Monthly Archives: February 2014

0-2000 Followers: 5 Steps to Kick-Start Your Twitter Following

by Kapil Jekishan
February 25, 2014

Social media is a powerhouse for driving traffic and potential leads to your website. If you’re looking to kick-start your Twitter presence, look no further than this 5 step guide – as we show you how to attract 2000 relevant, interested and engaged followers to your account!

1. Promote great content

I’m about to show you an easy, effective and legitimate Twitter hack – but to make it work, you need killer content. Social media is founded on the sharing of helpful, relevant and interesting media – and if you don’t have any to promote, why would anyone follow you?

Once you’ve identified your target audience, create content that benefits them – by solving their problems and offering them helpful advice. Write as often as you can, and promote each post several times a week.

2. Identify the big players in your industry

Virtually every business niche is dominated by a handful of big players. These companies have huge budgets, and huge Twitter followings – and we’re going to use that to our benefit.

Spend some time browsing Twitter, looking for the biggest, most active businesses from your industry. Come up with a shortlist of the most popular and regularly-shared accounts – as little as 10 businesses will do, but the more, the better. To get started, search Twitter for your keywords, and perform some basic Google searches. If you’re a personal trainer, simple search terms like ‘personal trainer Twitter’ will reveal some of the most popular accounts.

3. Follow the most relevant accounts

Once you’ve got your shortlist, we’re going to dive into their ‘Follower’ lists. As each of our big players is from the same industry as our business, there’s a good chance that these Follower lists are packed-full of people who’d benefit from our own content and website. Following these people encourages them to view our Twitter account – and if we’ve managed to pick relevant people, there’s a great chance they’ll start following us back.

Need a free tool to identify who to follow? Head over to followerwonk where you can search key phrases within Twitter Bios and even narrow it to location. In the below example I’ve run a search for Financial Advisers in Sydney. Now think about who your target audience is? Look them up and start engaging.

follower wonk

To identify the most relevant accounts, quickly scan their profile descriptions – look for:

  • Keywords in their Bio information (‘keen fitness fanatic’)
  • Unique Twitter photos (and not the default Twitter egg!)
  • Recent Tweets

Avoid inactive accounts, obvious spam profiles and people that probably won’t care about your website – and avoid following more than 200 accounts a day. Any more, and you risk being picked-up by Twitter for spam activities.

4. Not following back? Ditch them with ManageFlitter

Initially, Twitter allows you to follow up to 2000 people. If we assume that 25% of our chosen accounts follow back, once we hit that limit, we’ll be stuck with only 500 followers. To get around this, head to ManageFlitter and get a free account.

how to unfollow with manage flitter

ManageFlitter allows you to view and sort all of the Twitter accounts you’re currently following – and those that aren’t following you back. If these profiles haven’t engaged with your account within a few days, it’s incredibly easy to Unfollow them, and free-up your 2000-people limit.

5. Rinse and repeat to 2000 followers

Every time you hit your Follow limit, head to ManageFlitter and remove a hundred or so unrequited accounts. Then, head back to your shortlist and find some new accounts to follow.

By regularly repeating this process, you can grow your Twitter following to 2000-strong in a matter of days. Best of all, every one of these followers has been vetted; allowing you to build a community of engaged followers and potential leads.

By following these 5 simple steps, you can quickly and easily attract 2000 followers to your Twitter page; and that’s 2000 potential leads for your business. Do you regularly use Twitter for connecting with leads? Let us know in the comments!

If you loved this post, check out our blog for more great social media advice!

Should Aussie Businesses Invest in Social? Your Questions Answered

by Kapil Jekishan
February 18, 2014

Like a mighty gale-force wave of prosperity, Australian entrepreneurs and companies small and large are flourishing. They’re becoming major players in globalized 21st century ecommerce. Most aren’t too hip on social media marketing yet, what it takes to be successful and how to approach it. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty using language that even a complete novice with no experience whatsoever could easily understand.

Let’s go over the most common questions that are probably swirling around in your head about now. We can’t make everything crystal clear in one single post, but you’ll have a much more powerful perspective on all this once we’re done.

Is Social Media Marketing Worth It?

At this point in the game it’s hard to talk about internet marketing without directing a fair amount of focus towards the major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, SnapChat, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr and our favorite Google+. The list goes on and on, so yes it’s worth it but you need to choose and invest wisely.

Sometimes investing in social media isn’t worth the trouble. It works best when integrated into a plan that includes other marketing channels.

At this point many Australian brands and startups are jumping straight into Facebook. Why? The rationale varies, but Facebook isn’t ideal for everyone. Listen, social media platforms are where the vast majority of consumers spend their digital time…period. So, with that said, what really matters is what you’re trying to accomplish.

Leads: If your goal is simply to bring in gargantuan amounts of traffic then social media shouldn’t be considered an area where any “sales-speak” happens. The job of your FB updates, videos and Google+ content is to inform and entertain only. You bring in leads through authoritative relevancy. Get it?

Sales: This is about publishing regular amounts of engaging, interesting and entertaining content on a weekly basis intermingled with the occasional sales offer. Give. Give. Give. Then ask. Furthermore, choose a platform that’s a buyer’s market. Which platforms are your ideal clients/customers using that puts them in a mental position where purchasing is a viable option?

Platform Expansion: If social media is only to expand your business platform then, again, it’s about presence, entertainment and engagement. Focus on quality. Build relationships. Build a community of fans that can turn into followers; from followers into customers.

Brand Development: Regardless of how many platforms you choose to be present on, your brand logo and business story should be present on all of them. Each post should include that logo. Each update should continue your brand story.

If you’re involved in internet-based business and marketing, then social media could well be worth it. In many respects as time passes it becomes increasingly inescapable. Social media is everything! In one way or another “social media” is an integral part of the modern online psyche and it’s not going away.

What Kind of Investment Should I Expect?

In reality the prices are all over the proverbial map. There’s so much room for customization. It depends on which platforms you choose. What is the scope of this engagement on a daily basis? Does your investment include setting up and designing the actual social media pages? Will your content be limited to texts and memes or things like infographics and videos? How big is your company? What’s the current level of presence you maintain online?
These questions keep rolling in when you think about it. This all gets incredibly complicated. We could link to tons of varying options and studies but here’s the basic price range that pretty much encompasses most: $400-$10,000 a month. For major corporations the price tag gets much higher.

Independent Agencies: On platforms like Fiverr, oDesk and Elance you can hook up with countless independent teams or agencies of people who focus solely on social media. That’s all they do for businesses like yours and their prices will always vary. Sourcing a quality agency you can depend on takes time, interviews, screening, etc.

Independent Contractors: Sometimes it’s more cost-effective to hire maybe just one individual, or have either yourself or a project manager oversee a small team of your own choosing. Each contractor will ask for different prices depending on their expertise and a number of other variables.

Service-Based Companies: Webquacker, honestly, is one of many web-based businesses that can handle social media marketing. We handle budgets of $900/month or greater. However, you can find outfits with much cheaper rates. There are legions of companies like ours in existence already with new waves up and coming every month. You must choose wisely. Look for demonstrated results. Look for precise planning. Look for companies like ours that bend over backwards to ensure you make informed decisions every step of the way.

The Lone Ranger Route: At the end of the day you could devour a small library of ebooks and other information products. Attend a ton of webinars. Watch a robust amount of YouTube videos or recorded seminars. Expect to invest at least a good solid year of trial and error before really making serious breakthroughs. When it’s all said and done you’ll have still spent a pretty penny.

But, as a business owner are you prepared to make social media marketing a serious part of your everyday life? Is it something you’re talented at? Is it one of your strengths? Let’s talk about how social media marketing really works.

How Does it Work?

As you’ll see in the next section it’s about engagement. Ideally you should engage your social media platforms every single solitary day. Yeah. This translates into legitimate WORK. You’re producing, formatting and publishing content like a media company. You’re leaving comments. You’re sharing. You’re using custom graphic art or photographs. You’re tweeting, liking, watching videos, and on and on.

The more work invested, the better and quicker the results. If you can do all this yourself then awesome! If not, you shouldn’t really concern yourself with all the complexities and intricacies. What’s the point? It’s going to need to be outsourced to a team (either agency, company, or hand-picked freelancer team).

How Quickly Will My Business/Brand See Results?

There’s no magic pill. There’s no exact recipe for predictably viral campaigns. I could say that in general most companies with a decent budget for SMM see steady results that increase over time. It’s proportionate to what you’re doing.

Imagine being able to afford a team who could accomplish all the stuff below three days a week, every single week, on the same three days of the week (we’ll say M-W-F) without fail for a complete year – 52 weeks. That’s just the first year…

  • 3 well-designed tweets (ideal character length) that include 1-3 different hashtags.
  • 2 retweets of relevant content, replies, etc. Or just spending on hour on TweetDeck.
  • 1 solid Facebook post that links to relevant content, including a snippet of text from the admin which asks for readers to engage in some way.
  • You’ll need to Like a few relevant posts, leave a few comments, share other’s posts on your company timeline.
  • A YouTube video with decent production value that’s 1.5-3 minutes long which also informs or entertains viewers. It has a link to your hub in the video description with SEO content, tags, etc.
  • 1 authoritative LinkedIn update, or if you qualify, an in-depth “Thought Leader” post that can be anywhere from 600-2000 words long and formatted for a web-based audience.
  • Again, leave some comments on other people’s LinkedIn posts. Engage people in conversation.
  • Reply to any and all engagement from other people no matter where they are. Reply to comments. Answer questions on all platforms. Get back to people. Thank them for sharing, retweeting, favoriting your video, etc.
  • 1 well-written and formatted blog post on your company blog with a unique image that informs and entertains which is then spread out on all relevant social media platforms.
  • Head onto Google+ and leave comments. Share things. Engage people.

social media clock

Photo credit: Recommended Advisor

Should I keep going? I could. I could keep going and include platforms like Flickr, Tumblr, the blogosphere, etc. Obviously this much activity would produce tremendous results after only 3-6 months. It would be nearly impossible for it not to. But, here’s the thing, if all that work and time is going to be outsourced we’re talking a serious investment.

The point is that social media marketing is a modern emerging industry of massive proportions. How quickly you see results is dependent on your budget and the people doing the work. Great, so how to get started.

Where Should I Begin?

Honestly, a consultation. You can’t wing this stuff. A few years ago maybe, but not anymore. There absolutely must be a strategic plan in place customized around your goals and marketing budget. The first thing to do is talk to your chosen outsourcing method and hammer out that plan.

Then, once it’s all there in black and white and you can see exactly what you’re paying for, then you choose how to move forward.

Now, never sign onto a complex long-winded contract that lasts more than 1-3 months (we don’t even use them. It’s month to month with us). Why? Because you need to see what kind of quality work is going on. You can check up on everything. There should be hard data you can see…reports, analytics, etc. If they suck you need to find someone else!

How Emotional Marketing Can Help Tell Your Story

by Kapil Jekishan
February 11, 2014

Marketing…there is the good, the bad and definitely the ugly.  What defines good marketing? The best marketing hits us with both an emotional and physical response. Emotions drive decisions, encourages action and can change your mind set so as a brand if you’re not careful, it could trigger a deep connection which could make push your audience from loving your brand to despising and vice versa.

What is emotional marketing?

“Emotional marketing is a concept used within marketing communication that focuses on building your brand and telling it’s story so that the end consumer can feel and relate to the message”

Whether your business is sending out a tweet, posting an image on Facebook or producing a video, you want to leave a positive emotion with the end customer. Most of time if the medium of choice to distribute your message is social media, you want to leave them in a state which prompts a call to action whether it be to purchase, share or subscribe to name a few.

Think of emotional marketing as a means to showing the world what your brand stands for and if you do this right, it won’t be long before the right audience starts to consume your content and takes part in your story.

Let’s take a look at a few strategies, factors and examples to have at the forefront when stirring emotion in your audience:

1. Use the 5 Ws.

Some of the most effective terms you can use in a social update are “Who, What, When, Where and Why”. These words spark curiosity in the readers’ minds and prompts them to want to know more.

For example, in Wade Harman’s post on attracting more social readers through emotional marketing he goes on to explain that by using the 5 W’s you start to raise questions in the end reader’s mind such as “What am I doing wrong?”, “Was I off track from the beginning?”, “What if this person can show me something I’m not doing right?” “I should definitely check this out!” What you then need to do is show them that you can provide a solution to the question within the post you’re sending them to.

For example, if you tweeted about a blog post ‘The 6 Mistakes all Accountants make on Social Media and How to Avoid Them” this will prompt accountants (if they are your target market) to want to know what they are doing wrong and what they can do to fix it.

2. Leave Your Opinion At The Door

This might be a tough one to accept for the vocal marketer but when it comes to business, you need to be mindful of the opinions you express. I mean after all, once it’s said especially on social media, it’s very hard to repair the damage.  If your social updates are filled with adjectives such as ‘Amazing’, ‘Incredible’, ‘Unbelievable’ then guess what? You aren’t giving your audience a chance to build their own opinion for themselves so there is a good chance they might not read the link or be put off by the bias in your comment.

The same analogy applies when asking questions in your social media updates.  Try not to suggest an answer you would expect your audience to respond with. This approach will not create the most open conversational responses. The preferred approach would be to separate your opinion from the question, allowing your audience to develop their own argument and share an honest response.

Examples of this include “Should the guy or girl pay on a first date?” The guy of course”.  By adding the second line, you’re already suggesting that this should be the response anyway from your audience, however, the results may surprise you so wait for it and be neutral.

pay first date emotional marketing

3. The Secret Weapon: Agitate Their “Fear Of Loss”

According to Statistic Brain, you’ve got 8 seconds to get your audience’s attention and in those 8 seconds you must trigger some form of emotion. What’s the easiest emotion you can pull off and get your audience to take action? The fear of loss! When someone believes that an offer will expire in hours or 2 days, there is a higher propensity for them to participate as opposed to a stagnant deal.

Check out what Jon Loomer does with his Facebook specific offer for Monday only where his fans can purchase the training at a reduced rate. For the record, I’m guilty of purchasing this course through Jon’s offer and I’m many who follow him would have done so too.

jon loomer fear of loss emotional marketing

The goal of stirring emotions and agitating their fears is to evoke a response. Marketing is about telling a story which strikes a chord in your audience so they will want to respond or connect to you, or tell their friends about it.

4. Use Visuals to Display Emotion

Prior to the Sochi Winter Olympic games, we saw Proctor & Gamble launch their new ad campaign which celebrated America’s moms who encourage their kids to strive on through the excitement of victory and the lows of defeat.  The University of Cincinnati’s Karen Machleit (Head of Marketing) summed it up well here “A mom’s love of a young child who is an athlete is a universal emotion. These commercials create positive feelings. When consumers think about the brand, the feelings will transfer over”

Watch the video below:

What’s brilliant about this clip is that while the advertisement never promotes Proctor & Gamble’s products until the close when the clip flashes ‘Tide detergent, Gilette razors etc’ followed by the P&G corporate logo.

What P&G did so effectively was create maximal emotional excitement wit the highs and the lows and kept their company branding to a minimum. If this same clip featured strong use of branding, I’m sure many viewers would have disregarded the content or distanced themselves emotionally given the ‘salesy’ approach.

When you produce content in video form, try and give your audience an  emotional roller coaster ride by varying the pulsing moments through breaks or gaps.

What about Graphics?

Have any of your customers or readers helped your business in a way and you wanted to thank them.  Instead of sending a simple thank you message across social media or email, have you considered turning to bespoke graphics such as mini infograms or drawn out messages? In the below example, I wanted to reach out to four special ladies who have helped my Google+ journey either directly or indirectly through their content so rather than sending out individual messages we went for the graphic approach so others could also see the value they bring to the network. (see below):

emotional marketing 4 girls that rock google plus

Final Thoughts

Ask yourself: how can I collaborate my social media marketing with real emotion?  What does your product or service offer which addresses a specific range of emotions? Or, better yet, how can you create an emotional bond with your audience?

Ultimately, the heart of the matter is this: you want engagement and people are information hungry and they will share information which they believe their friends and family will benefit from.  Ask yourself, how can you get people to care? Because we all know when someone cares, they generally share.

So now when you tell your brand’s story, be sure to factor in emotional triggers as these will not only help drive traffic but also builds trust and loyalty. The next time you send out a tweet or update, think about the psychological angle and make it a regular part of your approach, the positive returns will naturally begin to appear.

Google+ Tools Which Track Your ROI

by Kapil Jekishan
February 3, 2014

By now it’s no secret that if you’re a business with an online presence, you simply cannot ignore Google+ so I’m going to assume many of you which are reading this either have a personal profile or a business page set up. If not, you might want to dive in after getting through today’s post.

Today’s post looks at a few tools which are out on the market which helps to measure your activity on Google+ which in return presents you with your return on investment (ROI) on the platform. Facebook might have their Insights tool which is pretty nifty but wait til you see some of these which we’ll dive into.

1. All My Plus

All My Plus is an excellent Google+ stats tool (produced by Gerin Sturm) which allows you to analyse your Google+ activity by giving you access to metrics such as :

  • Number of followers and following
  • Number of posts, comments, +1’s and re-shares
  • Days and times of best performing posts
  • Archive of all your posts
  • Number of links or photos included in your posts
  • Option to download your data in a CSV file

allmyplus_kapil_jekishan

Now the below screenshot takes a further look at the Moz Industry Survey post telling me the number of shares, +1’s, word count and comments.

allmyplus statistics

Most of this data provides valuable feedback and helps you to refine your G+ strategy to increase traffic and conversions. For example, you can see which posts got more comments or re-shares and discover the type of content that your followers enjoy the most.

Finally, you can use AllMyPlus to spy on your competition and follow influencers in your niche. See the type of content which they post and the times they post so you’ve got an idea on the ‘buzz’ period to also cash in on the engagement. Speaking of engagement,having these statistics are one thing but you still need to interact with other users before the +1’s, shares and comments become regular.

All My Plus gets a big thumbs up from us and incase you didn’t know, this resource happens to be free so head on over and gain better insights on your profile or anyone else’s for that matter.

Recommended Reading: If you wanted a deeper dive into All My Plus, I’d also recommend checking out Brian Jensen’s post on 4 Tools to Help You Rock Google+

2. Google Analytics Social Reports 

Next on the list of Google+ metrics is Google’s new social analytics. The new social reports from Google provide clear insights about how much traffic and conversions Google+ drives to your website. Make sure to define goals first, in order to measure the value of social referrals on your website.

Open your Google Analytics account. Go to Standard Reports > Acquisition > Social > Overview. Click on the Social Sources report and click on the Google+ row:

google analytics social

Now, you’ll get two more reports with stats like the average visit duration, pageviews and more:

  • Google+ Shared URL (which URLs were shared in Google+, as well as pageviews, visit duration, etc.)

shared url GA

  • Google+ Social Network and Action (see all interactions performed on Google Plus, segmented by action type: +1, post, comment, post and re-share)

social network and action

  • Google+ Visitors Flow

The new Social Visitors Flow is a visual representation of how users from the social space are using your website. This report tells you which social platform is sending the most traffic to your site and how your social visitors are interacting with your site once they get there.

gplus_visitor_flow_ga

The above diagram shows the main social channels, the main landing pages and the page drop-off rate. By comparing the drop-off rate of social traffic to other traffic sources, you can locate which referrers  are driving the most visitors to your website.

The Visitors Flow report goes beyond people’s first visits and tracks their subsequent interactions with your site. By analysing these stats, you can easily see what users are looking for on your website and if they’re headed down the sales funnel or dropping off which allows you to focus on why this could be the case.

  • Advanced Segmentation

Next, you can compare your Google+ traffic against other social media channels by creating an Advanced Segment. In your Google Analytics dashboard, select the “Advanced Segments” tab and hit “+New Custom Segment”.

google analytics advanced segments

You can name it Social Media and use the “Source” dimension to add those social media channels that drive traffic to your site. When you’re done, click “Save Segment” and check out your Traffic Sources > All Traffic and see how your social media referrers are performing.

  • Assisted vs Last Interaction Analysis

Another great thing is that Google Analytics allows you to see which social channels have assisted with conversions. This report shows you when a user visits your site, leaves without converting, but returns and converts at a later time.

Just go to Conversions and click on Multi-Channel Funnels. With one click, you can see which channels are assisting with the most conversions and helping you build the most profitable conversion paths.

By analysing these stats and seeing how much your Google+ posts influence your traffic, conversions and sales, you’ll be able to further optimise your activity for maximum ROI. A short video about Google’s Analytics Social Reports can be seen here.

3. Circle Count

CircleCount is a free resource which helps you understand your Google+ better by giving you access to a number of statistics regarding your performance and level of influence. The one big upside to CircleCount is the visual aspect and this really makes it easy to absorb the data being thrown at you. For example if I wanted to see a snapshot of how my posts were doing I’m presented with the below – very easy on the eyes right?

circlecount

How about the ability to access your geographic follower distribution? CircleCount has you covered there. Here is how mine currently looks (the accuracy is higher if you have less than 10,000 followers):

circlecount heatmap

Okay so that’s all fun and interesting but you want more on performance right? CircleCount tracks your public posts and activity in terms of comments, +1’s and shares.

Check out the report below which makes it pretty clear how your posts are going. The red implies no activity and you have the option of sorting columns depending on which feature you want to focus on.

circlecount performance

To round off CircleCount, they have just recently launched a new feature called ‘Your Reactions’ which is under ‘You!’ and this creates an animated GIF of the total plus ones, shares, pubic posts you’ve received on your public posts (mine shows since April 2013).

4. Steady Demand

Now here’s a tool which includes both an audit and analytics facility for Google+. Steady Demand are doing some pretty cool things in this space and happen to be the leading this space by example. If you have a G+ Brand Page, check out their Brand Audit Tool which summarises in the most simplest terms what works and what doesn’t. See the snapshot below:

steady demand page audit

If you move down a little further, the tool breaks down how your posts are looking and whether you’re following best practice such as length of your post, have you mentioned anyone and have you used a hashtag.

post quality steady demand

Steady Demand also has a paid tool, SD PRO which offers extra features such as your own dashboard which gives you a quick snapshot of your performance, connection summary, alerts in case one of your updates has a low level of engagement and general post quality recommendations so you never slack off.

For a deeper review of this paid tool, head of to Ian Cleary’s post on Social Media Examiner

Conclusion

Google+ is such a revolutionary platform and it amazes me how many businesses still don’t have a presence yet there are many which have moved fast and are reaping the rewards by tapping into untouched communities, building a following and naturally the SEO benefits. It’s great that we now have these resources at our disposal to analyse how effectively we’re using this platform and this will continue to evolve.

Which of these tools do you use regularly? Would you recommend adding any others to the list?