Archive for the ‘Social Media Marketing’ Category

5 Easy Tools for Social Selling Success

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Guest post by Austin Duck.

Social selling is an awesome way to get things done. But, like the early days of anything on social, it’s difficult, messy, and imprecise.

Five top social selling toolsA big reason for this is a lack of organizational tools. Remember trying to manage your brand’s presence on social media pre Hootsuite? It was the stuff of nightmares. You were constantly switching between tabs, hoping that you weren’t missing a valuable comment or brand mention, and every day was broken into hour-long pieces, each of which was punctuated by sitting down and writing a post.

And then, one day, a host of tools were released that made it SO MUCH EASIER.

Social selling needs that day, that one dashboard to rule them all, and, unfortunately, it hasn’t come quite yet (at least that I’m aware of.)

But several incredibly useful tools have popped up that work to focus your efforts, making it easier to identify, engage, and ultimately convert your social prospects.

5 Easy Tools for Social Selling Success

  • Listen to Two Million Channels at Once with Hootesuite’s UberVU: Hootsuite’s UberVU listening tool (or something like it) should be the veritable foundation of any social selling effort. Allowing you to track keywords and conversations across more than twp million channels, UberVU makes it easier than ever to discover important discussions and important customers across the internet. From social to industry publishes, to niche blogs, UberVU helps you pinpoint potential customers and conversations at exactly the right time.
  • Focus Your Prospecting Efforts with InsightPool: If you’re looking for extremely targeted prospecting, look no further than InsightPool. With tools for prospect identification within your social network, customizable lead scoring, and some seriously slick options for staying engaged, InsightPool offers the opportunity to leverage your business’ social community in a big way.
  • Make the Most of Your Network with CircleBack: You may know CircleBack as an intelligent address book that keeps your professional contacts up-to-date automatically. But, what you may not realize is that CircleBack is also a great way to leverage the connections your sales teams already have. Because CircleBack tracks titles and companies and shares those changes with you, it’s easy to see when contacts move into decision-making roles or switch companies, and when it might be a good time to ding them on social.
  • Grow the Right Relationships with Nudge: Nudge makes keeping in touch with all of your social prospects a breeze. It scans whatever networks you connect it to (LinkedIn, email, Twitter, etc.), and highlights those you have the strongest relationships with and who might be worth a bit more effort. Then, based on their social posting and interactions, Nudge recommends content and conversation topics you can use to build a great relationship and close a sale.
  • Deliver Brand-Appropriate Content with WittyParrot: Because every social sales conversation is different, it’s easy for a brand’s voice/message to get lost in the deluge of articles and collateral different reps are sending out. WittyParrot works to change all that by collating relevant outside articles and useful internal collateral and delivering them directly to your team. In doing so, it gives decision makers the ability to control the consistency of your message and gives your sales team access to the resources they need.

With these five tools in place, you’ll have all your bases covered. With solutions listening across social channels, giving you better insight into existing networks, and facilitating relationship building through communication and outreach, you have everything you need to close deals is an organized, impactful way. Now go sell something!

Austin Duck is Content Marketing Manager for CircleBack and regularly contributes to StartupGrind and elsewhere. He lives in DC with his wife and army of cats.

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What To Do When Your Facebook Ad Gets Rejected

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Guest post by Pierre-Lou Dominjon.

Many factors go into creating Facebook Ads: headlines, copy, images, offers, targeting, bidding and more all have to be considered. Once you’ve assembled and created your ad, you still have to check it against Facebook’s guidelines and rulebook. If you add a landing page, the fun and chaos increase even further.

Facebook advertising tips

Image credit: Revinate

It’s therefore no surprise that a large number of Facebook Ads are rejected. When an ad comes back rejected, it can be frustrating, especially when the advertiser has a hard time figuring out what went wrong. Knowing what to do when a Facebook Ad gets rejected however, makes it easier to keep things going smoothly and get your ad back up and running quickly.

Here are some quick tips for what you can do.

How You Will Know

When you’re waiting for your ad to get approved, you can check its status through an ads manager, or through an aggregating platform like Growmobile. It will either be marked as pending, accepted, or rejected. The approval process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours.

When your ad gets rejected, you’ll not only see that it’s been rejected, you’ll also be given a reason by Facebook.

Some reasons are very specific, such as “you used a blocked word or phrase.” Sometimes, the explanations are more vague, and you’ll have to go investigate the problem yourself. Either way, it’s time to get back to work on the ad and see what needs adjusting.

How to Get Your Questions Answered

If you have questions as to why an ad was rejected, or if you want clarification or more direction so that you can make sure your ad gets approved next time, you can contact the Facebook Ads team directly. Doing this can provide you clear directions on how to proceed in a way that your ad will likely get accepted for the next go-around. You can also live-chat with a Facebook representative to get those answers quickly. You can contact Facebook and an ads specialist here.

Revise and Resubmit

Facebook doesn’t have a computer program or software that automatically approves ads, as many have previously thought; they have a team of trained, experienced employees whose sole jobs are to approve or reject Facebook Ads.

Because of this, certain sites mistakenly recommend resubmitting the same ad without making any changes, saying that “the system is subjective,” whether to opinion or human error.

That is not the case; these experts are highly trained when it comes to Facebook Ads (hence the term “experts”) and they know the rule book front to back, as will the person next to them. Approval of Facebook Ads is much less subjective than some people seem to think. If your ad gets rejected once and you resubmit it the same way, there’s a 99.99% chance it will get rejected again.

Here’s a fun bonus: if you continue to submit the same unrevised ad time after time, it can lead to your account being suspended or even banned. Additionally, if you receive several ad rejections you run the risk of having your quality score reduced, negatively impacting your ad delivery and your KPIs (how much you’re paying for clicks and impressions).

Because of this, it’s highly recommended to always make the suggested revisions the first time around, and not continue sending an unrevised ad—this will make the process go more quickly and be less painful for everyone.

Tips to Keep Your Ads from Getting Rejected

While it’s not the end of the world if your ad is rejected, we’d all rather save some time and have them approved the first time around (or at least the second time, since continuing to submit rejected ads can lead to your account getting banned).

Here are a few quick and easy tips to make sure ads get approved:

  • Some industries have additional guidelines for how they can use Facebook Ads. Liquor companies, for example, can’t advertise to anyone under 21, or to people within certain regions. Medical and pharmaceutical companies can’t advertise products requiring prescriptions to acquire. Review Facebook’s rule book to check for additional industry rules for your business before you run your ads.
  • If your ad gets rejected and you have a landing page, check the landing page first. Landing page issues are among the most common reasons ads get rejected, for problems like offers not matching up, or the fine print not being spelled out. You can see a full list of common landing page errors here.
  • Some ads will be rejected because consistency is a problem. The image doesn’t match what’s being advertised, the copy doesn’t match the headline, or the offer isn’t consistent in the ad and on the landing page. Consistency is key.
  • Be mindful of the 20% rule. This is a rule Facebook has that states that text can’t take up more than 20% of an image on an ad. Some platforms offer a built-in tools to check if an image passes the 20% rule by activating a grid across a picture dividing it up into sections.
  • Other common reasons ads get rejected include having automatic downloads, implying an endorsement from Facebook, and having misleading content. You can take a quick peek and review them all here so you know what to be on the lookout for.

Final Thoughts

Though it’s frustrating when an ad you’ve worked hard on comes back rejected, it’s always best to pinpoint the problem, adjust it, and try to resubmit it again once you’ve addressed the issue. Again, attempting to just resubmit the same exact ad again without fixing anything can lead to your account getting suspended or banned, so it’s just not worth the risk.

Adjusting your ad is often relatively easy, and while some complete overhauls are needed, it’s always worth it in the end to make sure it gets approved with the next submission so you can start running your campaigns—and seeing ROI—as soon as possible.

Pierre-Lou Dominjon leads the MakeMeReach division of Growmobile by Perion.

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Empathy and Marketing: How to Turn Your B2B Prospects Into People

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Guest post by Brooke Cade.

Social media has changed the way we interact with each other. Not only on a personal level, but also of course in business. Brands know they can’t ignore these platforms (which is why 95% of B2B marketers have created corporate social media accounts) and the successful companies have figured out a way to effectively engage and build strong relationships with their customers. One key to  sound business use of social media is empathy.

Using emphathy in B2B marketing

Image credit: Flickr

In the marketing realm, there’s a lot of talk about empathy. But do you know how to appropriately use it in a business context, and more importantly, what are you doing to apply it to your marketing strategy? Empathy is defined as the act of putting yourself in another person’s thoughts, feelings, personality, and circumstances to provide them with not only better service, but to foster long-term relationships as well.

One aspect that can get overlooked, especially on the digital platforms, is the importance of listening to your customers. A negative review or comment can get us jumping down another person’s throat, but have you stopped to acknowledge their review and see what you can do to rectify the situation? Successful brands are utilizing these situations to better market their brand, but surprisingly, many companies are not. By ignoring your customers, even online, you not only turn them off from your brand, but you risk losing other potential customers.

How can you use empathy to connect with customers online (and off)?

First, take time to understand your customers. Through learning about their hopes and dreams, fears and concerns, you can build their trust and gain valuable insights on what you can do to serve them better. Talk to your customers, collect feedback, and develop strategies to better identify with them to meet their needs and demands.

As you begin to know your target audience better, you can start to build a campaign around empathy. Pull in your team, along with managers and stakeholders, to brainstorm and throw out as many ideas as possible. During the brainstorm session, use an empathy map to look at the four aspects of the customer experience: thinking, feeling, doing, and seeing.

In each section, consider your customer’s perspective and ask yourself the following questions:

  • • Thinking: Ask yourself, how does the customer perceive themselves? The product? What are their dreams and fears? When you are clear on how your customer sees the world around them, you can better anticipate their needs and how your product or service can benefit them.
  • • Seeing: How do your customers view their community? What is missing from the world around them? When you understand the world from your customers perspective, their values, you can build trust and connect on a deeper level.
  • • Doing: What are they doing to change their lives? What are their daily habits? How does your product or service help them reach their goals? If you know the answer to these questions, you can better identify your customers needs and how you can help them find a solution.
  • • Feeling: How do your customers feel after using your product? How do they express their feelings? Customers base a lot of their decisions on how a product makes them feel about themselves and the world around them. Are you connecting with them on an emotional level?

How can you apply this in your marketing strategy?

Let’s take a look at Extra Space Storage. In their recent video campaign, 10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Having a Baby, they were able to use empathy to connect on a personal level with first time parents. (Though this is a consumer marketing example, the principles apply equally well to B2B marketing.)

By taking time to identify their customers’—both current and future—hopes and fears (thinking), the company able to reach people on an emotional level (feeling), and make the connection that some memories will want to be saved and past down. In this campaign, they built a connection with their customers that went deeper than just the product or service.

What can you do to apply empathy in your next campaign or email outreach? As you utilize the empathy map exercise and brainstorm with your team, possibly a few times, you will gain deeper insights into your customers and the way you can provide them with better service.

At the end of the day, what it really comes down to is: are your customers feeling like they’ve been heard? The way you can answer that question, and show your customers that you’ve heard and care about them is with empathy.

About the Author: Brooke Cade is a freelance writer with When she is not writing, Brooke is committed to learning more about helping businesses and sales professionals improve their customer experience.

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Are CMOs Putting Too Many Eggs in One Media Basket?

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Editor’s note: this post was originally published on the MeasureMyBrand blog.

According to recent research, U.S. digital advertising revenues rose 16% last year, and the trend indicates another double-digit percentage rise this year as well. As the economy improves and marketing budgets increase, the dollars are flowing disproportionately to online ads.

Marketers last year spent $19 billion on search advertising, $7 billion on social media ads, and almost $4 billion on display (primarily banner ads).

But are these increases the best way for CMOs to spend (still hard-earned) marketing dollars? Or would a different allocation across channels contribute more to long-term brand success? And how can CMOs make such decisions?

There are several reasons for CMOs to take a hard look at digital advertising, particularly non-search ads, in the coming year.

First, as the IAB research also notes, increased competition for limited ad space has led to “higher prices in the cost per click for ads.” More bucks will be required to get the same bang.

Second, ad blocking software is a growing concern. A quarter of all Internet users, and 41% of millennials, now use ad-blocking browser plugins. That’s a lot of eyeballs not seeing ads.

Third, and most importantly, spending on digital advertising needs to be balanced against other channels, as paid presence is just one pillar of a paid-owned-earned-shared media strategy–and not always the best for achieving long-term brand objectives.

paid owned earned shared media

Image credit: Pear Analytics


As noted here previously, the KPIs most important to CMOs fall into three groups: brand, competitive, and website performance measures.

Digital advertising can increase brand awareness, but must be created and targeted very carefully to have a chance of improving brand preference. Ads viewed as stalking or annoying (a significant concern, given the growing use of ad blockers noted above) can actually reduce brand preference.

Online ads can improve webshare (the competitive share of a brand’s web presence within a product/service category)—but it’s an expensive way to do so. And they can actually decrease website engagement, as ad landing pages often have high bounce rates.

None of this is to suggest brands should spend less on digital advertising, or even necessarily that they shouldn’t spend more. But CMOs do need to focus on the most revealing, future-looking KPIs in order to make the optimal decisions for their specific circumstances.

For more on this topic, download the Web Marketing KPIs white paper. Learn about web presence optimization as a web marketing strategy. And be sure to follow CMO Dave on his 2015 Measurement Odyssey on YouTube!

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22 Expert Guides and Reviews of 200+ Social Media Tools

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

As social media marketing has become ubiquitous (88% of marketers say social media is important for their businesses), hundreds of new tools have developed just in the past few years: tools for social media management, monitoring, measurement, automation, identifying influencers, creating graphical content, and more.

Reviews of social media tools

Image credit: Buddy Media

No one has time to put every one of those tools through its paces. Which are most worth investigating and investing in?

In the posts highlighted below, 20 (or so) social media marketing pros review more than 200 tools, ranging from popular, widely used tools like Buffer, Hootsuite and Feedly to intriguing but lesser-known apps.

12 Tools to Help You Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Results by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
***** 5 STARS

Debbie FriezNoting that 26% “of marketers spend 6-10 hours a week on social media,” Debbie Friez proceeds to “explore twelve possible problems and the tools that can help solve those problems and make you more productive,” among them Directr, which lets you “easily create videos” and “includes tons of storyboards to help you organize your video”; Nuzzle “for Facebook and Twitter, tells you when your friends are sharing a piece of content and emails you with the details of the latest posts”; and for competitive research.

7 Social Media Tools to Boost Your Effectiveness in a Noisy World by Seriously Social

Ian Anderson GrayBased on one of his conference presentations, Ian Anderson Gray showcases seven tools “that can help you be more effective and efficient” at managing your social media marketing activities, such as Friends+Me (which is “similar to Buffer but allows you to repost to your Google+ profiles, pages, communities and collections. You can also post to Tumblr. It converts Google+ into a social media management tool”) and Agorapulse, a social media management tool that integrates with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

6 Free Social Media Tools for Startups to Build a Strong Social Media Presence by Duct Tape Marketing

Jessica DavisJessica Davis provides compact reviews of half a dozen helpful free tools for building a presence on social media, including DrumUp (“a smart content discovery tool that scours the web for relevant content based on the keywords you input. The tool acts as a central dashboard for your Twitter and Facebook profiles, letting you manage multiple accounts simultaneously”) and, an infographic creation tool which “offers ready-to-use infographic templates that are categorized by subject.”

28 social media management tools rated, scored, and reviewed (study) by VentureBeat

John KoetsierJohn Koetsier reports on research conducted with more than 1,100 social media managers to determine the most-used social media tools. Among the findings: “For enterprise, Oracle is surprisingly good, as are Sprinklr and Komfo. For smaller companies, Meshfire, Sendible, and Hootsuite lead the pack. And for the midsize company, Sendible, Meshfire (again), and Oktopost are leaders. Other tools you can’t ignore? TweetDeck, Buffer, SocialFlow, Spredfast, and Crowdbooster.” And the most widely used tool of all? Check out this post.

26 Social Media Monitoring Tools [Reference Guide] by Razor Social
***** 5 STARS

Ian ClearyFrequent best-of honoree Ian Cleary lists five different areas you should be monitoring on social media (brand, competition, your prospects…) then serves up concise but useful reviews of more than two dozen free and fee-based tools (with pricing), including Talkwalker, Trendspottr, and Trackur (“a social media monitoring tool that provides executive reporting, sentiment analysis and influence scoring.  It’s unusual to have sentiment analysis available for a monitoring tool with a relatively low starting price” of under $100 per month).

5 Essential Social Media Monitoring Tools for Beginners by Social Marketing Writing

Joe CoxJoe Cox lays out the advantages, features and pricing of a handful of popular social media monitoring tools including Hootsuite, Buffer, and Followerwonk: “Twitter’s own built-in search tools are incredibly limited, and Followerwonk aims to correct this, making it easier to find the right people to engage with. If you have been struggling with Twitter because you find that the signal to noise ratio on the network is so poor, then Followerwonk could revolutionize how you use the service.”

Tips to Use Social Listening to Drive Business Goals, Plus 11 Free (or nearly free) Listening Tools by Karianne Stinson

Karianne StinsonKarianne Stinson explains how social listening can provide benefits in areas well beyond marketing, including customer support, competitive analysis, product development, crisis management, and sales support (“Social listening can give your sales team great insights on potential customers pain points”); details ways social listening can help achieve corporate goals like reducing customer service calls (by helping the brand produce “content that proactively answers questions”); and then lists 11 helpful and free or low-cost social listening tools.

3 Tools that help you Understand and outreach to your Audience by State of Digital

Bas van den BeldBas van den Beld provides in-depth looks at three tools “that help me get a better grip of who I am targeting” as he puts it, including Peerreach (“Peerreach gives you a nice one page overview of someone. It shows you the topics the person is ‘all about’ and it will show you the interest areas their followers have. It also has a Chrome plugin to show on your Twitterfeed how ‘important’ the Twitterers are. And one nice thing is that you can compare them to other Twitterers by adding up to four handles to compare and see who has reach on what topic and whether or not they ‘fit’ your needs”).

16 Social Media Tools The Experts Swear By by Social Fresh

16 social media marketing pros (and past Social Fresh Conference speakers) briefly highlight their favorite tools, from Matthew Knell on Buffer (“We’re big fans of Buffer because of its simplicity and it’s ability to plug into a bunch of other content aggregation / curation tools (Feedly, Pocket, Mention) to make content easier to find”) to Eric Boggs on LinkedIn (“I get more value out of LinkedIn than any other tool or platform. It is a fantastic prospecting / sales resource for B2B marketers”).

Top 28 Social Media Tools to Make Your Job Easier by SlideShare

Catherine PhamCatherine Pham presents the basics about a range of helpful social media tools in this slide deck, from commonly used platforms like HubSpot, Buffer and Hootsuite to more specialized tools such as Tweepi and Twitonomy for Twitter, viralWoot and Piqora for Pinterest and Instagram, and Circloscope for Google+.

15 Best Social Media Tools by CodeGeekz

The English is a tad rough but the list is solid as Gavin Matteo reviews “a list of Best Social Media Tools for our audience,” from Mention (Google Alerts on steroids) and BuzzSumo to Rapportive (which displays LinkedIn profiles for your contacts from inside Gmail) and Tagboard, a “multi-platform, free and highly useful tool. It offers an easy way to monitor social interactions and act on them quickly. You can also search for specified hashtags on several social networking systems, including Google+ and Vine.”

10 Free Online Tools to Monitor Your Social Media Influence by NoPassiveIncome

Erik EmanuelliErik Emanuelli offers compact reviews of free social media monitoring tools ranging from Google Analytics and YouTube Analytics to Twitter-specific tools like Tweetstats and Twitter Counter, which “is a useful service to measure some parameters of Twitter, like the followers growth rate, the average number of tweets per day, and more. It also allows you to compare different accounts, which means you can get an instant overview of your relationship with your competition and your overall progress.”

6 Super Quick Social Media Productivity Tips + 23 Tools to Help! by Maximize Social Business

Neal SchafferFrequent best-of honoree Neal Schaffer here shares six strategies for accomplishing more with social media in less time; working “smarter, rather than longer” as he puts it. Each tip links to related tools. For example, to help schedule your posts, he recommends WordPress JetPack Publicize, CoSchedule and SMQueue.

16 DIY Tools for Social Media Management by Business2Community

Jim BelosicJim Belosic shares an infographic highlighting “16 tools that can help businesses with their social efforts,” and which is “helpful for folks who are preparing to migrate away from Wildfire and North Social” (both of which were acquired in 2014). The tools are categorized into three groups: social media messaging & scheduling; analytics; and social landing page tools.

6 top social media management tools by iMedia Connection

Greg KIhlstromGreg Kihlstrom “discusses six tools that help you manage your communication and content delivery across one or more platforms. Their capabilities vary from managing content, to analyzing and reporting on the best times to post, to determining the effectiveness of campaigns,” including SocialFlow, Sprout Social and IFTTT.

Social Media Marketing World: 16 Tools to Optimize Your Social Media Performance by Razor Social

Ian Cleary (again) summarizes a presentation he delivered covering “a range of tools to optimize social media performance…really interesting and useful tools to help you target the right people, get better results with your content, convert more traffic and improve results,” such as Leadpages, a landing page creation tool that “provides you with a range of landing pages that are known to convert very well with existing customers.”

5 Top Brand Monitoring Tools for Marketers by 60 Second Marketer

Jamie TurnerJamie Turner provides concise but helpful reviews of a handful of popular social media monitoring tools, from Social Mention (which is free) to Brandwatch [] (which isn’t–but is very powerful: “check out how many mentions your brand has across the internet, where they are coming from, and how far the comments have reached. The tool gathers data from a staggering 70+ million sources that include social networking platforms, forums, blogs and news sites”).

Marketers Adopt Social Media Analytics Tools by eMarketer

More than 60% of U.S. marketing groups have adopted social media analytics tools. The top three uses for such tools are campaign tracking (60%), brand analysis (48%) and competitive intelligence (40%). Yet more than half of those marketers still cite staffing/resources and linking measurements to objectives as significant challenges.

10 Tools to Make Your Social Media Management Easier by SteamFeed

Andrew JenkinsAndrew Jenkins reviews 10 of the tools he uses “to consume and curate content as well as manage and interact with (his) community,” including (specific to Twitter, gives gentle prompts and reminders regarding who to engage, follow, unfollow, get back in touch with or acknowledge for the level of interaction and engagement you have had”) and Nimble (“Nimble takes what does for Twitter and carries it across LinkedIn and Facebook”).

16 Tools Every Social Media Manager Should Use by Visually

Stephanie CastilloTo maximize the business benefits of social media, Stephanie Castillo writes “you should develop a strategy, based on as much knowledge as possible about your audience and their behavior,” then outlines 16 tools to help in that effort, ranging from Visually’s own (very cool and free) Google Analytics Report to Tailwind, a tool that ‘tracks activity across Pinterest about your company, products and competitors.”

9 Tools to Discover Influencers in Your Industry by TopRank Online Marketing Blog

Lee OddenNoting that “people with a strong center of influence can provide valuable context and credibility to a company seeking to connect with an audience of buyers,” Lee Odden provides concise reviews of nine tools to help identify and engage with industry influencers. Among the tools: Traackr (a premium tool used by PR, communications and marketing pros), Buzzsumo, and Kred.

29 Social Media Tools Recommended by the Pros by Social Media Examiner

Cindy KingIn this outstanding list of tools and star-studded post, Cindy King compiles reviews from 29 top social media marketing pros of their favorite tools. Among them: Mari Smith reviews Pocket, which “allows you to consume and save a wide variety of online articles, which you can then post to Twitter or Facebook, schedule via Buffer or review at a later time”; Ekaterina Walter covers ShareRoot (“an all-in-one solution for Pinterest”); and social media monitoring tool TalkWalker is reviewed by Gini Dietrich.

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