#SproutChat

#SproutChat Calendar: Upcoming Topics for July 2018

Summer is just around the corner and we’re getting ready by brushing up on our strategic chops. This June, #SproutChat is bringing you insight on industry topics ranging from knowing which analytics you should be focusing on, different ways to use social to appeal to millennial audiences, and we’ll cap it all off by celebrating #SocialMediaDay together!

See a topic that interests you? Use the “add to event” button to ensure a calendar reminder.

Wednesday, July 4: NO CHAT! Enjoy your 4th of July.

Wednesday, July 11: Pinterest Marketing With Sprout Product Marketing Specialist, Amber Washington

Join us for a #SproutChat that will dig right into the state of social marketing on Pinterest in 2018! Whether you’ve neglected Pinterest for business or are looking for ways to evolve your strategy, we’ve got you covered. Our Product Marketing Specialist, Amber Washington, will be joining us to talk all things Pinteresting!

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Wednesday, July 18: All Things #AgencyLife With #SproutPartner Nathan Greenberg

This chat will focus on all things #AgencyLife with special guest Nathan Greenberg from Arkside! Arkside is an award-winning, multimedia ad agency. Their specialties include marketing strategy for law, finance, automotive & healthcare. Get ready to get your agency hats on and dig into common issues that agencies face.

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Wednesday, July 25: Redefining ROI With Lucy Hitz

Join us for a #SproutChat chock full of #SproutData. We’ll be joined by Lucy Hitz who is the brains behind the 2018 Sprout Social Index. We’ll take a look at the challenges marketers are facing especially when it comes to ROI, what consumers want vs what marketers are doing, and everything in between. You won’t want to miss this one!

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This post #SproutChat Calendar: Upcoming Topics for July 2018 originally appeared on Sprout Social.


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#SproutChat Recap: Managing Online Communities

Building, engaging and growing an online community helps businesses in the long run. Forming communities of your brand’s most tuned in and engaged fans are what ultimately help to inform products and procedures.

This week at #SproutChat we chatted with Sprout All Star, Meagan DeMenna, Community Manager of ClearVoice, about best practices for managing your online communities and the benefit they provide your brand.

Communities Come Together Around a Topic

Digital communities allow folks to gather around topics or issues they care about and connect. This can happen organically or could be a space created by a business to allow followers to congregate around their brand. Conversations and connections that happen in these online communities instill a real sense of value.

Create Goals First

If you’re just starting to launch a community, think about the platform this will live on (website, forum, Slack, social) and where your community might take to. Additionally, be thoughtful of the purpose of your community. Will it be focused on technical support or advocacy? Mapping out these details ahead of time will and giving members a clearer sense of purpose to start will effectively encourage engagement.

Align Community With Business Goals

When planning your community think about how this will serve the brand overall. If you’re trying to set up a support focused community think of ways this can help deter support tickets and drive down costs associated there. Goals will look different for communities across the board, but think of identifying goals that align with overall business objectives.

Content Is Fuel

When setting up new communities, it’s important to make sure that you’re planning out content with your members in mind. Conversation may already be happening organically, but scheduled content can help encourage further conversation. Small things like this can help make sure that engagement is activated. Remember to have a two way relationship with community members and interact.

Be sure to join us at #SproutChat next Wednesday, at 2 p.m. CT, to chat with Sprout All Star Elite, Marek Cornett of Koch Communications about integrating PR and Social Media strategies. Until then, be sure to join our Facebook community to keep the conversation going.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Managing Online Communities originally appeared on Sprout Social.


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#SproutChat Recap: Running a Successful Boutique Agency

Agency work isn’t easy. Strategizing, managing and executing a brand’s social and digital marketing initiatives requires a deep understanding of your client’s industry and audience.

This week at #SproutChat, we were joined by Sprout All Star, Brooke B. Sellas. In addition to starting her own boutique agency, B Squared Media, Brooke is a marketing and social media consultant and an adjunct for consumer behavior at The City University of New York (CUNY). During our chat we discussed how to grow, scale and achieve your entrepreneurial goals.

When Is It Time to Be Your Own Boss?

Deciding when to make the jump from working for someone else to being your own boss is the first step in starting your own social media agency. It’s also one of the scariest steps of your new business venture. There may never be a “perfect” time to make the leap but if you’re passion and driven it’s important that you try. Before taking the plunge, meet with other entrepreneurs, budget accordingly and really understand what you’re about to get yourself into.

Finding & Securing Clients

So you’ve decided to quit your day job. Now what? If you want your agency to be successful, you need to find and secure clients. Start by doing your research, listening to the experts, networking and playing to your strengths.

Know When You Need Help

As your agency begins to grow, you’re going to need to enlist the help of others. During our chat, Brooke said it best when she said that learning to hire people that are smarter that you is a win for your business. But once your ready to hire someone, how do you find them? Asking for recommendations and reaching out to your professional networks is a good place to start.

Recognize Your Agency’s Value

Setting boundaries and understanding your agency’s value is critical to driving a profit. Make sure that you’re logging your work and clearly communicating expectations and pricing with each of your clients.

Invest in the Right Tools

Keep your team of one or 100 on track by investing in the right tools. That’s why we asked our community what software programs they rely on to complete their daily tasks and meet the needs of their clients.

Remember Why You Started Your Agency

Being your own boss is a dream but the reality isn’t always as glamorous. Take time to reflect on what you’ve built and always remember why you started your boutique agency in the first place. From collaboration and relationship building to a diverse and evolving professional skill set–agency work is worth the hustle.

We’ll be back for our last #SproutChat of 2016 on Wednesday, December 21 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. CST. Get ready to for trivia on Sprout Social and social media trends. In the meantime, stay connected with other industry experts by joining our Facebook community.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Running a Successful Boutique Agency originally appeared on Sprout Social.


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#SproutChat Recap: Building Your Professional Brand

In today’s marketplace, your personal brand matters. For better or worse, how you’re perceived in person and across your social and digital platforms can have an impact on your career opportunities. Building and maintaining a personal brand is a daunting task–even for marketers. We often struggle with where to even start.

This week at #SproutChat, we were join by Jeremey Goldman and Ali B. Zagat, authors of Getting to Like: How to Boost Your Personal and Professional Brand to Expand Opportunities, Grow Your Business, and Achieve Financial Success. The experts fielded our community’s questions and offered advice on how to perfect the art of personal branding to unlock new opportunities and achieve success.

Stand Out

Developing a personal brand is really all about standing out in a crowd of people with similar career backgrounds and work experiences. You want to be the one person that everyone remembers. Being memorable amid peers in your industry or field will help build a personal brand around your experiences and accomplishments. This can lead to recognition and new growth and development opportunities.

Measure Your Efforts

In order to achieve success, you need to understand what’s working and what’s not. That’s why it’s important to benchmark and measure your personal branding efforts. It may feel weird at first, but setting a metric that correlates with your goal is important.

For instance, perhaps you want to land an interview for a senior level job in digital marketing. You could start by measuring how many relevant LinkedIn profile views or inquires you receive from recruiters during the first month of your search. Maybe you’ve just launched a website and are using Twitter to direct your followers there. Using Google Analytics, you can quantify and account for how many people are viewing your content and learn where they are coming from. If there’s a bigger accomplishment that seems out of reach, set a strategy for getting there and be diligent and consistent in order to reach it.

Take the Conversation Offline

Establishing an eye-catching presence online is only one piece of the puzzle. Meeting in person will have a longer and much more lasting impact on someone than almost any interaction online. At networking events, help acquaintances recognize you by maintaining a current headshot in all of your digital profiles. In person it’s important to be as authentic as possible and embody the same brand you’ve built online, offline.

See you next Wednesday at 2 p.m. CDT for #SproutChat. Join our Facebook community to stay up-to-date on weekly topics and discussion questions.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Building Your Professional Brand originally appeared on Sprout Social.


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#SproutChat Recap: How to Scale Marketing With a Growing Company

Every marketer dreams of having an opportunity to work for a company that’s rapidly expanding. When that opportunity arises, there’s a lot to learn and plenty of unexpected tasks to plan for and processes to establish. This week at #SproutChat, we were joined by Adam Palmer, Director of Digital at RumChata. During our chat, Adam talked about his marketing experience and offered our community advice on scaling a social media marketing strategy and expanding into international markets. 

Prepare for Expansion With Extensive Planning

Take advantage of the time you have before launching in a new market to plan accordingly. Work with your team to extensively research the industry and establish a set of goals that you can benchmark against.

Understand How Your Product Is Perceived

The first step for scaling a marketing strategy and expanding internationally is understanding that country’s marketplace and consumer. Take the time to talk to potential customers, listen and apply their feedback into your marketing mix. Hire new team members with an understanding of the area in which you’re looking to expand into and identify existing employees who would be valuable assets in this new space.

Gain Relevancy by Building Community

The same advocacy initiatives that are applied in your current marketplace should be applied to in your new market. Find customers who are advocating for your brand, genuinely connect with these individuals and start building an engaged community.

Join us next Wednesday, July 7 at 2 p.m. CDT on Twitter for #SproutChat to discuss personal branding with Jeremy Goldman, author of Going Social, and Ali B. Zagat, Content Consultant and Copywriter. To stay abreast of weekly topics and discussion questions, joining our Facebook community.  

This post #SproutChat Recap: How to Scale Marketing With a Growing Company originally appeared on Sprout Social.


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#Sproutchat Recap: Demand & Lead Generation Strategies

Everything revolving around demand generation is about knowing your customer and providing them with valuable information. While lead generation strategies are more focused on grabbing the attention of prospective new customers. Both are focused on getting consumers to transition through the sales funnel and purchase a product or service. They are also crucial components of a marketer’s responsibility. This week at #SproutChat we discussed social strategies and best practices for demand and lead generation.

Consistently Test Your Strategy

Organization’s need to consider how they’re going to sustain brand demand and awareness. Creating a social content strategy powered by SEO and a combination of paid and organic distribution can help catch the attention of prospective customers. Another option to consider is giving potential new customers a sample of your product or, depending on your product and industry, a complimentary trial. Regardless of strategy, when it comes to demand and lead generation, it’s important to always be testing and to keep that testing consistent.

Build Brand Awareness with Social Media

Social should be apart of your demand and lead generation initiatives. Use social to target a specific audience demographic, facilitate two-way conversations and gain feedback.

Publish Gated Content With Caution

Gating content is one of the best ways to garner lead information, but it can also deter people who simply want to learn more about your brand or product without offering over their coveted email address. Before publishing gated content, put yourself into the customer’s shoes and ask: What is the value proposition here?

Join us next week for our 100th chat and two year anniversary! In the meantime, our Facebook community is a great place to connect with other social media pros and to stay up-to-date on weekly industry topics and discussion points.

This post #Sproutchat Recap: Demand & Lead Generation Strategies originally appeared on Sprout Social.


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#SproutChat Recap: Social Media Ads for B2B

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Navigating advertising options on social media is increasingly becoming more and more complicated. There are an abundance of segmentations to define and factors to weigh. Even with improved targeting features, social media advertising is still primarily being conducted by B2C brands. So how do B2B brands use social media ads to get in front of the right people?

Ian Mackie, Director of Social Media Advertising from Point It agency, joined us this week and offered his insight and advice on social advertising strategies for B2B companies.

Pay Attention to Your Audience

Using paid advertising on social gives you the ability to extensively specify who you want to see your messaging. Different consumers and demographics prefer different social networks. Be sure to cater your messaging to how individuals behave on each channel, but do create ads that are branded cohesively and can be easily recognized.

Determine Which Content Resonates Best

Focus on creating, curating and distributing content that appeals to your audience. Whether that content is a white paper, guide, infographic, video or blog post. The content that performs best and solicits the most action organically should be the content that you invest in. Avoid clickbait messaging and imagery, remain honest and straightforward in representing where your ads are linking to. When in doubt, keep your spend low and test different tactics to see which generates the most quality leads.

Solidify KPI’s & Establish a Video Strategy

B2C and B2B brands alike are still struggling to develop and measure video. Before venturing into the medium, solidify your KPI’s and remember that views aren’t the most telling metric. Instead, look for actions such as:

  • What is the clickthrough rate?
  • How long are people watching this video for?
  • Are people actively commenting and sharing this?

Video for B2B must be informative but should also entertain and give viewers a reason to take the time to fully vet the message or opportunity. Starting the conversation with social media publishing tools can help you get off on the right foot with B2B interactions.

Join us next week for #SproutChat as we discuss best practices for using Twitter Search Operators. Join our Facebook community to stay informed on weekly topics and to connect with the community.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Social Media Ads for B2B originally appeared on Sprout Social.


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#SproutChat Recap: Networking for Social Media & Community Professionals

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For social media and community managers, prioritizing networking and attending events and meetups is key for career advancement. Connections often lead to valuable collaboration opportunities or bigger, better roles. This week, the #SproutChat community offered their advice for making meaningful connections at conferences and meetups, and vouched for a number of events and associations that are worth checking out.

Do Your Research & Set Goals

It’s always helpful to do some research. Use social for doing research before an event and for making connections during an event. Keep individuals that you’d like to connect with top of mind. Channel extrovert tendencies, and don’t be afraid to walk up to strangers. Most people attend events for the same reason you do.

Keep an Ear to the Ground

You’ll likely hear about larger events on social through dedicated hashtags, friends or advertisements. To avoid missing smaller events, sign up for the event sponsor or hosting organization’s email list. Other tactics to help stay in the loop include joining Meetup or Facebook groups and checking Eventbrite.

Recommended Events

Here are some events focused around marketing, PR, advertising, journalism, entrepreneurship, startups and tech that the #SproutChat community recommended. Check them out, and see if any would be a good fit for you.

We’d love to see you at an event in 2016! Be sure to check here throughout the year to see where Sprout will be.

Recommended Associations

Professional organizations and associations are great resources for networking and learning more about the industry. Check out the list of national, international and regional groups the #SproutChat community finds resourceful.

National/International

Regional

Join us for #SproutChat next week when we discuss employee and brand advocacy. Be sure to join the community on Facebook too!

This post #SproutChat Recap: Networking for Social Media & Community Professionals originally appeared on Sprout Social.


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#SproutChat Recap: Social Media in 2016

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It’s a new year! While you’ve likely started making personal and professional changes per your resolutions, social media changes all the time. At Sprout Social, we took notice of all the little tweaks we saw in 2015 and wrote the discussion questions for this week’s #SproutChat around the topics we think will be most important and impactful this year.

We kicked off the first chat of 2016 with predictions for the upcoming 12 months. Our community shared their perspective on where they see trends heading and offered up some insights on what they’re planning on implementing for their own brands.

Do It Live

With the rise and subsequent rapid growth of platforms like Meerkat, Periscope and Blab, there’s no doubt that real time marketing and engaging will be on the rise. How well brands utilize these unique opportunities to connect will determine whether their audience buys it or not. Above anything, transparency and connecting on a human level are the most important aspects for a brand looking to join in a live broadcast.

Social Commerce Is Any Network’s Game

Just about everyone from our chat predicted a different social channel that would be the one to scale social commerce this year. With so many existing options to purchase via social, it has been a slow climb. However, it’s only a matter of time before people start to click through click through and allocate their spending via prompts from a social channel.

Social Is Becoming a Bigger Player in SEO

First and foremost, social media and community marketers should always focus on quality content. Knowing your audience and being able to provide value for them is more important for the longevity of your brand than any SEO tactic. That’s not to say that SEO isn’t important. Without SEO, there wouldn’t be as many people exposed to your content. This year, the good news is that social signals are increasing in their impact, which means your LinkedIn post or Twitter profiles are ranking higher on the SERP. Continue to maintain strong social channels so new folks can find you through a Google search.

No Excuses for a Subpar Mobile Experience

Take a look around. Everyone is on their phone. If your webpage isn’t easy to read and well designed on mobile, users will abandon their experience. In line with that, links to social media profiles must also be easy to navigate to and click on. Keep in mind that a phone may be the sole interaction someone has with your brand. Make sure mobile is just as well-thought-out as desktop!

Join us next week to discuss events and networking for social media and community professionals. Be sure to join our Facebook community to stay updated on the weekly topic and discussion questions.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Social Media in 2016 originally appeared on Sprout Social.


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