Social Media Marketers: Will they stay or will they go now?

I’m BACK!

Sorry for the blog hiatus, as I was working on a few different projects and wanted to concentrate on the growth of those. Since my last post I also moved out on my own, and learned to be much more inspired to work harder. Naturally I become inspired and motivated by social media related growth, but then I question this growth as well? Is social media, and especially social media jobs, a fad?

Recently I went on a good two week streak of job searching, resulting in nothing more than a few good contacts and one great lead. I focused on two areas, one being social media and one being hospitality. I would love to be able to focus strongly on social media, and I try to do this, but in the back of my head I keep thinking, will these jobs last? Hence why I keep hospitality in mind as well, everyone is going to need a hotel!Image

Marketing itself has been around for a donkeys age, with Gutenberg and the printing press making mass media more accessible. Businesses saw they could get their name out, and since then it hasn’t stopped growing. Many different versions of marketing are out there, and social media is the most recent. The difference between social media and what the professionals call “traditional” mediums, is that social media is much more accessible to the general public. Almost everyone has access to Facebook or Twitter, and therefore could take part in social media marketing. Not everyone has access to traditional forms of marketing like radio, television or print advertisements.  Herein lies my confusion as to if social media marketing as a profession, will last. I of course wouldn’t write a blog on social media unless I believed that it will last. I tend to second guess it every once in a while though, but in the long run, social media marketing is just another form of marketing.

Admen have talents in certain areas, and social media marketers have a talent to market in a certain way. Marketing and social media have to work seamlessly in order to have the most impact, and the social media marketer does this. Social media loses its appeal when marketing becomes to apparent, and selling takes precedence over the act of being social. Therefore, some people have the special talent of creating campaigns and ads that are directly social media related, where engaging the audience, in turn, creates a buzz about a product or company. This is different than the graphic artist or ad exec that has a talent for words and can create a slogan for a car commercial. Social media engages audiences while most marketing speaks to the audience, and each involves a different talent. Therefore, social media marketing I believe is a talent that some do have, and a profession that I believe will continue to grow!

 

I hope….

Twitter is all about timing

Any good sale or new release, the best way to gain the most impact is based on when to make the announcement. I find that all the emails I get from companies about the newest sale are at strategic times. I’ll receive them at midnight or later so I see them when I first wake up, or around lunch time, typically when people have a break from work. This is intentional of course, consumers are less distracted, and these e-mail blasts will have a larger impact.

The same goes for Twitter. I recently started using the auto schedule feature in Hootsuite a lot more. I always knew it was there but never really gave it a try. Watching the CTR and retweet rates compared to other tweets that we’re sent at random was impressive, there was a clear distinction between the two.

Check out this article on timing and 9 other great tips about gaining the most from your tweets!

Gain the Most from your tweets

To tweet or not to tweet

As I was sitting in our staff room today eating lunch, someone said “I don’t know anyone else on Twitter except Matt”. First thought was that’s rude, I like twitter. My second thought, you clearly don’t understand the implications that it has had on society since it’s inception. The people that use Twitter to post about what they eat and the cute dog they saw at the park are one thing. I use the social media platform for a whole other level.

I’ve connected with celebrities, learned about news first hand before news channels, connected with local companies, and promoted my own job and career. Oh and landed a job interview from a direct message! Let’s see your TV and rotary dial phone do that!

My rant is just that I don’t get why people bash something they don’t know anything about or understand? Especially when it’s something so vast as Twitter, where mentions of it are everywhere!

Social media is a growing medium, that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Twitters upcoming IPO was thought to be released today, sending “Tweeter” stock up 1000% today because people thought it was Twitters IPO! Clearly the demand is there, so get on the band wagon or get left behind!

Rant over

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The new way to travel

I’m back! I know everyone missed my updates on iPhone and iOS 7. I’m sure you’ve all read and experienced everything and me talking about my experience would be useless. Therefore, I’m going to talk about a thought I had while on vacation in the beautiful Canadian Rockies.

While traveling, you’ll come in contact with lots of different companies providing services, from airlines to hotels to restaurants. In the olden days, one would go to a travel agent who would plan an entire itinerary for their clients. Once the internet exploded, clients became their own travel agents, and now with social media, that process is so much easier. Followed is a list of a few examples of my own experiences during our latest trip to Banff, Alberta.

Booking our flight seemed easy, straight through the WestJet website right? Yes…but then it crashed half way through. I called the 1800 number, and they helped me out. It just took a very very veryyyyy long time, with a few rude people during that time. I thought, I’ll reach out to their twitter account to express my frustration. They were very good in replying, much faster than a formal e-mail, and I instantly felt like I had a personal connection. This to me is very important, and the reason I like social media so much. Although Westjet is a big corporation, a tweet back from them made it a personal connection between business and consumer. They replied to me instantly, showing they wanted to help me out. They quickly made up for the short comings during the booking process, and they helped me regain my confidence in their airline.

After settling my airline booking, I set up our hotel room booking. Being a concierge, I had some connections and that was a breeze. Not wanting to bother my colleagues at the hotel, I reached out through twitter, to ask about different things. I could have e-mailed them, but I found that a quick tweet sums up things quickly, and it makes things easy. I feel when writing an e-mail, it has to be formal, and directed to a specific person. I also searched through TripAdvisor to read up on others experiences. TripAdvisor is another form of social media that makes the travel experience a more personal one. You can read personal details on others trips to that place. This is different than reading reviews that are carefully selected and placed in travel magazines, or quotes placed on the company website. 

Once we were on our trip and taking in all the scenes, we tended to get hungry a lot from all the hiking. We then of course had to research restaurants. Where’d we turn to? Social media of course! Yelp! helped out when we needed something to eat, and learned what others thought of the place. Just like TripAdvisor but for the restaurant industry specifically. After our meal or if we needed a quick response to when they were open until, Facebook or Twitter solved those problems.

Overall, on our way home from an amazing vacation, I thought to myself how much the travel industry has hanged thanks to social media. It creates a personal connection between business and consumer, that differs from the travel industry magazines and company websites. Social media also offers information and access to smaller lesser known restaurants and companies that don’t have the marketing potential of those larger companies. This allows for a level playing field where consumers can discover hidden gems in terms of restaurants, tour companies and hotels.

I’ll leave my readers with one question. Now that you see how social media has impacted my travel experience, how has it impacted the way you travel and experience new things?

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Buying followers isn’t for me!

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As many of you do, I log in to my Twitter account a few times a day, scan through my feed and read funny, sad, informative and sometimes inspiring tweets. I follow those that interest me, those that I admire and some that are just plain funny.

It seems though that the landscape is changing. As an avid twitter’r, I like to post things that I hope will get a reaction from people, maybe even a reply or retweet, or at the very least a favourite? I’m seeing a change now though, as my twitter feed is becoming spammed with promoted posts. For example, I just went on and under “similar to follow” I was greeted by the founder of the DIVA network and relationship and intimacy expert? *See above picture* Not sure what Twitter thinks about me, but that really doesn’t sound like me? Just ask my girlfriend, I’m no relationship expert! Therefore my concern for promoted posts is two fold…

1) Why am I being told about things that don’t interest me? The algorithm for choosing who receives what promoted posts and promoted accounts seems to be quite off. It reminds me of the recommended channels on TIVO! I can understand the odd weird promoted account, but I don’t think I’ve said “why yes I do want to follow that account!” ever! Twitter needs to fix up this part of its business model, because those that pay to have their account promoted, won’t like that it seems to be random accounts that they’re promoting too.

2) Is anyone else mad at the idea of promoting posts and accounts? I get that it’s simple, you pay for your account or post to get a big audience. What about those that have worked hard to provide their followers with relative info, or useful info, and gained a following “the old fashion way”. This new way of promoting is good for those that can afford it. I for one am not a fan of it though, I think it takes away from the good ol days when in order to go viral you need good content. Yes many still find ways to gain lots of retweets, but I think now that social media is growing so much, companies are now paying for retweets. I think it defeats the purpose of content is king.

Overall, even as I manage the social media for a hotel group, I still don’t believe in paying to promote. Our executive team just recently made me add a content creator from a SEO management company, to have access to the Facebook pages. I’ve seen a difference in how many accounts each post on reaches, but does it have any ROI? Am I just really honing in on my audience and what they like to see and that’s why more likes are aspiring? Or, does it have nothing to do with the content, and we’re just paying for likes? I’m going with the first option…

What are your thoughts on promoted posts? Are you getting a proper ROI, or are you just a great content creator?

How to become a social media wizard…without the wand

How do I become successful when starting out in social media? How do I gain more followers on twitter? Why can’t I get more likes on Facebook? These are the age-old questions…kind of. Social media is pretty new to the marketing scene and can’t quite yet be claimed as “age-old” but you get the point. The idea is that people want to gain followers, likes, retweets, comments, anything so they can measure they’re success. The answer to all that is audience. You have to know you’re viewers, likers, commenters, followers, and what they want to learn about.

I run a social media & technology blog for example, therefore I would think those that follow me have an interest in social media and technology. My blog posts are all related to these topics, and therefore those that follow me will hopefully become engaged and comment and share my thoughts and ideas. We may even exchange ideas, and keep the conversation going. I always love to learn new things, and maybe someone reading a post has some insight into the post, I would hope they would share that with me and those that also read it. Each of my followers share a common interest with me, and I like to keep my posts specific to these interests. If I started jumping around on topics, posting about Justin Bieber and his naked photo in front of his grandma, I’d maybe get a few likes, but I’m not getting the engagement out of my audience that I want. In order for you to gain AND retain(yes I ryhmed) followers and likers, you have to stick to your topics you know. Your followers will come to expect posts, and will keep coming back for more. You have to keep your content fresh, but also relevant. Once again, Justin Bieber naked in front of his grandma, creepy, weird and clearly not relevant to my blog, I’d assume I would lose some of my followers and gain some negative feedback from that.

I also would like to mention that I am interested in social media and tech myself, I am knowledgable about it and study it. I don’t study the science behind pop star PR stunts, and therefore won’t write about them, although that probably would be fascinating. To be successful, one must have a vested interest in the topics they write about, or the ideas and posts won’t come about properly and your mass following will never come to fruition.

If you follow these simple rule of consistency and interest, you’ll be on the path to mass followings! Happy blogging everyone!

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