At newkleus, we love sharing our thoughts and insight. This is our blog to help spread information to the world.

social media

BUSINESS INSIDER ARTICLE: One specific line from Mark Zuckerberg’s post about big Facebook changes may be spooking investors

Some big nuggets from Mark Zuckerberg's post.

  • Changes could result in users spending less time on Facebook
  • "You can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups," Zuck said in the announcement. "You'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media."

Brands, sports teams, musicians, radio stations, etc.  Take note.  We built newkleus to alleviate this very situation.  None of the major social media websites were strategically built for brands.  

At newkleus, we believe you should have direct connections with your fans, followers and customers.  You should know their names, their email addresses, etc.  You should engage them directly and activate them into micro-influencers for your brand, letting them use their social networks to authentically increase engagement.

Read the full article here.

These 17 Social Media Power Players Agree on 1 Thing (And It's a Must-Have For Your Busienss)

To read the full Inc.com article, click here.  As with most articles, some good nuggets, but don't agree with everything, especially #14. The Tech Giants need to be a part of your strategy, 100%, but don't surrender, there are millions and millions and millions of people who "tolerate" or dislike Facebook. 

The one common item however, is cater precisely to the customer.

For a summary, see below:

  1. Create a Winning Identity
  2. Invest in the Millennial Method: Digital, Mobile, Social, Influeners
  3. Map the Path to Purchase
  4. Listen and Engage
  5. Use Strategy to Leverage Technology
  6. Incorporate Mixed Reality
  7. Prepare for Artificial Intelligence
  8. Constantly Experiment with New Tech
  9. Focus on the One-on-One Experience
  10. Embrace Voice Recognition
  11. Start Using Robots Now
  12. Invest in Location, Location, Location
  13. Broaden the Definition of Media
  14. Give In to the Tech Giants
  15. Showcase Real People
  16. Be Authentic or Die
  17. Stay Focused, Humble and Open

Text Savvy: 6 Reasons Brands Should Start Using SMS Marketing

Leveraging customers and followers as micro-influencers is a key strategy for organic reach.  A big part of our platform strategy is being able to share content via text. This is one of our favorite articles on this topic. Click here to read more.

"SMS Marketing is a proven channel that allows marketers to effectively reach consumers.  Email and direct mail are just too slow, and social media is too inundated with spam.  With a 90 percent open rate, SMS gets your messages read faster than any other channel."

FTC Staff Reminds Influencers and Brands to Clearly Disclose Relationship

Commission aims to improve disclosures in social media endorsements.  Click here to read more.

"After reviewing numerous Instagram posts by celebrities, athletes, and other influencers, Federal Trade Commission staff recently sent out more than 90 letters reminding influencers and marketers that influencers should clearly and conscpicuously disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media."

Gary Vaynerchuck - One is Greater Than Zero

Very true!  Watch Gary's video here.

"I've been on Conan. Ellen. The Today Show.

But I also did a thousand interviews that got one or nineteen or 137 views on YouTube. Max. Why did I do blog posts for so long that only had six readers? Why do I guest on shows with a smaller audience base than my own? Because I'm all about depth over width. I want to go deeper with my community. I want to give back to people who support me.

Even today, when I have more leverage than I did three years ago, I still live under the motto of one is greater than zero. To me, doing these interviews or guest posts is about the process of the work. Too many people are impatient and not willing to do that work. When you're still making the climb, when you haven't made your name known yet, you need to put in that work. I did those 119 and 137 view videos day in and day out. And I continue to.

You might make a video with 89 views. But one of those viewers could be a producer at CNN. Undervaluing just that one view is a huge mistake.

It's about having the humility. It's about not saying no. Even when you've made it. You're never too big. One is bigger than zero."

The Future of Social Media: 37 Experts Share Their 2017 Predictions

Click for a link to the article.

The one thing for certain is, 37 people have a variety of predictions.  When talking to our clients and prospective clients, we are hearing the following things:

  • Their is a tremendous amount of noise on social media today.  Ever since the US election process narrowed down it's candidates, the noise has dramatically increased.  The phrase being used is "content saturation".  Standing out among all this content is taking more money for each engagement.
  • It's important to tell brand stories rather than post promotional things.  Live streaming helps, but user generated video seems to be the biggest priority.
  • Marketing analytics has gained a strategic importance.  Brands want to better understand their customers and fans.  We hear the phase "1-to-1 marketing" a lot and understanding data helps tremendously with maximizing relationship based marketing.

What’s the Value of a Like?

Interesting Harvard Business Review article.  It talks about a recent influential study by comScore and Facebook, along with findings from HBR experiments.

The Results Were Clear

Social media doesn't work the way many marketers think it does.  There mere act of endorsing a brand does not affect a customer's behavior or lead to increased purchasing, nor does it spur purchasing by friends.

CONCLUSION

As social media has grown as a marketing channel, so too has enthusiasm for its potential to drive sales. Yet a recent survey of 427 marketers at U.S. companies showed that 80% are unable to quantify the value of their social media efforts. And in a study of Fortune 500 companies, 87% of CMOs acknowledged that they can’t document that social media creates new customers. Our research helps explain why marketers are frustrated by social media—they are using it the wrong way. Amplifying efforts with advertising can provide higher returns on investment while creating an opportunity to connect with the most-loyal customers.

URLs Outdo Hashtags in Ads at Super Bowl LI

Great article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4200958/URLs-outdo-hashtags-ads-aired-Super-Bowl-LI.html

Is the Hashtag over?  Researchers reveal Super Bowl ads have abandoned them (and Facebook and Twitter) for URLs.

  • Out of 66 ads only 30% of them had a hashtag - while 41% included a URL
  • This year had a 15% decrease in number of hashtags used in commercials
  • Twitter handles were only shown in 5 commercials and Facebook in 4

No surprise.  Hashtags don't drive customers to websites - URLs do.  Hashtags do relatively nothing, except a mediocre job at organizing content.  And hashtags are not owned by anyone, so a "hashtag takeover" is possible - by another brand or by people posting porn to that hashtag.  Not a good look when trying to trend something in your brand's favor.

One of the bigger fails in years past was using #CFP for the College Football Playoffs.  If you go out to Instagram now and search on #CFP, you'll see a bunch of stuff - football, but more cross-fit professionals. 

The 5 Things I Learned This Week: 1/27/17

Author: Steve Raack, CEO [ n e w k l e .u s ] 

The journey is real. Embrace the process. As an entrepreneur, there are weeks which push you to the limit of doubt and despair, then there are weeks where you never stop smiling. This was a week of ear-to-ear smiles. Below are the 5 things I learned this week.

1) The above graphic is 100% true! You're going to have your ups and downs. Self doubt will creep it. It's not a matter of "if", it's a matter of "when". Keep pushing forward. Download the graphic above and make it your home screen on your computer. When you're down, don't dwell in your self pity. Look at the graphic. It happens to EVERYONE. Hustle harder, an upturn is right around the corner.

2) Get yourself a cheerleader. In the good times, celebrate with this person. Rah-Rah-Rah!!! Enjoy the small victories along the way. Those are important milestones. In the bad times, this person will give you a much needed kick in the ass. Your cheerleader is not your business partner, not an investor, not a board member...they are someone outside your business completely. They are impartial and objective, but understand the vision, mission and values that you are fighting for. They see the big picture and understand the journey.

3) Kiss lots of frogs. Understand that your business is not usually top of mind to people. They are consumed with too many projects already. They try to plan out their year during the budgeting process, quarter by quarter. Projects are stacked on top of each other already. When you arrive on the scene, pitching your product, you are competing with a plan already approved by their Board of Directors. Your goal is to be compelling, but understand the context of what is happening in your prospective client's head. You are another project, even if your promise can deliver a massive ROI. Fill the funnel, show value and you will find your way into their priority list.

4) Patience and persistence. Probably the best lesson I've learned as an entrepreneur. You get so excited about changing the world. Your product is the best thing since sliced bread. So, why isn't everyone beating down your doors to get started? It's because they are busy / distracted and in some cases afraid to go against the status quo. You just gave them something else to think about. Something else to consider on top of their already busy calendar. Give it time, but don't disappear. Offer advice, send over articles with key learnings, stay on their radar but don't sell 100% of the time. That's annoying. Be helpful, be a resource.

5) Ask for help. My 2017 New Year's Resolution was to "ask for help." This is new for me. I'm scrappy and refuse handouts. But I realized, you don't have to conquer the world by yourself. It's a small world and people like helping. Well, most people like helping, I should say. Get clear on your "ask", be specific and respectful of their time, but ask people with connections to help you. You'll be amazed at the results.

It's been a great week! Thanks to everyone who continues to support our company and me personally. #gratitude

From the Social Era to the Community Era: IDEAL for Non-Profits

LinkeInArticle - NonProfit.png

Author: Steve Raack, CEO [ n e w k l e u s ] 

Recently I wrote an article entitled Hope is Not a Method for Success - Especially with Social Media.

In that article I discussed my thoughts on the evolution from the Google era to the Social era to the Community era. It highlights that the Social era engagement challenges are impacted by content saturation and pay-to-play social platforms. It also highlights the impact that the Social era has had on the acquisition to sale process.

Unfortunately some of the bigger industry losers in the Social era have been non-profits. I believe however, that the Community era brings much better opportunity.

NON-PROFITS

Many non-profits operate with conscience leadership, focused on social improvements. The cause is more important than any one individual. There is typically a personal connection to why individuals are passionate about the non-profit they are serving.

In the Social era, the declining social media engagement issues greatly impact non-profit reach. Take for instance, Autism Speaks on Facebook. They have over 1.7 Million followers of their Facebook page, yet many posts receive less than 1,000 Likes. Some posts receive 6,000 Likes, but those are few and far between. Even at 6,000 Likes though, that is a .35% reach of their total Follower base. Ugh.

This is both sad and frustrating, especially since the major social platform algorithms treat non-profits the same as they treat global for-profits. Many non-profits lack funding to boost posts and pay for ads. Many non-profits have small teams or use volunteers to help operationally.

If billion dollar, global brands with massive resources and capital are having engagement issues in the Social era, think about the thousands of small non-profits.

In the Community era however, the potential for direct connections increase.

Non-profits need to band together for the greater good. Bring people together in a digital community which shares common interests, common goals, common stories and common brands.

Today, location does not matter. We are all connected digitally through our smartphones. There is no reason why non-profits in Miami shouldn't be working with similar organizations in Seattle or Paris or Buenos Aires or Tokyo or Cairo or etc.

"Where are you from?" is only used as small talk to get acquainted, because location no longer matters.

EPILEPSY AWARENESS EXAMPLE

One focused digital destination for something like epilepsy awareness is ideal. November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month in the USA, yet most people are unaware. Even those who have family members and friends with epilepsy are not aware of the great programs / campaigns / education happening right now. Why?

Go to Twitter and type in epilepsy awareness (or click this link).

You'll see a scrollable list of Twitter accounts for this topic. Some connected with others and working together, some on their own. Some focused on education, some focused on products, some telling stories. They span the gamut related to epilepsy, which is great. And, the list is global, but the community is highly fragmented.

It's a very big community. 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy in their lifetimes. With numbers like that, it's very important that people know what to do if someone close to them has a seizure, and know what a seizure is and is not.

In the Community era, what if all of those individuals, brands and non-profits had their own digital destination? A place there they could interact as a community, rather than have their content get lost in a relatively worthless Twitter hashtag campaigns. Or get lost because the organizations don't have the money to boost posts on Facebook.

  • A single digital destination for epilepsy awareness
  • A single digital destination for people, brands and organizations to interact
  • A single digital destination to share stories of inspiration, educate others, build bonds regardless of race, economic situation or location
  • A single digital destination where the high-value content can be shared to others via text, email and on other social channels

An epilepsy awareness digital community will be powerful. No algorithms, no selfies, no paid ads. Just value added content supporting the cause this community cares about the most. A place where authentic relationships are built, causes move forward, education happens on a grand scale and donations are gathered for ongoing improvement.

Epilepsy Awareness is one community among many that would benefit. What about Autism, ADD / ADHD, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, childhood cancer, etc.? Digital communities are powerful.

In the Community era, non-profits have tremendous potential to join together and make positive differences around the world.

Evolution: Google Era to the Social Era and now to the Community Era

Author: Steve Raack, CEO [ n e w k l e u s ] 

Early in my career I spent a lot of time delivering project management training and mentoring. The focus was on planning, communication, mitigating risks, etc. All critical activities to help execute successful projects. During that time, we had a phrase we repeated a lot, "Hope is not a method for success."

  • Hoping you stay on budget, on time or within scope
  • Hoping a major risk doesn't blow up your project
  • Hoping...(fill in the blank)

For the past several years, too many companies are hoping their social media posts will drive engagement and sales. Followers and likes have increased, but not sales. This has led to hoping the boss doesn't require real ROI results!

Hope is not a method for success!

So what's going on and why is social engagement to sales so tough? Google the following phrase (or click on the link): decline of social media engagement

Ugh, ugh, ugh!!!

Many of you have been experiencing this decline for years.  It’s not just happening in one industry, and it's not just happening to you. The impacts are widespread.

We can talk about the many reasons that may be impacting everyone’s engagement, but it comes down to three main things:

1) Content saturation.  From selfies to political rants to people sitting during the National Anthem to fake muggings in Rio to airport check-ins to pictures of food, etc. Your business posts are competing with all the other “stuff” going on in the world. People’s social feeds are literally overflowing, and the brutal fact is, most of us on social media are there to connect with friends and family, not to shop your brand. 

In an effort to weed through the abundance of content, algorithms were created to help curate what you see. Unfortunately, the algorithms have definitely hurt engagement and reach.

Google the following phrase (or click on the link): social media content saturation

2) Pay-to-Play. Over the years and with our blind willingness to participate, the major social platforms have acquired tons of data on all of us.  Enough data and enough power to require you to pay for boosting posts and placing ads. You must pay-to-play to have any hope that your followers will see your content. And unfortunately, even when you pay, the engagement numbers are still very low.

Google the following phrase (or click on the link): social media pay to play

3) Social platforms were not created for business building.  They were not strategically designed with brands in mind. The big platforms were built for friends and family to share updates, pictures, messages, news, etc. Businesses have adapted to the different platform’s features over the years and continue to chase their fans from platform to platform.  

Like everything, innovation, demand and evolution are in play. Change is happening at a faster and faster pace. Regardless however, businesses must still find ways to complete the acquisition to sales process.

THE GOOGLE ERA

In the Google era, we talked about acquisition constantly. We used Google to connect with potential customers to bring them into our brand funnel. Google was where the masses lived online. We all played in the world of Google ads, search engine optimization, etc. We used fairly efficient tools and strategies to acquire customers and drive them to our blogs and websites. 

THE SOCIAL ERA

In the social era, we talk about content, likes, follows, influencers, engagement, etc. Platforms arose around micro-blogging, status updating, picture sharing, live streaming, and messaging. The masses scattered from Google to many platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Reddit, Periscope, etc. 

This era brought with it constantly changing dynamics, new user behaviors, algorithms and selfies. Tens of millions of worthless selfies that fill up our feeds every day. 

Personas also evolved.  People use Facebook as one persona with their family, community clubs and schools. They use a completely different persona on Snapchat and may even have a few Finstagram accounts sprinkled in along the way too.

By the way, using an informal poll of marketing executives, we found that most believe that 95% or more of those alternate personas are not looking to engage with brands on social platforms.

IMPACT ON BRANDS

In the Google era, it was all about acquiring leads to convert into sales.  The acquisition to sale process was fairly predictable and straightforward: Google -> Potential Customer -> Brand -> Sale. Generating volume of acquisition activity was costly at times, but important for growth.

In the social era, it’s about BIG DATA.  The social platforms control the data and therefore they control the connections to customers. And many of today’s social platforms have all encompassing user strategy.  This strategy puts strain on the acquisition to sale process.

In the social era, the acquisition to sale process is now Social Platform -> Potential Customer -> Social Platform -> Brand -> Sale. That extra Social Platform step brings with it many conversion challenges and is not usually in strategic alignment with the brands. The Social Platform’s desire is to have 100% of this process take place inside their platform.  The brand’s desire is to have transactions happen on their website where they can offer customers a full brand experience.

And then there's Amazon. In case declining social engagement wasn't enough in the social era, the Amazon engine poses additional challenges. Understand, Amazon can probably beat you on price, share of wallet and logistics. But they can't compete with you on brand experience and company culture.

So let’s revisit. Social engagement is declining, social costs are rising, brand experience is being marginalized, Amazon is causing heartburn and ROI is non-existent.

It’s time to pivot.

ENTER THE COMMUNITY ERA

The smartest brands are turning every customer touch point into something that strengthens the relationship. These brands want to know who their customers are and engage with them directly. Brands are the magic, not the platforms.

It’s about building long-term relationships and interactive communities around brands, events and topics of interest. It’s also about leveraging exclusive experiences.

Interact with your fans and customers directly.  Keep them engaged with purposeful strategies. Provide your most loyal fans and customers with exclusive experiences and let them capture those experiences on video – user generated video.

Bring your loyal fans inside your brand. Get to know them better. Take CRM to a deeper level with more personalization.

In doing that, you maintain a direct customer relationship AND you obtain incredible amounts of valuable, authentic user generated videos.

And if those exclusive experiences are truly amazing, those user generated videos will be shared on social platforms for everyone to see. Friends and family members will authentically learn about your brand and want to engage as well.

Consider social platforms as the new Google. Use them for customer acquisition. Leverage your fan base to tell authentic brand stories, welcome new customers into your community and build long-term, loyal relationships at every touch point. Your community embodies your brand and is designed strategically for customer engagement and retention.

Take purposeful action to foster your own brand community and stop hoping it happens as a result of posting content on social platforms.