Should you have a social media marketing patron?

In one of many conversations yesterday at Social Media Marketing World, I was asked, “How does someone new get started building a following?” While there’s no cut and dried answer that makes it easy, one of the accelerators you can use to jump start a program is to leverage a patron, an idea

What is a patron? In this context, a patron is someone who’s willing to “sponsor” your social identity into a circle of influence and trust. This can be something as simple as someone retweeting your content on a consistent basis to their audience, or something as complex as having an advisor coach you through the beginning of building your audience.

Do you need a patron? No, of course not. You can accomplish audience-building entirely on your own by combining paid social media with organic content, and leveraging all of the marketing methods that we know and love. Patrons just accelerate the process by brokering relationships and making connections faster.

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How do you find a patron? If you’re considering that avenue, look at your social graph, the people you’re connected to. Who is already talking about the things you want to talk about? Who has an audience that’s like the one you want? Who is reachable? Here’s one potential method: While social media influence scores are terrible KPIs and should never be used to measure the success of a program, they are a useful hint for the level of difficulty you might have in reaching someone.

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If you’re starting out and you’ve got a score of 1, the 1-10 bracket is probably the first group of people you can do outreach to, to build your base. As your network grows, reach up into the next bracket. For example, if your score is 15, look to reach out to people in the 20-29 bracket. Connect with them, share their stuff, provide them value first, and after you’ve established a relationship, make whatever ask you’re planning on making.

To Mark Schaefer’s recent point, no one is holding you down, but there are lots of people who can lift you up if you’re smart and targeted in your approach.


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Where to find me at Social Media Marketing World

As many others are, I’ll be attending and speaking at Social Media Marketing World. If you’d like to talk about how I and SHIFT Communications can help your company with all things social (especially measurement, analytics, and down-funnel marketing), data-driven public relations, come find me and say hello!

Wednesday:

Evening reception on the USS Midway. Look for the guy avoiding crowds and instead checking out World War II weaponry. I anticipate being difficult to find.

Thursday:

Invisible in the morning. Floating around during the afternoon. If you want to say hello, any time in the afternoon is fine, just tweet at @cspenn.

Friday:

8 AM Keynote with Mark Schaefer, Guy Kawasaki, and Mari Smith. We’ll be talking whether content is killing social media or vice versa.

10:45 AM in Seaport H, How to use analytics to predict future social media marketing opportunities. This is my solo talk on predictive analytics. You’ll walk out knowing some brand new ways to use tools that you already own or can afford out of pocket.

11:45 AM in Seaport C, I’ll be moderating a panel with Susan Beebe, Dan Gingiss, and Chuck Hemann titled, “How to measure what matters and communicate it to the execs, managers, and the front line”. To be perfectly honest, I won’t be saying much in this session. Why? Because I despise the uncommon but annoying panel moderators who think it’s their job to talk for half the panel’s time because they couldn’t earn a solo session. The moderator’s there mainly to end fights and/or fill dead time when the audience fails to ask questions.

Hope to see you there! If you want to chat but for some reason can’t get a hold of me, contact me through SHIFT.


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Should you repost your social media content all the time?

Why repost the same content on social media?

Why do you see popular brands and influencers recycling their material in the span of hours?

It’s not because they’ve run out of content. It’s because of churn.

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In social media (and digital marketing), we churn two things most: attention and audience.

Attention churn is the amount of attention any of our content gets. Take a look at this chart below of one of my more popular tweets:

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This tweet reached half of its lifetime audience in 65 minutes, and reached 80% of its lifetime audience in slightly more than 10 hours. If this content were an important selling piece for me, I wouldn’t even get a day’s use out of it. That’s attention churn, the speed at which your audience moves onto new things.

Audience churn is the constant change in the makeup of your audience. Every day, you lose audience members. Every day, you gain audience members. Below is an example from Facebook of Net Likes, which are the Likes you get minus the people who Unlike your page:

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Even in your web analytics, you’ll see this. Below is the ratio of new users to returning users for just visitors to my website from social channels in a 30 day period:

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This proclaims that 2/3 of my audience which comes from social media hasn’t seen my website before. That’s a staggering number, especially if your business relies on repeat customers.

What does this mean for us?

We can’t count on our audiences having seen things that are old hat to us. We can’t count on them knowing what they should and shouldn’t do once they become a part of our community. This is the epitome of the curse of knowledge. We see what we share every day. A new audience member has seen almost nothing. What’s boring to us is fresh to them.

If your analytics look anything like mine, take three basic tactical steps to ensure your audience is always being welcomed and is always seeing the important stuff.

Ensure your properties all have welcome messages of some kind. You could put something as simple as a link in your profile, or share a daily welcome message. My daily welcome message makes up almost 5% of my campaign-based website traffic:

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Make clear your top calls to action in your website design. New audience members should have no ambiguity about what you want them to do:

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Consider reposting your best content on a regular basis so that different parts of your audience see it. I’m about to embark on a new organic social campaign that will share links to my latest book on a very regular basis over 30 days, to see what happens. There are plenty of software platforms and companies that will offer to do content reposting for you (for a fee, of course). You can also just do it manually, by sharing the same content at different times of day.

Audiences and attention are churning all the time. Who you talk to today can differ significantly from who you talked to yesterday. Don’t assume that everyone has seen everything you have to offer!


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