social networks

Why I'm Protecting My Social Circle in 2019

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Remember when you first signed up for Facebook? Chances are you added whoever tried to add you, brands››› that sent you page likes requests were added on auto-pilot and that annoying person from high school who's now that annoying person in the adult world somehow made it onto your friends list. Then you probably carried that habit over onto LinkedIn. I did it and according to a Mashable poll from 2016 so did over 70% of users.

In 2019, the name of the game is tightening up social circles. This is true for many, especially in my case. Here's how I use my social networks:

  • Facebook: I only add people I know or with whom I have 100+ connections in common. When it comes to brands, I only add them and have turned off notifs to get invites.

  • LinkedIn: This is a professional playground, so to speak. So, that in mind I only add those whom I can see having a mutually beneficial relationship. Two good examples would be someone who could potentially be a client. I benefit by getting a client and they benefit from my agency giving them ROI backed campaigns. Another would be someone in an industry that I could see myself needing in the future.

  • Instagram: I'll add anyone in my industry, that I know, or who interacts with my written word.

  • Twitter: I don't even bother with the tweets anymore. It's become too negative of a space.

There are clear no-brainer blocks in my social world:

  • Lead gen companies not willing to give up real proof of concept or not willing to work on commission.

  • Someone who sends me a spammy message with a connection request.

  • Any business on LinkedIn that has their business name as their profile name.

  • Any person or business with following counts that dwarf their followers count.

I protect my social circles because just like the real world, I wouldn't give anyone the time of day if they weren't following basic social decorum. Social media is no different. It's SOCIAL media, which means you should be trying to build relationships, not throw digital billboards at people and hope someone wants what you have to offer (personally and professionally).

REAL Teamwork Makes the Social Dream Work

Teamwork

I come from the nightlife industry, which is essentially "Try Anything 101". Those in nightlife spend endless amounts of time and money testing new features and opportunities in social media extensively. Now in most cases, the testing is flawed because they don't have a business background and can't fully understand the delicate balance between advertising and assault but one thing is certain; if you see nightlife people doing something on social media you've never seen before, it's coming to an industry near you.

This is no more evident than in the gratuitous use of staff members in social media marketing. Back in 2008 (yes, 11 years ago) I opened up a nightclub and pretty much banked its entire success on the staff. We made videos, bios, had them post about the club, and featured them in as many pictures as possible. The crazy thing is ... it worked! We were packed.

However, nightlife has—much like they do with everything—taken things too far. Staff are now forced to post on behalf of the club. Yes, forced! I suspect this is because nightlife entrepreneurs generally don't like spending money and because they want to blame failure on their staff "not doing it right". A dirty little secret of the industry is that everyone is planning for failure because it's an industry without a standard.

Staff Buy-In

There is a valuable lesson here though. Staff buy-in is a huge piece of marketing online. It's one thing for you to say you're awesome as a brand, but for the people who work for you to say it is a huge bonus! However, you can't force them to post 2 or 3 times a week, or whatever other ludicrous ideas you have. Consumers are savvier than ever. What you need to do is give your staff reasons to post about your brand, make it easy for them, and reward their dedication.

Here are some key points to get you started:

  1. Get your staff together and ask them for ideas and a media shoot.

  2. Use those ideas in a constructive way.

  3. Advertise those ideas and use the media from the shoot, showing off your staff.

  4. Setup a group on each medium you advertise on with all of your staff. When you have something important to say, make that post easily accessible and ready for sharing.

  5. Each month, at your staff meeting, reward those who made whatever impact you'd like to measure.

  6. Repeat.

To give you an idea of the impact this can have, here's a bit of a case study.

Case Study: Facebook Ads

We represent a real estate brokerage with several dozens of agents. There is a month post that goes out on Facebook with a $1000 spend. The average reach of that post is usually about 218,000. The average interaction is roughly 600. This is with no staff buy-in. When 4 staff members are engaged on $1000 we got 322,049 reach and over 1000 interactions. With 12 staff members engaged on $1000 we got 518,001 reach and over 1500 interactions. See where I'm going with this?

Now, the goal is 200,000 reach and the max spend is $1000. If we had reliable buy-in we could cut that budget by $100 each month and still get the same reach. If all of the staff bought in that $1000 would become $0.

Tell me again why staff buy-in isn't near the top of your priority list?

If you need help with your ads or any digital marketing, let's talk.

Social Media Prediction: Less is More in 2019

How many brands do you follow on social media? Of those, how many do you actively check out on a regular basis? My guess is less than 10%. Sure, with Christmas just around the corner there is a small chance that number is bumped up a bit but ultimately 10% is a pretty average number. Marketers that I speak to on a regular basis are confused by this. Why would someone follow a brand only to end up ignoring it afterwards?

Burnout

I believe this is due to a burnout online. There's just too much information flying at anyone on any network to keep up. So, if a restaurant is advertising constantly why would anyone follow them religiously. Simply pumping out ads is not a way to endure yourself to the mass public. So what is a brand to do?

Don't Forget the Reasons People Buy Your Products

Will Smith's character in Collateral Beauty summed up advertising elegantly:

In advertising we are supposed to illuminate how a product or service will improve a person's life. That's the end game. So, our most commonly represented industries are restaurants, real estate, and amusement parks. What can we illuminate?

Restaurants: In general, restaurants unite people through food that they cannot typically make at home. They provide a social space to celebrate on occasion or life in general. Restaurants make people feel a sense of happiness through a full stomach, satisfying tastes, and being treated like they are important.

Real Estate: Again, in general, a real estate agent doesn't sell homes. They sell the future, a place to sleep, raise a family, and a reliable place to escape the pressures of the outside world. When someone buys from a real estate agent they are also buying a sense of accomplishment and belonging.

Amusement Parks: At their core, amusement parks are a place to get away from bills, personal issues, and other topics that dominate our daily lives. You're selling a mini-vacation from life; excitement, community, and adventure. In essence, generally speaking, amusement parks are selling a feeling of glee.

The Crux of This Post

So, what's the point of all this? Well, ask yourself before you put anything out on social media, are you illuminating your purpose in this world? If not, maybe you don't want to push publish on that random post you're putting out there.

Less is going to be more in 2019, so you're going to want to get more creative with your posts and never stop asking yourself that all important question. All you're good for in the eyes of the people is value; how do you bring value, and how do they get it? The second you can't provide value you're lost to them ... likely, forever.

Which Social Network is Right for My Business?

Social Networks

One of the most common questions I get when speaking to potential clients is, "Which social network is right for my business?" It's a legitimate question, because if left unanswered, you could burn yourself out just trying to keep up with your marketing. As a business owner, you have a huge to do list, and no time to waste with Social Media Management that doesn't work for you.

With that, I present my quick and dirty explanation of the various social networks.

Facebook

Your business should be on Facebook, period. Not only do they have the best ads platform, but they're also the number one network when it comes to reaching a wide range of ages. Presence on Facebook is also good for SEO. I'm going to state this clearly though; do not jump on Facebook until you have an ad budget to spend. You will not reach the people necessary to impact your business without at least a few hundred to spend on boosts (local biz), or a few thousand (for larger biz).

Twitter

This is the network you have to be most active on to be effective. I mean, really active. Post and reply, post and reply. It's a constant cycle. Twitter's relevance has fallen in the last 18 months, and continues to. I recommend staying away from Twitter unless you know you can be active, you have a solid network growth strategy, and tons of content. The companies that do the best on Twitter are media outlets and celebrity brands. If you're neither, you can pass on Twitter and place that focus elsewhere.

Instagram

Are you trying to reach anyone between the ages of 13 - 38? If so, get on Instagram. The community is active, the feed is still pretty fair for everyone, and the network growth strategies that have come up are easier to implement than with Twitter. Make sure you get creative, and marry your personal + professional voice. No one wants blatant advertising on Insta.

Pinterest

Want to reach women? Use Pinterest. It's really that simple.

LinkedIn

The professional Facebook has just released a really annoying update, but it's still the best place for B2B interactions, and we find the interaction rates to be stellar. Don't spam though. Simply network, and offer through conversation. You'll generate leads if you have a strategy.

Google+

Don't look at Google+ as a social network any longer. It's an SEO platform. You post and stay relevant to boost your rankings, not to engage with others.

Flickr + Tumblr

If you have the time to create stellar long-form content, or you have a business that falls under the category of "the arts", then you should look at Flickr and Tumblr. Otherwise, don't bother with these platforms.

There you have it. I did say this post would be quick and dirty; no need to bury you in stats.

Need help with Social Media Management? Let me know.