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How Halloween Reminds Me of B2B Marketers

October 26, 2013

Halloween and B2B Marketers

Introduction

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. As a kid, I loved to head out (after dark) and go trick or treating. As a parent, I revel in seeing the enjoyment experienced by kids. You may be wondering: how does Halloween relate to B2B marketers?

Let me explain. Recently, DNN collaborated on a Social Insights Report with Leadtail. The report analyzed 113,039 tweets (from 500 North American B2B marketers) from June 1, 2013 to August 31, 2013. The report then draws a number of conclusions on how B2B marketers engage on Twitter.

To gain access to the report:

Download the report

http://offers.leadtail.com/social-media-insights-report-b2b-marketers/

Since I reviewed the report so close to Halloween, I couldn’t help but draw analogies between B2B marketers and my favorite holiday.

1) We know where to trick or treat.

Photo credit: Flickr user Joint Base Lewis McChord via photopin cc

The report looked at B2B marketers’ tweets to see what other social networks they’re active on. LinkedIn is the clear winner, as 35% of B2B marketers shared content on LinkedIn. Instagram and Foursquare came in at 18% and 13%, respectively. Facebook registered at 3%, more than 10x less than LinkedIn.

Social networks most active

This tells me that B2B marketers know where to trick or treat. Their B2B presence takes them to neighborhoods that make sense for their jobs (e.g. LinkedIn), while ventures into the land of Facebook are reserved for activities outside of work.

The Instagram result (18%) runs contrary to this point. It may be that Instagram is the “shiny new object” that B2B marketers want to experiment and learn from. A number of B2B brands, in fact are using Instagram as an effective marketing tool.

2) We take our kids to familiar houses.

I have a daughter in fifth grade. While I’ve taken her to some “foreign” neighborhoods in the past, I tend to take her to houses for which I know the owner. I think that makes for a safer trick or treating experience.

As we saw with the LinkedIn result, B2B marketers like to share familiar content (i.e. things related to their jobs). Of the 100 most popular content sources for B2B marketers, mainstream media registered at 25%, but industry media came in at a whopping 62%.

Types of content shared

3) We know how to provide the candy our visitors want.

Photo credit: Flickr user MzScarlett via photopin cc

A “good house” buys the candy variety pack at Costco. A great house surveys the likes and dislikes of neighborhood kids and tailors their treats accordingly.

Side note: one house in my neighborhood gives out ice cream cones for each kid. They ask which flavor the kid wants, then gives the kid two scoops of the selected flavor in a cone. This is an example of “great.”

B2B marketers tend to retweet content (i.e. share their candy) if they believe “my followers will like this.”

Most retweeted marketers

4) We visit the houses with the best decorations.

Some homeowners go to great lengths to create an experience that delights visitors. Great B2B content marketers go to equally great lengths to create content that delights their target audience. The Top 50 vendors most mentioned by B2B marketers are doing something right (hint: it probably has something to do with the content they’re producing and sharing). I’d love to go trick or treating in their neighborhoods.

Most mentioned marketers

5) We’re drawn to creative and visually appealing costumes.

Photo credit: Flickr user geckoam via photopin cc

Whether it’s Halloween costumes or content marketing, I’m always amazed at some of the creative concepts I run across. At Halloween, we’re naturally drawn to costumes that are both “different” and visually appealing. If you look at the list of Top 10 most shared social sources, you’ll see a number of visually oriented sites: YouTube, Instagram, Vine and Pinterest.

Most shared social sources

Conclusion

Hope you all have a safe, happy and fun Halloween – DNN is doing a webinar the day before. We’ve invited our friends from Leadtail to share findings from this Social Insights Report and provide recommendations on how you can most effectively engage B2B marketers. Don’t miss it! Register here:

Leadtail and DNN webinar

http://info.dnnsoftware.com/WebinarLeadtail103013_RegistrationLP.html

Originally published on the DNN Software blog.


How a Webinar Presentation Generated 10,000 @SlideShare Views in 1 Week

October 12, 2013


Photo credit: Flickr user sylvain kalache via photopin cc

Introduction

At DNN, we provide several webinars per month. Recently, we created a profile on SlideShare. We now publish the presentation from each webinar on our SlideShare account. SlideShare was working out quite well for us – we could tap into their “60 million monthly visitors and 130 million pageviews” (source: SlideShare).

Our webinar presentations were receiving anywhere from 200 to 900 views. And then it happened. We did a webinar on content marketing and posted the presentation to SlideShare. Within 1 week, the SlideShare received 10,000 views!

Analytics - SlideShare PRO

Image: a chart available in SlideShare PRO Analytics.

Continue reading this post to find out how we generated 10,000 SlideShare views and pick up a few tips on how you can optimize the views of your own SlideShares.

Getting 10,000 SlideShare Views: The Logistics

1) Publish.

Upload Presentations via SlideShare

In the past, the number one question we received on webinars was, “will the slides be available?” With SlideShare, we answer that question before it gets asked. During the early part of the webinar, we’ll promote our SlideShare channel (e.g. list the URL on a slide).

We’ll let viewers know that after the webinar, they can visit our SlideShare profile to view (and download) the slides. I like to upload the webinar presentation to SlideShare an hour (or less) after the webinar is over.

We have less than 20 followers on SlideShare. This means that once we publish, we’ll receive a modest amount of views on SlideShare. As we receive more followers, we’ll benefit from more views upon publishing. But for now, we rely on other “channels” for promotion. So for now, this step was simply the beginning of the process.

2) Promote on social channels.

I’ll promote our SlideShare to our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profiles. In addition, I’ll publish it to our LinkedIn Company Page. On Twitter, I’ll look to see who tweeted (during the webinar) and send them “at replies” to let them know the slides are available. Posting to our Facebook page was a key step in this process – I’ll cover that later in this post.

3) Write a blog post related to the webinar.

I don’t find a literal summary of the webinar particularly useful. After all, you could flip through the slide deck or view the webinar on-demand. Instead, what I like to do is use the webinar as an opportunity to create original content. So with the slides as a “backdrop,” I author a related blog post.

I embed the SlideShare presentation within all webinar-related blog posts. And here’s where a significant “multiplier” took effect: shortly after publication on the DNN blog, the post was syndicated at Social Media Today.

An Aside: Embeds + Syndication = a Big Winner

So the secret’s out: we achieved 10,000 SlideShare views primarily via embedding the presentation and then syndicating it to a site (Social Media Today) with wide reach. Of all SlideShare views, nearly 75% came from “embeds” and over 90% of the embedded views came from Social Media Today. Page views on the Social Media Today article received a nice boost from the nearly 2,000 social shares received (as noted by summing the counts listed on the article page).

I happen to value embedded views a bit less – on the SlideShare site, the visitor arrived specifically to view your presentation. With embedded views, visitors are there to read your post and some may not see the SlideShare at all. That being said, an embedded view is better than none at all.

4) Receive endorsements.

While easier said than done, endorsements help to boost views. In our case, we received two key endorsements. The first arose from sharing the SlideShare to our 20,000+ fans on Facebook. Based on the traffic that our Facebook fans sent to our SlideShare, we were added to the “Hot on Facebook” section of the SlideShare homepage.

Next, the editors of SlideShare reviewed it and decided to list the presentation in the “Featured” section of their homepage. “Featured” has a prominent location on the SlideShare homepage, directly beneath “Top Presentations of the Day.” We made sure to share this exciting news via our social channels. Using social proof (no pun intended) helped to drive further awareness (and views) of our SlideShare:


How Attention Begets More Attention

Attention on the web can benefit from the snowball effect. The key is to get the snowball large enough so that it’ll roll. And once you find a hill that’s steep and long, you set it in motion. The key is getting “over the hump.” Once you’re there, the snowball starts to roll and there’s no stopping it after that.

1) SlideShare Likes.

SlideShare Like in LinkedIn Newsfeed

Image: a SlideShare “Like” as seen in the LinkedIn Newsfeed.

As your SlideShare receives more views, it’ll pick up a corresponding number of Likes. Once users “Like” my SlideShare, that action will appear in the Newsfeed of other SlideShare users following them. In addition, users who connect their SlideShare account to their LinkedIn account will have the “Like” appear on their LinkedIn profile. This, in turn, will appear in the Newsfeed of their LinkedIn Connections.

2) Shares on SlideShare.

Similarly, social shares from your SlideShare (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest) promote your presentation to an whole new audience. If an influential Twitter user tweeted your SlideShare to her 10,000 followers, your presentation could receive 100 instantaneous views.

3) We’re all drawn to popular items.

I think it’s human nature to be drawn to popular items. When we pass a busy restaurant, we’re apt to wait in line for 1 hour to get a table. When we pass a restaurant with no tables occupied, we’re afraid to become their only customer.

When I scan the “Featured” presentations on the SlideShare homepage, my eyes are naturally drawn to those with the most views. Sure, the title is important, but if a presentation has 10,000 views, that signals an endorsement of sorts (from others).

How to Hit The Mark on SlideShare


Photo credit: Flickr user modenadude via photopin cc

I try to kill two birds with one stone when I assemble a webinar presentation: as I create each slide, I try to optimize it for SlideShare at the same time. I could always go back (after the webinar) and re-work the deck for SlideShare, but I’ve come to realize that optimizing the deck for SlideShare also creates a more effective webinar.

1) Pick a hot topic.

I subscribe to 50+ sites (via feedly) on marketing, social media, SEO and more. Of late, it’s challenging to get through a feedly session without 10+ posts with “content marketing” in the title. So the timing was good for us: a webinar and slide deck on content marketing was sure to get some attention.

2) Use decent visuals.

If you have a designer available, take advantage of that. If not, you can assemble graphics and visuals on your own, but pay attention to design. You may have the most useful content in the world, but poor visual design can compromise both credibility and attention.

3) Optimize for “productive scanning.”

People don’t read blogs, they scan blogs. If you’ve gotten this far in this post, I bet you’ve scanned this post’s headlines, rather than reading each and every word (thank you very much, if I’m wrong about this).

SlideShare takes blog reading to an even skimmier level: visitors can flip through the deck quickly and find key points they can take away. So make your SlideShares easily scannable and use each slide as an opportunity to deliver actionable advice. The more wisdom you can impart, the higher likelihood of gaining a Share or Like.

4) Include useful hyperlinks.

When I do research for a webinar, I’ll often find useful articles that inform my presentation. I like to include links to those articles, both to give credit (to the source) and provide viewers with a place to receive more detailed information. When you upload your presentation to SlideShare, confirm that all of the PowerPoint hyperlinks are functional within your SlideShare.

Conclusion

Incorporate SlideShare into your content marketing mix! Use it to widen the reach of your content. There’s 60 million monthly visitors out there: make it easy for them to find you via compelling content.

In closing, I’ll note that we upgraded to SlideShare PRO. Because of all of the views we were getting, we wanted to use the lead capture feature of PRO to invite viewers to contact us for more information on our products (review SlideShare’s premium plans).

And Here’s the SlideShare.

In order to gain even more views of our SlideShare, I’m embedding it below for your viewing pleasure.

Note: originally published on the DNN Software blog.


10 Ways to Optimize Your Social Media Channels

September 14, 2013

Social media channels
Photo credit: Flickr user mkhmarketing via photopin cc

Introduction

Some organizations are rocking the house with social media (a few come to mind: Coca Cola, Starbucks, Virgin America). At the same time, many organizations I speak to are challenged to achieve the results they desire using social media.

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Social Media Optimization: 10 Tips in 30 Minutes.

The challenge? It’s usually a combination of “lack of know-how” and lack of resources (or both). So here are ten easy steps to take to optimize your social media channels. You can perform these steps in any order.

1) Use consistent branding across channels.

For personal use of social media, I recommend that people use the same profile photo across all social channels. Why? Because followers who know you on Twitter will recognize you on SlideShare.

So the consistent photo removes a barrier to gaining that new follower. For organizations, use the same logo everywhere. Also, if you’re running a campaign, use the same campaign theme across your channels.

2) Strategically hyperlink from profile pages.

Check out all the valuable hyperlinks we’re afforded on the DNN Google+ page. Take advantage of these opportunities. You can drive clicks (to your web properties) from views of your social profile pages.

And, the inbound links will help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Don’t be too cute, however. Make sure your link’s anchor text aligns with the page you’re linking to.

Additional tip: YouTube allows hyperlinks in the description area of your video:

Hyperlinks on YouTube

3) Reciprocate.

Gain a new follower on Twitter? Verify they’re a “real” person (vs. a “bot”), then follow them back. It’s a nice gesture on social media to follow back. And, by following back, you get the opportunity to listen to what your followers are saying. On Twitter, following back allows your followers to send you a “Direct Message” (a private message), which is often an effective channel for customer service or related inquiries.

4) Tag (link to) other users.

When I share an article on social media, I like to “link” to both the publication and the author. Why? Because it gets you (or your organization) noticed by the publication and the author (in addition to sending them some good karma). The author may follow you, retweet you or respond to you. In turn, the author’s followers may decide to follow you. In short, good things can happen.

5) Learn the tricks of the trade of each social network.

Using the “retweet” button on Twitter. Setting up a Google+ Hangout. Managing your Circles in Google+. Each of these things is unique to that service: get to know these unique features well and your use of that service becomes more effective.

6) Measure, evaluate, adjust.

Become BFF’s with analytics (and yes, you really should become best friends forever). Did you know: Twitter now provides free analytics dashboards to all Twitter users (read more on the Constant Contact blog).

Use analytics to evaluate your social media effectiveness across a number of dimensions (e.g. content type, content format, topic, time of day, etc.). Metrics to track include reach, engagement and traffic. Next, draw conclusions that help inform your subsequent social sharing.

7) Mix it up.

I know of professional sportswriters whose Twitter profile is an automated feed of every article they write (and nothing else). While I love their sports writing, I don’t follow them on Twitter. Instead, I follow other sportswriters who comment, respond, retweet and engage. So mix it up: share content, retweet, respond and engage. Don’t be a social media automaton.

8) Engage proactively and respond promptly.

Users on social media can be chatty. And they expect responses to their issues or comments. Your role: listen to what they’re saying and respond promptly. A same-day (or same-hour) response is far better than one that comes tomorrow or next week.

9) Cross-promote your channels.

While your primary goal is to “be useful” on any given social network, there are times when you’ll want to promote your other social networks. Let fans know that you “exist” elsewhere. And, when you’re running events, contests or campaigns on a particular network, use your other channels to drive additional awareness of those activities.

10) Experiment with paid advertising.

Twitter Ads Dashboard

Image: a Twitter Ads dashboard for Promoted Tweets.

It’s great that you have a lot of fans and followers on social media. But did you know they’ll miss 80+% of what you post (that’s my own, unscientific estimate)? That’s just reality.

Paid advertising can create a higher likelihood that fans see your content – and, it extends your reach to people not currently following you. We’ve had fun experimenting with it here at DNN.

Conclusion

Social media can drive tremendous value to your organization – and, it can be a lot of fun doing it. I hope you found these tips useful. I presented a DNN webinar on this same topic recently – you can find the presentation slides below.

Originally published on the DNN Software blog.


10 Reasons Professional Athletes Love Twitter

September 8, 2013

Bumper sticker: I heart Twitter

Photo credit: Flickr user “…love Maegan” via photopin cc

Introduction

After a big game, with reporters huddled around in a semi-circle, professional athletes are provided with a “platform” to talk about the game, the team and themselves. At other times, athletes are given a platform when they appear on ESPN’s Sunday Conversation, Late Show with David Letterman or The Today Show.

While those interviews and programs still give professional athletes an outlet, today, that “platform” has become Twitter. Just about every well-known athlete uses Twitter’s 140 characters to share thoughts, updates, photos and videos. The athletes love it, as do their adoring fans.

Let’s cover ten reasons professional athletes love Twitter.

1) Their fans love it.

It’s often said that we operate in a 24-hour news cycle. Like New York, Twitter is the “city that never sleeps.” Everything is in real-time and there’s a constant stream of activity, no matter the time of day (or night). In a world where content is produced by the second, fans seemingly thirst for more.

Twitter helps fill that need, as fans check Twitter for updates from their favorite players. Fans also benefit from an extended ecosystem: teams, coaches, general managers, owners, sportswriters and commentators all actively use Twitter to share information.

2) 140 characters suit them.

Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots

Photo source: the Wikipedia page for Bill Belichick.

Sure, there are athletes who can write long-form articles. But for the most part, the brevity of Twitter suits athletes well. It’s kind of like the Bill Belichick school of interviewing: some coaches, like Belichick, already instruct athletes to answer in 140 characters or less.

3) Twitter fuels their competitive nature.

Twitter’s followers and following count naturally leads to “count watching” and competition. Who has the most followers on a given team? Who’s the most followed NBA player? Whose tweets get the most retweets? You can be sure most athletes on Twitter are aware of this stuff.

4) It’s the new and easy way to break news.

Shaq announced his retirement on Twitter. Alex Rodriguez (of the New York Yankees) announced that he’s ready to return to the field. No need to schedule a press conference any more. Use 140 characters (or less) and you’re on Sportscenter a few hours (or minutes) later.

5) They can conveniently follow other athletes.

The “network effect” is in effect on Twitter. Athletes sign up for the service because their teammates are already using it. Athletes enjoy interacting with other athletes as much as they like to share information with the world. They also get to keep in touch and get updates from other athletes.

6) It’s great for engaging with fans.

Today’s Twitter “Interactions” (mentions) are yesterday’s fan mail. Before Twitter, athletes interacted with their fans in person. Today, they interact with fans any day, any time, in short spurts of 140 characters (and often less).

7) It’s great for “gamesmanship.”

Athletes will do whatever they can to get a leg up. During game play, they’ll taunt other players and try to get inside the opponent’s head. On Twitter, they can do those sorts of things well before the game. Of course, this tactic may not be effective, as it often provides heightened motivation for the opponent.

8) Get quoted.

Sportscenter, the 11 o’clock news, CNN and many other news outlets now use athletes’ tweets as primary news sources. 140 characters can bring athletes fame, fortune, applause, respect, shame and embarrassment. The last two aren’t appealing for most athletes, but they’ll take their chances!

9) The RT is the new autograph.

Pen and paper are so antiquated, right? Today, parents no longer wait in line to ask athletes for their autograph. They’ll get on Twitter and ask for an RT. The single click of the “retweet” button has replaced the signing of a ball, cap or piece of paper.

10) It’s a platform for causes, opinions and political views.

Many athletes have interests, passions and causes beyond the world of sports. Their involvement in professional sports gives them recognition and Twitter gives them a platform. Twitter is a great vehicle for branching beyond sports to advance a cause, support a movement or make the world a better place.


A Tip for Your Next Media Interview: Never Improvise an Answer

August 31, 2013

Don't speculate during interviews

Introduction

“12 Minutes of Freedom in 460 Days of Captivity”

“Back at Afghan Valley, U.S. Soldiers Find Surprise: Peace”

“In California, Renewed Debate Over Home Care”

Those are three randomly selected headlines from The New York Times. Effective headlines capture the essence of a story; however, they also need to be compelling enough for you to read the article (i.e. click on the link). After all, if a headline gave away the set-up, the body and the punch line, we’d never have a need to read anything.

Headlines

As a marketer, I deal with “headlines” all the time: article headlines, email subject lines, tweets, the title of the link shared on Facebook, the heading on a piece of product collateral, etc. I consume lots of headlines and write a number of them as well.

I like to think that I’m pretty good at both: being able to read a headline and quickly conclude what the article is about – and, writing effective headlines that incent people to click.

When interpreting headlines, context matters

Let’s take the headline, “Back at Afghan Valley, U.S. Soldiers Find Surprise: Peace.” This article was about the return of American soldiers to Pech Valley, a region in eastern Afghanistan nicknamed “the Valley of Death.” It was the first time American soldiers returned there since 2011.

I can peruse this headline and determine whether I’d like to read the article. When making this judgment, I can even make educated guesses about what’s in the article or what angles it will cover. This is all fine and good because it only affects me.

But what if I repeated the same process in front of a live audience? Let me explain.

The Betty White Twitter Story

Recently, I appeared on The Workforce Show (@workforceshow), a radio program that airs on WCEM 1240 AM in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. Host Cindy Gurne interviewed me on how to get started with Twitter.

In the first segment of the interview, Cindy asked me for my thoughts on the Betty White Twitter story. When the story broke (in 2012), I heard about it. But my exposure to the story was exclusively via headlines and tweets. I never read (or understood) the full details of the story.

Speculating during an interview

I misread the situation, thinking that Cindy was not familiar with the details of the Betty White Twitter story and was looking for me to fill in the blanks. So rather than confessing that I did not know the details, I speculated.

While I did state that I wasn’t entirely sure about it, I went on to give my interpretation of what the story was all about, based solely on headlines I had seen at the time. The speculation ended up being wrong.

It turns out Cindy did know the details, and saved my bacon by providing details to the audience after my unsuccessful speculation.

The tip: never speculate

When you speculate during an interview, there are far more negative outcomes than positive ones. Sure, you might get lucky and nail the answer. But more often than not, you’ll probably guess wrong and look a bit silly in front of the host and the assembled audience.

If I had to do it again, here’s how I would have answered:

Cindy: “Recently, Betty White created a stir when she joined Twitter. Tell us about that?”

Me: “I heard about that, Cindy, but I don’t have the details around it. Perhaps you can fill us in?”

From here, there would have been two possible outcomes:

  1. Cindy didn’t know the details, either, and simply moved on.
  2. Cindy fills her listeners in on the details and I “help” the situation by deferring the question to her.

Conclusion

Honesty is the best policy. Whether you’re in a media interview or a job interview, answering a question via speculation can get you in trouble, cause embarrassment and compromise your credibility. Saying “I don’t know” is not the end of the world.

How to Get Started With Twitter

Here is the presentation that I put together for the interview.


10 Ways to Prepare for Your Social Media Manager Interview

August 10, 2013

How to prepare for your social media manager interview

Introduction

Social Media Manager has become a rather popular position lately. Whether it’s a dedicated or partial position, the function exists within most organizations.

Enterprises, non-profits, small businesses and associations understand the benefits of maintaining social media channels to generate awareness, engage with prospects and interact with customers and partners.

A Friend’s Interview

Recently, a friend of mine was preparing to interview for a Social Media Manager position. He was looking to transition into that position from a related role and asked me for advice on how to prepare for the interview.

Here are ten tips on how to prepare: they’re meant for people who haven’t done the job before.

1) Clean up your social media profiles.

It's important to manage your privacy settings on Facebook

Pictured: privacy settings options on Facebook.

I can guarantee you that your social media presence will be a key consideration for this position. Your prospective employer will look you up on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (in that order).

Congratulations on passing the “sniff test” – you scored an interview.

That being said, between now and the interview, clean up and optimize your profiles. Professional-oriented sites like LinkedIn are a given; also be careful to review the “Who can see my stuff?” settings on Facebook and un-tag yourself from photos that you wouldn’t want your mom to see.

2) Find and discover the organization’s “brand voice.”

Every organization has a “brand,” which means that every organization has a brand voice. In other words, do some research on your potential employer.

Check their website for a listing of their mission statement or core values (example: the core values of Zappos).

Understand what’s important to the organization, along with their vision for the future. Then, subtly reference some of the information you learned during your interview. When you get the job, you’ll need to tweet, post and pin with the brand voice.

3) Practice being the organization’s Press Secretary.

Jay Carney (photo via Wikipedia)

Photo of Jay Carney via Wikipedia.

Jay Carney is President Obama’s Press Secretary. Like all presidential press secretaries, Carney has a challenging job. He needs to stand up in front of the White House Press Corps and answer questions.

Sometimes he’ll be thrown “softballs,” while other times, he’ll need to address pointed and difficult questions. Carney needs to answer the questions in the “brand voice” of the Oval Office. As a Social Media Manager, your followers on Twitter (for example) are the press corps and you’re the press secretary. So watch a few White House news briefings and see how Carney handles questions.

4) Immerse yourself in the role.

Plan a number of 30-45 sessions during which you observe brands in action (on social media). “Like” some brands on Facebook, both in the target industry and a few outside of that. See how they’re crafting their status updates on Facebook.

Then, venture over to Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and other social networks and observe how brands are using those channels. Pay particular attention to how those brands engage with their audience. You get bonus points for tracking a single brand across channels and figuring out how they uniquely use each one.

5) Be prepared to define ROI.

It’s great that you’re proficient at tweeting, posting and tagging. It’s even better when you can do it in the brand’s voice. Some organizations will want you to take it to the next step and measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of social media.

So do some research on ROI models (for social media) and be prepared to talk through some of them. Then, turn the question around and ask about the organization’s goals with social media. Suggest particular social media metrics that can be assembled to tie back to those goals. The key point: the definition of social media ROI should be unique to each organization.

6) Do research on social media advertising.

Twitter's Promoted Tweets set-up

Pictured: some of the targeting options available in Twitter’s Promoted Tweets.

There are lots of options for spending money to augment your reach on social media: Promoted Tweets, Boosted Posts (Facebook), Sponsored Updates (LinkedIn), etc.

Do some research on how these work: how are they priced, what are the benefits, how can you measure, etc. If your prospective employer is not yet using these tools, you can score bonus points by planting the seed (with your knowledge).

7) Consider celebrating your outsider status.

Let’s say you’ve never worked in the industry of your prospective employer. Especially for social media marketing positions, employers are starting to look past the “industry experience” pre-requisite.

If the topic comes up during the interview, be prepared with a way to celebrate you outsider status. You may bring a new perspective to the organization’s approach to social media and be able to communicate in a fresh, new way (while maintaining the brand voice).

8) Research agency relationships.

While this may only apply to larger organizations, do some research to see if your prospective employer uses agencies in its social media: PR firms, design firms, interactive agencies, etc. A good place to check is the “Press Release” or “News” pages on their website. Having this information in your back pocket keeps you better informed going into the interview.

9) Think up a creative idea or two.

Do NOT tell your prospective employer what they’re doing wrong on social media. However, it’s fine to observe what they’re doing and think up new and creative ways to do the same thing. Sort of like this: “I noticed you’re doing <this>, have you considered doing <that>?”

10) Research past campaigns and contests.

Take a look at past social media campaigns and contests run by your prospective employer. Understand what they were looking to achieve and how it was received by participants. You’ll have a role in campaigns and contests going forward, so speaking knowledgeably about them during the interview puts you ahead of the pack.

Conclusion

It’s important to remember the “larger calling” of your role. It may be neat to tell friends that you get paid to tweet, post and pin, but it’s all in the context of the organization’s goals.

The social networks are the tools that you use to help achieve those goals. Portray that message during your interview: your excitement about the opportunity is less around social media and more about leveraging social media to advance the organization’s cause.


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