Monday, 24 July 2017

How to Submit a DMCA Takedown Notice

Do people copy your content and post it on their site without permission? Did you know the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) can help? In this article, you’ll discover how to file a DMCA takedown notice to protect your content from plagiarists and content scrapers. What Is the DMCA and How Does It Protect Bloggers [...]

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Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Journey From Sprout Intern to Software Engineer

As I close out my first year as a full-time Software Engineer here at Sprout, I am reminded of one moment during my internship  last summer that will always stick with me. In my final week, I was called into a meeting where several senior engineers guided my fellow interns and me on how to interview elsewhere. Initially, I was certain they were ostensibly showing us the door. However, they had already spent an exorbitant amount of time and effort training us, making us feel the “Sprout Love”, and to top it off, presented each of us with a return offer. Needless to say, I was confused why they were encouraging and even instructing us to go off and explore our options.

One year in and I have realized that this gesture embodies what I’ve come to appreciate about the culture at Sprout–always be curious and always be growing. The way Sprout embraces learning and development for all employees is impressive, and by the end of my internship it made it difficult, dare I say impossible, for me to decline that return offer. And while I have explored other career options, knowing my team supports and encourages me in that journey, no matter what, actually makes it more enticing for me to stay at Sprout.

Fast-forward to the present and it’s been a pretty wild ride. Just two days into my full-time position and Sprout continued to deliver on its commitment to my growth as an engineer and leader, placing me in tech design meetings for our asset library feature, and within my first month, we released that feature to customers. Since then, I’ve helped build Instagram scheduling and Twitter video publishing, both of which were led in tandem by myself and another engineer who graduated with me last summer. It is hard to believe how much changes in a year. Nearly twelve months ago I was walking across the stage at Northwestern’s commencement ceremony and now I come to work everyday with the support and freedom to make lasting impacts on the team.

Looking back on my graduating class, I am struck by how many of my fellow engineers headed to the fabled Silicon Valley to start their careers. While I have no doubt that they are all finding similar fulfillment in their work and tackling exciting challenges every day, I think it’s worth mentioning that there are exciting companies everywhere you look. I could have easily justified the need to go somewhere else and find experiences at different companies. In fact, many of my teammates encouraged exploring those options. That said, I really couldn’t imagine starting anywhere else. The tech community in Chicago is thriving and I’m sincerely proud to be a part of it.

To those that are graduating soon. I’d say that wherever you go, there will likely be some brilliant engineers for you to work with and exciting challenges to solve if you seek them out. Just be sure that you’re investing your time into an organization that is similarly invested in you.

Interested in joining the Sprout team? Browse through our careers page to see our current openings.

This post The Journey From Sprout Intern to Software Engineer originally appeared on Sprout Social.



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Friday, 21 July 2017

#SproutChat Recap: Advancing Your Career With Digital Conferences

When you work in social media, staying up to date on the latest trends is sometimes a struggle. Attending in-person conferences to stay informed can be expensive, especially if you work on a small team or on your own.

Thankfully there are a multitude of ways to continue learning and keep tabs on changes in the digital marketing space. With low cost resources like digital conferences, webinars and Twitter chats, it’s easy to find the tools and knowledge that will expand your skill set.

Always Be Learning

It’s vital to your career advancement to be constantly learning new skill sets and trends in the industry. Be sure to keep your continued learning cycle consistent and do more than the bare minimum.

Take Time to Learn New Skill Sets

You have to remember to step outside of your own bubble of work. The time you invest in learning new skills outside of your specialized role will help you in the long run, whether that means reaching business goals or personal goals.

Pay Close Attention to Trends

Outside of expanding your skill set, it’s important to keep tabs on trends and breaking news for every social platform. Being proactive in this approach will help ensure that brand accounts do not fall behind and are always effectively delivering content.

No Budget for Conferences? No Problem

It may seem like in-person conferences are the most effective way to continue learning, but it’s okay to think beyond costly methods to connect with new people and ideas. Digital conferences are a great way to get in-depth information in a short amount of time.

Share Learnings With Leadership

Be your own champion. Start sharing insights gathered from conferences and webinars with senior leadership and list action items from what you’ve learned to set informed goals for your work. Sharing these ideas shows leadership that you take your career seriously and are capable of taking initiative on new projects.

Be sure to tune in next week, Wednesday, July 26, for #SproutChat at a special time, 3 p.m. CDT. We’ll be joined by special guest, Lizz Kannenberg, Director of Content at Sprout Social, where we’ll discuss creating impressive content that drives results.

Until then be sure to join our Facebook community to keep up on on all things #SproutChat.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Advancing Your Career With Digital Conferences originally appeared on Sprout Social.



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Messenger Chatbots: How to Get Started

Wondering if Messenger chatbots are right for your business? Want to know how to build your own chatbot? To explore why and how to create Facebook Messenger chatbots, I interview Ben Beck. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help [...]

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Thursday, 20 July 2017

9 Tips to Improve Organic Growth with the Facebook Algorithm

How to Create a Facebook Live Show

Want to broadcast a regular live show on Facebook with a co-host? Wondering how to plan all of the logistics for your show? In this article, you’ll discover how to launch a successful Facebook Live show, with or without a co-host. #1: Define the Key Objective, Measurement Tactics, and Success Benchmarks Before you get swept [...]

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

15 Twitter Hacks You Should Have Learned Yesterday

Social Media & Business: Are Your Brand Objectives Aligned?

Instagram Live Replays: What Marketers Need to Know

Are you using live video on Instagram? Wondering how to save Instagram live videos so followers can replay them later? In this article, you’ll discover how to get an extra 24 hours of view time for your live videos with Instagram Live video replays. Who Has Access to Instagram Live Video Replays The great news [...]

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

5 Ways Nonprofits Can Boost Their Causes On Social

How to Use Facebook Recruiting to Find Top Talent

3 Ways to Generate Leads Using YouTube

Want to generate more leads and conversions with YouTube? Looking for organic tactics to help boost the performance of your existing video content? In this article, you’ll discover three effective ways to turn YouTube viewers into leads. #1: Drive Website Traffic With YouTube Cards YouTube cards are a marketer’s dream come true because they let [...]

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Monday, 17 July 2017

11 Must-Read Tips on How to Get Followers on Instagram

How to Use Facebook Messenger for Social Customer Service

Want to provide better customer service on Facebook? Wondering how Facebook Messenger can help? In this article, you’ll discover how to use Facebook Messenger as a valuable social customer care tool. Why Messenger for the Front Lines of Customer Care? According to USA Today, Facebook views Messenger for Business as a venue for “conversational commerce.” [...]

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

New Instagram and Messenger Ad Features, and LinkedIn Native Video

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore new Instagram and Messenger ad options with Amanda Bond, new LinkedIn features with Viveka [...]

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Friday, 14 July 2017

#SproutChat Recap: How to Brand Your Business on Social Media

Once you’ve made it over the hurdle of launching a business, how do you successfully brand that business on social media? It’s important to take the time to strategize what platforms you want to focus your efforts on, as well as understanding where your audience lives.

In this week’s #SproutChat, we were joined by Sprout All Star Elite and branding expert, Rebekah Radice, who’s offered her insights on social strategy for branding businesses. From content strategy to which social platforms to spend time on, Radice covered a bevy of information for brands.

Claim Your Brand’s Stake in Social

When launching your brand on social make sure that it can be easily recognized by its logo and name. Differentiate your business from others on social and take the opportunity to tell that story clearly in your bio and through the content you publish.

Social Profiles and Websites Should Work Together

Make sure that the information you provide for your business on social is consistent with what you’ve provided on your website. While your business’s website should answer any questions visitors may have that aren’t answered on your social profiles, the two platforms should work in tandem to make important communications visible and accessible.

Define Your Brand

Your brand’s voice and tone should be guided by what you’re offering your audience. Having a familiarity with your audience will help you fine-tune how you communicate and help you understand the benefits your customers are looking for, rounding out a better experience.

Meet Your Customers Where They Are

It’s easy to say that your brand should be on every social network, but it’s best to do a little research and put your time and effort into the platforms that you know your audience is spending time on. This makes working toward business goals more manageable.

Metrics Tell the Story

Create goals to track and allow for time to analyze how your business is performing on social. Every journey is different, so if engagement is a key performance indicator for you, be ready to test and learn along the way.

Join #SproutChat next Wednesday, July 12, at 2 p.m. CDT, to chat about advancing your career in social and digital conferences. Until then join our Facebook community to network with other folks in the industry and stay up to date on #SproutChat events.

This post #SproutChat Recap: How to Brand Your Business on Social Media originally appeared on Sprout Social.



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Video Authenticity: How to Perform On-Camera

Do you want to connect with your audience via video? Looking for tips to convey confidence and authority? To explore how to improve your on-camera performance, I interview David H. Lawrence XVII. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help [...]

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Thursday, 13 July 2017

11 Facebook Metrics Every Brand Needs to Track

How to Create a Social Media Policy for Your Employees

Want to help your employees better engage on social media? Wondering how a social media policy can help? A social media policy gives your employees guidelines for interacting with customers and protecting their personal safety, as well as your business’s reputation. In this article, you’ll discover three tips for creating a social media policy for [...]

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

How to Schedule Tweets & Increase Brand Engagement

How Consumers Respond to Brands on Social Media: New Research

Want to know why some brands connect with consumers more than others on social media? Wondering if the tone of your social media marketing is affecting sales? In this article, you’ll find insights from new research that reveal how consumers feel about the content and conversations businesses are serving up on social media. #1: Brand [...]

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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

How to Use Hashtags on Every Social Media Network

Influencer Marketing Ain’t Easy: 5 Client Questions to Answer Before They Ask

The client conversation around influencer marketing is changing. When agencies first began pitching influencers as part of a brand’s social strategy, they spent a lot of time answering “what?” and “why?” But as a recent study by Tomoson Research shows, influencer marketing is now “the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel—beating organic search, paid search and email marketing.” Not to mention, nearly 60% of marketers plan to increase their ad budgets to accommodate influencer marketing efforts in the year ahead.

With proof points like these, influencers are no longer a tough sell to clients:

  • 92% of consumers are more likely to trust their peers over advertising when it comes to purchasing decisions.
  • On average, businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent.
  • Influencer marketing has 11 times the ROI of a banner advertising campaign.
  • Marketing-inspired word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising.

While it’s easy to get swept up in the numbers, there’s still much to learn about what makes a successful influencer program. And while agencies may not have to spend as much time answering “why?”—there’s still the very important question of “how do we do it right?”

Here are five of the most common questions about influencers and the answers an agency needs in order to demonstrate expertise in the space and gain buy-in from clients.

1. What Is the Goal of the Program?

Make no mistake, this is the single most important question to consider when developing (and eventually pitching) an influencer program. Before even thinking about who the influencers will be or what they will create, marketers must identify specific, measurable goals. Should the program increase awareness? Generate new followers? Drive sales?

According to a recent survey evaluating the current state of influencer marketing:

  • 89% of marketers used influencers to create authentic content for their brand
  • 77% used them to drive engagement
  • 56% used them to drive traffic to their websites or landing pages

It should go without saying that the goal of the program should also align with the project brief. A successful influencer program is useless if its outcome does not address the ask of the client.

2. How Will We Measure Success?

For 2017, 78% of marketers have cited measuring the ROI of influencer marketing as a top challenge, making it important for agencies to identify which metrics they’ll monitor to measure the program’s success. Meanwhile, 81% of marketers cite engagement as their top metric for measuring influencer marketing success, meaning how many likes, shares and comments the various pieces of content received.

Marketers may also consider tracking traffic and conversions, especially if the program’s goal is an increase in sales. Using trackable links, promo codes and monitoring correlation are just a few ways an agency can propose tracking these markers.

3. Who Are the Right Influencers?

Marketers, repeat after us: fit over followers. One of the biggest mistakes we see marketers make when choosing potential influencers is focusing too much on the number of followers. What good is a million followers if they’re not the right audience for the brand? The personality, values and previous content of potential influencers have to be a good fit for the brand or the program will fail. And it may take a little research to find that information out.

When pitching potential influencers to clients, it’s helpful to include example posts that both demonstrate their fit with the brand and showcase the quality of their content. And even though it’s not the reason they were chosen, it may be smart to include their potential reach as well to strengthen the business case.

4. What Will They Create?

Once an agency has identified the influencer or influencers for the program, it’s time to decide what type of content they’ll create. Knowing the specific ask will help align client, agency and influencer expectations and will make reaching out to the influencer a much smoother process. It’s also easier to quote rates when the influencers have an idea about how much time and effort is expected of them.

Agencies should take into account the program goal, their desired measurement, as well as the influencers’ own content when deciding what to ask for. For example, don’t ask for a blog post if the influencer’s strength is photography.

Marketers also have to consider FTC regulations, which require influencers to disclose when content is part of a paid partnership. There are various ways to do this, but most often we see posts labeled with an #ad or #spon hashtag. It’s imperative that the branded content be just as compelling and entertaining as the rest of the influencer’s content—or else it will stick out like a sore thumb and the influencer’s audience won’t trust it.

5. Should We Pay Them?

To gift, or to pay: that is one of the most common client questions. And in order to answer it correctly, marketers must consider the pros and cons of both gifting and paying an influencer. The biggest pro of gifting is obvious—free marketing. But cons can include no guarantee of quality or positive sentiment, no control over the message and no ownership over the content that’s created. It also may be more difficult to find an influencer with good reach if they believe their value is worth more than just a free sample.

When you offer payment, those influencers with a strong, solid audience are more likely to be on board. Plus it gives marketers more creative, and legal, ownership of the content. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t matter whether an agency gifts or pays an influencer, a paid partnership must be disclosed to abide by FTC regulations.

Influencer rates vary and can depend on his or her follower count. According to a study done by Influence.co on Instagram influencer payment, the overall average cost per Instagram post was $271; an influencer with fewer than 1,000 followers (also called a micro-influencer) was $83 per post; and the average price for influencers with more than 100,000 followers was $763 per post.

When offering compensation to an influencer, agencies need to take into account the type of content they’re requesting, the influencer’s follower count, the project’s budget and FTC regulations.

Influencers aren’t just successful in attracting new business for brands; they also recruit more loyal customers. In fact, Forbes.com found that customers acquired through influencer marketing have a 37% higher retention rate. But without the right strategy in place, poorly planned influencer marketing can backfire—and both brands and influencers can run the risk of damaging their respective reputations, or even running into legal trouble. Agencies who take the time to ask and answer the right questions will not only gain the trust and confidence of their clients, but it will also set their influencer program up for success from the outset.

This post Influencer Marketing Ain’t Easy: 5 Client Questions to Answer Before They Ask originally appeared on Sprout Social.



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How to Improve Your Facebook Videos With Facebook Video Insights

Want to increase engagement, longevity, and exposure of your Facebook videos? Have you explored the data in your Facebook Video Insights? Whether you’re streaming live or recording videos, Facebook provides insights that can help you refine your future videos. In this article, you’ll discover three ways to evaluate and improve your Facebook video performance. Access [...]

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Monday, 10 July 2017

What Your Client Needs to Know Before Launching a Brand Advocacy Program

Clients rely on agencies for their expertise. It’s important to be a guiding light for the brands you work with in developing big initiatives, like the launch of an advocacy program. Having a tight circle of advocates is crucial in fortifying your client’s reputation and extending their reach to new and receptive audiences.

I’ve learned a lot about the do’s and don’t’s in leading brand advocacy and community initiatives here at Sprout Social, so I’m happy to walk you through some of the first steps and a few common hurdles involved in building a sustainable advocacy program from the ground up.

We initially started our All Stars program because I’d identified a handful of Sprout users who had established communities and were looked to for their social media expertise. So I wanted to create a program where we formalized our relationships with these customers, equipping them to be the best Sprout advocates they could be.

To give you a clear idea of what needs to be done in order to successfully launch a program like this, I’ve broken down my experience into a checklist:

Brand Advocacy Checklist

  • Foster an advocacy culture
  • Identify your advocates
  • Invite them to join
  • Provide value and make them feel important
  • Communicate consistently
  • Measure success

1. Foster Customer Advocacy Culture First

The foundation to brand advocacy is ensuring the brand itself is valuing its customers. So before shaping your strategy, you need a strong foundation of customer advocacy.

You’re already listening to customers and internalizing feedback, but ensuring this type of proactive culture is established makes advancing to brand advocacy possible.

2. Identifying Advocates

It’s time to learn more about your customers. The customers you’re looking for have a certain longevity on social, are active and spend more on or with your brand than your average consumer.

Companies should work with their customer success and social marketing teams to kick off the process of identifying potential advocates. Twitter and Instagram are the most viable social options since these platforms are the most searchable.

You can put Sprout’s Twitter Report to good use here, easily highlighting users that frequently interact with the brand by sharing content or through relevant conversations.

3. Inviting Advocates Into the Community

Make it a big deal. Make it official. Have a dedicated landing page, badges and internal communication around your program so advocates feel important and valued.

Give your advocates a platform to define their personal brand so they feel valued in their collaboration with you.

4. Provide More Value Than You Ask for in Return

If you don’t know what your customers will find valuable, ask!

It’s commonly thought that word of mouth recommendations happen organically, but what I’ve learned is it often doesn’t happen unless you ask. Sometimes a simple request is all it takes to remind your most engaged customers that you value their advocacy and the power of their recommendations.

Some intrinsically valuable perks you can offer your advocates:

  • Better access to your brand or team
  • Access to other advocates
  • Advanced product insight
  • Social media recognition
  • Speaking opportunities
  • Content collaboration
  • Prioritized customer service support
  • Tickets to industry events
  • Custom swag

On the flip side, be upfront about expectations and ask for things they’d be glad to do in return, increasing the ask as time goes on from more consumption-centric asks to more contributive asks. How you collaborate with them helps them see the value in being a brand advocate.

You can ask your advocates to:

  • Share content
  • Promote the brand through their social channels
  • Attend brand-hosted events
  • Nominate or vote for the brand for industry awards
  • Test new features
  • Refer customers
  • Host meetups
  • Share job postings

Keep the communication consistent and keep it exciting with new initiatives and creative opportunities to collaborate.

5. Communicate Consistently

Keep in mind that your advocates probably have full-time jobs and this program is a small part of their day to day. Take the care to establish a cadence in communicating with them.

We use our own advocacy platform, Bambu, to curate content for advocates to share and to keep them looped in on program communications.

Lastly, have patience. It takes time to incorporate advocacy as an organic, recurring behavior.

6. Show Value by Proving ROI

Advocacy programs can prove more value in the long term. Many of the upfront benefits aren’t as apparent, but here are three key things you can incorporate and focus on from the get-go that lend directly to evaluating ROI:

Referrals: New customers who have discovered your brand through one of your advocates.

References: Tapping advocates to help your sales team close deals more quickly and at a higher monthly recurring revenue.

Reviews: According to Retailing Today, 81% of shoppers research online before buying. Reviews solidify proof of value amongst customers.

It’s crucial when evaluating ROI to assess which metrics are most valuable to track. Setting up the right reports from the start is the key to measurable, quantitative data to inform your program’s growth.

The Don’ts of Launching a Brand Advocacy Program

The culture of brand advocacy is a celebratory one—your most excited customers rallying around your brand and your brand rallying around its most excited customers—but the business of organizing this program certainly comes with its own set of things to avoid.

Don’t incentivize solely with money: this incentivizes the wrong mindset and doesn’t lend to a long term relationship that’s valuable to both parties.

Don’t ask advocates to do things that you would pay employees to do: there are legal repercussions to this.

Don’t set up a program that’s one-sided: it’s key to make sure that what you’ve set up is a mutual exchange. Whatever you’re doing for them you’d gladly do, vice versa.

There’s a lot you learn in taking on a program launch like this. It takes time to gain traction and recognition among a community, but the benefits far outweigh the effort.

At Sprout, we’re fortunate to have amazing subscribers who we can partner and collaborate with to help move the industry forward by providing value and insight on real challenges social marketing professionals face.

Are you a Sprout Social customer and brand champion? Are you looking for opportunities to connect with your industry peers and continue learning new and best practices in social media marketing? We’d love you to join our All Stars brand advocacy community. Click here to submit your info to join!

This post What Your Client Needs to Know Before Launching a Brand Advocacy Program originally appeared on Sprout Social.



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How to Do a Facebook Live Split-Screen Interview

Want to interview guests on your Facebook Live show? Looking for a tool that lets you bring a remote guest into your Facebook Live video? In this article, you’ll discover how to broadcast a Facebook Live interview with a split screen. Why Create a Facebook Live Interview Show? When your video is live, you can [...]

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Saturday, 8 July 2017

5 Articles I Shared With My Team This Month

As CMO at Sprout Social, my primary goal is to lead a team of functional marketing experts focused on generating awareness, driving quality leads and making sure our customers love our product, and the value we provide along with it. On paper, this sounds pretty stale. But in practice my role translates into the unusual opportunity to help shape a rapidly growing organization while simultaneously learning alongside my team.

One of the ways I’ve been able to field challenges and nurture creativity is by sharing insights related to digital marketing with my team. From Facebook’s shift towards community to the strategic benefits of automation, here are five articles that I shared with Sprout’s marketing department this month.

Social Is a Megaphone for Consumers

Amidst allegations of sexual assault and other workplace misconducts, Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO, stepped down from his role at the rideshare company. After Kalanick’s highly publicized resignation, The New York Time’s Farhad Manjoo wrote a piece on the power of grassroots social campaigns and their abilities to make or break any brand–regardless of its size.

I found the portion of Manjoo’s article that contrasts the difference between TV advertising and social particularly interesting:

“In the era when television shaped mainstream consumer sentiment, companies enjoyed enormous power to alter their image through advertising. Then came the internet, which didn’t kill advertising, but did dilute its power,” writes Manjoo.

Facebook’s Shift Toward Community

At the Facebook Community Summit in mid-June, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social networking platform would be shifting its focus from connecting friends and family to connecting communities. Like most digital marketers, Sprout’s team is interested to see how this shift in focus impacts brands, advertisers and engagement on the social platform.

Reintroducing a Legacy Brand Without Traditional Advertising

Gone are the days where consumers are going to willingly seek out your product. Your brand has to be present where your audience is already engaged. That’s why Cracker Jacks turned to social when it wanted to relaunch advertising efforts that had been stagnant since a $62,000 ad spend in 2013. This article highlights how and why the 121-year-old snack brand executed a robust Facebook campaign to target moms aged 25 to 45.

Younger Leaders Excel at Being Effective & Fun

Within the past year, Sprout has grown from a team of just under 200 to an organization of over 350 talented, dedicated individuals. As we continue to expand our marketing department, it’s important that everyone–regardless of their level–remain committed and enthusiastic about the work they’re doing. The Harvard Business Review’s examination of 60-degree assessment data from more than 60,000 leaders found that, in comparison to their 40+ year-old counterparts, younger leaders tend to excel at being both effective and fun. Why? Because they tend to possess six skills that allow them to be successful: clear communication, the ability to inspire others, the motivation to establish stretch goals, integrity, the capability to guide others and the desire to continue learning.

The Strategic Benefits of Automation

Automation is a scary word that elicits a wide range of feelings from business leaders. But is this wariness warranted? In order for social automation to be successful it needs to enhance the customer experience, not replace it. Chirpify’s CEO, Chris Teso, outlines what takeaways social marketers can glean from email and how those strategic learnings can be applied to social automation. Instead of fearing automation, Teso outlines reasons why we should be embracing a functionality that can increase efficiency and decrease resource waste. Something I found to be extremely pertinent for Sprout’s team given the recent launch of our Twitter chatbot builder.

This post 5 Articles I Shared With My Team This Month originally appeared on Sprout Social.



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Snapchat Links and Instagram Stories Video Replies

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore Snapchat links with Carlos Gil, Instagram Stories video replies with Jeff Sieh, and more [...]

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Friday, 7 July 2017

#SproutChat Recap: Using Bots for Social Customer Service

Bots tend to be a bit of a controversial topic in the social customer service realm. The truth is, if they’re built correctly and managed by an engaged and informed team, bots can be a really useful tool for brands. Automated workflows, like bots, for social customer care are more helpful for social teams in the long run and ultimately resolve issues faster.

In this week’s #SproutChat, Sprout All Star, Taylor Hall of GVC Mortgage, joined us to talk about social customer care and the incorporation of bots. Taylor has implemented one of Sprout’s Bot Builders into his company’s social strategy and talked best practices in social customer care and automation.

Customer Service Inquiries Require Response on Any Platform

You should pay close attention to where your audience lives on social. Let their presence dictate where you emphasize your broader social customer care efforts, but be accessible on any platform and take care to never ignore customer inquiries.

Always Track Brand Mentions

Pay close attention to brand mentions on social so your brand doesn’t miss out on opportunities that’ll further engagement with your audience. It’s easy to get caught up in monitoring and managing any negative mentions, but be sure to keep a sharp eye out for the positive mentions you can possibly capitalize on and share with your audience or internal teams.

Immediacy Is Best

Consumers often turn to social for customer service issues because it tends to be the path of least resistance, with more immediate response times. Establish response time with your customer service team early when developing a social customer service strategy. If your brand receives a large amount of customer care messages, a bot may be just the right answer.

Bots Shouldn’t Be Robotic

If you’re thinking of building a bot for your social customer care needs be sure to put yourself in the customer journey when thinking through the process. Think of common pain points for customers and look for patterns in your data to find frequently asked questions you can incorporate in your bot approach. Keep your brand’s tone and voice in mind when writing copy for your bot to maintain consistency across all platforms.

Bots Will Become Smarter

As more brands bring bots into their customer service strategies, it becomes easier to see the ways bots can get smarter, potentially identifying customer service issues before they even occur. Bots have the potential to make social customer service a seamless and efficient process, allowing your team to focus on furthering customer engagement.

Join us in #SproutChat next Wednesday, July 12, at 2 p.m. CDT to chat about branding your business on social media with Sprout All Star Elite, Rebekah Radice. In the meantime, join our Facebook community to connect with other folks in the industry.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Using Bots for Social Customer Service originally appeared on Sprout Social.



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