5 Ways to Keep Your Social Media Team Motivated This Summer

Summer is upon us, which means your social media team has a barrage of big days like Father’s Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day to plan content around.

During this busy season, social media teams are tasked with generating a wealth of new content on short deadlines, responding to hundreds of comments, and being available to tackle last-minute requests for posts on evenings and weekends.

How do you help your team stay motivated when you know you’re asking a lot?

Here are a few simple tips for equipping your team to do their best work during a challenging time.

Bring the Entire Team on Deck

You hired (or outsourced) your rockstar social team because they’re great at what they do, but even they can benefit from some fresh perspective from time to time.

In fact, the majority of social teams are comprised of just one to three people.

Don’t be afraid to invite other team members to brainstorm sessions to foster new ideas and ways of thinking if your small, overworked social team is feeling the threat of burnout.

Some companies choose to adopt an all-employee social media strategy, providing incentives to encourage all employees to post about work on their personal feeds.

Whether or not you choose to take it this far, a few new faces around the brainstorming table could push your social team in new and innovative directions at a time when they really need it.

Make Shut-Eye a Social Media Team Priority

Over the course of one month, five percent of adults admitted to falling asleep while driving in 2015. It’s not a stretch to say that sleep deprivation is a widespread issue across the U.S. right now.

Plus, the myriad consequences of being sleep deprived can have measurable effects in the workplace.

Far from just being drowsy, overtired employees are more prone to irritability and shorter attention spans—far from ideal during the demanding summer season.

Excessive stress during busy times for the company can trigger insomnia for some, which leads to fatigue and reduced productivity during the day, starting a cycle of sleep deprivation and sub-par performance.

Whether your team’s poor sleep habits are directly related to work or not, reminding your team to make healthy sleep habits a priority can help ensure that inadequate sleep doesn’t impact their ability to create quality content.

Have a Laugh or Two

When your social media team has a lot on their plate, team bonding and other downtime activities often fall by the wayside in favor of longer hours and truncated small talk.

In fact, it’s during these times you should be striving to maintain and strengthen your team’s bonds. Though you may not have as much flexibility, you can still encourage your team to come up for air from time to time.

Staying on trend is a huge part of your social team’s job, and if they spend all of their time responding to comments and creating content solo, they won’t be exposed to new ideas.

A simple discussion about a new restaurant or a weekend getaway could foster the spark of creativity needed for another round of rich, relevant content.

Plus, researchers have found that laughing as a team fosters bonding and feelings of contentment, with laughter-filled meetings leading to “more productivity and more innovative solutions.”

Take a Look at the Big Picture

Spending hours editing and fine-tuning individual posts can leave your social media team struggling to understand how those smaller tasks are impacting the business can be difficult, especially when more demanding workloads reduce communication.

Be sure to take the time to let your team know how social campaigns and strategy fit into broader marketing and overall goals for the company, and try to remind them that they’re making a difference as individuals and as a part of a team.

A sense of being valued, especially for new or smaller role team members who may feel their contributions are nominal, is a powerful one.

Recognize Your Social Media Team

On small social media teams with loosely defined roles and the expectation that everyone will “pitch in,” the importance of communication and recognition is paramount to employee motivation.

Starting from as far up in the organization as possible, effective communication helps everyone stay on the same page, even when the workload is heavy.

By recognizing your hard-working social media team, you can solidify a sense of appreciation for teams both among their peers, who may not know just how much they’ve been doing, and upper management.

Pushing through a summer heavy on social demands doesn’t have to leave you with drained and overworked team members.

With a few simple strategies, you can equip your social team with what they need to stay creative and focused through a tough time of the year.

Challenge yourself to address your team’s needs, and you’ll all reap the benefits.

 

This article originally appeared on this site on July 18, 2017, we republish timely posts on Saturdays. It was written for The B Squared Media Blog by Alice Williams from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Social Media Monitoring: Your Best Weapon Before, During and After a Crisis

Crisis. The term strikes fear in the hearts of communicators everywhere.

Brands ranging from Carnival Cruise Lines to Starbucks to Facebook have been hit by crises so far in 2018. The reality is that any brand could find itself in a crisis – at any time.

Rather than fear a crisis, savvy organizations should prepare crisis plans before they need them, so they’re ready should they find themselves in the thick of a PR disaster. Social media monitoring plays a crucial role in any crisis communications plan. While social media can fuel the spread of negative news, it also provides an excellent way to reach out to loyal fans and followers who can offer support in times of crisis. It also serves as the perfect channel to monitor for sentiment and watch for signs of danger.

“Experts usually focus more on the ‘speaking’ aspect of social media management,” said Ronn Torossian, founder and CEO of 5WPR. “However, many brands don’t realize that it is equally important to focus on moderating and listening on your social media accounts.”

Let’s look at how social media monitoring can be used throughout every stage of a crisis.

Pre-crisis: Your brand is sailing along, trouble-free, when, all of a sudden, you notice signs of trouble. Customers are suddenly complaining on social media. There’s a trickle—then a steady stream—of criticism coming your way.

Social media can help alert you to the fact that a crisis is brewing before it spirals out of control. Once you’re aware that calamity is afoot, you can quickly assess the severity and take appropriate action.

“Always monitor all social channels so that when criticisms emerge, you’re prepared to respond immediately to that specific person, or people,” a recent PR News article suggests. Sometimes a “one-to-one approach with the complaining customers is a better option to keep the problem from getting out of hand,” (versus addressing it on a larger scale). “This way, your company can remain in charge of the narrative and can ensure the issue stays small.”

Note that even before the first hint of a crisis, using social media to build your reputation and your community is vital to the health of your brand. Social listening tools allow you to consistently monitor social media for mentions of your brand so you can always know where it stands.

During a crisis: The crisis has begun in earnest. Your team is in full crisis mode. One way social media can be essential during this period is in reaching out to your followers and to influencers who can provide support and help you turn the tide of negative sentiment back in your favor.

If you’ve built solid relationships with Influencers and brand loyalists, they may speak on your behalf – many times without you even having to ask. This is why it’s so important to build that community before you need it.

“If you have loyal followers and fans, they’ll speak up on your behalf,” says Martin Waxman,  President, Martin Waxman Communications. “If a brand tries to go on the defensive, it can sometimes have the opposite effect, but if a brand’s community defends it, it’s much more credible.”

You can use a media intelligence tool for social media monitoring to see who is coming to your defense and assess the sentiment.

Post-crisis: Now the crisis has died down. You’re trying to rebuild your status in the hearts and minds of your customers. Use social media to keep an eye on how things are going during this process.

By leveraging a tool to monitor sentiment, you can see where you’re making strides—and where you might have more work to do. It may take some time, but as you move forward, social media can help you know where you stand as you get back on track.

Be Sure to Use Media Monitoring and Social Listening

While complaints can spread like wildfire on social media, it can also be used to work in your favor and help you recover faster from the crisis. An effective monitoring tool can show you where your brand stands. Leverage it to know your status at all times, be it before, during or after a crisis.

And, if you’re looking to be prepared in case a crisis should hit, make sure to download our free crisis worksheet. As the old adage goes, “Better prepared than sorry.”

Get People to Talk about Your Brand with a Social Influencer Marketing Campaign

With the growth of social media, a new type of marketing has been born: influencer marketing. Nowadays, a select group of people who have a large social media following may be essential for brands to connect with consumers.

While in the past brands relied on the press to broadcast their messages, now they need to work with influencers to achieve the same goal. But journalists and influencers aren’t alike. Brands need to know how to work with both groups to get the most out of their campaigns.

Misha Shemyakin, Meltwater’s Sr. Director of Product Management, held a webinar with Dominic Vicencio, Account Director at Surdell & Partners. In it, they discuss working with social influencers, how to find them, and how successful relationships look.

Here’s what we’ve learned.

Why Social Influencers Matter

The key behind social influencers is that they are real people with whom consumers can connect.

Besides the authenticity of social influencers, influencer marketing works for another good reason: the strength of word-of-mouth. That is, it’s easier to trust the recommendations of a friend than a marketer. Ogilvy has found 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.

By connecting with social influencers, brands can tap into two large audiences:

  • Millennials, the generation with the most spending power
  • Gen-Z, the first generation born with fluency in social media

While influencer marketing is still relatively new, last year, 86% of marketers admit to using influencer marketing tactics, while\ 92% found it effective.

Developing an Influencer Campaign

To start an influencer campaign, the first thing you need to do is define your goals. That can include:

  • Entering a new market
  • Acquiring new customers
  • Increasing brand awareness

With these goals in hand, you need to identify influencers that can help you reach audiences to achieve these goals and that align with your brand.

Then, you need to negotiate with the influencers. You need to know their number of followers, their engagement level, and other essential metrics. Also, remember to treat an influencer relationship, as you would any business partner (have a contract, detail deliverables, and tie that to a calendar).

After you’ve identified an influencer, you need to provide brand training. They need to know how to talk to their audience about your brand. Give them the message you want to convey, and let them say it their way.

Before finishing, coordinate the rollout. As always, you need to plan every detail before making the campaign live, so the executive quality is top-notch.

Finally, measure your success. Analyze the sales increase, the click-to-purchase ratio, and other metrics tied to your goals. To this end, tools like Meltwater’s Social Influencer platform can help.

How to Avoid Pitfalls

While influencer marketing can be highly effective, there can be some challenges you may run into when implementing a campaign. Here are a few of them you need to be wary about:

Research Your Influencers

As said before, you need to research every influencer before starting a campaign thoroughly. Check every social media account, every post for the past few years, the kind of companies they work with, their voice, and more.

Validate the Followers

There has been a rise of influencers with fake followers or influencers that have stolen someone else’s identity, as reported by The New York Times. For that reason, you need to make sure the followers of your target influencers are real and are your target audience.

Ensure Requirements Are Understood and Respected

You want to make sure deadlines and content is agreed upon by both parties involved. Also, the influencer needs to guarantee to respect key messages and brand guidelines.

Follow FTC Disclosures and Guidelines

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission made it mandatory that influencer-based marketing messages clarify paid endorsements.

Make sure the influencer respect’s the FTC’s disclosure rules and mentions your relationship when they spread your brand messages.

Takeaway

Since influence marketing has shown to be effective in a media-saturated landscape, it will continue to play a vital role in the way brands communicate with their audience. 

If you’re ready to wade into the reeds and implement a social influencer program, you can see the whole on-demand webinar here.

Infographic: Summer Numbers, the Hottest Brands on Social Media

Summer is the only season that feels much shorter than it is. Now, at the beginning of summer 2018, we’re revisiting the good times from last summer by recalling the online conversations around some of our favorite events, movies, water parks, and of course, barbecues and beer.

The Hottest Brands on Social Media

It wasn’t surprising that the consumer brands that dominated social media last summer are the same ones at every barbecue and picnic. It’s a Weber Grill and Budweiser world and we only live in it.

For summer events, Schlitterbahn dominated the water park landscape and two-thirds of those that shared info about San Diego Comic-Con on social media felt positive about the event (and most likely the films, comics, and TV shows that were covered).

When it comes to last year’s summer films, Wonder Woman (#1) and Spider-Man: Homecoming (#2) captured the same spots for share of voice on social media as they did in US box office receipts. Interestingly, Dunkirk did much better on social media, coming in #2 for share of voice, while only hitting the #6 spot in ticket sales. This might mean that people who saw Wonder Woman or Spider-Man saw it multiple times or that Dunkirk had more of a problem with piracy than the other two. 

To find gorgeous images of summer, we mined the Instagram influencer account of Tiny Atlas Quarterly and their #mytinyatlas hashtag.   

Without further ado, here are the brands, the events, and their associated data that made summer so memorable. When you’re ready to report your brand’s summer PR data story, we can help.

Summer Brands on Social Media

This post was originally appeared on our site on August 29, 2017. We republish posts on Saturdays for our readers who may have missed them the first time around.

 

5 Ways AI Is Transforming Digital Marketing

AI is everywhere these days. It powers our personal assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Home, prevents credit card fraud, and even successfully overturns parking fines. With each passing month, AI becomes ever more integral to our world. Last month we learned how AI is changing the job of designers. But the impact goes further than that. Advertising and marketing are at the fore in terms of partnering with digital creative agencies to find unique uses for the technology. In fact, AI is transforming digital marketing in many ways from machine learning to building custom content.

AI is a relatively broad term that encompasses a number of approaches to building computer systems that can ‘think’ and perform tasks as well as, or in some cases better, than humans. Here’s a look at five of the applications for AI that are already revolutionizing digital marketing.

1. Machine Learning

Machine Learning (ML) is AI tech that allows machines to learn from past processes or actions. The technology can also improve its decision-making for similar processes and actions in the future. The uses for marketers include lead generation, search optimization, and ad targeting.

By enabling machines to make these types of decisions, company owners and employees are able to spend more time on the creative aspects of their work. One such business application is the use of personal digital assistants that can arrange meetings between colleagues or business executives.

2. Behavior Analysis

AI is largely about analyzing vast amounts of data and making decisions based on the findings and predictive analytics is a big way in which AI is transforming digital marketing. Given that marketers base campaigns, ads, and other materials on buyer personas and other data collected from buyer journeys, AI analysis seems like the perfect tool for the task.

Platforms and websites already collect numerous kinds of data so consumer patterns can be analyzed. It also allows for the site, ad, campaign, and the like to be optimized as the marketer learns more about customer behavior. AI can sift through and spot behavioral patterns and individual idiosyncrasies much faster and with far more accuracy than a human ever could.

In the near future, these systems will be in command of large datasets from a range of platforms. They will be able to handle bigger campaign decisions and possibly build their own outreach strategies to connect with new consumers by creating copy that matches the profiles of the individuals they have been observing online.

3. Integrating Insights

AI is also great for gathering and integrating different datasets from multiple platforms, like social media, websites, apps, and more. The more developed this becomes, the better the technology will get at targeting consumers and customizing ads for individuals.

Using meta-analysis, AI can corral and analyze datasets in much more complex ways than say, Facebook Insights or Twitter Analytics currently allows. Spreading this information over more than one channel which will enable automation in ways that are hard to imagine today.

4. Creating and Presenting Personalized Content

AI programs like Wordsmith are already being used to generate content for news outlets and some businesses. Essentially, the AI program gathers and reports on data fed to it by a spreadsheet or CSV file, based on a range of rules such as ‘if not that, then this’ to fill pre-set templates in with text.

In terms of presenting personalized content, AI will be able to direct you to the articles, ads, or clips that have been determined to be most relevant to you based on your history. The AI system will provide similar content in much the same way that Netflix suggests movies and series you may like based on your previous viewing history.

5. Generating Leads

Just as AI can quickly and easily sift through large amounts of data to create its own buyer personas, it can do the same to find your ideal customers, clients, and work colleagues. What’s more, it can even rate how warm a potential lead is.

In terms of recruiting, sifting through piles of CVs and applications is already becoming outdated. AI is helping screen candidates and creates shortlists to help employers recruit faster and at lower costs. Similarly, systems like LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator allows users find employment leads and potential clients.

AI-enabled tools are being used more in businesses of all kinds to reduce costs, take over mundane or finicky tasks (such as sifting through data for a particular fact or story), and speed up information-sharing.

Analytical tools, content creation, chatbots, and organization are just the tip of the AI application iceberg. Digital marketers will not only need to understand how to engage these systems but also how to do so ethically and without crossing the line from cool to creepy when putting their super AI powers to use.

This article originally appeared in Wax Marketing Blog, it was written by Bonnie Harris from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.