Author: admin

Where Outreach Belongs in Your Social Strategy

Developing a social media strategy isn't exactly a task for the faint of heart. It takes research, time, and effort to craft an effective approach. And with the number of variables you face in the process, one successful campaign doesn't automatically translate to future success. One of the biggest issues I run into is the difference between a social media strategy, and a social media outreach strategy, so I decided to clear up confusion. Outreach should be factored into your overall social strategy – as in, you need to be doing it – but it needs to have a separate strategy behind it – how you'll do it, when you'll do it, and what you'll be using. So, let's take a closer look at building an outreach strategy you can fit into an existing social media strategy. What is Social Media Outreach? Simply put, you use social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram to increase brand awareness, and build relationships. The focus is on fostering genuine, mutually beneficially relationships with people who will either spread awareness of your brand (influencers), or have the potential to become a paying customer in the future. It's not a chance to spam users with your content. That's nothing more than a transactional relationship, which is the opposite of what you're going for. Isn’t that What I’m Doing with My Social Strategy Anyway? Not exactly. Your social media strategy likely does have some degree out outreach factored in, because you know the kind of content you're going to post on each of your social channels. You know which networks you want to focus on, and your end goals – bring in more followers, increase engagement. But, at its core, a social strategy focuses on how you're going to use your content, and what forms of content you'll need to create to do it, without bringing in outside influencers to help you get the job done. Unless you've factored influencers into your strategy already, what you've got documented is likely just a social media content strategy. What the Content Strategy Looks Like A social media content strategy includes: Goals and Objectives: Before working on any kind...

The 7 Citation Building Myths Plaguing Local SEO

Myth #1: If your citations don’t include your suite number, you should stop everything you're doing and fix this ASAP. Truth: Google doesn’t even recognize suite numbers for a whopping majority of Google business listings. Even though you enter a suite number in Google My Business, it doesn’t translate into the "Suite #" field in Google MapMaker — it simply gets eliminated. Google also pays more attention to the location (pin) marker of the business when it comes to determining the actual location and less to the actual words people enter in as the address, as there can be multiple ways to name a street address. Google’s Possum update recently introduced a filter for search queries that is based on location. We’ve seen this has to do with the address itself and how close other businesses in the same industry are to your location. Whether or not you have a suite number in Google My Business has nothing to do with it. Darren Shaw from Whitespark, an expert on everything related to citations, says: “You often can’t control the suite number on your citations. Some sites force the suite number to appear before the address, some after the address, some with a # symbol, some with “Ste,” and others with “Suite.” If minor discrepancies like these in your citations affected your citation consistency or negatively impacted your rankings, then everyone would have a problem.” In summary, if your citations look great but are missing the suite number, move along. There are most likely more important things you could be spending time on that would actually impact your ranking. Myth #2: Minor differences in your business name in citations are a big deal. Truth: Say your business name is "State Farm: Bob Smith," yet one citation lists you as “Bob Smith Insurance” and another as “Bob Smith State Farm.” As Mike Blumenthal states: “Put a little trust in the algorithm.” If Google was incapable of realizing that those 3 names are really the same business (especially when their address & phone number are identical), we’d have a big problem on our hands. There would be so many...

In the Age of Autonomous Cars, Can Your Organisation Also Be Driverless?

Metaphors matter. Explaining the meaning of one thing by referring to it in the familiar terminology of another shapes how we comprehend the world. Metaphors come not only with physical attributes, but embedded assumptions. When I describe a merger of two organisations as a “train wreck,” you imagine each one fixed on its track, unable or unwilling to alter course or speed before a pileup. You don’t need a lot of details to understand it as an irreparable disaster resulting in twisted debris. Once familiar, metaphors tend to endure. For example, many contemporary organisations owe their structure to two enduring metaphors: the assembly line, with its emphasis on standardisation, linear processes, and efficiency; and the military, with its clearly delineated roles, ranks, chains of command, and reservations of authority. Even as work has become more networked and knowledge-based, with an emphasis on innovation and creativity, many executives and workers still cling to hierarchies designed for control, not the smooth flow of ideas and resources required for agility. So what happens when a significant source of business metaphors gets turned on its head? Can that change how organisations see themselves and function? We’re about to find out, as driverless cars become part of our everyday lives. Automotive metaphors proliferated almost as far and wide as highways beginning in the second half of the 20th century. To speed things up, “put the pedal to the metal.” Teams “stay in their lane,” lest their work collide with that of another. Sixty years after its famous flop, “Edsel” is still used to describe a product that falls flat. Automotive metaphors also often carry connotations of control. People put their careers in the “fast lane” or, as they get close to retirement, “downshift” to lesser responsibilities. The person in charge is “behind the wheel” and “driving” the company forward. Widely used in business is Jim Collins’s well-known metaphor about thinking of a company as a bus: “You are a bus driver. The bus, your company, is at a standstill, and it’s your job to get it going.” Central to Collins’s metaphor is that it is far more important to worry...

5 Things the Most Successful Entrepreneurs All Have in Common

What do Spanx founder Sara Blakely, AOL co-founder Steve Case, and Dell's founder Michael Dell all have in common? Besides running their own powerhouse companies, they were also all winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award--in 2002, 1994, and 1989, respectively. It's an award the New York City-based professional services firm has given to an average of 300 business leaders each year across regions and industries for 30 years. In honor of the award's anniversary, EY partnered with the Harvard Business Review to survey 500 of its more than 9,000 past award winners, which includes luxury-fashion company co-founder Rebecca Minkoff and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, to find out what it takes to go from big idea to scalable business. Here are the five main lessons that the founders and executives at companies with a collective $1 trillion in revenue and 14 million employees credit with their success. 1. Debunk founders syndrome. It's a popularly held belief that a founder who stays in place too long could end up poisoning the mission of the company and its culture with his or her personal objectives and personality. But the study says that the most successful founders were able to balance out their own influence in the company by empowering other members of their team to own different parts of the mission. By giving employees freedom within the company, 2014 EOY winner and founder of food-service company Bon Appétit Management Fedele Bauccio says he's able to stay with the company but out of the way of its mission. Plus, it gives him time to do what he's good at. "The founder is important since a professional CEO may not be able to maintain the culture and vision of the company in a way that has real meat," he says. 2. Tap into the power of purpose. It's not just an altruistic notion anymore. The most successful leaders say they employ a defined purpose to retain employees, earn funding, and build brand loyalty. Founders like Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's say that while profits should be a measurement of success, striving for a greater purpose...

authentic marketing

How to Achieve Authenticity in Your Marketing

On my sales calls lately, I've been asking people to tally each time I use a buzzword. At the end of the call, I ask for a report, and for every buzzword I said, that's one less peanut M&M I allow myself to eat. I started doing this because I was genuinely fed up with all the words and phrases we use every day that make us sound more like robots than actual humans. At some point, it became commonplace to suppress our humanity at work. And when we can break through that (one tallied-and-replaced buzzword at a time), we can restore some of the personality that makes our interactions more authentic. In a world that asks us to be so many different things, finding someone who has a clear idea of who she is and what she stands for is wonderful and refreshing — and the same is true for brands. Why Authentic Marketing Is So Much Easier Said Than Done Unfortunately for brands, it takes more than tallying buzzwords and eating fewer pieces of candy to convey authenticity. It takes a lot of work and the understanding that authenticity isn't synonymous with likability. The two are related, but if you're going to be completely genuine and not always subject to popular opinion, you're not going to please everyone — which can feel counterintuitive to a brand that wants to be everything to everybody. Authenticity is a rare and valuable concept that can help you connect with your audience on a much deeper level, but it's not all sunshine and roses. Marketing authentically presents a few major challenges, and brands have to be prepared to answer questions like: 1. Who exactly is our audience, and are we ready to commit to them? The problem with tailoring your brand's message for your core audience comes when you don't want to target so much that you risk ostracising other potential audiences. But without committing and tailoring your message, you're left with one that only half-resonates with your intended audience but keeps the door open for others in a way that leaves both feeling like your brand doesn't know...