So it’s Monday morning and you head to the conference room for the first weekly team meeting.
Chances are there is more talk, plans and stress about what you need to do that is NEW. What is the next BIG THANG that is going to get you on the map? How can you build the fastest, baddest Facebook campaign? Or maybe it’s the new Facebook or Twitter ad campaign? Or the big car giveaway for the local charity.
Before the week gets away from you, take a deep breath. Slow down, do a sanity check. ”It’s Not About The Next Big Thing!”
Question #1: How much time, resource and budget have you spent on social media profiles, campaigns, blogsites, websites, videos, email marketing service subscriptions, advertising campaigns, content for all of the above and the list goes on?
Question #2: What was the return on all of the above?
- Did you obtain a positive ROI?
- Did you generate leads?
- Did you increase brand awareness?
- Did you increase customer satisfaction?
- Did you move closer to achieving your goals and objectives?
- Did you provide value to your audience?
Question #3: Do you know why you did all of the above?
Question #4: Why would you add 5 more things to the list this week when you haven’t maximized what you have already invested in?
Question #5: Why don’t you focus on maximizing the investment you have already made?
Becoming a social business doesn’t mean you have to throw out everything you have done to date with the bath water. Chances are there are gems in your business. There are investments you have made that can be leveraged, integrated, tweaked, improved and maximized to drive a return.
There is data sitting within that CRM system you spent tens of thousands on but haven’t touched in a year. Data that could help you get in the head of your customer.
There is data within your Google Analytics that will shine light on how your website is performing. Are people bouncing out within seconds of visiting your site because it looks like something out of a horror movie?
Or what about that email opt-in list you’ve been building that is sitting stale yet you have tens of thousands of people who have opted in to hear from you and your brand?
Instead of searching, digging, wasting time on Twitter and Facebook all day trying to become the next best thing why don’t you instead change your thinking? Why not roll up your sleeves, take a look at what you have, do a quick analysis and leverage it for everything from here forward. Yes, it may need some modifications. You may even need to reinstate a subscription or two. However, it could be it might provide a higher return on investment than starting all over with something brand new.
Social business is about integration. It’s about digging deep into your organization to maximize people, process and technology for the greater good. It’s not about doing more but instead is about doing more of the right stuff so you can more intimately connect with and serve key stakeholders, audiences and the community.
10 Tips to Maximize and Monetize!
1. Do an analysis of everything you have done the past year at minimum.
- Focus on what marketing strategies, goals, objectives and priorities have driven what activities and tactics.
- What events did you attend or facilitate?
- Speaking engagements
- External and internal training sessions
- eMail marketing campaigns
- Social media campaigns
2. Take an inventory of relevant software and hardware assets.
- What software or hardware assets do you own or have a subscription to? Cameras? Video or photo editing software? Creative publishing software suites?
3. Take inventory of all digital and social assets.
- What social media profiles have you setup? What profiles are active?
- Custom videos?
- What creative assets do you own such as images, video, audio etc. that can be leveraged both online and offline?
- Blog content published and unpublished?
4. Revisit your business and marketing plan.
- What are your goals and objectives?
- Who is your target audience? Who are the top 3 audiences?
- What are the top ways your products and services can serve the needs of your audiences with focus on the top 3? Download an audience analysis worksheet here – Audience Analysis Worksheet.
5. Revisit what you have been doing and the alignment to your business and marketing plan?
- For each major project and initiative you identified above, do the double click analysis.
- What were the results of each project? Did it help you meet business and marketing goals?
6. Create a marketing asset inventory spreadsheet.
- For each item you identified in #1-3 above, put it on a row of the spreadsheet.
- Assign each item a status of “IN”, “Out” or “Updated.” If it’s IN, it stays in as is. OUT means it is out, not going to be used anymore. UPDATED means it needs updated or enhanced to be effective and provide value.
7. Create 3 action lists as follows:
Leverage – things you can leverage as is. This often includes email and CRM systems sitting dormant, social networks not maximized etc.
Update – top priority list for assets, content, platforms or other that needs updated.
Integrate – top priorities for integration to other projects, tactics and initiatives.
8. Watch for Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs).
A RAM is an action, task, project or anything that is consuming resource or budget that is not in the plan, aligned with the rest of the business and not officially funded and being measured. RAMs will eat every last dollar of positive return faster than you can know they have.
Eliminate the randomness and focus on how you can integrate activities, sites, platforms, content to drive action that helps meet your top goals. If your audience is not taking action, then social media is all for nothing. Randomness in business planning results in randomness in social media and efforts made to become a social business!
9. Dig deep into the data.
As you make your final decisions for what you are going to leverage, maximize and monetize dig deeper than you have ever done before into the data. Chances are your email database is a treasure chest for information about your audience, what they like, when they read emails, what they open etc.
Google Analytics is a goldmine for understanding user behavior, how you are connecting with your audience via your website and blogs. Do not even think about updating your website or blog without digging deep into your current Google Analytics data. If you are working with a good agency or consultant, this should be one of the first pieces of information they ask you for.
The social networks also offer a goldmine of data to better understand your audience. Facebook insights will tell you where people are liking your page, when they are clicking “like”, how frequently they are engaging with your content, if males or females are dominating the engagement, shares and conversation. The data is there for the taking, you just have to take the time to dig in and understand.
Bottom line you want to know if the actions you are taking, the areas you are investing in are bringing you a return. If they are, or they could be then you want to spend more time learning, testing and maximizing how they can provide even more return. If they are not bringing return then you want to STOP doing them as described below.
10. Finalize your won’t do list and stick to it.
Do not pass go, collect $200 or focus on creating any additional shiny objects until you know what you are not going to do. You already have a maxed team and budget so adding 5 more tasks or projects to an already stressed team is not going to solve the problem. Take something OFF the plate that is not bringing return.
This is one of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make when attempting to integrate social media into their business.
Do not try to fit your business inside of Facebook. Focus on how you can fit Facebook within your business model. Big difference!
7 Common Ways to Leverage what Ya’ Got!
1. Email marketing.
This is a low hanging fruit item for any business with a list that is not nurturing the list. You must be careful though as if you have not emailed the people on the list in some time you will want to acknowledge such. Don’t send them an email like they are your best friend if you have never once sent them an email after they subscribed! Chances are they won’t remember you and will only report you for spam if you do such.
Instead send them a nice email thanking them for joining the list. Acknowledge the fact you haven’t communicated with them much but plan to do such. Ask them what kind of content they are interested in and how you can help them.
Use this opportunity to conduct a quick survey to learn more about your audience if needed. Create a quick 5-10 question survey and point them to it via url in the email.
2. CRM systems.
Have you purchased a license or subscription to a CRM system but never properly implemented? Chances are a little time spent on this could provide tremendous value, particularly if you integrate with the email marketing system.
We use Infusionsoft as our integrated email marketing, CRM, ecommerce and overall lead nurturing platform. They have an amazing system at an affordable price. There are others on the market. Make sure to do your research and know if the system you purchased still aligns to your business goals and objectives. Depending on the level of integration to date will determine if it makes sense for you to stay on the current system or move to one that will better help you meet business goals.
3. Blogsites and websites.
Does your blogsite or website you spent thousands on look like a lonely desert? This is one of the easiest things to fix, seriously. We build websites and blogsites for clients. Depending on the technology used to develop your site it may or may not be easy to update. Sometimes it’s easier to start over. However, often times we can leverage what ya’ got at least for phase 1.
Review your Google Analytics data to understand how visitors to your site are engaging. What is the top content being viewed? Bounce rate? Time on site? Time on page? User behavior once they are on the site? How are they moving from page to page on your blog? Where are they clicking? Is it driving the intended and desired action you want them to take which will help you achieve your goals and help them get the information they need?
4. Social networks gone wild.
Have your social networks spun out of control? Do you feel as if you have lost control? Do you lack any knowledge of what is working, what is not?
What would you do if there was an emergency? Do you have the passwords to the profiles and platforms?
Do you have a crisis communications plan if something terrible is said or leaked about your company online? What if your employee tweets something that gets you in legal trouble and starts a PR storm? What is the escalation process?
We can help you by developing a social media policy with processes and procedures to back it up. We even offer clients an attorney available 24/7 should they need such for advice during a midnight PR storm!
It’s important you get ahold of your social networks before they spin further out of control. If you need help doing such and have no idea where to start hire an expert with experience to help you do such. It’s not rocket science but takes a focused effort to achieve results.
Subscribe to our “Get a Grip on Social Media” series for more information on this topic.
5. Abandoned social networks.
Remember that Twitter and Facebook account you setup but haven’t looked at in a year. Do you realize you may be hurting your brand worse by leaving it sit dormant than if you didn’t have one at all.
By leaving a social network profile sit dormant it shows your audience you don’t care about communicating with them but have given them a link to like or follow you. Why bother informing them about one of your social network profiles if nobody is on the other end.
You have one time to make a first impression. Don’t make it one that leaves the impression your company is a lonely, island in the middle of nowhere!
If you need help getting started on the social networks, focus on the art of engagement before the tools. The learning of tools will come with time. Learn first how you can achieve your goals by using the social networks. Focus on leverage, not shiny objects.
What content have you created that can be leveraged across other platforms, tactics, communications? For example a blog post can be used as content for a video, email newsletter or quick email to your segmented email list. Create a whitepaper for download with a required email opt-in by leveraging one ore more blog posts. Leverage surveys as input to blog and other content.
Look at every piece of content you have. Create the spreadsheet I described above in #6. Every piece of content should either be in, out or updated, period! Either it’s good as it is, needs an updated or needs trashed. Don’t over complicate. Throw out what you have to throw out but maximize what is good.
If content is an area you lack skills or understanding, then outsource it. A good agency or consultant can help you by prioritizing your audience and helping you create content that will connect and organically attract people to your brand. Less is truly more again in this scenario.
Relationships are a great way to bring to leverage to your life and business if done in an authentic way for the right reasons. If you have partners, evangelists, colleagues who support you and your business or simply have similar interests or common goals then explore how you can work together. We are all much better working together than we are as individual silos. How can you partner up with other industry experts to host an event for you common audience? How can you coordinate marketing or other efforts with partners? How about a local or industry event? Tweet chat of like minds? There are a million ways you can find and drive synergies that can benefit you, your partners and most important, your audiences and clients!
Our pastor at Crossing Church in Tampa recently delivered a message highlighting how God has already provided us all we need to succeed. We simply need to look around, be attentive, listen and aware of the who, what and how that is within us and our networks. Don’t always be looking for the next best thing. Focus on the little tasks and deeds of today that will build a foundation for success tomorrow that will enable you meet both business and life goals!
Maximize to monetize!
The only way you are going to monetize your efforts is if you are:
1. Focusing on the right things. This includes eliminating Random Acts of Marketing and focusing on meeting business goals and objectives.
2. Doing the right things well and in a way that is supporting and moving you closer to achieving your business and marketing goals and objectives.
3. Providing value to your audience at every possible encounter!
4. Measuring – analyzing – optimizing!
It is not about doing more, focusing on the next big thing or creating another shiny new object. Less is truly more. Focus on doing less of the right stuff, well1
What Ya’ Got?
So, after reading this can you think of some things you can better leverage within your business? If yes, what are they? Is what you are doing helping you meet business goals? Focus on leveraging maximizing so that you can monetize!