Welcome back! As I mentioned yesterday, I’m spending this week hanging out at the BlogWorld New Media Expo event happening in New York City. If you missed yesterday’s recap, be sure to check that out because there were a lot of great nuggets. Today at BlogWorld featured another set of awesome speakers, informative panels, and freezing, freezing session room.
Want to know what you missed? Well, here’s a taste.
Why CEOs Should Love Open Employee Access To Social Media
Okay, so I’ll totally admit that I sat in on this session as a whim, but I’m really glad I did. Shel Holtz was in charge of the discussion and he did a fantastic job dispelling some social media workplace myths and talking about the benefits for getting involved.
First the myths. We’ve all heard them, now let’s debunk them.
- Employee productivity: Ah, yes, the timewaster myth! Shel referenced a University of Melbourne study that found productivity increases nine percent when employees are able to surf social media. Why? Because they insert natural breaks into their day, finishing a project, taking a mini-break, finishing something else, taking another mini-break. Shel also noted that cutting off social media will NOT suddenly make people stop screwing around. They’ll just go back to playing Solitaire.
- Network security: Network security is something we’re all concerned with, but cutting off social media isn’t your way to deal with this. Instead, it’s about data monitoring and making sure that you have all the latest installs for each of your computers. That’s how you make your network more secure.
- Loose Lips: Employees don’t need social media to sink ships. They’re just as likely to reveal confidential information in the office elevator or while at home using Facebook. The answer is to create policies and to properly train them on how to use social media. The training should be centered NOT on how to avoid getting in trouble, but how to properly use it.
- Bandwidth: Shell called bandwidth “the paper of the digital era”. You wouldn’t not send your customers a new catalog because you didn’t buy enough paper, so don’t leave your employees stranded either. If bandwidth is how you communicate with your audience, make it a priority to have enough.
To sum things up, Shel also offered a few of the major BENEFITS of welcoming your employees into the world of social media. I’ll quickly recap them:
- Increase subject matter expertise
- Idea Testing/Decision Support
- Competitive Intelligence
- Company/ Product Evangelist
Got that? If you’re still banning employees from social media, you’re doing it wrong.
How to Turn Your Blogging Passion Into a 6 Figure Business with Webinars
I mean, does anyone NOT find Lewis Howes completely charming? I think not. So there was no way I was going to miss his session on how to use webinars to build your business.
To kick things off, Lewis shared his experience getting into webinars. Basically, the fact that he was broke and living on his sister’s sofa was ruining his game with the ladies. So he knew he had to start making some money to support a better lifestyle. He decided to start doing webinars about something he was passionate about – how to use LinkedIn. After his first webinar landed him more than 6k in his PayPal account after just a few moments, he decided there was some money here.
Lewis shared his ten step process for successful webinars:
- Make it an Experience: Don’t think of your webinar as just a webinar – craft an experience and market it as such.
- Optimize your registration page: Make it so clean, clear and crisp of what people are going to learn and what they’re going to get coming to the webinar.
- Create an event for the event to leverage social media: Going back to Lewis’ first point, he recommended creating an “event” to go with your webinar. For example, making it a Facebook event, a LinkedIn Event, etc.
- Promote 4-7 days in advance: We have no attention span. If you tell us there’s an event happening in a month, we’ll write it on a calendar but we’ll still forget about it. Don’t market the event until 4-7 days in advance. Build it up and each day hit them with a new message about the event.
- Start seeding before the webinar starts: When people start entering your webinar, thank them by name. Announce that they should stick around until the end because you’ll be offering something that will help their business – a product, training, software, etc. Keep teasing that to get them to stay.
- Make a slide per minute: Bullet points put people to sleep and they won’t stick around. Use great graphical images, turning your webinar into almost a movie. Each slide needs to be seeding not only the very end, but the very next slide.
- Over-deliver: Give away as much information as possible. Don’t worry, people won’t be able to consume it all no matter how much you give them.
- Make it about your audience: Let them know how you got your passion with a story, but then make it about them.
- Be irresistible: Make the offer so irresistible that everyone wants it
- Follow Up: The greatest athletes in the world follow through. If you don’t follow through, you’re not gonna get the perfect shot. Email everyone after the webinar to say thanks for attending and keep the conversation going.
Why Facebook News Feed Optimization Matters to Marketers
My day ended with a great session on how marketers can get the most out of News Feed Optimization. In this one, speakers Bryan Person, Chad Wittman, Helen Todd and Dennis Yu did their best to blow the audiences’ mind by unleashing some of their best tips. And I think they did.
Ninety-four percent of users who Like your brand on Facebook will never again visit your brand page. That means you either do News Feed Optimization to make sure you’re showing up or you’re invisible and their Liking of you means nothing. Earning your spot in their feeds becomes even harder when you take into account that the average Facebook users has 130 friends and has Liked more than 90 different brands. What are you doing to raise your EdgeRank score and be seen?
Helen started off sharing some ideas:
- Use Facebook Questions: Use the Facebook Questions app to pose quick yes/no, true/false questions to your audience. Using the application will get more engagement than simply asking a question via your status update because of how they’re distributed.
- Target Wall Posts: Target wall posts to be relevant based on language and location. If you work with a national brand that does local events, target by city. For example, if you’re doing a special in-store event in NYC, your fans in CA really don’t want to see that.
- Use Photos to Pop: Use the Banner Strip application to get people’s attention when you show up in their News feed. Experiment with using larger images.
- Customize Link Headers and Descriptions: When you publish a link on Facebook, customize the title, description, calls to actions, etc, by mousing over the Title and bringing up the option to edit it.
- Share Exclusive Fan Content
Chad shared some additional tips for getting engagement including sharing unique photos and videos, talking about bigger names/brands/events, running contests, sharing A LOT of content, discussing topics that push fans’ buttons to be intentionally polarizing and discussing bubble-type content like the Royal Wedding.
Dennis blew everyone’s mind with a live example, showing how powerful an engaged community can be by asking a question on FB and receiving 50+ responses in just a few minutes. I think people’s jaws are STILL on the floor. He also noted the importance of syncing your Facebook activity with what you’re doing offline. Don’t just create a static Facebook content calendar and stick to it. If you’re running a cool television promotion, play off it on Facebook by posting something socially related right after it airs. People are going to be checking you out, give them something to look at.
One final lesson from the panelists – stop running those contests that do nothing but get you fans who really don’t care about your brand. By getting lots of uninterested fans, people who only joined for the chance to win an iPad and will never interact with you, will HURT your brand by skewing your engagement level. Go after people who are most relevant.
Some good tips!
That’s it from me on Day 2 at BlogWorld. I will see you tomorrow to wrap things up. Until then… :)