Sunday, November 23, 2014

content calendarContent calendars can be an excellent tool to plot out your social outreach strategy for creating and sharing content over time. The calendar may include links to existing resources like e-books and white-papers, videos and other downloads. These are easily scheduled in a content calendar and that allows you to see the story you are weaving over a period of time and also step back and see where there are opportunities to create more information or to curate relevant content from other sources.

All good right? Yes and no. It may be tempting to fill in the calendar with all the marketing info you possibly can and call it a day. Schedule it in Sprout Social or Hootsuite and you’re done. Awesome. NOT.

Write this down and put it on your monitor. 75% of the content you share every day should be about your network and their interests, not about you. This content may be curated from relevant news stories, breakthroughs in the industry you are related to, regulatory issues or re-shares to support the people within your networks. The remaining 25% can be about you, though it still should be useful and valuable information not canned marketing speak, and that 25% can certainly be planned out in a content calendar!

What does a content calendar look like?
It varies a lot sometimes it’s a shared Google spreadsheet or a literal calendar on a whiteboard. It’s good if it is in a format that can be shared with your entire team. This makes it easy for people to edit and add their own ideas and plan ahead. Here’s a good tutorial on creating a content calendar and a free template to boot.

Once you get some items in your content calendar step back and take a look. It should give you ideas to look for the other 75% of content through searches, curation tools like or Feedly, and keyword alerts with apps like Mention and Buzzsumo.

Bottom line? Content calendars  aren’t a shortcut to social media engagement. They’re a planning tool that can help you get a better big picture of your messaging and the time to engage with your network and support and add value to it in real-time.


Facebook Business ManagerFacebook is making it much easier for agencies like ours to manage business pages and ads with Facebook Business Manager. You may have gotten some emails from the third party apps you use for ad creation, sweepstakes and custom tabs on your page. These are what Facebook calls “Grey accounts” These are accounts where you are using a 3rd party application to manage your ads, known as “shared logins”. You’ll need to enable these accounts through your business manager directly. More on that below.

Here are the highlights of Facebook Business Manager:
Only one person in your organization will be the admin for your business manager account. If that’s you, log in to Facebook with your personal Facebook details, answer a few questions and read the terms of service before you accept. You’ll select one of the pages you manage to be the primary page. If you don’t have a business page for your own business to make the primary page you’ll want to set one up before you dig in.

When you’ve got it set up you’ll see all the pages you manage in one place as well as the power editor and a list of “projects”. Projects help you organize your pages and ads and assign people on your team to manage them. Finally an easy way to add a manager to a Facebook page or ads without having to connect on Facebook personally.

Another nice feature, you can select a group of pages and assign them all to one person on your team with one click. You can also easily change the roles of people  through the “People” tab in the business manager dashboard.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 9.44.50 AMGoing forward anyone with access to the management tab of your facebook page will see an alert like this one, letting them know who to go to to make changes to roles etc. for the page. This makes it easy for you to jump into business manager right from the Facebook page. If you are an agency, give your clients a heads-up this is changing so there are no surprises.

Here are the various roles you can assign:

Business Manager:

  • Business Admin: Can manage all aspects of the business settings, including modifying or deleting the account and adding or removing people.
  • Business Employee: Can see all of the information in the business settings but can’t make any changes.

Ad Accounts:

  • Ad Account Admin: Can manage all aspects of campaigns, reporting, billing and account permissions, and can set ad account spending limits. Ad account admins can also associate business payment methods.
  • Ad Account Advertiser: Can see and edit ads and set up ads using the payment method associated with the ad account.
  • Ad Account Analyst: Can see ad performance.


  • Page Admin: Can manage Page roles, send messages and post as the Page, create ads, and view insights.
  • Page Editor: Can edit the Page, send messages and post as the Page, create ads, and view insights.
  • Page Moderator: Can respond to and delete comments on the Page, send messages as the Page, create ads, and view insights.
  • Page moderators can’t post as the Page.
  • Page Advertiser: Can create ads for the Page and view insights. Page advertisers can’t post as the Page.
  • Page Analyst: Can view insights. Page analysts can’t post as the Page.

Adding pages is easy, you just click add page in the manager dashboard if you own the page and are an admin of it, just click “Claim a Page fro Business Manager”. However, if you use the page on behalf of another company you may need to request access to the page. Within the admin panel you can easily see what agencies and people have access to your page and at what level.

Business manager and ads
I’m really excited about this. Now we can see an overview of the spend and reach for a specific ad account all in one place in the business manager. This is a huge improvement over the previous methods. You still can’t drill down to specific campaign data, but we hope that too is coming soon in an update.

Payment options are easier to set up in the business manager too. You can now add more than one payment method on file for your business account to suit the needs of your clients. Each payment method is associated with an ad account so you can have alternative payment options for different clients. Only the admin can make changes here or access the credit info so your data is safe.

What about “Grey Accounts”?
Managing Grey accounts is simple. Go into the business manager and click Shared Logins and then add shared logins for each of the applications to give these businesses permission to assign roles to work on any of the shared assets on your accounts.

Bottom line?
Overall this is a nice step for Facebook to make it easier for agencies or companies with multiple pages to manage them more easily and efficiently.



Malcolm Gladwell explains the secret to sauce, but what’s that got to do with #socialbiz? LotsTweet:

I watched this TED talk with Malcolm Gladwell the other day. In it he talks about research that was done by psychophysicist Howard Moscowitz, specifically about some research Moscowitz did on consumer preferences for Pepsi and Prego spaghetti sauce.

When Moscowitz told Pepsi they should be looking not for the “Perfect Pepsi” but the “Perfect Pepsis” it was initially lost on us. As marketers we are often focused on the end goal, to make our product appealing to consumers.

To be brutally honest, our goal is often to make consumers see the value in our product and not someone else’s, and we want to narrow the product line to the one thing everyone universally wants, right?

That’s the wrong approach 
Consumers have much more diverse tastes than we think (or maybe want) them to have. Trying to create one product that appeals to everyone is not the best for everyone at all.

When Gladwell talks about the research for Prego tomato sauce it all makes sense
In researching the perfect tomato sauce for the American palate, Moscowitz and his team created 45 variations of spaghetti sauce and took it to consumers. The consumers taste tested and rated the sauces. At the end of the process he discovered that rather than a shapely bell curve, he had several clusters of information showing that Americans liked their sauce in 3 main groups; plain, spicy and chunky. Not only was this news to Prego, it was news to the entire industry. One third of the US market wanted chunky tomato sauce and it wasn’t even on the supermarket shelves! When Prego released a chunky sauce they took over the market. Simply listening to what the consumers wanted let to a huge product breakthrough. Over the next 10 years they made over $600 million on extra chunky tomato sauce. Ragu quickly followed suit and now they have 36 varieties of spaghetti sauce on the shelves. The food industry started to market varieties more and one-taste-fits-all products less.

What’s that got to do with social networks?
Lots. See, here’s the thing. We often look at social networks with blinders on. We like one network more than the others because we’ve gotten good responses there or we are more comfortable in that user interface. Over and over I hear marketers and sales people say “My market just doesn’t use that network”. But do they really know? Probably not.

We craft the perfect message to our own ears, not the ears of the consumer. We “know” what we want them to think and the action we want them to take, and often our messaging is created in a vacuum, written exclusively for our own internal audience.

The other telling bit of this video was when people are asked what kind of coffee they like, they invariably come back with “A deep rich flavorful dark roast”, but we know from watching the market that a goodly portion of people really want a thin, mellow, milky drink at the coffee house! Some with added flavors and sweeteners to the point you can barely recognize the source, and that’s OK, that’s what the market wants and not what the coffee roaster may have envisioned.

In focus groups people say what they think the marketer wants to hear, or will enhance their pubic facing persona, but if we listen to them talking among themselves, as social media enables us, we may find a completely different story.

Bottom line
Marketers used to say people didn’t know what they wanted, they needed to be told what they wanted. Those old school methods are no longer valid.

We need to ask better questions of our market to find out what kind of conversations they want to have with us and where they want to have them.

We need to learn better how to communicate with our consumer and find out what it is exactly that they want and be willing to accept it may be something completely different than what everyone else thinks they want.

I guarantee you that if you search for mentions of your product, your competitor’s product, or, even better, the need your product fills, you’ll find a wealth of information you can use to make your product serve your customers better. Who knows, with a more mindful social approach maybe you’ll have a chunky sauce epiphany and change your entire industry!

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Why people don’t get Google+

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Google+ is a great social network. I can’t count the number of people I’ve said that to and they didn’t really believe me. People are constantly dissing this particular network even though it really has more intelligent conversation going on than many other networks. Why? Maybe it’s because you just don’t get how it works [...]

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Video Curation, It’s All About the N3TWORK

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We all love videos and sharing content that we find which resonates with us right? But it’s getting harder and harder to find videos that really speak to us. Sure, you can search popular video sites like Vimeo and YouTube, but it can take a while to filter through all the videos available to find the good [...]

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A Hard Social Media Lesson for Hoteliers

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If you don’t remember anything else I’ve ever told you about social business, remember this: ALL business is social. Even if you aren’t using social media–other people are–and they talk. Oh how they do talk. Let’s take a lesson from the Union Street Guest House, a hotel in Hudson, NY who recently made the news [...]

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What whitewater rafting taught me about social business

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Yes, that’s me in the raft on the left with the huge grin heading into “Troublemaker” rapids. We just got back from a two day trip rafting the American River and it was awesome. What’s that got to do with social business? Not a lot really, just this one thing. Unplugging is good for our [...]

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The Not-So Secret Guide to Twitter Lists

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What are Twitter lists anyway? A Twitter list is a curated group of users on Twitter. When the list is viewed, the posts of the people added to that list show up in the list’s stream. Basically it’s a way to group interesting people on specific subjects or other groups (clients, friends, competitors, movie stars) to [...]

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