Close
Close

How to Overcome Fear of Speaking, Podcasting, Live Streaming, Webinars and More

How to Overcome Fear of Speaking, Podcasting, Live Streaming, Webinars and MoreIs fear holding you back from engaging in mediums like Live streaming, Podcasting, webinars, talking-head videos or even speaking at live events?

Over the last couple of years we’ve seen amazing opportunities open up to bloggers who are willing to embrace some of these mediums – but alongside the opportunities, I’ve noticed a rising tide of anxiety among some bloggers who while comfortable to put themselves out there on the internet through the written word are reluctant to jump in front of a camera or microphone.

For some the reluctance comes from lack of experience or skills, but for many of us it is fear that holds us back.

Speaking in public is often cited as the #1 fear that people have and this extends to many of these mediums.

Like to Watch and Not Read?

A few days ago I jumped onto my Periscope account to talk about how to overcome this type of fear so if you’re the kind of person who likes to watch rather than read – the first 10 or so minutes of this video is for you.

If you’re more of a reader…. read on below!

My Own Struggle with Fear of Speaking in Public

As a 16-year-old, I took a class in public speaking that taught me a lot of the skills needed to construct and deliver a good talk. I learned that I could do it and that I even enjoyed parts of the process – but nothing in that class taught me how to deal with fear.

So for the next 10 years, whenever I needed to speak in public (which was a regular occurrence as I worked for a decade as a youth worker and minister in a church) I would feel a growing sense of dread as the time to present approached.

Fear would gradually creep in and would usually raise its head in the form of questions like:

  • what if they don’t like me
  • what if I look stupid
  • what if I forget what I’m supposed to say
  • what if they think I don’t know what I’m talking about
  • what if I’m boring

I could go on… but I think you get the picture.

For a while there I tried to use this growing ‘fear’ as a motivating factor. It drove me to prepare extra well. I would spend days preparing even for a short talk so that:

  • they did like me
  • I didn’t I look stupid
  • I didn’t forget what I’m supposed to say
  • I did look like I knew what I was talking about
  • I wasn’t boring

It got to the point that when I had to give a talk I would become consumed by it for days and even weeks. I would practice it 10, 20, 30 times over and over again – trying to perfect it – all driven by not looking stupid.

My talks ended up being ‘good’…. but the fear didn’t go away. In fact, at times it got worse and when I started to get asked to speak at bigger events I would sometimes say no simply because it got too much.

Something needed to change.

How I Reframed It

One day as I worked myself into a frenzy of fear in the days before another talk it dawned on me that I was being incredibly selfish.

All the ‘what if’ statements that I dwelt on were all about me and how I looked.

All of that preparation that I did for each talk was also all about me and how I would be received.

While on some levels this motivated me to prepare it was actually a massive destruction from what my focus should have been on: my audience.

I decided to combat the selfish negative questions I’d been asking myself with questions that forced me to think about my audience.

Questions like:

  • Who will be in the audience as I speak
  • How will they be feeling?
  • What are their needs and struggles?
  • What are their dreams?
  • What is their pain?

Lastly I began to ask myself ‘how could this talk change their life for the better?’

A number of things immediately changed as I began to prepare for talks this way:

Firstly – the Fear started to Slip Away

I crowded out the negative self talk with talk that focused me in other directions.

Where I’d previously been focused upon myself and how I looked – I was now focused upon others.

Where I’d previously been focused upon ‘what if’ statements (things I couldn’t really control by the way), I had started focusing upon ‘what are’ and ‘what is’ statements.

Secondly – I prepared with different Intent

Previously I would spend many days on each talk preparing – but my preparation was all about looking polished, perfecting my delivery and finding the perfect words.

With the change of mindset I began to prepare with a whole different motivation. It became all about finding the best way to serve the audience.

I still put as much effort into the preparation process, but it became less about how it came across and more about how useful the information was, and how to craft it in a way to bring as many of the audience on the journey towards transformation as I could.

The preparation was less about getting a standing ovation or words of affirmation after the talk – and more about seeing people walk away ready to change their life in some way.

Thirdly – My Presentation came from a Different Place

As I began to think differently and then prepare differently I noticed that I also began to present differently.

As I let go of how I looked and focused more upon transformation in my audience I found myself speaking with more compassion and passion.

I would get up to speak not hoping to be polished and professional but hoping that what I had to say would change someone’s life.

Of course not every talk that I gave (or give) hits the mark – but I began to notice the way that my audiences responded to me changed. I got less ‘great talk’ comments and more ‘I felt like you were talking to me’ comments.

Audience members seemed to notice the shift.

Don’t Focus Upon What You’ll Get…. Focus on What You can Give

It’s so easy in the space we’re engaging in to focus upon the affirmation we’ll get from doing a Periscope or Youtube Video or Podcast or Blog post.

The ‘likes’, ‘shares’, ‘hearts’, smiley emoji’s and comments are all there staring in the face.

But as much as you possibly can – attempt to look past them to the fingertips behind the keystrokes and the human beings to whom those fingertips belong. Imagine their face and more so imagine who they are, what they feel, what they dream of, what they struggle with and who they are becoming.

Make that your starting place and I truely believer the content that you create will go to a whole new level.

How I Use Edgar to Increase The Effectiveness of My Social Media Strategy

Do you ever feel that all the work that you put into maintaining an interesting and useful social media stream is not getting the results it deserves?

I do!

I spend hours every week working on our social accounts. Finding great links to share, thinking about the wording of the updates, selecting or creating great images to go with them and then scheduling them.

The problem is that minutes after the tweet go out or an hour or so after the Facebook update goes out they cease to be useful and all that work stops paying off.

Today I want to show you a tool that I’ve been using this year that extends the pay off and makes the work you put into your social media much more worthwhile!

Meet my friend…. Edgar

This time last year after creating a video on how I approached social media I had a number of ProBlogger readers suggest that I check out Edgar – a tool that is great for managing social media updates.

The fact that I heard the recommendation several times within a couple of days made me curious, so early this year I decided to sign up and give it a go.

I was immediately struck by how powerful the tool was.

How Edgar Works

I’ve created a video below that walks you through exactly how I use Edgar – here it is.

For those of you who prefer to read…. in short here’s how Edgar works:

Note: you can currently get a month free trial of Edgar as a ProBlogger reader.

You set up two things before Edgar goes to work (and starts saving you a lot of time!):

Firstly – Edgar allows you to create a library of social media updates for Twitter, Facebook (pages, profiles and groups) and LinkedIn.

You save each update as a certain ‘category’ of content.

For example you might have categories for ‘evergreen blog posts’, ‘quotes’, ‘promotions’ etc. This takes no longer than scheduling a normal social media update.

Here’s a screenshot of some of the newly added updates that I’ve put into the ‘ProBlogger Evergreen Blog Posts’ category for my ProBlogger Twitter Account.

Edgar library

Secondly – You then set up a schedule for when you want updates to go out from each category and choose which social accounts they should go out to.

For example you might choose to have your ‘evergreen blog posts’ to go out on your Twitter account at 9am and 9pm every day and for them to go on your Facebook page at noon every weekday. Then your ‘quotes’ might go out on Twitter at 3pm and 3am and your ‘promotions’ might go on Twitter every Wednesday at 7pm.

Here’s a screenshot of part of the schedule of tweets for the ProBlogger twitter account:

Edgar schedule

You can set up as few or as many slots in your schedule as you like.

Then… Edgar goes to work and uses the updates you have put into your library to create a queue of updates that he’ll then start posting at the times and on the accounts you’ve set up in your schedule. The queue never runs out – it keeps repeating for as long as you leave it set up.

Here’s the next few updates that are scheduled in the queue for the ProBlogger Twitter account.

Edgar queue

Once updates go out, Edgar gives you analytics on how they perform in terms of how many likes, comments and shares they got – so you can see what updates work and what you might want to improve or remove from your library.

How I Use Edgar

Edgar works on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

I’ve chosen to use it mostly on my Twitter accounts at ProBlogger and Digital Photography School and it has completely changed the way that those accounts operate and the results have been fantastic.

Before Edgar both of those Twitter accounts were pretty embarrassing.

NewImage

I used them largely to:

  • have automated tweets go out every time a blog post or a job on the Job Board went live (the tweets had no images and were simply a blog title and a link)
  • the occasional personal tweet (when I remembered to put one out)
  • promotional tweets every time we launched anything

Both tweet streams had very little in the way of visual content and didn’t have much personality to them. I knew I could so much better and that the result was that we were not getting the traffic or engagement with readers on those accounts that we could potentially have received.

When I came across Edgar I decided that Twitter would be my first testing ground for the tool and began to create my library of tweets an to construct my schedule.

At first I only had a schedule with a handful of slots in it and my library only had 20 or so updates in it (mainly evergreen blog posts). I didn’t want my followers seeing the same tweets all day every day so I started slow.

Gradually over the last 10 months I’ve added more and more content to my library which has enabled me to add more slots to the schedule.

Today I have over 2400 updates in my library and Edgar posts hundreds of updates to different social media accounts for me each week.

I’m still careful to keep adding fresh content into Edgar every week to mix things up and do add extra content in each week manually (more timely tweets, community questions, polls etc) to mix things up – but I’m happy to say that I’m now proud of my Twitter accounts and the resulting extra traffic and engagement that the accounts have had makes the effort of setting Edgar up worthwhile.

An Investment Worth Considering

As I speak about in the video above Edgar does have a monthly fee (starting at $49 a month). When I first saw this it did make me think carefully about if I should sign up for it. That kind of monthly fee is not to be taken lightly. However as I thought about the amount of time Edgar could potentially save me and the increased traffic and engagement that it could drive, I realised it was an investment I needed to make.

In many ways I see Edgar as doing the work that I could have otherwise outsourced to a virtual assistant. But at $49 a month I suspect that Edgar is achieving more each month than I could expect to get from a person that I paid that much.

Edgar will not suit every budget and is probably more suited to some types of blogs than others. My blogs are largely full of evergreen content and so my social media accounts can likewise focus upon sharing that kind of content. If your blog is more news focused or needs to mainly be sharing timely content then it may not be as effective for you.

It’s also worth noting that while Edgar will in the long run save you significant time if you use it to the extent that I have – it does take some work to set up.

I’ve taken the approach to add in a 4-8 updates every day of the year so far. That’s about 10-20 minutes work per day for me to set it up. This has enabled me to get almost all of my evergreen content from my archives into Edgar.

Once I’m finished putting in that archived content I will be able to reduce my daily work in Edgar to less than 5 minutes a day (just adding in new fresh content). So it takes some work to set up – but has some serious long term benefits of doing so.

I would highly recommend Edgar. It is something I’ve been paying for all year and a tool I’ll continue to use going forward as a key part of my social media strategy.

Get a Free Month Trial Of Edgar

If you’re curious as to whether Edgar is a fit for you and your business Edgar Currently Is Offering a Free Month Long Trial. This is how I started out to assess it for myself and it gave me a good chance to test the tool on one of my accounts.

Disclaimer: I am NOT an affiliate for Edgar or Social Brilliant but Edgar is a sponsor of the ProBlogger Podcast. I want to be perfectly clear that I do have a sponsorship arrangement with Edgar for transparency’s sake but also want it to be clear that I’m a paid up user of Edgar and have been using it (and will continue to use it) every day since January of 2015.

7 Effective Tips To Grow Your Social Media Presence The Right Way

7 Tips to Grow Your Social Media Presence The Right Way / problogger.netThis is a guest contribution from Adam Connell.

Have you ever wondered how to gain a significant advantage with social media? Not just in terms of growing a following but growing an engaged following?

I have too, and so have countless others.

The truth is that you can, and it’s easier than you might think.

If you’re serious about growing a more engaged following, you’ll find this post helpful. You’ll learn how to focus your efforts, boost engagement, monitor your progress and ultimately start seeing real growth.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

1. Get to know your audience

Your audience should be the focal point of your entire blog and everything you do should be based around helping them and solving their problems.

In order to do that, you need to know as much as you can about them.

Once you learn more about your audience, you will be able to use that knowledge to guide your social media efforts and create a more personal experience.

Start off by putting together personas for different segments of your audience.

Consider the following:

  • Demographics
  • Questions they have
  • Problems they’re facing
  • Their dreams
  • Preferred social networks
  • Preferred content types

You can conduct surveys and other types of research to find out more about your audience. There are plenty of tools you can use as well.

The important thing for the purpose of social media is that you get an understanding of which social networks your audience prefers, and what they prefer to share.

It’s worth having a read of Darren’s post on creating reader profiles to more tailor your content to fit the needs of your audience.

2. Identify when your audience is most active

Have you seen any of those infographics floating around the web saying when the best times to publish social media messages?

There are a bunch of them and they look smart, but the reality is that they were created using someone else’s data – not your data.

Everyone’s audience is different, so if you want to truly know when your audience is most active you need to use your own data.

Using tools like Tweriod (for Twitter) and Timing+ (for Google+) you can get a good idea of the times when your audience is most active. You can also check the “insights” section of your Facebook dashboard to find out when your audience is online, and also what types of posts they are interacting with the most.

This is an important ingredient in any effective social strategy.

3. Help people instead of selling to them

The point of social networks is to be social, and real success means helping others without asking for anything in return.

Your followers are real people and should be treated as such.

By helping people you’ll be able to stay top of mind, so when someone does need a product/service you offer, chances are that they’ll still come back to you – because you helped them.

“If you sell something, you can make a customer today. If you help someone, you can create a customer for life.” – Jay Baer

4. Focus on building real relationships

The key ingredient to making social media work is a focus on building real relationships.

This quote from Ted Rubin explains it best:

“Relationships are like muscle tissue. The more they’re engaged, the stronger they become. The ability to build relationships and flex that emotional connection muscle is what makes social so valuable.”

Instead of focusing on getting as many followers as possible, focus on creating fewer and more meaningful relationships.

Sure, you won’t get the same social proof that having a massive following will give you, but you’ll find that you get more engagement and a more loyal following. That’s what will make the difference.

This comes back to my previous point on helping.

Help people without asking for anything in return, and you’ll start to build up goodwill. In the long term the impact of this can be huge.

5. Engage, engage and engage some more

You could leave social media on autopilot – but you shouldn’t.

If you’re serious about building a loyal following, you need to engage with as many people as possible, as often as you possibly can.

Don’t just wait for others to engage, kick start the process yourself. Start a conversation.

6. Go visual and get more traction

Visuals are a powerful social media tool.

For example, Buffer found that tweets with images get 150% more retweets. And there is data to confirm this on other networks.

Before you share a text-based social message, consider whether you could share an image instead.

Thanks to free tools like Canva, it’s now incredibly easy to overlay text onto an image or create unique graphics. A great example is the use of quotes and images.

There are also plenty of sites like IM Creator and StockSnap which you can use to find high quality stock photos that won’t cost you a penny – just be sure to check the license details first.

7. Monitor your progress with the right tools and find what really works

Monitoring your social media efforts is important for a few reasons:

  • You’ll find additional opportunities to engage and build relationships
  • You can monitor your competitors and understand how their strategy fits together
  • You can monitor your own growth and gain insights into what’s working for you

There are several tools you can use to monitor your social media presence more effectively.

Cyfe

cyfeCyfe makes it easy for you to setup custom dashboards to track the metrics that matter to you.

You’ll have access to plenty of widgets which you can add to your dashboard. There are tons of other widgets that can help you with a variety of other things, not just social media.

Price: Free to use for up to five widgets, paid plans start at $19/month.

Mention

MentionMention is a great tool that is purpose built for monitoring across social networks and other websites in real time.

It’s easy to use, and you’ll get straightforward alerts whenever you get a new mention.

Once inside the platform you can respond to mentions directly so there’s no need to jump over to another social tool.

Price: Free for up to 250 mentions/month.

Oktopost

OktopostOktopost is a solid all-round social media management tool but the way it groups social messages together is extremely helpful from a monitoring perspective.

You can use the platform to share your social messages and engage with your audience directly.

The twist here is that when you add social messages, they’re added to campaigns. Those campaigns are grouped together in the reporting tab to show you the progress of each campaign.

This makes it incredibly easy to see how campaigns are performing from a birds eye view.

Price: Starts at $49/month.

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumoContent plays a big part in the social media landscape so it’s important to have a tool that makes it easy to find out which content people are sharing.

Using BuzzSumo you can search for your competitors, topics and more – the results will show you which pieces of content are getting shared the most.

You can also find out who is sharing that content and engage with them from within the platform.

It’s a great tool to find out the key influencers in your niche too.

Price: Starts from free with limited results, paid accounts with reporting/analysis features start at $99/month.

Conclusion

If you want to get ahead on social media you need to focus on building lasting relationships.

Your focus should be on long term, sustainable results rather than looking for an immediate payoff.

Keep the focus on helping your audience and you will grow an engaged following.

Do you have any tips or insights to add? Let us know in the comments below.

Adam Connell is the Founder of Blogging Wizard, a website devoted to helping bloggers grow their traffic, email subscribers and online presence. If you want to get ahead on Twitter, download this free checklist to learn how to rapidly grow your following (the right way).

 

Stay a Step Ahead on Social Media: Tips from SMX Social in Las Vegas

SMX_Social_1This is a guest contribution from Paul Zubrinich of Little Web Giants.

Late last year, I returned from the biggest social media marketing conference in the world, SMX Social in Las Vegas. There were experts from all fields of social media and a wealth of new ideas floating about. Here are some of the takeaways.

ROI is more than conversions

“Facebook News Feed is like email with a 100% open rate” – Beth Horn, Facebook

Think about this scenario. Someone discovers your business through Facebook and likes it. In the coming months they notice a few of your posts and engage with a couple of them.

A few months later, they Google your business and convert to a buyer. Now in your web analytics, the conversion is falsely attributed to Google organic search, even though Facebook was the first point of contact and crucial to the sales cycle. Due to this realisation, marketers are moving toward measuring ROI based off more factors than just the last click. If you only measure by the last click, it is like measuring each player on a footy team by how many goals they kicked, thus neglecting the contributions of the backline and mid-fielders.

The takeaway for SMEs: Measure engagement – it has value!

Tone down the “buy now” rhetoric!

“ROI isn’t important in this arena. Engagement is!” – Erik Jensen, Denny’s Restaurants

You know the guy. He clomps into every online conversation, selling. All of his posts are so promotional that they make infomercials look subtle. Imagine if he went to a business conference and in every conversation he was just telling people how good his product or service was. This is no way to build trust or make friends.

This is becoming even more important as Facebook has stated that as of January 2015, people will see less promotional content in their News Feeds. It prompted Altimeter Group’s Rebecca Lieb to tell the New York Times, “It’s a clear message to brands: If you want to sound like an advertiser, buy an ad.”

On social media, the soft sell is the best way to win people over (and reach their News Feeds). An oft-recommended strategy is to apply the Pareto principle: 80% of your posts should be informative and 20% can be promotional. This article is an ideal example. I am sharing information without loading it up with my own sales spiel.

The perfect time to post is different for everyone

“The world’s best practices aren’t always your best practices.” – Tim Welsh, Academic Partnerships

I will embrace the day when people abandon those memes saying the “best time to post”. Imagine you sell UV lamps and one of your target demographics is people who work night shifts. You read one of those blog posts that says mid-afternoon is the ideal time to post on Facebook. But your target demographic is in bed then. What about a fast food place that targets young students up late at night? Post in the evening. Go for it. The takeaway: Know your demographic and meet them on their terms.

There is a wealth of tools out there for discovering when your followers are online. Facebook has Insights, Twitter and Pinterest have Analytics, and Simply Measured offers analytics tools for LinkedIn and Instagram. No matter what social network you are using, find out about your followers and your target market, rather than settling for population averages. It will put your posts in front of more potential customers.

Summing up…

The future of social media will not be built on one-size-fits-all strategies. You must know your target market. Track your outcomes and do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Take part in the conversation with a more human tone. Show you care about your customers. Now get active and join the conversation!

Did you follow #SMXsocial on Twitter? Do you have any other tips to share or questions for the author?

Find all the slides from SMX Social here: http://slidesha.re/1xZoFX0

Paul Zubrinich is co-founder and head of online marketing at Little Web Giants, an internet services firm. He blends a skillful mix of strategic search engine marketing, conversion rate optimisation, content marketing and pay-per-click advertising. He has worked with clients from fields as diverse as the solar photovoltaics industry, environmental advocacy and the health and beauty industry. He won Marin Software’s Biggest Social Geek contest of 2014 against over 2,300 social media marketers worldwide.

New Facebook Changes: Target your Audience Effectively

FACEBOOKchangesyou need to know about

 

If you are one of the many people confused by Facebook and its ever-changing algorithms, you’ll be pleased to know they’ve recently made some favourable changes to their operating system.

I see it everywhere – bloggers desperately trying to reach their Facebook audience, and being thwarted at every turn. Facebook has been experimenting a lot this year with delivering the best, most tailored newsfeed to its users, but at the cost of our readers seeing posts. We dedicated an entire week to decoding Facebook earlier this year – from sticking with organic reach practises to experimenting with paid ads. Both can work, but a complaint I hear often is that it’s getting to be more of a pay-to-play platform.

In both the Facebook Advertising webinar and the post we did on how to effectively target your audience, we covered the gamut of targeting options available. However, with the recent changes to targeting and tools, it is easier than ever to only show your posts to those who are interested, and to save different types of posts for different kinds of audiences.

New Facebook Tools Changes

Facebook has introduced very selective targeting options for you to really drill down and capture the right readership for your blog (or even specific posts or pages on your blog) every time you post.

Available to those who have enabled the Targeting and Privacy setting, you can now use it to provide posts to a subset of your audience.

Have a recipe post? You can now choose to show it to the part of your readership who have indicated to Facebook they like food or cooking. People who aren’t interested in that won’t see the post. But they will see a post they are interested in, based on their likes and dislikes.

Post End Date

Have a time-sensitive post? You can choose a particular date it will stop showing up in newsfeeds… but it will still be visible on your page. Again, only available to those who have enabled Targeting and Privacy, and it’s only available on desktop at the moment.

Smart Publishing

Take the guesswork out of what your audience will resonate with. Can be hard to predict, so Facebook have rolled out to a select few media organizations (for now) the ability to identify and publish stories that are already popular with the folk on Facebook.

Frequently-shared links to your website will appear in the newsfeed of people who like your page. They won’t appear on your page, but you’ll get a whole new dashboard of insights and ability to moderate comments.

Page admins can opt in from the Publisher Tools section within Page Settings.

Insights

While reasonably in-depth, your current insights will now be even more descriptive. With a better overview, you can even more effectively understand and optimize your content for success.

It’s even easier now to see where your content is going with the addition of information about people and pages that share your links.

There are also changes made to the type of insights you have access to, and how your page and plugins drive traffic to sites.

You can find out more information, and keep up with further Facebook announcements here.

So what do you think? Will this make marketing on Facebook easier for you?

 

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama (cat pictures welcome!).

 

Get Social Media Right: Five Things you Just Can’t Miss

This is a guest contribution from Pratik Dholakiya.

There’s no doubt social media is important for businesses to engage with potential and existing customers. It’s marketing 101. Since it’s the de facto “I’ll let the world know what I think about this product or brand” medium, it’s also a unique channel where companies and businesses now face intense scrutiny.

Social media is best used for engagement. It’s a powerful tool that finally lets companies (of any size) get one-to-many with its customer base. Social media allows you to sell (without actually pushing).

At least 72% of people surveyed by HootSuite state that they are likely to buy from a company they first interacted on Twitter, for instance. There’s also a 30% in unsolicited recommendations.

With more than 500 million tweets a day and over 230 million active users, your customers are on Twitter, which is proving to be a great way to improve customer relationships. Facebook – with a user base over a billion and counting – continues to be the mainstay for B2C companies.

LinkedIn meanwhile is a great platform to establish your social presence, attract clients, employees, vendors, and even investors.

On social media conversation, share, and engagement is a direct result of your updates performing. If social media provides amplification for your content assets, the right metrics help you measure that amplification.

However, there are production costs associated with those updates. People, time, tools, resources are all under the anvil. So, how do you finalize your key performance indicators, measure the metrics that are important and determine if they’re the one that can deliver maximum ROI? Here are some of the top indicators every social media marketer should pin to the wall.

Business Assets

Today, content can be classified as a business asset. Assets are built to perform. Analytics help you understand how your assets perform over time in line with your business strategy. But just because something exists doesn’t mean it’s important. With so many metrics out there for a marketer to measure, life just got harder for content marketers.

For contemporary content marketers, metrics are best classified into classes, and then each asset must be measured against the overall performance of the asset class it comes under.

Cyfe is a single tool that helps you aggregate all of your asset classes in one place. You can pull in the numbers from the various sources, channels, campaigns (organic and paid), and maintain a single view for analytics. Chris Abraham of Socialmedia.biz termed it as One Dashboard to Rule Them All.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 2.29.44 pm

Cyfe integrates with social media networks, email marketing tools, and all other major sources for your traffic, revenue, or sales. Cyfe also plugs into campaign data from Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Yahoo Advertising, retargeting networks, and with Facebook paid campaigns.

It helps you mitigate these challenges that metrics carry:

  • Metrics are numbers. But the actual transaction flow – from the time a prospect first knows about your business to the point of sale – isn’t straightforward.
  • One single metric, by itself, doesn’t mean much.
  • Metrics are best understood in clusters.

Time Vs Production

Time has a cost to it – a direct one at that. Although this metric is an internal assessment for your team to ponder on and get better at, it has a direct correlation to the rest of the metrics.

  • If there’s an editorial calendar, planned per day, for the period of time, how are the deadlines being met?
  • For every specific content asset, how long does it take to create and publish/
  • How many different types of content are produced and published for a specific period of time?

Use Excel or any other tool/software you are comfortable with but measure these to get your internal processes in shape.

Retention

Social media retention is hard to get at, especially given that social updates have a miserable shelf life of about three hours on average, according to Pamela Vaughan of HubSpot.

According to her post,

  • The mean half-life of a link on Twitter is 2.8 hours.
  • The mean half-life of a link on Facebook is 3.2 hours.
  • The mean half-life of a link via ‘direct’ sources such as email or instant messaging clients is 3.4 hours.
  • The mean half-life of a link on YouTube is 7.4 hours.

Given these numbers, you’d have a vested interest in looking at the effectiveness of your social media assets beyond the initial contact. For your social updates, you’d need to look at:

  • Tracking follower or fan growth over a period of time.
  • The ability of each social update to garner interest in the form of likes, Tweets, and interactions with each update.

For Twitter, as an example, here’s a sample snapshot of Twitter growth for the last 28 days:

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 2.38.24 pm

You also get to see demographic information, interests of your followers, and gender distribution as follows:

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 2.39.12 pm

Engagement and Sharing

Social media is “social”. Unlike any other media, there’s the question of reach, engagement, and sharing that’s critical to this media. Traditional publishing depending on reach alone. Social brings in engagement and sharing too.

The more engagement, reach, and share your social updates can manage to stir up, the better it is for your business for multiple reasons. Tools like HootSuite and Buffer App already provide built in analytics for you to dig into. Each social network, meanwhile, also provides analytics on how your social web properties perform.

Facebook provides insights. LinkedIn has analytics. Twitter just rolled out activity dashboard to let you see how your Tweets perform including link clicks, engagement, retweets, replies, and instances of your Tweets being marked as favorites.

For each social network, the important engagement and sharing metrics will include (but not limited to):

  • Number of impressions or reach per update.
  • Activity level around engagement per update.
  • Retweets, shares, likes, comments, and responses per update.

Lead Metrics

Vanity metrics don’t mean a thing. They really don’t. Except for massaging your ego, there’s nothing else vanity metrics do for you. Jay Baer of Convince and Convert writes:

“The end goal is action, not eyeballs.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 2.40.20 pm

All the branding, engagement, and sharing later, it’s finally about leads. Kevan Lee of Buffer Blog wrote the ultimate guide on social metrics and gets right to the point with an emphasis on leads.

A conversion is that metric you should hang on to. Defined as the number of leads generated from the sum total of social updates, amplification, engagement, and reach.

If you use a tool like Snip.ly, you can also measure direct metrics like clicks originating through each update. This nifty tool also helps you measure conversions (originating from links within social updates) to specific destinations such as landing pages and website pages.

This is the point where all the talk about social media ROI begins to make sense. Taking it a bit further, these are the metrics social hawks at Moz are looking at. The folks at Moz talk about relative engagement rates. Their point is simple: the conversion rate on Facebook isn’t the same as engagement that comes from your Instagram or Pinterest account.

They recommend a tool like TrueSocialMetrics, which helps calculate the true economic value of your social marketing across specific platforms.

Over to You

With social media, the numbers aren’t hard to get. The only thing that matters is your analytical interpretation of those numbers and how they relate to your business goals.

In short,

  • Ignore vanity metrics.
  • Define your goals, classify your metrics, and measure what matters.
  • Conversions are still the real metrics that matter.

How do you measure your social metrics? What are you on the lookout for? What kind of numbers are you busy crunching?

Pratik Dholakiya is the Co-Founder & VP of Marketing of E2M and MoveoApps. He’s passionate about fitness, entrepreneurship, start-ups and all things digital marketing. Hit him up on Twitter @DholakiyaPratik for a quick chat.

A Social Media Etiquette Guide You Might Find Useful

This is a guest contribution from Jennifer Landry.

What do you think of when you hear the word etiquette?

For most people, the term conjures up images of a relative telling them to chew with their mouth closed, or to take their elbows off the table. So what does it mean when it’s applied to social media?

In general terms, etiquette is a set of guidelines on how to behave properly around other people. While you might not have face-to-face interaction with all of your followers, the way you present yourself online directly affects people’s opinion of your brand. You might be surprised at the amount of companies, even the big ones, that don’t quite understand this simple fact and have posted inappropriate updates that made light of important events or misused certain hashtags. The simplest way to avoid this problem is to read over your posts before pressing publish. If you think it could somehow be misconstrued or you’re not sure what the hashtag means, it’s best to simply not post the update.

While you might know the basics of presenting yourself on social networks, you might not realize that there is a set of more nuanced etiquette rules for each of the different platforms. The infographic below outlines these unspoken rules for the most popular social networks. While not a complete list, it can help set the groundwork for how to post and interact with your audience.

Imprimir

Jennifer Landry is a writer/journalist living in Malibu, California. 

Top Five Things to Learn from the Greggs vs Google Twitter Debacle

This is a guest contribution from Mark Potter.

Greggs is the UK’s largest bakery chain, famed for its sausage rolls and steak bakes. They have always enjoyed a strong social media presence, winning a Digital Impact Award in 2013 for a ‘Sandwich Maker’ Facebook app.

As a relatively low-budget food chain, they are a popular target for online abuse. As a result, they have already developed a robust strategy for dealing with complaints and controversy:

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.47.55 pm

Things turned particularly sour in August, when the Google algorithm accidentally replaced the official Greggs logo with a highly offensive fake version. The gaffe spread like wildfire across the internet, and the Greggs Twitter account was rapidly inundated with tweets.

However, the social media team kept their cool, and handled the crisis with aplomb. Almost 300 tweets and a new hashtag later, the correct logo was restored – and Greggs had emerged as a Twitter champion.

Here are some tips on handling a crisis on Twitter, as demonstrated by the social media team at Greggs:

Rise Above It

The whole internet is teeming with trolls, but Twitter is a particularly virile breeding ground. Although many people sympathised with the situation, Greggs was also subjected to a fair amount of abuse.

When Twitter catastrophe strikes, never stray from the Golden Rule – DON’T FEED THE TROLLS. Hitting back with an angry retort can only ever backfire, making a bad situation worse. Make like Greggs by responding in a polite, classy manner – or simply don’t reply at all.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.48.33 pm

Crack a Joke

Twitter partly revolves around competitive comedy – the accounts with the funniest tweets often have more followers. Therefore, humour can be one of the best ways to divert a Twitter crisis.

However, before making light of a disaster, you should always use discretion. In some situations, comedy is inappropriate – as many brands soon discovered during Hurricane Sandy.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.49.12 pm

Hire an Expert

Twitter disasters are occasionally brought about by the company itself – as with McDonald’s ill-conceived #McDStories. However, as Greggs discovered, crises can also be caused by external forces. These unpredictable situations are perhaps the most dangerous, as many companies don’t have the resources in place to deal with them.

If social media forms a large part of your marketing plan, you should hire a professional social media consultant to manage your online image. As many people noted during the Greggs debacle, they’re worth their weight in gold when disaster strikes.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.49.53 pm

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Ellen’s infamous Oscars selfie is currently the most retweeted message in the history of Twitter. This highlights the importance of imagery on social media. Pictures are far more likely to be shared by followers, and are therefore invaluable to social media marketing campaigns.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.50.30 pm

As Greggs demonstrated, pictures can also prove helpful during a disaster. This simple shot cost next to nothing, yet received an incredible 83 retweets and 589 favourites – making it one of the most successful tweets Greggs has ever posted.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.51.03 pm

A follow-up tweet, posted when the correct logo had been restored, garnered a similar number of favourites and retweets:

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.51.37 pm

Monitor for Mentions

It goes without saying that you should reply to direct questions and comments on Twitter. Throughout the crisis, the official Greggs account was inundated with questions and comments – and each one was met with an appropriate response.

However, not every tweet about the situation was directed at Greggs. The social media team was forced to go a step further, proactively ‘butting in’ to other people’s conversations about the debacle.

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.52.15 pm

If you have an online presence, sign up for a monitoring service such as Google Analytics or Topsy. These automatically scour the web for brand mentions, notifying you when people are discussing your company online. If you see a comment – whether defamatory or positive – about your business, you will be poised to reply and set the record straight.

No two Twitter debacles are the same. However, by studying the reactions of different companies to their own crises, you will be able to respond effectively when disaster comes knocking at your own door.

This article was written by Mark Potter of Namecheap.com, a leading ICANN accredited domain registrar and web host.

Facebook Week: Putting it All Together

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 3.33.11 pmIt has been an action-packed Theme Week here at ProBlogger as we delved into making Facebook work for you. We’ve been hearing for a long time now that bloggers and small business owners are both confused and frustrated with the platform – where they once enjoyed using it to interact with their audience, they now faced algorithms that meant they needed to work harder to be seen by everyone who had signed up to receive their updates. It has left a lot of people dissatisfied.

Organic Vs Paid

But all is not lost. As Darren mentioned at the start of the week, he has seen both organic and paid reach still holding strong with his Facebook pages, with a little behind-the-scenes strategy. He shared some of the things he was trying (and had seen success with) and came to the conclusion that his winning formula was: be useful, be visual, be interactive, be inspriational, and experiment to see what works. He also mentioned the decision to wade into the world of paid Facebook advertising, and that their return on investment well exceeded what was expected.

Popular Pages Successful Strategies

Tuesday saw a rundown of five popular pages on Facebook, and an overview of their interactions. We saw what got the most traction was visual content – both video and images – but also a focus on what people as humans can relate to. Their interests, heartwarming stories, educational content, and things that inspired seemed to be the most useful types of interaction for best engagement.

Which Posts get Higher Organic Reach?

After sifting through hundreds of Facebook pages, it became clear: whatever works on your Facebook page depends upon your own audience. While we discussed each type of Facebook post and how popular they are for inspiring engagement, (video and images again appear to be the most useful), it really does come down to monitoring your own Insights page to see when your audience is online, and what kinds of posts they’ve been interacting with the most. While images come up trumps for most bloggers, my own Facebook page ranked them last. So it’s definitely important to tailor your output to what your audience has been enjoying the most, not just taking blind advice.

So Tell Me About Facebook Advertising

Jon Loomer stopped by to give us his insights on Facebook advertising and marketing, and making it work for you. The ability to ailor the audience of your ads is incredibly specific, and he helpfully explains that while also breaks down the Boost Post myth, and the debate about which is more useful – that or Power Editor? (hot tip: it’s Power Editor). He also discusses what makes a great ad, and how to decide what needs to be seen in the newsfeed. The full webinar is packed with easy-to-understand information (but you do need to be a member of problogger.com to see it).

Darren’s Facebook Advertising Success

Our marketing guru Shayne Tilley gave us a detailed rundown on the experiments he’s been running with paid content on Facebook, outlining how to create the ads, what kinds of ads he’s been running (and which ones work the best), how much he’s spending, and what he needs to explore more. It shouldn’t be missed by anyone who is doubtful about giving Facebook their money, or are utterly confused about where to start.

We’d love to hear, though – what advice has been more useful to you? What else would you like to know?

Thanks for being around, we’ve had a lot of fun this week.