Community feedback: asking is just the beginning

This morning in the always fast-paced tweet chat run by Buffer, an interesting topic came up that I feel is often overlooked by community builders and brands. The subject of the conversation was Nir Eyal‘s Hook Model, which essentially helps brands build habit-forming products.

A question was raised concerning how to figure out the current pain points of users of a platform or product, and the number one answer, of course, was to “ASK!!!”

Asking is, of course, the first part of the answer to this question, but it certainly isn’t the only one; and I don’t even think it’s the most important one. Having led community input efforts for Scoop.it’s redesign last year, I learned the importance of the next two steps of the community feedback loop. Continue reading

Why even IBM needs SMB marketing software

“Employees at the brand at IBM. How about at your company?”

Marketers used to buy ads, PR and creative work. Now they also buy software. This is new and this is a big change. A clear example of that trend, Marketo‘s massive success is 100% built on marketing software – a category which didn’t exist 10 years ago. Beyond Marketo, an entire ecosystem has developed ranking from marketing automation to inbound marketing and content marketing. Some say this space is crowded but the fact is no one denies anymore that software tools have proven useful to understand “which 50% of my marketing spending is efficient“.

The success of these tools has been to be designed for marketers by marketers. The same way Salesforce.com used the language of the VP Sales and not the language of CFO’s, marketing software vendors owe a big part of their success to speaking the language of marketers. Demand generation, campaigns, leads, funnel, nurturing, editorial calendars, brand assets, landing pages, open rates, click-through rates… The jargon is undoubtably omnipresent in these tools because they’re focused on being understood and used by one unique user category: marketers.

This needs to change.

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SMBs: You Don’t Need an Expensive Content Calendar Tool

…you need good content.

Last week, back from Content Marketing World 2014, Jay Baer noted that over the last 12 months, the number of content marketing software vendors had exploded, forcing the vendor and expo area to massively expand. How many exactly were participating? Too many according to him. And because these companies were not sustainable yet but spending their VC’s money, he predicted a big shakeout will happen.

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The Problem With “Staying Relevant”

I tend to find inspiration in strange places. Last week, I was listening to a podcast with a few of my favorite stand-up comedians expecting nothing more than a few chuckles. Interestingly, they began talking about what it’s like to be a comedian in the age of the Internet and the pressure to “keep their personal brands alive” and “stay relevant” with fresh jokes on a more consistent basis than they can write.

As comedians, these two were put off by the notion that everything online these days is about marketing, whether it be your product, yourself, or even your jokes. One of the quotes that specifically inspired me went something like this: “Everything online is marketing these days. Why can’t we just make good stuff and then people who like it will watch it?”

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How You Can Prepare for Twitter’s Potential Upcoming Changes

Twitter strategy might be shifting and the implications for our personal and business experience could be profound.

Source: www.businessesgrow.com

If you’re in social media marketing, you probably cringe at the mention of the word EdgeRank. I know I do, because it makes me think of how frustrating it is that even the best of my brand’s Facebook content might not be seen by more than 200 or 300 of our 57,000 fans unless I spend money to promote it.

Brace yourselves, social marketers, because algorithms just like Facebook’s EdgeRank might be coming to Twitter. In this post by our friend Mark Schaeffer, you can learn about some of the reasons why Twitter is thinking about implementing this, including the pressure from investors now that Twitter has gone public.

Mark brings up some great points for both sides like the fact that, with so many active users, “an unfiltered news stream can seem overwhelming,” but one of the best things about Twitter is that it’s completely unfiltered because  it allows for news to break in real time; something we see happening more and more each day.

According to Mark – and most marketers including myself happen to agree – Twitter will ultimately end up implementing an algorithm that determines what updates you see depending on elements like trending topics and interaction history, which will make organic reach plummet which would effectively eliminate the main differentiator of Twitter from Facebook.

What can do you, then, to prepare for this change?   Continue reading

Social Media Publishing is dead (as we know it)

 Earlier this month, Facebook dropped a bombshell by not only acknowledging that Facebook pages’ organic reach was declining but also by telling us we shouldn’t expect them to recover. Facebook’s VP of Product for Facebook Ads, Brian Boland, went on to explain that this is the new world we live in now, that the same thing happened with search engines before and that we’d better get used to it. It’s true that many platforms go through a similar cycle: first, they present a great free opportunity, then more and more people grab it – decreasing the return for everyone until finally, the platform focuses on those ready to pay for play. It happened with Google Search; it happened with Apps (yes, Apple doesn’t sell ads but others do – such as coincidentally… Facebook). And now that all social media are publicly-traded company with ambitious revenue targets to reach, it will happen to social media as well.

So what does the decline of organic reach on Facebook and social platforms exactly mean on a practical basis?

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College Students: 4 Tools You Can Use to Boost Your Learning Online

Raise your hand if you have ever sat in a lecture hall. Keep it raised if you have ever felt alone in the lecture hall. If you have ever felt alone while studying for that big exam. Or if you’ve ever missed a class, needed lecture notes, but knew no one in that class. Keep it raised, if by the end of the semester, of the 500 people in that class, you only met 1 or 2 of them, and by ‘met’, I mean gave them a formal head-nod or stared at the back of their head for 16 weeks. Keep it raised if you have ever bombed a test, but you feel like you studied a lot. (You really didn’t have to raise your hand, but if you did, props).

Yes, we’ve all been through these pain points. You probably wouldn’t even be reading this post if you didn’t passionately agree with me that these problems need fixing. They need fixing so badly that, if they don’t get it, they can put a damper on your college experience.

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The Most Important Reason to Practice Lead Generation

A common theme at Scoop.it is helping people with important things to say be heard through all of the noise that exists online today. Creating an integrated content strategy that includes a healthy mix of creation and curation is the first step to success in this area, but another very important aspect that’s often overlooked is lead generation. Continue reading

How to Prepare Your Business for Content Marketing

A few weeks ago, content marketing expert Michael Brenner posted on his blog a list of signs that a business is not ready for content marketing. He brings up an interesting point in that many businesses believe they need to launch a content marketing strategy simply because everyone else is doing it, even though they may not be properly equipped to do so. Continue reading