Brands Could Be The Next Target of Fake News in 2017

This past presidential election saw a major outbreak of fake news.

Buzzfeed News analyzed the final three months of the US presidential election and discovered that fake, clickbait-y headlines were more likely to hook visitors more frequently than headlines for real news. But what, if anything, does this mean for brands?

That’s one of the topics I looked to research in 20.17 Big Ideas for 2017, a new ebook from Firebrand Group, where I asked a number of my favorite award-winning marketing experts, authors, and other thought leaders to recommend one “Big Idea” that companies can take advantage of to get ahead in 2017.

Laura PevehouseTo really dive into the topic of fake news, we spoke to Laura Pevehouse, Chief Blogger at Dell.

Pevehouse has a big job, to say the least: she’s responsible for the development, coordination and execution of strategy and content for Direct2Dell, Dell’s corporate blog.

While presidential elections were the fake news story of 2017, Pevehouse thinks that brands could actually be next the next target of fake news.

“While fake information being shared as news is not really a new thing – think of the Pepsi syringe hoax of the early 90s – the speed and distance that it can travel now has never been seen before,” says Pevehouse.

“The legitimate news cycle has sped up, but the fake one has put on jet packs.”

The reason for this change is, upon reflection, obvious: by the time journalists are able to do research and conduct interviews to determine if your company is actually doing something scandalous, or has “really poor numbers,” the audience has read the initial tweets, absorbed them as truth, and moved on to the next story.

That’s a downer for a lot of us brand marketers, but there’s an upside: the growth of fake news make owned media even more important than ever, so a strategic investment in owned media could set your brand apart from the pack.

Brands Need to Own Their Owned Media in 2017

Owned media is your brand’s first line of defense against fake news, Pevehouse believes, since it provides the ability to present your point of view without waiting for the media to call or a letter to the editor to be printed.

An unvarnished, well-written and timely post on your company blog can become one of the sources news media reference in their stories and that creates long-tail benefit for your brand.

By the way, by “timely” Pevehouse means within hours, not days – so if you’re not set up for that type of speed, you’ve got to improve your processes on that front.

Blog Your Way Out of Fake News

Direct2Dell Dell Corporate Blog

Why will it be such a boon to you to blog your way out of fake news?

Not only do you have the opportunity to say more than will make the typical New York Times piece, but you increase traffic to your owned media and improve future search results with credible backlinks, says Pevehouse. “That’s important to reach individuals who do actually try to fact-check news before they share it.”

Thanks in part to Pevehouse’s leadership, Dell does what it can to take the concept of owned media seriously. When Dell’s acquisition of EMC completed just a little over three months ago, for example, it began a transformation that gives it the opportunity to leverage the strengths both companies posses with respect to owned media.

Pevehouse’s focus for 2017 involves consolidating both Dell and EMC’s corporate blogs and ensuring that the combined entity delivers content through them that meets their audience’s interests, “rather than simply reflecting our organizational structure.”

The goal remains the same – to build ongoing readership by providing interesting and useful information prior to any need for direct communication during a crisis like being the target of fake news.

Look To Dell and REI As Strong Case Studies

REI Co-op journal blog

While Pevehouse is biased towards Dell’s social media brand, she’s the first to admit that other brands have done a great job developing their own owned media. Her favorite stories to write are those of how our customers are using our technology to drive transformation, and she believes REI does a great job telling customer stories on its Co-Op Journal blog.

“Their focus on the situations, like camping or hiking, in which the items they sell can be used keeps it from feeling like they’re just pushing product,” she says.

That’s also the type of activity that builds trust. While brands have always needed audience trust, they’ll need it even more on the day they’re targeted by fake news or mean tweets from an influencer.

Looking for more Big Ideas for 2017? 
Access the entire ebook here. And here’s wishing you lots of success with truly owning your owned media in the year ahead.


Social Fresh

Win a free ticket to Innovation Congress 2017

When you’re asked to launch an Alexa skill or build a chatbot, you want to have a plan already in place and network of resources. The right resources.

You know how important it is to connect with fellow early adopters and stay up-to-date on new innovations like AI, virtual reality, and Alexa.

If you’re serious about keeping your company ahead of the curve, Innovation Congress is for you.

At Innovation Congress, you’ll hear directly from thought leaders executing innovative programs at some of the biggest brands in the world, including Coca-Cola, Charity Water, Instagram, Casper, Patrón, Goldman Sachs, and more.

And because we want to share access to this critical business information, we’re launching the Innovation Congress Sweepstakes! We’ll be awarding 5 FREE tickets to Innovation Congress. Good luck and hope to see you there!


Innovation Congress 2017 by Social Fresh is in New York, NY on July 18-19.

Enter to win the grand prize, a full access ticket for our workshop day (July 18) and mainstage day (July 19).

To enter the sweepstakes, submit your email using the widget below.

If you want to increase your chances of winning, you can tweet out the sweepstakes using the same widget below.

Entering your email address gets you one entry, and Tweeting it out gets you 5 more entries.

Contest entries accepted until July 7rd, at 11:59 pm ET.
CONTEST CLOSED — Winners To Be Announced Shortly

Grand Prize: Full Access Ticket

The Grand Prize includes:

  • 1 Free Full Access Ticket, including reserved front section seating, workshop ticket, general session ticket, and access to the Patrón Closing Reception ($ 1,190.00 value)

Bonus Prizes

  • 4 General Session Tickets, We are also awarding runner up prizes to 4 lucky participants! The runner up prize is one free General Session ticket to attend the July 19 mainstage presentations ($ 790.00 value).

If you don’t snag the Grand Prize this year, you can still win a General Session ticket to Innovation Congress 2017.

About Innovation Congress 2017 by Social Fresh

We are thrilled to host innovative and accomplished presenters and we’re proud to feature the most advanced content around.

Check out the full conference info, speaker lineup, and agenda here.

Sweepstakes Rules

No purchase necessary. Prizes may not be transferred or resold.

Sweepstakes entries will be accepted from 06/28/2017 at 12am ET until 07/07/2017 12 am ET.

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, YouTube or any other organization besides Social Fresh LLC. We hereby release Facebook of any liability.

Prizes will be null and void if Innovation Congress 2017 does not take place for any reason.

Winners will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. Winners must respond within 48 hours after notification to avoid forfeiting their prize. If winners are non-responsive and do not respond within the 48 hour timeframe, the prize(s) will be awarded to another participant. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email!

Social Fresh

Call to Action Conference 2017 – Recap and Recordings

It’s a wrap!

Unbounce just hosted its 4th annual Call to Action Conference, with 1,200+ of the brightest marketers from brands like MEC, Adobe and Vimeo in attendance. On stage, our roster of marketing experts (Rand Fishkin, Mitch Joel, Mari Smith and Scott Stratten to name-drop a few) shared marketing predictions and loads of actionable advice.

During her presentation, Mari Smith went live on Facebook to say “hi” to her followers.

And then there were the workshops, after parties, after-after parties, pub crawls, food tours and a live band to top it all off.

If you’re feeling like you missed out (or you were there and wanna relive every moment), you can access all the slides, notes and recordings over here:

On my flight back to Montreal, in a bit of a post-conference daze, I reflected on the event and realized that many of the talks touched on a theme I think is more important than ever in marketing: empathy.

I thought this message was especially timely alongside discussions of marketers using tools like AI and Machine Learning to gain unprecedented access to data. That is – this tech may make us better at our jobs, but not without a cost.

Too much of a reliance on analytics and data can be dangerous if you lose sight of the people who interact with your marketing and drive your business. Blindly altering your strategy because of what the numbers say can strip your marketing of its voice, of what makes it unique.

This is why empathy must take a front seat in all the work you do as a marketer. I thought Mitch Joel put it beautifully in his talk:

Think about making an impression over impressions.

Below I’ve rounded up a few talks that really drive this point home. If you like these ones, be sure to check out all the recordings.

Joel Klettke: Read your customers’ minds

Joel Klettke of Business Casual Copywriting accused marketers of writing dry copy in his talk, Read Your Customers’ Minds.

Can you guess his explanation for bland copy? A lack of empathy. In his words:

We get stuck behind our screens and start writing about synergies and features and things people don’t actually care about.

His talk dove into how marketers can “read their customers’ minds” and steal their words instead of pulling copy out of thin air.

He shared frameworks for learning your customers’ pain points and anxieties and transforming them into more compelling copy that will actually resonate with them.

Andy Crestodina: Content optimized for social is filled with people

Andy Crestodina is the co-founder of digital agency Orbit Media and one of the most personable marketers you will ever meet. In many of his talks, he underlines the importance of cultivating genuine relationships in marketing: with your customers, prospects, peers and literally everyone you encounter online.

His talk at CTAConf, Super Advanced Content Marketing, was no exception. He rapid-fire shared eight pretty advanced content marketing tips pulled straight from his own arsenal.

Here’s one of them (spoiler: it relates to empathy):

Never publish an article without a quote from an influencer. Reach out to people, build relationships, and soon you’ll have a built-in network of influencers. When it comes time to publish, they’ll happily share with their audience.

Learn from one of my personal favorite content marketers by watching the recording of his talk here.

Claire Suellentrop: Drop personas and think jobs to be done instead

Claire Suellentrop

Founder of Love Your Customers, Claire Suellentrop spends her days helping brands discover what’s really going on in people’s heads. And, based on her incredible talk, she’s an advocate for doing away with the classic persona.

As Claire shared, personas only uncover characteristics, but don’t reveal true motivations behind a purchase.

For example, why does Melanie, a marketer in her late 20s with five years’ experience in SaaS purchase a grey backpack from Everlane? A persona alone won’t ever really tell you. So the marketer at Everlane must empathize and gather research on the jobs Melanie’s hiring the backpack to help her do.

Spoiler: turns out Melanie needed a functional yet stylish looking backpack to take her from work to networking events after work. Just imagine how specific your marketing can get once you know the precise job your product has been hired to do.

See Claire’s awesome talk and the questions she suggests you ask to discover the core job of your product.

Wil Reynolds: People aren’t keywords

Wil Reynolds of digital agency Seer Interactive is on a mission to “help people find stuff on the internet.” In his talk Breaking the Silo Between CRO and SEO To Make BIG Wins, he set out to help CTAConf attendees do the same.

Wil warned of the danger of losing touch of the “human element” when doing SEO. As he explained, blindly optimizing for keywords often results in landing pages that lack empathy:

He contrasted the above example with that of a competitor (below), who is doing a good job of actually understanding people’s motivations for getting knee surgery.

As Wil explained, people don’t get knee surgery because they like it or because of medical keywords peppered thorughout a landing page. They get knee surgery so they can get back to the activities they love (which were completely missing on landing page one). Image source.

Wil advocated for pushing past keyword research and actually talking to people to truly find out the motivations behind their purchasing decisions. In other words:

Learn more about how being an empathetic SEO will get you more customers by watching the recording here.

Being empathetic gets you better results

Many of the talks at Call to Action Conference 2017 indicated that being a good marketer really just comes down to caring about the people you’re speaking to — genuinely getting to know them, their anxieties and their frustrations.

The best part? When you really listen to your prospects, you’re uniquely equipped to deliver exactly what they need at exactly the right moment. And that’s good for business.

Rand Fiskin touched on this in his talk Why We Can’t Do SEO without CRO when he explained that solving the user’s query needs to be every SEO’s priority.

This slide from Rand’s deck beautifully sums up how being a more empathetic marketer is mutually beneficial:

Kind of beautiful, isn’t it? 💖

Had another favorite talk or looking for a specific slide you loved? Go check out the recap site:


Cannes Lions 2017 Sights, Sounds And More

Last week saw the close of another Cannes Lions event, AKA the International Festival of Creativity. As the dust settles, I figured now's a good time to take a look back at some of what was said, seen and heard. 

Let's start off with some sights and sounds. 

First up is Sylvia Jensen, Head of Marketing, EMEA, Oracle Marketing Cloud. As part of her Instagram takeover she took viewers for a walk. Take a stroll with her from the Palais to the Cannes Oracle Deck, the heart of where marketing and advertising leaders converged to celebrate creative achievements and innovation during Cannes. 

And no Sylvia doesn't really walk that fast. Or then again maybe she does. 

Next up is Ron Corbiser, CEO of Relationship One who shares some insights on his first day at event. 

Quotable Quotes

Here's some quotable and notable quotes from Cannes Lion 2017:

  • "Life is about being authentic & not worrying about the outcome" – Halle Berry
  • "Transformation now is led by customers." – Jennifer Renaud, CMO, Oracle Marketing Cloud
  • "Digital transformation is about doing biz differently." – Senior Marketing Director, Global Tropicana Brand, PepsiCo
  • "It's very difficult to lead transformation from the center." – Una Fox, VP Digital Marketing Technology, The Walt Disney Company
  • "Success is not linear. Opportunity comes in many guises," Tina Brown, CEO & Founder at Tina Brown Live Media
  • "It is really imperative to have a diverse team driving the Marketing agenda" – Antonio Lucio, Global Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at HP Inc
  • "In a data driven world, small moments can drive bigger outcome." – Kristen O'Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, Time Warner Inc.
  • "We need to make a case that equality is good for men & for people in majority" – Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook

Gender Equality

Sheryl's quote is the perfect segue to talk about a major topic that came out of Cannes: gender equality. In her post on LinkedIn last week Alex Rynne referenced this very topic as being one of the trending topics to come out of Cannes.

"Marketing execs weren’t running away from the diversity issue at this year’s event… Several large companies announced plans to run continual research over the next decade on gender equality. As Unilever CMO Keith Weed put it, 'Why would you only use half the talent in the world if you can use the whole talent in the world? You could get a lot of middle aged men and teach them to try and think differently or take a diverse group of people and leverage the diversity among them.'”

Moreover the findings of research that was released at Cannes revealed that “85% of women said that when it comes to representing them, the advertising world needs to catch up with the real world.”

Additional findings of the research, which was from The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University and J. Walter Thompson New York include:

  • There are twice as many male characters in ads than female characters.
  • 25% of ads feature men only, while only 5% of ads feature women only.
  • 18% of ads feature only male voices, while less than 3% of ads featuring female voices only.

To make real change, however it can't be just men talking to men or women talking to women. As Renaud points out "we need men in the room to have a dialogue in order to make real change." 

More Pics

Here's a few more pics from Cannes Lions 2017 and Oracle.

Kristen O’Hara, CMO, Global Media, of Time Warner Cable and Jennifer Renaud CMO, Oracle Marketing Cloud discuss how they are empowering their teams to create heroic marketing moments for growth.Kristen O’Hara, CMO, Global Media, of Time Warner Cable (L) and Jennifer Renaud CMO, Oracle Marketing Cloud discuss how they are empowering their teams to create heroic marketing moments for growth.

(From L-R) Cory Treffiletti, Vice President – Marketing & Partner Solutions, Oracle Data Cloud, Charlie Chappell, Head of Media and Advertising Hershey Company and Blake Cahill, Global Head of Digital and Social Marketing, Royal Philips talk balance they face every day between infusing emotion and logic into their creative strategy.

Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

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.
Click To Tweet

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.

Get a weekly dose of the trends and insights you need to keep you ON top, from Jay Baer at Convince & Convert. Sign up for the Convince & Convert ON email newsletter.

Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting

4 Cross Channel Marketing Stats Marketers Need To Know Going Into 2017

As 2016 winds down and we all look forward (hopefully) to some time off from work and spending time with family and friends, I thought it a good time to give some marketers some cross channel marketing stats to get to know up close and personal as we head into 2017. 

Let's dive right in shall we?

1. Two-thirds of all shoppers regularly use more than one channel to make purchases. 

A Wharton study found multi-channel shopping behavior—defined as a consumer’s usage of more than one channel all or most of the time somewhere in the shopping process—is the norm for a majority of consumers. Note the operative word "norm" in the previous sentence. The study also found that 1/3  of consumers regularly alternates between two channels to purchase, and another 1/3 regularly uses three or more channels when they buy. Only one out of three shoppers exhibits consistent “mono-channel” purchase behavior, using just a single channel to buy.

2. The average shopper makes on average 9.5 visits to a retailer’s site before deciding to buy.

Just let that one sink for a minute. Nine and a half visits to a website before deciding to buy. And rest assured said visits are being made across multiple channels i.e. mobile, desktop, etc. 

3. Customers who shop on more than one channel have a 30% higher Lifetime Value than those who shop on only one. 

This, perhaps more than any other stat, speaks to the clear and present need for a solid, robust cross channel marketing strategy. Marketers simply must be where there consumers are to fully reap the benefits. I know that sounds overly simplistic but it is the cold, hard truth.

4. A mere 5% of marketers say they are “very much set up to effectively orchestrate cross-channel marketing activities.”

This last stat comes courtesy of Econsultancy via their annual cross channel marketing report. Another key finding from the report showed that while over two-thirds of responding companies agree their 'priority is for all key marketing activities to be integrated across channels’, only 39% say they ‘understand customer journeys and adapt the channel mix accordingly'.

Keeping Pace

Here's another cold, hard truth: Marketers must keep pace with the modern customer – who is fast, digital and unstructured – to outpace the competition.

Today’s customers frequently interact with brands across multiple channels and devices leaving a trail of identifiers (like email addresses, loyalty accounts, browser cookies, and mobile device IDs) littered amongst the various technologies that power those customer interactions

In order to keep pace with customers in real time and effectively personalize each customer’s experience, it’s up to marketers to bring all of a customer’s interactions, preferences, and behaviors across channels together in a way that allows them to get a complete profile of each customer that’s up-to-date.

It's also up to marketers to download Cross Channel Orchestration Fundamentals: Aligning Web With All Marketing Channels. Download this brief to learn how you can deliver the most meaningful, positive, and consistent customer experiences across all channels that enhance loyalty and deliver results.

Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud

The Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Small Business in 2017

Does Twitter still work for small businesses? How can you get your Tweets seen? Should you invest time into it? These are some of the most common questions we’ve seen about Twitter for small business in 2016. The common theme is businesses are struggling to make Twitter work as effectively as it used to.

As Twitter grew and more brands jumped on board, competition became more fierce. The upside is it gives you a larger audience to reach. The downside is Twitter feeds fill up faster than the gym in January, so it’s harder to get your Tweets seen. But don’t worry, Twitter is far from dead.

Unfortunately a lot of the old advice you’ve read before like “Tweet great content” or “fill out your Twitter profile” isn’t enough anymore. If you want to be successful with Twitter for small business in 2017 and beyond, you can’t treat it like it’s still 2012.

Follow these tips to get more from Twitter:

Scale the Unscalable

The reason people don’t engage with your content isn’t always because they don’t like what you’re Tweeting. It could just be they didn’t see it. Luckily this is an easy fix.

One of the original draws of Twitter was the ability to reach the masses with a single Tweet. Now that a majority of your followers no longer see your Tweets, you don’t have that same luxury. Even top brands and celebrities with millions of followers aren’t seeing the level of engagement they did five years ago. Here’s how to combat it.

Instead of looking at Twitter as a bullhorn, think of it more like a phone. While you have the ability to communicate with all your contacts at once, you can also have individual conversations as well.

Use Twitter to reach out to people directly, rather than only as a platform to broadcast your message to everyone.

The reason most brands don’t take this approach is because they think it’s difficult to scale. On the surface, it seems that way. But the reality is for many brands it’s a lot more effective than sending a regular Tweet that gets completely overlooked.

At its core, Twitter has always been a network for conversation. But over time, marketers lost that connection and began using it as a mass messaging channel. Take it back to the essence and focus on creating personalized experiences and engage in conversations with your followers.

Use tools like Sprout to manage and facilitate these conversations. Sprout even allows you to track your conversation history to create context around your relationships with any followers you’ve communicated with in the past.

sprout social conversation history

Work With Twitter’s Algorithm

When Twitter switched the way it displays the feed from reverse chronological order to showing users the Tweets they’re more likely to care about, some marketers were upset. However, the shift was actually a gift in disguise.

Twitter’s algorithm essentially rewards brands that share content their audience actually want to see and get engagement. If followers are consistently engaging with your Tweets, you’re more likely to show up in their feed when they first open the app.

twitter in case you missed it

And guess what? When you focus on creating the one-to-one conversations we mentioned in the first tip, you’ll have a much easier time getting Twitter engagement.

As your followers start to engage with your Tweets more often, Twitter will pick up on the pattern and be more likely to prioritize your Tweets for those users.

Use Twitter Video

Vine might be gone, but Twitter’s native video system is alive and well. Social media video marketing has been a highlight of 2016 and you can expect it to continue to explode in 2017. In addition to Snapchat, Instagram Video and YouTube, don’t underestimate the power of Twitter Video.

Twitter users love video. A whopping 82% of Twitter users watch video on the app.

twitter video stats

What’s even more interesting is unlike YouTube where people use it more as a search engine, Twitter users rely on Twitter for video discovery. So even if you don’t have a ton of followers or notoriety, your videos still have a chance of being seen on Twitter.

twitter drives video discovery

Best of all, native videos on Twitter receive more engagement than third-party video players.

twitter video engagement

So what type of videos work best?

Twitter Videos have a maximum length of 140 seconds, which is more than enough time to capture the attention of your viewers. One of the best uses of Twitter Video we’ve seen involves one-to-one conversations again. Noticing a trend? Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk uses Twitter Video to record short responses to follower that Mention him or ask questions.

Or you can go the route of Trulia and use Twitter Video to promote other pieces of content.

Video can be one of the most effective ways to be successful with Twitter for small businesses. If you’ve never given it a try, hopefully this will give you the push you need to take action.

Stop This Habit

A common bad habit small businesses on Twitter have is to Tweet a link to their latest blog post once and never again. As we mentioned, Tweets don’t have the same organic reach as they used to. So it pays to Tweet your content multiple times throughout the week or month to get more eyes on it.

You can use Sprout to schedule your Tweets ahead of time.

schedule tweets

Make sure you test different headlines and copy for your Tweets. It stops your feed from looking stale and repetitive, plus gives you the ability to see what works best with your audience.

Tweet More Frequently

How many Tweets per day is too much? There really isn’t a clear cut answer to this. It’s more about what you’re Tweeting than how often.

Sending a Tweet every 10 minutes telling people to check out your website is probably too much. Your followers are going to get annoyed and bored very quick.

However, look at someone like Guy Kawasaki. He Tweets almost every 5-10 minutes, yet his followers aren’t rushing to unfollow him. The difference is Guy’s followers like the content he shares. Almost every Tweet gets at least a handful of Likes and Retweets.

Back in the day when Twitter wasn’t as active as it is today, it was a lot easier to overwhelm your followers. But now that most people are following at least a few hundred if not thousands of accounts, it’s barely even noticeable if you Tweet every 30 minutes.

That doesn’t mean you should just start spamming your followers to get seen. Always put quality ahead of quantity. If you have the ability to Tweet something awesome every hour, go for it. Your audience will tell you if it’s working or not. Just monitor your Twitter analytics to see if your strategy is helping or hurting your profile.

twitter analytics report

We can’t stress the importance of checking your analytics enough. When you’re making changes to your Tweet frequency or schedule, you need to know what impact it’s having. The last thing you want to do is put more time and effort into something that’s not working.

Try Something New

This brings us to our next point—don’t be afraid to try new tactics. Make 2017 the year of experimentation for your Twitter marketing strategy.

There are so many ways to use Twitter for small business, yet companies default to the same tactics they’ve been using for years. It’s time to try something new. Here are some quick ideas to get those creative juices flowing:

    1. Work with influencers: Partner up with influencers in your industry for creative campaigns like a social media takeover or an “ask me anything” Tweet session.
    2. Twitter “feud”: We’re not saying to get into a heated argument with another brand. But a little friendly back and forth like we’ve seen with Burger King and McDonalds or KitKat and Oreo can be great for branding and exposure.

  1. Try Twitter Ads: Have a few extra dollars in your budget? Give Twitter Ads a try. Even though it’s been around for a while now, many small businesses have yet to experiment with it because they think it’s only for larger brands. While it’s not quite as cheap as Facebook Ads, there are plenty of small businesses seeing success with it.

Go Find Your Customers

One of the biggest challenges of Twitter for small businesses is trying to figure out how to use it to get customers. Just Tweeting links to your articles and hoping the right person sees it will only get you so far. If you really want to use Twitter to get leads, you have to be more proactive. Start by putting yourself in the shoes of your customers.

Think about the challenges or frustrations your customers would have, then do a search on Twitter using the phrases and keywords they’d use to describe them.

For example, a subscription food service like Blue Apron or Plated could search for things like “I hate cooking” or “grocery shopping” with negative sentiment.

This is the exact type of issue both Plated and Blue Apron could solve. All they’d have to do is reply with an article to their site about how to save time on grocery shopping by using their services. Or if they wanted to be a bit more aggressive and straightforward, they could offer a special promo to entice them to get started now.

Finding these Tweets is very simple. You could use Twitter’s advance search to quickly see the latest Tweets for your search phrases. Here’s the exact search we used to find the Tweet above.

twitter advanced search negative sentiment

Another cool option that’s a lot more convenient is to use Sprout’s Smart Search and save the phrases people tend to use the most.

sprout social smart search

Try a few different phrases and find the ones that provide the most relevant results. Then you can save the search and check it regularly to see all the latest Tweets including your phrase.

sprout social smart search results

This approach is particularly ideal for small businesses that don’t have a huge following. Brands like Nike or Samsung are so established they can afford to be more reactive with their strategy. However, when you’re a small business that’s still growing or in a competitive industry, it’s extremely helpful to get out and make those individual connections.

Success With Twitter for Small Business in 2017

Twitter definitely isn’t as simple as it once was, but it’s still a platform small businesses need to focus on. It drives the third most referral traffic of any social network. That means if your goal is to get eyes on your site, Twitter is the place to be.

Use all the tips above to put your small business in a position for success in 2017.

This post The Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Small Business in 2017 originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Sprout Social

Content Marketing in 2017, Traffic Driving Imagery and More: The Social Scoop 11/24/16


Here’s wishing a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my U.S. friends. 🙂

On Facebook, have you seen the newest layout on your Page with sections in the middle column?

I recommend you double check the new layout on desktop and ensure the sections are all in the order that you prefer. For instance, the default might have put your videos, then reviews, then photos, then events all above your posts. Personally, I rather prefer my wall posts at the top.

I made this special video tutorial to help my peeps better understand the new layout and the options for adjusting.

Next, let’s look at this week’s top 3 articles we’ve selected for you:

1. Content Marketing: What to Expect in 2017 and Beyond via SocialMediaExplorer.com

What is the current state of content marketing, what challenges do marketers face and where are things heading in 2017? These are just a few of the topics discussed in this in-depth interview with Michael Brenner. It’s definitely one to read as you prepare your plans for next year.

PLUS, be sure to check out my friends at the Altimeter Group and their brand new report ‘2016 State of Social Business: Social’s Shift from Innovator to Integrator.’ I was honored to be one of the interviewees for the comprehensive report alongside contributions by FedEx, IBM, Adobe, Oracle, HootSuite and Sprinklr to name a few!

2. 6 Kinds of Images to Get Traffic from Social Media (That Aren’t Stock Photos) via LeadPages.net

In this visual world we live in, stock photos or those available for free are a quick and easy solution. But chances are that the image won’t be in tune with your brand and it’s also likely you will see it used elsewhere. There are a few ways to avoid using stock photos and to create good social media images… read on to find out how!

3. How TOMS Uses Live Video to Broadcast Its Mission via Sprinklr.com

TOMS’ mission is about giving and they have built a passionate community of supporters who want to contribute to their efforts. Live video on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat is an important part of how they get new and existing fans excited about what they do.


Free Facebook Webinar – December 1st

Your Facebook 2017 Content Masterplan: How To Craft Compelling Content for Maximum Reach. I’m teaming up with my friends at BuzzSumo again to bring you the very latest research-based recommendations for winning on Facebook! Join BuzzSumo and me on this free webinar, as we share the posts that performed best during 2016 + specific strategies for your optimal Facebook content in 2017.

Social Media marketing world bannerMeet me in San Diego?

Discover social media insights from over 180 subject-matter experts at the largest in-person social media marketing conference. Meet me and my team in glorious sunny San Diego, California on March 22nd to 24th, 2017 and learn about the best ways to build your business using Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and much more! Click here for details.

That’s all for this week’s issue of The Social Scoop.Have an awesome weekend and week ahead.

I hope that you’re able to enjoy a very special time with loved ones… and maybe score a good deal or two on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, (show your love, shop small!), or Cyber Monday! And, let’s not forget #GivingTuesday!!


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The post Content Marketing in 2017, Traffic Driving Imagery and More: The Social Scoop 11/24/16 appeared first on MariSmith.com.

Mari Smith – Social Media Marketing Success