Fishing for Fans and Followers: Tips to Make Your Social Media Marketing More Efficient and Effective

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This was initially presented at the first Revenue North Business Growth Summit in Indianapolis on March 21, 2013. …

This was initially presented at the first Revenue North Business Growth Summit in Indianapolis on March 21, 2013.

Since it doesn't have audio and probably lacks context, you can check out a series of blog posts with all the tips here:

More in: Business
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  • How many of you own or helped to found your organization? How many of you are marketing/communications managers? How many of you both run your company and are in charge of marketing it? How many of you have personal accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.? Now how many of your organizations have presences on at least one social-media service? And how many of you have had difficulty figuring out what the heck you’re doing on social media - or even why your organization is on it at all?Today we’ll talk about tips to make your professional social media life easier...
  • Key takeaways, albeit metaphorical related to fish.
  • “ Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
  • And you’ve probably seen not-so-inspirational quotes like this:“Teach a man to fish and he'll sit on a boat and drink beer all day.”If I tweeted those, which would you remember more? Probably the latter. Why? Because it’s humorous. Because it takes a well-known idea, approaches it from a different angle, and makes it unique. And it’s unexpected.Today I’ll teach you how to fish for fans and followers on social media so you aren’t wasting your time with your online marketing efforts - and so, once you get results, you can hopefully take some well-earned time off and sit on a boat and drink beer all day if you want. Let’s dive in: Let’s dive in:
  • If you’re at all like me, you’re always thinking of ways to get your message out. Maybe you keep a running list of ideas you’ve thought of that you could blog about and then share to social media. Or maybe your coworkers are always sending you pictures and links they think you should share on your company’s accounts. Don’t overwhelm yourself with content ideas. It’s okay to keep a list of things you’d like to write about or post, but make sure you’re getting your most important, big-picture messages out first. Create content that directly align with your company’s biggest goals. (Next presentation: aligning marcom w/vision.) These can be FAQs from clients or leads. If you sell widgets and have an overstock of Widget X, tweet about that one more often than the others.
  • This is an amazingly beautiful photo of a device that looks amazingly complicated. If you were just getting started as a fisherman, would you try to catch fish with something like this right off the bat? No. Same thing with social media marketing: Take it easy and don’t get in over your head and try to do too much too fast. Setting up your Facebook page is fine and not very hard to do. But if you’re the person in charge of all of your company’s marketing and you’re just getting started in the digital space, it’s probably not wise to try to immediately develop a Facebook app that integrates with your direct mail campaign to provide a special offer to your fans who haven’t purchased anything from you in the last 6 months. KISS.
  • Big Fish idea AND simple tools (just FB.) Kong is fun for animals. 100k+ followers. Cheap. shared from Spitalfields City Farm’s page, expanding reach - and it took Kong nothing more than clicking the “share” button and typing a summary. All in line with their brand & big-fish ideas .
  • Based on the kind of fish you want to catch - your business goals - choose the right tools. Try out several tools/platforms, then choose a few that work for you and stick with them. A blog is most important - it can serve as a base for all social media and email marketing. Think of it as a handheld fishing net , where the blog is the handle that the net of social accounts comes out from; everything links together toward one purpose - which should be part of your ‘big fish’ idea. You can build from there . If you really really need to hire a new employee and aren’t having any luck in your search, write a blog post about the ideal candidate. Then run an ad on LinkedIn linking to your post. Then tweet that post several times, and ask your fans on Facebook to share it with their friends. Use your net.
  • Tim Racer (BAD RAP cofounder, Vick dogs) - carousel carver What better medium than simple photography ? On Facebook, photos get more attention than text. He also shows pics of his dogs - making him even more relatable - and his workshop, offering his fans a special insight into how he produces his work.
  • At first, you won’t know what kinds of messages will work when. There are a variety of analytics tools that crunch the numbers. To start, you shouldn’t have to use any that require you to pay. Look at the simple analytics tools Facebook and Google offer and take notes on your progress: Did people respond more to that photo of your company event on Facebook or Instagram? Is most traffic to your website at 8am on Wednesday or 7pm on Saturday? Seasonal too. Schedule your posts/tweets/status updates for the ideal times, and create more of the content that gets the most traffic. Timing likely depends on your industry and geography; there is no one right answer. It’s not a science, but the more you pay attention and study what your audience is doing and when, the more likely you’ll get attention and results from your efforts. Also, respond right away . If you’re scheduling tweets with Tweetdeck or using Facebook’s scheduling tool, be sure that you’re ready to respond if people have questions or leave comments.
  • Facebook Insights Shows how # of posts affects engagement How many people you’re reaching What kind of content (photo, video, link, text) is most popular
  • Physically and digitally, go where your audience is. It probably makes the most sense to pay the most attention to your messaging on the service that you have the most fans or followers on. But don’t think strictly digitally. But also think carefully about what kind of content and effort you can put forth at events : Conferences, work functions, events your company sponsors, etc. Twitter and Instagram are great for sharing your own updates and photos at events, and for discovering influencers who can be good contacts or sources of ideas for you. Get and share photos of fans at events. Hold contests related to events (RT your picture for a chance to win a gift card). Digitally , find schools by trying out tools that are getting a lot of media attention, like Pinterest (visual social network) did a year or so ago. Pay attention to new technology. Join in conversations on Twitter related to your industry. Ask questions. Answer questions. Share others’ content (as long as it relates to your goals.) Join and engage in LinkedIn Groups or niche blog sites related to your industry or profession.
  • This is a “big” school of fish who love tiny houses. Good: Call to action: Share your story. What else could they have done to bring the digital and physical schools together? Taken a better photo. Used a hashtag on Instagram/Twitter. Run a contest for best photo. Engage in the comments section more. Ask to share w/others who attended.
  • Find the schools: Pinterest analytics show what’s visually attracting to the audience See which of your products are getting the most attention. May go back to “when are the fish biting?” - Would have to use third-party tools to analyze this, but my recommendation is to figure out what kind of content is most popular BEFORE focusing intently on WHEN to share.
  • Don’t be too aggressive - or worse, passive aggressive - in your social marketing efforts. It’s okay to respond to nibbles: hints that people are researching a future purchase (If you’re a car dealer : “What kind of car should I buy next?” could be followed with a follow or, “We have some ideas.” but not “You should definitely buy from us ;)”). Don’t “pollute the water” by trash talking competitors or anyone for that matter. (Facebook: “Some people claim that we’re too busy on Tuesday nights, but last night was dead in here.” Have someone vet your message . Give it time - be prompt, but not knee-jerk. Follow best communications practices. - Write to one person in one of your target audiences .- DON’T USE ALL CAPS or too many !!! or emoticons
  • “ wholly”; “lines” on Facebook - Check and double check yourself. Spelling, grammar, links, other errors. Do a self-assessment. If they know they aren’t good at grammar, ask a coworker to help.
  • - Don’t use too many hashtags.
  • Provide context. - no call to action - not a good photo - why type their name in again? - if you don’t plan at least a little bit, this kind of irrelevant/unhelpful post happens
  • Speaking of context, use the “editorial we.” - who is “I”? - Unless you are your brand, always use “we” to represent your company on Facebook. - On Twitter, “I” is okay if you identify who “you” are. - Reduces confusion and represents the brand more strongly. - good: writes to ONE person in audience (‘what do YOU think’?)
  • - Good: Nirvan (@ symbol) If using “We” is a bit weird, or if you have many contributors offering viewpoints. BUT - too long! be concise. writing twice as long as you need to is half as effective
  • - adds a bit of a personal touch - transparency - lets people know who they’re talking to - reduces speedbumps in communication
  • Don’t worry about your eyesight This franchise posted the same article three times within one week - twice on one day. In addition, they’ve been openly passive-aggressive to their neighborhood and other people associated with their business. Don’t air dirty laundry online - or anywhere remotely near your customers for that matter. If you get to the point where you feel like you need to do that, find help - fast! 80/20 rule
  • Previous slide could have been avoided (perhaps two people from the biz were sharing to the page?) by having a plan: - a guide (social media team leader - someone who’s excited) - a schedule (content calendar) - and a map (to track progress toward goals)
  • Social media is about as top-of-mind as you can get; don’t delay in getting your message out or connecting to people ASAP. If you’re at a networking event or convention : Connect with people on LinkedIn or Twitter immediately after meeting them. If you tell someone you’ll follow up with more info on a story you mention, a product you’re offering, a tour of your facilities, do it quickly. If your company is selling a product that could help in a situation being covered by the media , reach out to local reporters as soon as you see a story you could provide more info or another perspective on. And respond quickly to comments and questions you receive on your website, blog, social media.
  • Turn notifications on in apps on your phone and tablet so you’re alerted when someone interacts with your content. Set up Google Alerts to discover what’s being said about you online. Also good to set up for your partners/clients so you can give them shoutouts when they appear in the news/online. Set up searches in Tweetdeck to find messages related to your company or your industry. Make sure all of your social accounts - on LinkedIn, review sites like Yelp, etc. - have the right emails connected to them.
  • Attracting attention online for your business today requires you to always be prepared for fresh content that might pop up. It requires you to be constantly searching for opportunities to connect. And it requires dedication and focus. With time and effort, you’ll likely find that you’re better of using social media than not, and even if it’s not paying dividends for you now, it can and will help you reach your business goals.
  • Connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn, say “hi.”


  • 1. Fishing for Fans and Followers Tips to Make YourSocial Media Marketing Efforts More Efficient and Effective
  • 2. •Look for the “big fish” ideas in your messaging.•Don’t use a net that’s too big.•Fill your tackle box with the right lures and bait.•Figure out when the fish are biting.•Find the schools.•Don’t scare the fish.•Plan your fishing trip.•Fry your fish when they’re fresh.
  • 3. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Photo by Photo by Jeff Attaway via Flickr/Creative Commons
  • 4. “Teach a man to fish and hell sit on a boat and drink beer all day.” Photo by Photo by Palingzp via Flickr/Creative Commons
  • 5. Look for the “big fish” ideas in your messaging. Photo by Marcel_Ekkel via Flickr/Creative Commons
  • 6. Don’t use a net that’s too big. Chinese Fishing Nets, Cochin, India by Tim Moffatt via Flickr/Creative Commons
  • 7. Fill your tackle box with the right lures and bait. Photo by jasonippolito via Flickr/Creative Commons
  • 8. Figure out when the fish are biting. Photo by robstephaustralia via Flickr/Creative Commons
  • 9. Find the schools. Photo by NOAAs National Ocean Service via Flickr/Creative Commons
  • 10. Don’t scare the fish. Photo by Colin Bowern via Flickr/Creative Commons
  • 11. Plan your fishing trip. Photo by psyberartist via Flickr/Creative Commons
  • 12. Fry your fish when they’re fresh. Photo by ewen and donabel via Flickr/Creative Commons
  • 13. •Look for the “big fish” ideas in your messaging.•Don’t use a net that’s too big.•Fill your tackle box with the right lures and bait.•Figure out when the fish are biting.•Find the schools.•Don’t scare the fish.•Plan your fishing trip.•Fry your fish when they’re fresh.
  • 14. @TigerSharkMusic