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7 steps to elevate your social media presence [part three]

By now, the world knows that social media can be a powerful marketing tool, but most are just going through the motions. Knowing what extra work to do can dramatically improve your brand’s presence.

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Getting results from your existing efforts

You’re already online with profiles all over the web from Facebook to Twitter to Google+, and you know not to spam and how to gain trust, but maybe your efforts just aren’t converting the way you had hoped, especially for the amount of time you have spent online.

There are steps to taking your social media presence to the next level. In part one of this series, we talked about perfecting your timing and telling your story, then in part two, we discussed how to energize evangelists and appreciating them so they’ll stick around.

Below are the final three steps to elevate your social media presence:

5. Commune

Shape a community, or become a leader in a compatible community that already exists. Start on it today, now, before you ever need them.

You never want someone who hasn’t spoken to you in years calling to ask you for money or a ride to the airport. Most of us don’t get married on the first date – and among those that do there’s some powerful connection or other reason they think the idea is a good one.

(Such as, perhaps, alcohol.)

You don’t want to be the person who hasn’t communicated with a community and shows up to ask them for help. Any time that you aren’t actively marketing for a specific event needs to be spent in part on deepening and expanding community ties – this includes peers, even if they’re competitors in the same industry.

Serve the community and when you need them, the return will be that much greater.

6. Small Bricks, Huge Castle

You can’t force something to go viral. The best you can hope for is that as you continue to learn how to make better and better content, tailored specifically to a community, that eventually the cumulative momentum will work in your favor on that unpredictable day when you strike a nerve.

To do this, stop trying to hit the ball out of the park every time.

I know that sounds counterintuitive. But you never know what people are going to find useful. Some of my most typo-ridden blog posts or articles have hundreds of replies and shares. Other things that I work really hard on only resonate with my colleagues – I’m sure part of it is that I tend to ramble or deal with ideas at a complex, philosophical level at times.

Despite how super-brilliant my community is, there are times when few people have time for those side journeys.

Instead, build several smaller projects towards a mega-action. Instead of having a one day sale, maybe you need to have a series of attention-getting events that serve the community, leading up that that.

You could start with a customer appreciation day where you just answer questions all day, then recognize people in your community the next day. You can then crowdsource ideas for improvement, and end with a three day sale with different specials each day.

Tools like Thunderclap, Stumbleupon, and Tribberr can help them help you spread those messages.

You also want to keep in consistent contact like a favorite TV show. Now, blogging daily may be overkill. But keeping in some kind of consistent pattern can make you part of a prospect’s habits. Just like when they move your favorite program to Friday night, when you drop out of contact, you drop out of mind.

Again, it doesn’t have to be a full blown production every time. Just because you made a slam dunk with that last whitepaper doesn’t mean you need to pressure yourself to write a new whitepaper a day.

If you’re weary of writing, try an audio post or start a video podcast. A weekly newsletter might be enough. Blogging several times a week or a month, depending on how much more attention you’re looking to get, can help you catch different parts of your readership.

Ideally you’re doing as much as you can but you have to start somewhere.

7. Research, Survey. Rinse, Repeat

Think the web is changing faster than the speed of light? The whim of a potential customer or client can change even more frequently. Yesterday we were amazed by Facebook, today we might be bored with it.

Never stop researching or polling. Your audience will tell you what they want and how much they’ll pay for it if you’d just ask them.

Going through the motions of social media isn’t enough to get even the most basic clickthrough traffic results. Do the extra work, and you could reap tenfold the results.

Tinu Abayomi-Paul is the CEO of Leveraged Promotion and a member of Network Solutions Social web Advisory Board. Her website promotion company specializes in reputation management, and engineering demand generation system for businesses, integrating search, expertise marketing and social media.

Social Media

Twitter to start charging users? Here’s what you need to know

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media is trending toward the subscription based model, especially as the pandemic pushes ad revenue down. What does this mean for Twitter users?

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Twitter and other social media apps open on a phone being held in a hand. Will they go to a paid option subscription model?

In an attempt to become less dependent on advertising, Twitter Inc. announced that it will be considering developing a subscription product, as well as other paid options. Here’s the scoop:

  • The ideas for paid Twitter that are being tossed around include tipping creators, the ability to pay users you follow for exclusive content, charging for use of the TweetDeck, features like “undo send”, and profile customization options and more.
  • While Twitter has thought about moving towards paid for years, the pandemic has pushed them to do it – plus activist investors want to see accelerated growth.
  • The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted ads, though Twitter’s ad market is significantly smaller than Facebook and other competitors.
  • The platform’s user base in the U.S. is its most valuable market, and that market is plateauing – essentially, Twitter can’t depend on new American users joining to make money anymore.
  • The company tried user “tips” in the past with its live video service Periscope (RIP), which has now become a popular business model for other companies – and which we will most likely see again with paid Twitter.
  • And yes, they will ALWAYS take a cut of any money being poured into the app, no matter who it’s intended for.

This announcement comes at a time where other social media platforms, such as TikTok and Clubhouse, are also moving towards paid options.

My hot take: Is it important – especially during a pandemic – to make sure that creators are receiving fair compensation for the content that we as users consume? Yes, 100%. Pay people for their work. And in the realm of social media, pictures, memes, and opinions are in fact work. Don’t get it twisted.

Does this shift also symbolize a deviation from the unpaid, egalitarian social media that we’ve all learned to use, consume, and love over the last decade? It sure does.

My irritation stems not from the fact that creators will probably see more return on their work in the future. Or on the principal of free social media for all. It stems from sheer greediness of the social media giants. Facebook, Twitter, and their counterparts are already filthy rich. Like, dumb rich. And guess what: Even though Twitter has been free so far, it’s creators and users alike that have been generating wealth for the company.

So why do they want even more now?

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Social Media

TikTok enters the e-commerce space, ready to compete with Zuckerberg?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Setting up social media for e-commerce isn’t an uncommon practice, but for TikTok this means the next step competing with Facebook and Instagram.

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Couple taking video with mobile phone, prepared for e-commerce.

Adding e-commerce offerings to social media platforms isn’t anything new. However, TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, is rolling out some new e-commerce features that will place the social video app in direct competition with Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram.

According to a Financial Times report, TikTok’s new features will allow the platform to create and expand its e-commerce service in the U.S. The new features will allow TikTok’s popular users to monetize their content. These users will be able to promote and sell products by sharing product links in their content. In return, TikTok will profit from the sales by earning a commission.

Among the features included is “live-streamed” shopping. In this mobile phone shopping channel, users can purchase products by tapping on products during a user’s live demo. Also, TikTok plans on releasing a feature that will allow brands to display their product catalogs.

Currently, Facebook has expanded into the e-commerce space through its Facebook Marketplace. In May 2020, it launched Facebook Shops that allows businesses to turn their Facebook and Instagram stories into online stores.

But, Facebook hasn’t had too much luck in keeping up with the video platform in other areas. In 2018, the social media giant launched Lasso, its short-form video app. But the company’s TikTok clone didn’t last too long. Last year, Facebook said bye-bye to Lasso and shut it down.

Instagram is trying to compete with TikTok by launching Instagram Reels. This feature allows users to share short videos just like TikTok, but the future of Reels isn’t set in stone yet. By the looks of it, videos on Reels are mainly reposts of video content posted on TikTok.

There is no word on when the features will roll out to influencers on TikTok, but according to the Financial Times report, the social media app’s new features have already been viewed by some people.

TikTok has a large audience that continues to grow. By providing monetization tools in its platform, TikTok believes its new tools will put it ahead of Facebook in the e-commerce game, and help maintain that audience.

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Social Media

Your favorite Clubhouse creators can now ask for your financial support

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Clubhouse just secured new funding – what it means for creators and users of the latest quarantine-based social media darling.

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Woman talking on Clubhouse on her iPhone with a big smile.

Clubhouse – the live-voice chat app that has been taking the quarantined world by storm – has recently announced that it has raised new funding in a Series B round, led by Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.

The app confirms that new funding means compensation for creators; much like the influencers on TikTok and YouTube, now Clubhouse creators will be able to utilize features such as subscriptions, tipping, and ticket sales to monetize their content.

To encourage emerging Clubhouse creators and invite new voices, funding round will also support a promising “Creator Grant Program”.

On the surface, Clubhouse is undoubtedly cool. The invite-only, celebrity-filled niche chatrooms feel utopic for any opinionated individual – or anyone that just likes to listen. At its best, Clubhouse brings to mind collaborative campfire chats, heated lecture-hall debates or informative PD sessions. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m actually obsessed.

And now with its new round, the video chatroom app will not only appear cool but also act as a helpful steppingstone to popular and emerging creators alike. “Creators are the lifeblood of Clubhouse,” said Paul & Rohan, the app’s creators, “and we want to make sure that all of the amazing people who host conversations for others are getting recognized for their contributions.”

Helping creators get paid for their labor in 2021 is a cause that we should 100% get behind, especially if we’re consuming their content.

Over the next few months, Clubhouse will be prototyping their tipping, tickets and subscriptions – think a system akin to Patreon, but built directly into the app.

A feature unique to the app – tickets – will offer individuals and organizations the chance to hold formal discussions and events while charging an admission. Elite Clubhouse rooms? I wonder if I can get a Clubhouse press pass.

Additionally, Clubhouse has announced plans for Android development (the app has only been available to Apple users so far). They are also working on moderation policies after a recent controversial chat sparked uproar. To date, the app has been relying heavily on community moderation, the power of which I’ve witnessed countless times whilst in rooms.

So: Is the golden age of Clubhouse – only possible for a short period while everyone was stuck at home and before the app gained real mainstream traction – now over? Or will this new round of funding and subsequent development give the app a new beginning?

For now, I think it’s safe to say that the culture of Clubhouse will certainly be changing – what we don’t know is if the changes will make this cream-of-the-crop app even better, or if it’ll join the ranks of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook in being another big-time social media staple.

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