07 December – How to expand your audience on Social Media

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Social media, there’s no denying, can be (when done correctly) a very effective method for reaching a wider audience. But how can you ensure you’re taking full advantage and are using the right platforms and methods to drive the best results?

 

I was recently joined with Ian Moyse,  a well-known Sales Leader who has a huge social media presence, being rated 2016 and 15’s #1 social influencer on cloud, and #1 on ITSM ,  featured in many social selling leaders reports and has even advised many businesses on how to play the social media game. Here, Ian shared his tips on how to expand your social media presence.

 

  1. What to consider

 

  • Influencing buyers – With 75% of b2b buyers using social media to research a vendor (IDC) and 57% of the buyers journey being done before a sales rep is contacted (CAB), the power of social really has evolved. Ian even points out that incremental decisions are being made, based on content shared through social media. ‘That wouldn’t have happened even 10 years ago,’.

 

  • Transparency – The buyer and influencer dynamic has evolved. Anyone now has the ability to find out everything about, you, your brand, your products, what others think of you, and from this make a decision. It’s therefore more important than ever to portray yourself in the best way possible, across any mediums where they may find you, to sway their buying decision.

 

  • What are your goals? – It’s not enough to just want to be a part of social media because you’ve heard at an event it’s ‘good’, you need to think about what it is you want to accomplish and where you want to go. As Ian says ‘If you don’t know where you want to go, I can’t tell you which route to take.’ Possible goals could be; to generate leads, to appear more established than you are, to gain a wider regional reach or to be seen as a thought leader.

 

  1. Who are your audience?

After you’ve identified your goal, you then need to consider who is your audience. Examples include:

 

  • Customers- End customers
  • Channel partners- Spread your message onwards to their customer base.
  • Analysts- To become recognized in your field
  • Journalists- To create an online buzz and get your brand out there
  • Influencers- To improve the reputation of your business

 

  1. How do you engage with your audience?

Social media is open 24 hours a day so posting once a day will not be enough to grab your audience’s attention.

 

What a lot of thought leaders do is they repeat their content. To do this though you need to have a wide content library. As Ian says ‘What are the chances your audience are going to see it 50 times’?  Social Media is a transient form, no one is sat watching you all the time. Like a TV advert the same ad runs on different channels at different time again and again!  You need to engage the same on social.  Have a mix of good content you can re-use and perhaps post a blog, twice a day, each day at different times across 2 week’s! You want to have as many people as possible to; see it, engage with it and share it on to their audiences! Using a social automation tools will allows you to schedule these in advance to go out at varying times.

 

Social media has the word ‘social’ in the title for a reason. It’s all about communicating with your audience and starting up conversations. By this Ian does not mean, sending them something one off. The relationship needs to be constantly nurtured to keep them interested, whilst encouraging engagement.

 

More than that though, it’s about sharing content that will be of interest to them.

 

  1. How do you grow your audience?

 

  • Focus- Do not be fooled into thinking you need to be on all social networks. If your business does not lend itself to visual display, why have an ‘Instagram’ account? Yes, it’s a huge player in the market, but perhaps not for your industry. Instead focus your efforts on a few social networks suited to your industry. Why not assess your competitors’ efforts and which ones they use?

 

  • Take advantage- Hashtags, keywords, Twitter lists, LinkedIn Groups, are all great ways of attracting your audience’s attention. Spend some time researching these and see how you can take advantage of them. I would highly recommend conducting social listening to see how others are using these effectively. If you can identify a relevant niche not yet served then consider creating a LinkedIn or Facebook group and adding connections/ thought leaders in that space to it. This is a method Ian has found particularly beneficial for starting conversations, engaging his audience and sharing content (Ian’s group now has over 33k members and is continuing to grow consistently!)

 

  • Social Selling- As Ian says ‘people talk to people. They don’t like to feel they’re talking to a bot. To do this you need to take advantage of your sales people and give them training on how to use their social media accounts effectively, for building and engaging with prospects. With 57% of the buyers’ journey occurring before a sales rep is contacted, building your employees online presence is a great way of influencing buying decisions.

 

  • Thought leaders- Do you have influencers, senior level employees or experts in your field that you could be leveraging on social media? This is also another great way of increasing your social media presence, building trust and adding a humanized element to your messaging as well.

 

  • Useful tools- Here are some great tools which Ian Moyse recommends using for improving your social media performance and efficiency:

-Fiverr- Creative marketplace for finding digital services such as creating great profile imagery and social animations cheaply

-Ezgif- Converts videos to GIF’s to make content and is a bit more social media friendly.

-Social media automation tools- To schedule relevant posts to your audience all at once.

-Commun.it- A tool to analyze engagement on Twitter & Facebook and to help you re-engage

 

The main trick is to constantly look for small gains and try to keep up to date with the advancements. ‘I am constantly looking for ways to make social media that bit easier for myself or ways to make me look a bit more professional. Its’ all about those 1% gains, they all add up.’

 

Ian shared some extremely useful tips in here, too many in fact for me to mention within this blog post, so here’s the full version of our ‘Expanding your Social Audience’ webinar. Please do follow us @purechannelapps and @imoyse on Twitter and feel free to ask us some questions.

02 July – How SAP deliver targeted newsletters to all 13,000 partner organisations

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So how do SAP deliver targeted newsletters to their wealth of 13,000 global partners? This is a goal every brand would surely love to deliver, but it’s expensive and time consuming, yes? Wrong. In their recent webinar with us, purechannelapps, SAP explained exactly how they manage to achieve this.

 

Who are SAP?

But before we start, let me first begin by providing you with a little more information about SAP. They are the market leader in enterprise application software, with a global presence through their significant network of partners. SAP is built around helping originations simplify their processes to generate innovative opportunities for growth.

 

Kathleen Lopez, Senior Director, partner marketing communications at SAP says, ‘It is always a challenge, no matter what industry you are in, to reach your target audiences’ attention in a cost effective, targeted way.’

 

Targeted newsletter issues

Up until 2013, SAP often sent up to three newsletters a day to their partners, each about its own set of product focus. This is clearly because they wanted to provide targeted content to their partners. If however partners fell into more than one category, they would receive more than one newsletter, often containing duplicate information. As I am sure you appreciate this caused engagement levels to fall.

 

Can you imagine how time consuming it would be to create three newsletters daily? With each content created needing to be approved, translated into multiple languages, HTML coded and then newsletter template formatted, the turnaround of content was incredibly slow. It’s then not surprising that partners were receiving old content that was no longer relevant.

 

Growing pressures for partners

SAP’s partners work with other vendors as well, so managing and engaging with their content and competitors is a challenging task to undertake. But how do you get your partners to make yours the favourable one, the one they choose to read?

 

‘Everyone wants to talk to partners these days, they see partners as the growth engine of their business.  Everyone’s story is super important so it is essential to be ahead of competitors,’ admits Kathleen Lopez.

 

What does SAP use?

So what did SAP do about it? They opted for newsondemand, offered by purechannelapps to solve their growing issues. This software allows SAP to create a 100% targeted newsletter that can be sent to all partners. Partners select what they are interested is receiving information about, how often they want to receive it (weekly/ monthly) and when.

 

The software will intelligently create a newsletter based upon their preferences. What’s particularly beneficial for SAP is that they do not need to do any HTML coding, just simply upload articles and select which category it is appropriate to. The software does the rest.

 

‘We give our partners the choice on content areas and how often they want to hear from SAP. A lot of companies do not do this in the tech world,’ confirms Kathleen Lopez.

 

Isn’t it pretty?

SAP’s newsletter is now also more physically appealing to all readers; something slightly different from what I believe you will have ever seen before. It looks more like a magazine article, with three columns, and an image allocated to each. SAP can also prioritise the order of articles so more important ones appear at the top. Clever, I know J

 

The all-important results

Engagement levels have significantly increased. Open rates are up by 49%, with the average click to open rate being 5.9%. Some newsletters even receive 17%. This is a dramatic improvement and shows the real difference targeted newsletters have made to SAP’s partners. This is calculated per newsletter article.

 

Outdated content is now a thing of the past, as HTML coding is not required, meaning each email does not need to be individually created. This ensures content is relevant, up-to-date and useful to partners. And let’s not forget partners now only receive one email with all the relevant information they need. Duplication is a thing of the past. No wonder engagement has increased.

 

‘My team was not the size it was 10 years ago. It’s smaller, yet we are expected to do more so we need platforms like newsondemand to help us achieve that,’ concludes Kathleen Lopez.

 

17 March – ATTENTION: Subject Titles Should be Noticeable… Mine is!

If my subject title hadn’t intrigued you or been prominent enough on the webpage you would not be reading this. Crazy aye! This puts into perspective just how important subject titles really are, whether they be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email newsletters or just in generic emails to your channel partners. Everyone wants their content to be read, but what is the best way to achieve this?

 

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Keep it snappy

No one appreciates a long subject title. Instead adopt a short and snappy approach. Get to the point you are trying to make in a few words. Don’t make it hard for your reader to follow. Being clear and concise is the best formula. 6 to 10 words is plenty.

 

Originality

Time and time again I see the same, boring subject titles. Instead try and be different. This could be by creating an amusing subject title or perhaps a familiar play on words. It’s up to you what approach you adopt, but whatever you do, make it different. Good different, not bad different. Your readers do not want to question your content topic, keep it obvious.

 

Add a figure

Statistics add value to content so provide a specific measurement that intrigues readers to find out more. Up to date statistics for a given topic are often hard to get hold of. Illustrating to readers that you have this information in your subject title, already provides you with a unique advantage over others.

 

Keywords

Consider appropriate keywords when choosing your subject title. Adopt a similar approach to your pay per click campaigns. It’s all about reaching a wider audience. By doing this, your articles are more likely to appear on Google searches and in turn you will receive more engagement.

 

I know you may be thinking well this is obvious, but perhaps look back at past subject titles you have written. Do you think you could have been clearer, maybe a bit more interesting? Or perhaps used a few more keywords?

 

It’s not just about being engaging for potential customers, but also being eye catching for your channel partners, who I am sure receive your content on a regular basis. Could you make your subject titles a little more appealing to them? They probably deal with lots of other brands like yours, who are all fighting for their attention. A subject title may be all that is required to win this battle and receive a response.

 

If you are still thinking that it won’t make any difference, why not test it. Perhaps test a few variables and perform some A/B split testing. I am certain you will be more than surprised by the results.