I have tried to send personal direct messages to my new Twitter followers, which took about an hour a day and become overwhelming. I can appreciate the benefit provided by an auto-responder service or widget. I don’t’ want to follow you on Facebook or buy your stuff. Be creative and tell me something interesting and give me a reason to get to know you better!

10. A Day Off From Social Media. We all should be taking a day off on Christmas or on the weekend, every now and then. Stop consuming turn off the WiFi, grab a beverage of your choice, and relax.

What is on your Social Santa list? Please comment below or reach out to me directly on MarketingThink.com, on LinkedIn or on Twitter.

frank-costanza

If you close your eyes, you just might hear Social Santa say so, so social! Or, you might hear Frank Costanza airing his grievances. It all depends on what you believe in. So, good luck with getting the things on your Social Santa list or airing your Festivus grievances. These items are all social media considerations to help you have a better social strategy in the new year!

Picture sources: Santa tree from Socialmediology. Frank Costanza from FestivusWeb

Top