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social media how toFor marketers, social media is becoming increasingly complicated. The number of channels continues to grow and the pressure to show how all this effort will impact the bottom line only grows stronger.

The pains of managing social media are obvious – now let’s look at 10 different cures to make those pains disappear.

#1: I can’t keep track of what’s going on!

Between answering questions on LinkedIn Answers and updating your Ning profile, you missed the fact that one of your customers just wrote a scathing comment on your Facebook page.

Cure: Start a social dashboard.

Social media management platforms allow you to consolidate multiple social media accounts into one place, so you can manage them all more efficiently. You get an overview of what is happening in different channels, all on one screen. The benefits extend far beyond that, but that’s enough of a reason to look into these solutions. Some solid choices include Hootsuite and Awareness. But different platforms work better for different needs.

#2: I’m talking to a bunch of nobodies!

You exchange 40 tweets with someone who is knowledgeable about your industry. Great! A real prospect! Then you find out that she is a 20-year-old college student (with 15 Twitter followers) writing a paper – and she has absolutely no ability to make a purchasing decision.

Cure: Understand social influence.

You should spend time engaging with people who can move your business forward. That means you need to identify the most influential social media people in your niche. Klout is a tool that tracks influence on Twitter and Facebook. Use it to see if that person is a thought leader, a connector, or a decision-maker.

#3: My customers are out there – but where?

gist

Tools like Gist put your customers’ email addresses together with their social media identities.

You just know that your current customers are on social media. But your Facebook page only has 40 fans. Where are your customers, and how do you connect with them?

Cure: Check out your customers’ social profiles.

Flowtown and Gist both unify multiple social media presences based on your existing customer email database. This gives you a quick way to find out which of your customers are using different social media platforms, and which customers are influential.

#4: I share a lot of content – but it doesn’t drive visits to my site.

You’ve seen the recommendations from experts to keep your self-promotion to a minimum. Social media is about sharing. But you’re also accountable for your own metrics. How can you share, and still get people to check you out?

Cure: Create social media landing pages.

By giving you control of the frame of your link, ObjectiveMarketer gives you the chance to message and brand all of your social media links with customized content. You get all of the benefits of sharing great content with your followers, plus you can show them the interesting things that you’re up to at the same time.

#5: I can’t justify all the time it takes to do social right!

Your team spends hours each week retweeting, sharing links and joining the conversation. But now it’s the end of the year, and you need to make a budget for next year. You know you can’t go on with such a long to-do list, but you don’t have the metrics to show the impact.

Cure: Use your existing metrics – just show the social benefit.

Argyle Social tracks the response from your social media updates and maps them back to the conversion metrics you set up on your website. And it looks back up to 90 days in order to account for a longer consideration cycle – showing how a bunch of tweets adds up to an eventual sale.

Argyle Social tracks the social media links you share and maps that activity back to your website conversions.

#6: I don’t know what my followers are doing online!

You see what happens to your own status updates and blog posts – visitors come to your site, readers leave comments, etc. But you have no idea what they’re doing on the rest of the web.

Cure: Tell people what you like to find out what they like.

This is one place where the biggest names in social media can help you. Twitter and Facebook offer login credentials that any website can adopt (there are open source alternatives as well). Whenever possible, you should connect to other sites using one of these login protocols and “Like” content across the web liberally. Often, you can see who else in your network is also interested in that website. In this way, you’ve created a new opportunity for engagement.

Facebook “Likes” are a great way to find out what your fans are interested in from across the web. “Like” the content you find as you browse, and you’ll see what your fans like in return.

#7: I can’t filter out the noise from the important stuff.

Every time you login to Twitter, you see that there are thousands of unread tweets. Your Facebook page is overrun with comments from people you’ve never heard from before. And there are 1,575 blog posts that are ready for a comment from you.

Cure: Get information fast – when you need it.

Cadmus can definitely help in this arena. It’s designed to show you the most important tweets from your network. If you’re looking for information from your network on a specific topic, Nsyght searches across your social network. It’s like Google but only for the people in your social network.

#8: All this engagement isn’t leading to anything!

You get retweeted by the same people over and over. You have the same conversation with multiple followers. You’re running in a hamster wheel, not moving your marketing forward.

Cure: Get yourself some game mechanics.

Game mechanics means linking your marketing efforts together, so that one interaction naturally leads to the next. You have to create a series of social media events that encourage your followers to engage more deeply – and game mechanics provide a solid framework for planning.

#9: There are not enough hours in the day!

As soon as you feel like your Facebook presence is strong, you know you need to create a SlideShare presence. There’s always one more tweet to write, one more blog post to comment on and new marketing campaign to support.

Cure: Make the case for dedicated resources.

Your marketing program needs to evolve, or it will die. That means your team needs new skills, and a more sophisticated understanding of social media. Work internally to make the case, based on your current success, to shift marketing dollars into social media. And make sure you find the people, whether internal or external, who can hit the ground running.

#10: I have all this content, but I don’t know what to do with it.

You’re doing a great job of engaging with your audience. They’re responding and you have some great quotes. But you’re not getting the full marketing benefit from this engagement.

Cure: Create a space on your site to feature the best social content.

Assuming that marketing involves bringing people to your site so they can take some action, you should feature some social content from your community on your site. This gives your best followers a pat on the back, and allows others to brag about you so you don’t have to. Testimonial pages are a great way to do just that.

What are your biggest social media pains? The community just might be able to cure them for you. If you’ve figured out how to cure them already, be sure to share your solutions in the comments box below.

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  • Thanks for including Argyle in the post, Jamie!

  • Thanks for including Argyle in the post, Jamie!

  • Great post, Jamie.

    Klout (mentioned in cure #2) is an interesting tool indeed. Especially now that they update their scores daily. I am, however, not positive that mere classification (“thought leader, connector, or decision-maker…”) is gonna help much. We should be looking at the score (the higher the score, the “wider and stronger sphere of influence”, as Klout itself puts it).

  • Great post, Jamie.

    Klout (mentioned in cure #2) is an interesting tool indeed. Especially now that they update their scores daily. I am, however, not positive that mere classification (“thought leader, connector, or decision-maker…”) is gonna help much. We should be looking at the score (the higher the score, the “wider and stronger sphere of influence”, as Klout itself puts it).

  • Nice overview Jamie; it’s a good collection of helpful tools. Just fyi I noticed the Awareness link points to the wrong URL and the Objective Marketer link is pointing a 404 page.

  • Nice overview Jamie; it’s a good collection of helpful tools. Just fyi I noticed the Awareness link points to the wrong URL and the Objective Marketer link is pointing a 404 page.

  • You guys deserve it! Cheers, Eric.

  • You guys deserve it! Cheers, Eric.

  • I think you’re right, Geno. Klout is a good tool now, that will only get better over time.

  • I think you’re right, Geno. Klout is a good tool now, that will only get better over time.

  • Thanks, we’ll get those fixed!

  • Thanks, we’ll get those fixed!

  • Great post, Jamie. These cures prove there’s an application or helpful resource for every potential problem you might encounter during your social media marketing efforts. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • Great post, Jamie. These cures prove there’s an application or helpful resource for every potential problem you might encounter during your social media marketing efforts. Thanks for the suggestions.

  • Very good post loved the points so much and i enjoyed reading !:)

  • Very good post loved the points so much and i enjoyed reading !:)

  • Great post! This is a great help to Virtual Assistants like me who are into social media! Many thanks!

  • Great post! This is a great help to Virtual Assistants like me who are into social media! Many thanks!

  • Meredyth Jensen

    Great post, Jamie! Chock full of little tools and best practices that can apply to many of us. Thanks!

  • Meredyth Jensen

    Great post, Jamie! Chock full of little tools and best practices that can apply to many of us. Thanks!

  • Nicky Webber

    Good Pragmatic tips – thanks just what we need!

  • Nicky Webber

    Good Pragmatic tips – thanks just what we need!

  • Echoing the comments of others — this is a very helpful post with actionable tips for some of the SOS issues many people I know (myself included!) are pondering on a daily basis. Thanks, Jamie!

  • Echoing the comments of others — this is a very helpful post with actionable tips for some of the SOS issues many people I know (myself included!) are pondering on a daily basis. Thanks, Jamie!

  • As usual a very informative overview of SM tools & methods to try out. I will certainly be trying Klout, Argyle Social and Cadmus. Thank you for your valuable blog.

  • As usual a very informative overview of SM tools & methods to try out. I will certainly be trying Klout, Argyle Social and Cadmus. Thank you for your valuable blog.

  • Really Valuable Social Media Information! Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving! 😉
    Sincerely,
    Chance
    Austin, TX

  • Really Valuable Social Media Information! Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving! 😉
    Sincerely,
    Chance
    Austin, TX

  • That’s a lot of valuable links there. I have been using PostRank.com analytics and I’m totally in love with it, just to add my 2 cents.
    Eventually, it’s all a matter of choosing the right tools for your job and get people you put on them to understand what they are doing and follow a consistent plan. Right, easier said than done, but it’s still a start.

  • That’s a lot of valuable links there. I have been using PostRank.com analytics and I’m totally in love with it, just to add my 2 cents.
    Eventually, it’s all a matter of choosing the right tools for your job and get people you put on them to understand what they are doing and follow a consistent plan. Right, easier said than done, but it’s still a start.

  • This has been an amazing help!!!! Thanks so much!! 🙂

  • This has been an amazing help!!!! Thanks so much!! 🙂

  • janetaronica

    This post is SOLID. Definitely sharing this with my community.

  • janetaronica

    This post is SOLID. Definitely sharing this with my community.

  • Andrea

    This is a great post. Thanks for sharing!

  • Andrea

    This is a great post. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hannu Kuukkanen

    Please be aware to give your address and passwords through different software which are linking you to your social media services. How can you ensure these application owners do not use them by their own or some illegal purpose or even to harm you?

  • Hannu Kuukkanen

    Please be aware to give your address and passwords through different software which are linking you to your social media services. How can you ensure these application owners do not use them by their own or some illegal purpose or even to harm you?

  • This blog post is a must read for everyone participating in social media. Thanks for sharing these great points.

  • This blog post is a must read for everyone participating in social media. Thanks for sharing these great points.

  • djhomeless1

    Thanks for including #nsyght – great article!

  • djhomeless1

    Thanks for including #nsyght – great article!

  • Very Informative Site. I am new to the online blogging for business and your site has helped me along the way. Thanks.

  • Very Informative Site. I am new to the online blogging for business and your site has helped me along the way. Thanks.

  • Great content and a great example of how to copywrite a post that deserves to be written. Thanks to your post I have started to use Klout Score. Nice to see that we fall into the same category, based on our Klout score, which defines us as: an Explorer
    By definition, this means:
    You actively engage in the social web, constantly trying out new ways to interact and network. You’re exploring the ecosystem and making it work for you. Your level of activity and engagement shows that you “get it”, we predict you’ll be moving up.
    I will keep track of it.
    Thanks again and have a wonderful day.

  • Great content and a great example of how to copywrite a post that deserves to be written. Thanks to your post I have started to use Klout Score. Nice to see that we fall into the same category, based on our Klout score, which defines us as: an Explorer
    By definition, this means:
    You actively engage in the social web, constantly trying out new ways to interact and network. You’re exploring the ecosystem and making it work for you. Your level of activity and engagement shows that you “get it”, we predict you’ll be moving up.
    I will keep track of it.
    Thanks again and have a wonderful day.

  • Great post. The one thing that might be a little off is that when using Facebook connect, you wouldn’t be able to see if fans of your page are liking the same content across the web. That would be a violation of their privacy. The feature is good social proof for your personal network but not your fan page network.

  • Great post. The one thing that might be a little off is that when using Facebook connect, you wouldn’t be able to see if fans of your page are liking the same content across the web. That would be a violation of their privacy. The feature is good social proof for your personal network but not your fan page network.

  • Andrea Reindl

    What a great post. Thanks for the Klout, what an interesting tool. Love it!

  • a good thing to follow if you have questions regarding your sites performance.

  • Makindeade

    Mind Blowing. However, as I new bie I have question: How can I start/ create a Soical media landing page for one my ideas.

  • aaronrobb

    Check the link to Awareness. Should be http://www.awarenessnetworks.com/ if people are wanting to check it out. Great post though!

  • Hi Jamie,
    It amazes me the amount of tools out there to help with your social media. I signed up to Hootsuite about a week ago, don’t know how I survived without it.
    Looks like I have lots more to check out now.
    Thanks
    Pete

  • Great article, Jamie. #4 is a massive pain point for so many small business owners, and I can completely understand the sentiment. Why continue to share if there are no returns?

    It helps, I think, to stop doing things haphazardly and have a strategy. Strategy before tactics. There are just too many “how-to’s” out there that get total newbies all turned around and doing a million things. Pick a strategy, see it through, evaluate, re-align, and start again.

    Cheers!
    Tia

  • Hey Pete, what amazes me is how fast these tools evolve and the number of them that come out every month! It’s challenging just to keep up.

  • this is an awesome article! I only found out about Klout two days ago and yesterday i came across Flowtown! Wow, I now understand just how much I must evolve if I am to keep up and convert my efforts to bottom-line! I am also moving over to Hootsuite. Thanks for sharing such great tips.

  • A lot of people get confused when doing social media because they start without a plan or objective in mind before starting. Mastering social media is an art and you must go about it in the right way or you will continue to go in circles and keep running into the wrong types of people.

  • Hmm objective marketer seems interesting. I can’t believe the number of social media apps out there! It’s daunting trying to keep up with it :S

  • Glad it was helpful, David!

  • Thanks, Rahul!

  • So glad you enjoyed it!

  • I like keeping it pragmatic. Glad it was useful.

  • Rachel, glad the action items were helpful!

  • Thanks, Janet. Hope it will help some people in your network.

  • You’re right, Hannu. Trust and reputation is very important here.

  • Thanks, Mike. Appreciate the kudos!

  • My pleasure – you guys deserve the recognition!

  • Glad the copywriting worked for you, Juan. It was a fun post to write.

  • Ah, yes, thanks for this clarification. You’re right, Nick. This would be most useful if your personal and fan pages had roughly similar profiles.

  • Thanks for catching this, Aaron.

  • Yes, Tia! Strategy must always come first. I’ll write more about strategy in other posts.

  • Hey Jamie
    Great post. Some valuable links and some very valuable info. Well worth the read.
    Thank you.
    Tania

  • René Power

    Some really thought provoking stuff Jamie, thank for pulling this together.

    I’m perrsonally lukewarm on Klout, but sure it will improve – and it is needed. Seems to me you need to conduct all your personal relationships through Twitter to get your score up which doesn’t actually denote far-reaching influence to me. The guys I follow with high Klout scores seem to have small followings but message them alot. It has to be a little more scientific than that doesn’t it?

  • Yes, it’s a dynamic space right now, with lots of evolution. We all have to sprint to keep up!

  • I think that you’re right that Klout is useful for understanding the Twitterverse, and not much else at this point. The people most interested in proving their influence will connect their Facebook accounts, but those aren’t always the most influential people (almost always, in fact, they are NOT).

    But, these tools will continue to improve over time.

  • Great Article – thanks very much! My clients will find this very helpful. Cheers! Nancy Beth Guptill Sweet Spot Marketing http://www.sweetspotmarketing.ca

  • You wrote: But different platforms work better for different needs.

    Could you tell me more about that? Sorry if it’s above and I missed it! That’s my problem. I DON’T know about the platforms for certain needs.

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  • Argyle Social  has great features,especially in reporting.
     

  • Catherine Heeg

    I love this article.  In #10, how would you suggest featuring the best social content?