Month: January 2017

The 3 Biggest Challenges Facing Social Marketers in 2017

The 3 Biggest Challenges Facing Social Marketers in 2017

Our just-released 2017 State of Social Marketing Report shares survey results from 2,738 social media marketing professionals from 111 countries. This report shares real-world insight and understanding of a dynamic industry where new networks emerge, old networks evolve, and the user base continues to rise at rapid rates. Here are the three biggest challenges social marketers are facing right now, according to social marketers themselves.

Simply Measure State of Social Marketing Report 2017

1. ROI, Once Again

Measuring ROI is a challenge for social marketers

Measuring ROI was listed, again, as the biggest challenge to 58.7 percent of marketers in 2017, compared to 61.1 percent in 2016. 33.6 percent of respondents claimed that tying social to business goals is also a major challenge.

This year, the social media industry placed higher emphasis on collecting and analyzing social data, so we included two new categories to gauge whether they presented challenges to marketers. In total, 12.2 percent of respondents said collecting social data was a major challenge, and an even higher 24.4 percent struggle to use social data to inform marketing strategies.

The challenges presented by both brands and agencies were very similar, but there were two noticeable differences. First, brands reported struggling more than agencies in developing a social strategy: 29 percent of brands versus 15.7 percent of agencies.

2. Tying Social to Business Goals

Connecting social to business goals is a challenge for social marketers

Marketers are spending record amounts of money on social advertising. By the end of 2017, social network ad spending could reach $ 35.98 billion, representing 16 percent of all digital ad spending globally, according to eMarketer.

However, there is a large disconnect between dollars spent and how those dollars are supporting strategic traffic and conversion goals. Only 31.6 percent of all marketers claim to have both web traffic and conversion goals for social. This means 68.4 percent of marketers are not establishing deliberate goals for both traffic and conversion, or are completely avoiding setting goals altogether.

26.9 percent of brands said they have both web traffic and conversion goals for social. 22.1 percent of brands reported having only web traffic goals, and 8.1 percent that said they only have conversion goals. A majority of brands do not have any goals set for either web traffic or conversion: 42.8 percent reported having neither.

Goal-setting seems to be a higher priority in agencies, taking into account client expectations that agencies consistently set and surpass stated goals. Only 27.4 percent of agencies, in comparison to 42.8 percent of brands, reported having neither web traffic nor conversion goals. This is 15.4 percent less than what brands reported.

41 percent of agencies are actively setting both traffic and conversion goals. A combined 31.6 perent have set goals for either traffic or conversion.

3. Securing Budget and Resources for Social

Budget is a challenge for social marketers

Analytics software was selected as the most-needed resource for marketers in 2017 to do their best work, by both brands and agencies. Brands reported almost evenly that analytics software (44.8 percent) and the need for more personnel specifically focused on social media (44.2 percent) are what marketers need most.

Nearly half of agencies (49.5 percent) reported the need for analytics software to optimize social strategies, and 34.1 percent identified human resources as their greatest need. 11.4 percent of brands and agencies said publishing software would help them do their best work.

Despite the great need for analytics software, marketers are having trouble finding the funds needed to acquire all of the software they need.

A majority of brands (42.8%) do not have any goals set for either web traffic or conversion.
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Download the full report (including the latest data from all major social networks) here.

Editor’s Note: This blog post is part of a paid partnership between Simply Measured and Convince & Convert.

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Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting

How to Schedule Tweets & Increase Brand Engagement

With an average of nearly 6,000 Tweets per second, what does your brand do to stand out among the crowd? Posting content in the moment is risky in the fast-paced and ever-changing Twitter environment. However, learning how to schedule Tweets can be a strategic way to save time and reach bigger audiences.

Scheduling Tweets isn’t just for brands on holiday or to send Tweets after work. When you schedule content, you’re putting more emphasis on effective posting times and maintaining a consistent message with continuous content.

Twitter requires a strong content strategy to supplement your day-to-day marketing and engagement. And in this article, we’re going to show you how to schedule Tweets to bolster your Twitter content strategy and save time.

How to Schedule Tweets on Twitter

The native Tweet scheduler only lives in the Twitter Ads portion of the Twitter dashboard. You can access it by clicking the blue Compose button or by using the Creatives tab in the Twitter Ads panel. From there, you’ll draft up your content and select the Scheduling tab to determine a day and time to send it out.

scheduled tweet though twitter

If you’re not using Twitter Ads, or want a more cohesive experience with your various networks and profiles, Sprout Social offers an extremely robust set of social media publishing tools.

With Sprout, you can use features, such as Scheduled messages, the Sprout Queue and ViralPost, to save your team a ton of time and stay on top of an ever-evolving content strategy. Let’s take a look at how to do that:

How to Schedule Tweets With Sprout Social

Planning your social media content in advance is one of the smartest things to do as a marketer. This allows you to work on campaigns, focus on promotions and launch product updates cohesively, without confusing your audience.

If you’re planning out your content, you can work ahead to get content scheduled, in the queue and ready for publishing. This will save time whether you’re a mom and pop shop managing a single profile, or an agency in charge of dozens.

With the help of a social media management tool like Sprout, it’s easy to get Tweets on the social media content calendar weeks or months ahead of time. You can even have content recur with the simple click of a mouse.

scheduling tweets on sprout

How to Schedule a Tweet

  1. Click the Compose button, and begin drafting your content.
  2. Click the calendar icon, select the day(s) you would like to publish and enter a time.

How to Fill Engagement Gaps With Sprout Queue

More likely than not, all of your content isn’t necessarily time sensitive. In fact, you should never turn your social on “auto pilot” and walk away. To see engagement and more participation from your audience, you must maintain an active social media presence.

Not only should you be active on social, but it’s important to be present on networks like Twitter throughout the day. It’s smart to provide thoughtful, relevant posts to drive engagement with your audience, but that doesn’t mean you have to manually post every message.

Instead, use Sprout to take out the tediousness of manual posting and scheduling each and every Tweet. In fact, we developed an elegant way to quickly schedule future content without needing to manually set a day and time every time.

publishing sprout queue

The Sprout Queue can be configured by Sprout account owners to Tweet a maximum of 10 times per day. You can choose between setting your own send times manually (if you’ve already used the Sent Messages report to find out when your audience is most engaged) or by using ViralPost, an algorithm Sprout has developed that automatically learns the best moments to share your content.

It’s a breeze to configure these settings for one or multiple social profiles. Once your Queue settings are in place, you won’t have to manually choose times for that great industry think piece or the helpful product tips you share with your audience.

Fun fact: you can also press ‘N’ on your keyboard to quickly open the compose box.

queue settings on sprout

How to Setup Your Sprout Queue:

  1. Click the Actions menu (little gear icon in the upper-right corner of the application), and select Sprout Queue.
  2. Select one or more profiles and click Edit Times.
  3. If choosing times manually, type in the exact times and add up to 10 as needed.
  4. If using ViralPost, simply select the maximum numbers of posts per day as well as the active posting time frame for weekdays and weekends.

How to Schedule Tweets With the Sprout Queue

To keep your content unique and fun to follow, it’s smart to be ready to post at any moment. You never know when a great idea will come along. But with Sprout, you’re always ready to create and publish with ease.

queue from sprout

Queue great stories from the RSS Reader (just make sure to set up your Feedly account in Sprout). You can also queue content by using the browser extension or even quickly approve a draft in the Scheduled tab. Queueing up engaging content only takes a couple of clicks with Sprout’s Compose box.

Whether you’ve scheduled times manually or you’re using ViralPost, the Sprout Queue is a perfect way to get great content in front of your audience’s eyes. Using Sprout’s full suite of publishing tools will save you a lot of time and guesswork, allowing you to focus on more personalized interactions with your audience.

How to Share Your Twitter Content Calendar

After your content is scheduled and ready to go live, you likely have a few people who want to cross check your content. If you scheduled a ton of content in Sprout, you might be looking for a way to share it without creating more logins for people who’ll never use it.

Calendar Date Picker

That’s fine–we’ve got you covered. You can easily collaborate and share your social media calendar as a PDF file in four steps:

  1. Within the the Publishing feature, select the Calendar.
  2. From there, you can select the List or Week to change your view.
  3. Then you can choose your Date Range, Profiles and Message Types.
  4. To download your calendar, select Export PDF or enter the team member’s email addresses for direct sharing.

Learn the Best Times to Tweet

You have your content, you’re ready to schedule, but do you know the best times to post to Twitter? While there’s no dead set or exact time we think you should post, our research shows unique time frames that could help increase your impressions and engagement.

best time to post on twitter graph

Before you hit Schedule, check out our interesting facts on the best times to post to Twitter:

  • The most recommended day to post is Thursday.
  • The strongest days to post are Monday through Thursday.
  • The most active time throughout the week is Thursday at Noon.
  • The safest ranges to post include any weekday between noon and 3 p.m.
  • The least recommended times to post include early mornings and late nights.

Again, this can all vary based on your audience, but you can use the data above as a good starting point.

In Closing

We really hope this article was helpful in explaining how to make the most out of Sprout’s publishing features to schedule tweets. Any questions or feedback? Give us a Tweet.

If you’re interested in trying this for yourself, sign up for a free trial and give it a shot!

This post How to Schedule Tweets & Increase Brand Engagement originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Sprout Social

Royal Caribbean: Scuba Snapchat Spectacles

Royal Caribbean has launched a scuba/snorkelling mask with built-in Snapchat Spectacles so that holiday makers can get social under the water too. Called “SeaSeekers” the Goggles will be available for customers on select Royal Caribbean cruises around the world, as part of its #SeekDeeper campaign. Royal Caribbean says the goal is to receive a patent […]

Digital Buzz Blog

Experience Happens: Design What You Want People to Feel

“Experience” is one of those words that is both aspirational while also meaning something uniquely different to each person who uses the word. No matter who you define it, the important thing to remember is that experiences lie in the value of the beholder.

The reality is that experiences are something you feel, you sense, and they’re defined by the people experiencing them. Whether they’re amazing, meh or terrible, they’re either forgotten or they turn into memories. Either way, reactions and feelings say everything about engagement and how important moments translate into experiences and how those experiences become, or not, shared expressions and memories.

Unfortunately, so much of the work in experience design today does not take into account how someone is going to react, why and what they are going to perceive as they move on. Important moments are often left to chance. All too frequently, moments that matter are solved for by technology, creativity and greenlit from a distant perspective that is probably out of touch with what people want or desire to experience.

In the end, experiences are the same of all moments someone has with you in each touchpoint, throughout their journey and lifecycle.

Experiences take empathy, thoughtfulness and intent. And, that takes design.

I was recently going through some of the archives aka email and I came across an interview with my good friend Minter Dial from SXSW 2016! In the midst of the chaos that is South by, we found the quietest spot available and where we discussed the future of experience design and why the world needs experience architects.

Please listen here or over at iTunes.

Brian Solis is principal analyst and futurist at Altimeter, the digital analyst group at Prophet, Brian is world renowned keynote speaker and 7x best-selling author. His latest book, X: Where Business Meets Designexplores the future of brand and customer engagement through experience design. Invite him to speak at your event or bring him in to inspire and change executive mindsets.

Connect with Brian!

Twitter: @briansolis
Facebook: TheBrianSolis
LinkedIn: BrianSolis
Instagram: BrianSolis
Youtube: BrianSolisTV
Snapchat: BrianSolis




The post Experience Happens: Design What You Want People to Feel appeared first on Brian Solis.

Brian Solis

You know that Jayden K. Smith Facebook hack? It’s actually a hoax that doesn’t make any damn sense


Here’s a story you’ve probably heard before: A viral hoax is spreading on Facebook, that, when you stop and think about it, really doesn’t make any damn sense

Monday’s hoax involves a supposed hacker named Jayden K. Smith. 

As far as the hoax goes, users are warned about an incoming friend request from a user named “Jayden K. Smith,” who is reportedly a hacker. Then the user is encouraged to share the warning with all of their friends to protect one’s Facebook network from Jayden.

The warning looks a little something like this: Read more…

More about Tech, Facebook, Hackers, Hacking, and Social Media

Social Media

Is Twitter Doomed? Social Media Experts Weigh In

Although the number of Twitter users continues to grow year after year, the site’s popularity may soon be in jeopardy. Forbes predicts that the social media platform’s US base will slow in growth in the years to come, and that it will also continue to have trouble monetizing itself. Twitter share prices have also been steadily declining since 2014.

Perhaps it’s too soon to speculate on a bleak future for Twitter, but even the thought of a shutdown raises serious concerns for many businesses. Twitter remains a powerful force for marketers to communicate with consumer bases, so any significant loss in popularity for the platform would be a big blow to the digital advertising world.

Below, a variety of social media experts share their thoughts on the fate of Twitter.

Q: It’s no secret that Twitter is facing monetization challenges. How sad would you be if Twitter suddenly shut down?

Andrea Hofer, Global Social Media Manager at Philips Healthcare: The problem is not so much monetization, but rather user growth. Twitter has a unique ability to facilitate conversation between everyone on a level playing field. That strong base provides a lot of opportunity to find solutions to get people to use Twitter.

Jennifer Forrest, Director of Social Media at DEG Digital: Personally, I wouldn’t necessarily be sad if Twitter suddenly shut down, but I know our media would. Our news cycle is still so reliant on Twitter. Losing Twitter would negatively affect how brands are able to interact with their customers. Social customer service is a huge topic right now because so many people are choosing the quickness and convenience of social media for their customer service experience, and Twitter is still the best platform for brands to communicate 1:1 with customers in real time. Although, I will say that if Twitter ever shut down, I could see Facebook Messenger picking up the slack in terms of social customer service.

Stephen Monaco, Founder of Future Marketing Institute: I’d be very sad if Twitter shut down suddenly. The platform fills an important niche and is awesome for the widespread dissemination of, and consumption of information in near real-time. I’m hopeful a media company will acquire Twitter and introduce innovation.

Joel Comm, Author, speaker, brand influencer: My prediction has remained the same for the past couple years. Twitter stock will continue to slide and the company will get gobbled up by one of the Big 6 major media conglomerates. It’s too enmeshed in our culture to just shut down without being snapped up. 330 million users may pale in comparison to Facebook’s almost 1.94 Billion, but it’s still massive reach that major media would like to have a piece of.

Jason Falls, Founder of Conservation Research Institute: It would be sad, but I don’t think it’s possible. Worst case scenario, some media or tech company buys them for the impressions and user base alone. I’ve said for years Google should buy them. I still think it would make sense. A search/Twitter mash-up with PPC ads and what-not could be interesting for both users and the bottom line.

Josh Steimle, Influence coach, author, CEO of MWI marketing agency: I’d be disappointed, not so much because the platform is all that useful to me (it has become much less useful over the past 12 months, as it mostly seems to be marketers sending automated tweets to each other), but because of the missed potential. It’s still a great platform which has bizarrely failed to go mainstream. Ask anyone who has never used Twitter, or who has used it for 5 minutes and quit, and they’ll say “I don’t get it. I don’t understand how it works.” People understand how Facebook works without any training. Ditto for Instagram. That’s Twitter’s problem, always has been, and it’s amazing to me that they haven’t figured this out after all these years.

Drew Neisser, CEO of NYC-based Renegade LLC: I would shed a tear if not 140 of them. I love Twitter for its raw, in-the-moment noticeability. I would miss the bursts of dopamine gained each time I checked my Notifications feed.

Q: What would you say at Twitter’s funeral? 

Brian Moran, entrepreneurial consultant: Why didn’t you figure out a way to charge me $ 9.99/month like LinkedIn or Hootsuite? I will gladly pay Twitter to use their platform. They need to create features that I will actually use though.

Forrest: I’m not sure what I would say at Twitter’s funeral, exactly, but I would keep it to 140 characters out of respect.

Monaco: “Farewell, old friend. You were poorly managed and that wasn’t your fault. I could have saved you!”

Comm: IF Twitter suddenly shut down I would certainly be sad. I’d say “Jack giveth, Jack taketh away.”

Falls: “Thanks for falsely inflating the egos of average people who should never be able to say that many people follow them anywhere. Including me. Heh.”

Steimle: “Twitter, we can’t say we hardly knew ye, but apparently, ye hardly knew us.”

Neisser: “Farewell, my tweet. You were the tweetest escape from an otherwise incomprehensible #reality. None shall ever replicate your tweetness. #RIP”

Twitter has a lot of tidying up to do if it wants to stay on par with Facebook and other competing social media outlets. While we probably won’t be attending Twitter’s funeral any time soon, rest assured that there will be plenty of mourners if and when a shutdown does occur. Unfortunately, though, they will have to pay their respects from some other platform.

The post Is Twitter Doomed? Social Media Experts Weigh In appeared first on Social Media Explorer.

Social Media Explorer

Twitch’s homepage is now a social network

Twitch looks different now for most of you. Amazon’s livestreaming video platform is in the process of updating its site so that everyone who is logged in sees the Twitch Pulse social stream instead of the old homepage. This rollout began last week, and all Twitch members will have the update by next week, according to the company. The site is using Pulse to improve engagement with its audience and to help them discover a wider variety of both recorded and live content.

If you go to right now and are logged in, many of you will see the featured livestream carousel at the top. But alongside that, you’ll also see a feed of clips and recorded broadcasts that an algorithm chooses based on your viewing history. You also have a prompt box that will ask you if you want to share a clip, text, or something else with your followers similar to how Facebook works.

Twitch revealed Pulse back in March. At the time, company communications boss Sheila Raju explained in a blog post that this new social tool is about making it “easier for streamers and viewers to engage with each other … whether a stream is live or not.”

Pulse went live for most people back in March, but now that it is front and center when you load into the site, it could turn into an important tool for viewers and broadcasters.

Many popular livestreamers work countless hours building up their following on Twitch, but then they have to get that audience to then follow them on Reddit or Twitter to keep in contact when not in front of a camera. Pulse bridges the gap between streams and enables broadcasters to keep drip feeding content between longer livestream sessions.

I used Pulse to share one of my YouTube clips, but I may even start using Twitch’s video uploading options more often if Pulse seems like it will help more people discover those videos.

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel®‘s Game Dev program.

Social – VentureBeat

Mattering: Richard Redgrave and the curious practice of drawing on museum objects

Simon Fleury, Senior Preservation Conservator

‘Delicate things become objects late on: That is what they have in common with numerous seemingly self-evident things that only mature to the point of conspicuity once they are lost.’1

Richard Redgrave, the first curator of the South Kensington Museum (SKM) as the Victoria & Albert Museum was then known, produced groundbreaking work via his ‘condition reports’. These reports exposed strange, intimate secrets behind the creation of some of the greatest artworks within the Museum but did so by interpreting these material analyses via a utilitarian approach to conservation and institutional commerce. It is testament to Redgrave’s groundbreaking work that the conventions he employed in his painstaking cartographies are easily recognisable; many are still used today by museum conservators throughout the world. They also represent one of the earliest and most ambitious uses of the photograph, in a museum, to document the condition of works of art –a nascent experimental manifestation of the symbiotic relationship between technology and cultural practice at the V&A.

Redgrave was tasked with assessing the condition of the Raphael cartoons at the time of their move from their home at Hampton Court Palace to the South Kensington Museum. Their arrival at the SKM in 1864, on loan from HM Queen Victoria, set in motion a complicated relationship between the artwork and its corresponding documentation in the Museum. In response to these concerns for the material condition of the cartoons, Redgrave took up a pen to annotate a photograph. By inscribing directly on the photographic surface, he created a new form of material history of the object, the first photo-based condition report. In his official report on the cartoons, as the Inspector General for Art, Redgrave wrote, ‘It was necessary to take careful notes of the state of the whole on their arrival, in order that what injuries they have heretofore suffered maybe carefully noted, as well as the natural decay of age.’2

One of Redgrave’s condition reports of the cartoons (there are seven in the series) was first discovered by the author while working on the preparation of objects for a re-display of the V&A’s Photography Gallery. The albumen photograph (Museum Ref. 76.601), mounted on a secondary paper support, was in need of minor repairs – not surprising given what we know of its past utilitarian use. Over time the conventions Redgrave laid down in his reports have morphed into a sophisticated means of encoding the material condition of objects (see Battisson and Egan article in Journal 64).

Evidence of the cartoons’ past life is visible in the fine detail of the albumen print and Redgrave’s painstaking annotations. Although long past its original instrumental function, it is still possible to make out the object’s complex structure. Redgrave’s concerns for the stability of the cartoons were not only directed at the frailties of their original construction, his report also gives a sense of their past life. It is easy to forget that these rare examples of Renaissance history painting were themselves once designs, instrumental to the making of tapestries.

A research question in the making: aside from the concerns with its condition it was intriguing that this object, once essential to institutional commerce, was soon to be exhibited in a gallery dedicated to the canon of photography. As museum conservators, we are attentively attuned to the vagaries of the objects in our care. One develops a pragmatic intimate knowledge of their shifting materiality. However, this object seemed to suggest that it is not only materials that are in a state of flux at the Museum. Why was the condition and treating of an object made as a condition report of another object now being assessed? Redgrave’s once instrumental photographs had returned, reconfigured as museum objects in their own right. The images documenting recent minor repairs and interventions, which included the high resolution object image downloaded from the V&A’s digital database, had also become entangled, caught-up with Raphael’s ‘original’ design for a tapestry (cartoon).

Detail of Condition Report: encountering the museum-object, Simon Fleury, 2016.

Figure 1. Detail of Condition Report: encountering the museum-object, Simon Fleury, 2016.

To make sense of this contingent mechanism, the author’s practice-led PhD (AHRC/M3C, Birmingham School of Art and Design) follows the genesis of the condition report at the V&A. By concentrating on the informational material that has crystallised around the Raphael cartoons while at the Museum, it traces a lineage of practice that runs from Redgrave’s early work through to the latest, and no less innovative, digital iterations (Figure 1). By fabricating new hybrid museum objects this experimental research aims to counter the normative ‘neutral’ understanding of conservation and techno-cultural production, and by so doing, make a significant contribution to the fields of contemporary art and museum research.


  1. Sloterdijk, Peter. Foams: Spheres volume III: Foams Plural Spherology. South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext, 2016, p.61.
  2. Richard Redgrave, Inspector General for Art, 1857-88. Report on the State of the Raffaelle Cartoons, Report of the Commission on the Heating, Lighting and Ventilation of the South Kensington Museum. London: HMSO. Appendix C (3), p.7.