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Our 5 Tips to Avoid Domain Name Scams

Our 5 Tips to Avoid Domain Name Scams

Our 5 Tips to Avoid Domain Name Scams

Since our beginnings as Canberra based Internet Service Provider ACTWEB.NET in the 1990's, we've learned that Domain Name related issues are one of the most common causes of significant service issues on the Internet.

Sadly we've also seen many scams and cons that take advantage of unsuspecting Domain Name owners.

In this article we highlight the most common Domain Name related scams and list our top tactics to help make managing your Domain Names a breeze and avoid falling victim to the scammers.

Common Domain Name Related Scams

There are several different types of common Domain Name related scams.

Many involve a variation on the theme of sending Domain Name owners what appears at a glance to be a legitimate invoice for Domain Name Registration renewal.

The fake Domain Name Registration renewal scams usually fall into one of three categories:

  • 1: An invoice from a source claiming to be the Domain Registrar for a real Domain Name that is in fact registered with another Domain Registrar
  • 2: An invoice for a different version of a real Domain Name. Either closely related spelling i.e. if the real domain is abc.com the invoice might be for acb.com or for an entirely different extension of the domain name i.e. abc.net
  • 3: An invoice for a totally unrelated service that is carefully worded to mimic the appearance of a legitimate Domain Name Registration renewal, such as the one pictured on this page.

The image on this page relates to a scam we received recently from http://www.trafficdomainer.com.

The scam relates to an actual Domain Name we owned at the time: iaspestore.com.

The scam message arrived via e-mail within days of the actual registration renewal date of the Domain Name.

The sender of the e-mail was marked as "Domain Service", and the subject was "iaspestore.com notice".

The notice was properly addressed and contained the words at the top: ATTENTION: IMPORTANT NOTICE.

Of course, when you read the fine print, they are actually selling seo domain name registration - whatever that is - apparently a totally unrelated service that the message later warns "failure to complete...may make it difficult for customers to find you on the web".

Which is 100% BS!

While most of the Domain Name registration scams arrive via e-mail, some arrive in the form of physical mail.

We also recently received a very similar scam to the one above via the post - supposedly from an Australian based organisation, whom we reported to Justice Victoria.

Domain Name scams that originate overseas can contain give-aways in the form of poor spelling and grammar, but those sent by Australian based organisations can be harder to tell apart from the real thing.

What makes some of these scams so successful is they not only appear to come from Australian based organisations, but they contain accurate Domain Name owner contact information and are often well timed to coincide with the actual Domain Name registration renewal date.

The good news is that when armed with just a little information about your Domain Names, even the most official looking scams become much easier to spot.

Our Top 5 Tips to Avoid Domain Name Scams

Tip 1:

When you register a Domain Name create a calendar reminder to re-new the domain name 1 month before the due date. Be sure to also make a note of the Domain Name Registrar you used to register the domain name.

Tip 2:

If you have multiple Domain Names registered via different Domain Registrars or contained in multiple accounts a single Domain Registrar, consolidate all the Domains into a single account for easy management.

Provided all your Domain Name contact details are current, transferring Domains Names between Registrars and Registrar Accounts is a very straight forward process.

Tip 3:

Make sure the contact details, especially the Registrant e-mail address (where renewal notices are sent), associated with all your Domain Names is current.

Tip 4:

If you buy or sell any type of operation where Domain Names are involved be sure to provide or request a letter signed by both buyer and seller addressed to the relevant Domain Registrar on the official letter head of the seller explaining that transfer of ownership has occurred.

Be sure to follow up with the relevant Domain Name Registrar until the Whois Registry is updated with the new Domain Name ownership details.

Tip 5:

When a Domain Name Registration renewal notice arrives, don't ignore it - check it against your list of registered Domain Names - does it come from the actual Registrar of a Domain Name that you are expecting to expire?. One of the consequences of the prevalence of Domain Name related scams is that legitimate renewal notices often go ignored. This year alone three of our clients have experienced the inconvenience of website and e-mail services going off-line for extended periods because they ignored legitimate Domain Name Registration renewal notices.

Summary

If you select a reputable Domain Name Registrar and follow the advice outlined in our 5 tips above you'll be a long way in front of most of the current Domain Name scams you're likely to encounter.

Unfortunately, clever new scams surface from time to time, so keep an eye on the Australian Government's SCAMWATCH website and other sites such as your local State based Australian Consumer Affairs website.

If you're unlucky enough to fall victim to a Domain Name related or any form of scam please don't be embarrassed and report the matter to the relevant authorities, that way other potential victims can be educated and warned of the dangers.


Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part Three

Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part Three

Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part Three

Not long ago, I started a journey to become more productive on social media.

If you've just joined me, you can read Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part One, and Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part Two.

To quickly bring you up to speed, the QuickSprout Blog posted an infographic in May titled "How to Be More Productive on Social Media".

The infographic was designed to help social media community managers become more productive.

As a personal exercise, I am following the suggestions in the infographic to see what result, if any, it has on our iASP Central social media profiles.

To refresh your memories, the infographic split the daily tasks of a social media manager into 3 groups: Content, Community Management and Growth.

Content includes curating, crafting, posting and scheduling content for social media.
Community Management includes responding, listening, engaging and helping.
Growth includes measuring, analysing, planning and experimenting.

In Part I, I followed the Content group suggestions, which resulted in our content collecting activities being made easier and our content scheduling processes a lot more streamlined.

And in Part II, I followed the Community Management group suggestions, which has seen the establishment of automated monitoring that gathers all mentions of our brand name across the Internet, which has in turn streamlined and simplified and our social media engagement processes.

For the last leg of the journey, I'm going through the Growth related suggestions.

The infographic lists Tools and Steps to help with the daily growth management tasks.

The Tools:

  • Twitter Analytics
  • Facebook Insights
  • SumAll
  • Bit.ly
  • Google Spreadsheets
  • Buffer / Hootsuite

The Steps:

  1. Figure out the crucial metrics
  2. Log in to the various places where you collect data on your social media marketing.
  3. Put your top performing content and metrics into a spreadsheet, so you have one place to view everything.
  4. Analyse the top performing content to determine what's working so you can further test based on the following elements:
    1. Post Type (image, link, video, status updated, etc.)
    2. Post Timing (over a long period of time)
    3. Post Content (commonly used words, voicing, emotion, etc.)
    4. Post Formatting (link placement, hashtag usage, etc.)
  5. Take the common factors that you found from your popular posts, and integrate them into the future posts and tests.

Wow, this last leg looks to be a doozy. Let's get going.

Figure out the crucial metrics

Second only in importance to simply being on social media, is tracking your performance to gain insight.

Before you can start tracking your performance, you need to map out what to measure, and how.

The easiest way to decide what to measure is to ask yourself: What am I hoping to achieve from social media engagement?

At iASP Central, our current social media goals include encouraging our clients to monitor and participate in our social media community, which is aimed at website owners who share our passion for eCommerce, as well as to create a go-to resource to help our clients grow their on-line businesses.

Therefore, at this stage of the plan, apart from an interest in our audience demographics, one of our primary interests is in the level of engagement we are achieving.

We want to measure impressions (the number of people that saw the post/tweet), engagement (the total number of likes/favourites, shares/re-tweets, or comments/mentions for a post/tweet), engagement rate (individual engagement compared to our overall community size), and audience growth rate (to measure how fast our community is growing).

These metrics give us an idea of how well our content is performing, and how relevant it is to our audience.

It's worth noting that our key metrics are sure to change in the future. As our community grows and we'll look to achieve new goals from our social media activity.

Log in to the various places where you collect data on your social media marketing.

There are numerous websites and services that you could use to collect data for your social media metrics.

The infographic lists a few good examples.

The social media platforms all provide some analytics, in fact the Insights tab of your Facebook page and the Twitter equivalent give most of the analytics you could ever need.

Swayy, Buffer (which we now use courtesy of this exercise) and Hootsuite (we've been a Hootsuite Enterprise Partner for a couple of years now) also provide analytics of the social media accounts you set up in them, although the analytics they offer are more aligned to the content that is shared directly via these tools.

The infographic also lists a service called SumAll.

SumAll is a social media analytics and business dashboard. It's a free service - apart from their reporting tools, which attract a cost.

Without hesitation, I sign up and begin connecting all our social media accounts.

SumAll looks to be huge. You can even connect it to other platforms, such as Google Analytics, Shopify, WordPress, ZenDesk, even FitBit.

If ever there was a place to be overwhelmed with data, SumAll looks to be the place.

After setting everything up, I have a long list of statistics for our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts.

So I now have a short list of websites giving me analytics data for our social media accounts.

Put your top performing content and metrics into a spreadsheet

Now for the really fun part.

To start, I'll add our last 5 Facebook and Twitter posts, and list the number of views/impressions, likes/favourites, shares/retweets each post received over that time.

I get this data very easily from our Buffer dashboard. I then compare it to the statistics on our Facebook Insights page, and Twitter Analytics page.

The numbers for our Facebook posts are fairly similar, but I can see that the statistics for our Twitter post impressions are a little off.

I'll need to look into this a little later on, but for now, onto the next step!

Analyse the top performing content and find what's working

In this step, the infographic is suggesting that I look at the characteristics of each post, to try to identify the types of content that our audience engage with the most (or to put it another way, enjoy the most).

Of the posts that I listed, two were links to our blog articles, two were shared images, and one was a shout-out link.

The two posts for our blog articles had the most engagement overall, followed by the shout-out, and then our Friday Funny posts are receiving the least engagement.

Because I have only just set up our social media accounts into the analytics dashboards, they don't have a lot of historical data to show me yet.

However, if I look at our top tweets in Twitter Analytics, as well as our top Liked posts in Facebook Insights, I can confirm that our blog posts are our top performing posts.

Our shout-out posts get more engagement on Twitter than they do on Facebook, but our Friday Funny posts get more engagement on Facebook than they do on Twitter. 

That's an interesting insight. Which leads me into the very last step of my journey...

Take the common factors that you found from your popular posts, and integrate them into the future posts and tests

In discovering that our Friday Funny posts aren't getting much engagement on Twitter, it is now time to start experimenting.

I know that our posts are always scheduled to be published at the same time, every Friday.

So as a test to see if I can improve that engagement on Twitter, I'll schedule them to post at a different time. I'll try this new time for a month, and then switch back. Over time, I can compare the different times to see if there is a noticeable difference either way.

An alternative test would be to drop the Friday Funny posts from Twitter, and try something different for our regular Friday posts.

And although our blog posts are receiving the most engagement, again I can test out different posting times to see if we get a greater engagement by sharing them when more of our audience will receive them.

I really have jumped into the rabbit's hole now.

The End

At last, I have arrived at my destination.

At the end of the final leg on my journey to becoming more productive on social media, I have:

  • Determined and documented the metrics that I want to track and measure from our social media engagement.
  • Gathered a number of analytics sources I will use to collect our social media data.
  • Created a spreadsheet that I will use to manage our social media data.
  • Identified our top performing posts on social media.
  • Identified some common traits amongst our top performing posts that I can integrate into future posts.

Having embarked on this journey, I'm now a little older, a little wiser; and I can definitely say that I am now more productive on social media.

A thank you to QuickSprout for the inspiration and guidance.

This journey is a worthwhile effort for anyone who is using social media for their business, regardless of the level of your social media presence.

If for no other reason, you will end up with a pocket full of tools and a semi-automated, streamlined process to make managing your social media voice much easier.

You will transform yourself from the chaotic "just-post-it-now" type, to the "its-scheduled-to-go-next-week" type almost over night. And you should also find the quality of your posts increase as well.

I will do a follow up article in a few months to have a look at just how more productive I have become, and how much of an improvement it has made to our social media efforts, to make sure I don't just have the appearance of being more productive.

One Last Part

One last thing I would like to mention.

The infographic has some advice at the very end for the super busy and those that want to maximise their time on social media.

Using just Feedly, Buffer, and the social media sites themselves, it suggests the following:

  1. Start by re-sharing your most popular content.
  2. Visit your most-trusted content sources. (add them to Feedly if you haven't).
  3. Use the management tool to clean up all of your queued content.
  4. Respond to and engage with all the notifications in the social channels directly.

Just reading this part, I can see that these steps listed are fairly similar to how I was managing our social media before completing this three part journey.

Hopefully I have moved beyond this now, but it is good to know that I was already heading on something of the right track beforehand (according to the professionals anyway).

This last piece of advice is great for the social media managers who aren't interested in the numbers as yet, and are purely focused on gathering, managing and sharing content to first establish their own social media audience and community.


I hope you enjoyed following this journey.
If you too have taken the journey to becoming more productive on social media, I'd love to hear from you. Or if you would like to discuss my journey with me, feel free to hit me up on our iASP Central Facebook Page, or Get in Touch.

Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part Two

Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part Two

Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part Two

Last week I started a journey to become more productive on social media. If you've just joined me, you should read Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part One too.

To bring you up to speed, the QuickSprout Blog posted an infographic back in May, 2015, titled "How to Be More Productive on Social Media".

The infographic was created to help the reader cut back on the number of hours they spend on social sites, and teach them how to be more productive on the social web.

As a personal exercise, I am following the suggestions in the infographic to see what result, if any, it has on our iASP Central social media profiles.

To refresh your memories, the infographic split the daily tasks of a social media manager into 3 groups: Content, Community Management and Growth.

Content includes curating, crafting, posting and scheduling content for social media.
Community Management includes responding, listening, engaging and helping.
Growth includes measuring, analyzing(sic), planning and experimenting.

In the previous article, I followed the Content group suggestions, and resulted in our content collecting activities being made easier and our content scheduling processes a lot more streamlined.

For this second leg of the journey, I'm going through the Community Management group suggestions.

The infographic lists Tools and Steps to help with the daily community management tasks.

The Tools:

  • Mention
  • Commun.it
  • Manage
  • Flitter
  • e-Mail notifications

The Steps:

  1. Reply (or schedule the reply) to all mentions of your name/brand across the Internet using a tool called Mention.
  2. Double check the notifications section inside all your social media channels for missed interactions.
  3. After addressing the mentions, start engaging.
    1. Respond to the post comments.
    2. Respond to any direct mentions.
    3. Answer any questions involving your product.
    4. Answer questions about your niche and industry with the use of Hashtags.
    5. Engage with your customers or influencers.

So here we go, onto the second leg of our journey...

Step 1: Reply to all mentions of your name/brand across the Internet using Mention.

Mention positions itself as a real-time media monitoring application.

You can sign up on the website for a 14 day trial, after which, you can upgrade, or as the website says you can fall back to their free account, which allows you to manage one alert.

After signing up, the next step is to create an alert.

An alert will collect all mentions containing a keyword, typically your business name. If you go into the advanced settings however, you can expand on this to include variants or other keywords, up to a maximum of five.

After creating your alert, you next manage your sources and languages. In most cases you would select All Sources, and we'll just monitor the English Language for now.

The last step is to integrate your social media profiles and website.

At this step, I have trouble. I can't finish the process. I have no idea why, as I was able to link our Twitter and Facebook profiles successfully. It seems to be an issue with our website.

After a little investigative playing, I find that it is adding our website as a keyword in the alert step. Because I had already added 5 keywords, after adding the website as a keyword, I was over the limit. A bit of poor usability feedback there...so I remove a keyword, and shabang, I can complete the set up process.

Now I'm taken to more steps: to invite users, set up access to additional devices and platforms (skip and skip), and finally I get to have a look at my alert results.

Straight away we have 6 mentions listed, although, all but one are from our own Twitter account. The settings for our account seem to indicate that our own social media mentions (our own posts, tweets, etc) will be ignored, but they are showing up anyway. I think I'll need to leave this for a few days to process and settle itself down.

The next step in the infographic is to reply to all mentions of our name or brand.

There is only one, a blog which gathers and lists articles about social media, that has included my first article (!!). So I set up a reply to thank them for including our article. So simple.

Now that that's done, let's move on to the next step.

Step 2: Double check the notifications section inside all your social media channels for missed interactions.

I check our Facebook and Twitter accounts for missed interactions, and aside from messages asking if we want to buy likes (which we aren't into), there are none.

That was an easy step, though hopefully you'll have more interactions to reply to when you do this for yourself.

Step 3: Start engaging

Now that I have everything set up, engagement should be a lot easier.

I'll continue to monitor my alert results on Mention. But for now, I have nothing to engage with. So I've reached the end of the second leg.

That was all relatively simple.

Summary

At the end of the second leg of the journey to becoming more productive on social media, I have:

  • Created an alert on Mention that is gathering all mentions of our brand name across the Internet.
  • Replied to all recent and relevant mentions.
  • Set myself up to be ready to engage future mentions.
I definitely want to do some research on social media etiquette and advice for engagement on social media.

For example, I want to know when I should favourite and when I should be replying? Should I favourite a mention? Or is it better to reply? Or do I favourite and reply and retweet every mention?

I mean, I don't want to be "that account".

I'll also take this opportunity to list some other real-time media monitoring applications, if Mention isn't your cup of tea.

Hootsuite is recommended by many, if you only want to monitor the social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). Tweetdeck is useful for monitoring Twitter. And lastly, Google Alerts might also be useful for you.

They all work fairly similarly, gathering and displaying results of posts or tweets that mention a keyword or phrase. They're also handy to keep a finger on the pulse of particular terms, allowing you to see what other people are saying about terms relative to your industry.

I see many social media gurus using multiple monitoring applications to keep a blanket watch over the Internet. Some applications monitor particular sources and channels more effectively than others, so using more than one can ensure that you aren't missing anything.

Of course, by just keeping a regular eye on your own social media accounts, you will easily be able to monitor and engage your immediate social media interactions with your direct audience.

Many of these other applications allow you to sniff out the indirect mentions and conversations (like people discussing your brand in forums for example).

Next week, we head off on the third and final leg of the journey to becoming more productive on social media - and the topic is Growth.
Don't miss it!

If you have any questions or comments about my journey so far, hit me up on our iASP Central Facebook Page, or Get in Touch.

Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part One

Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part One

Becoming More Productive on Social Media - Part One

The QuickSprout Blog posted an infographic back in May 2015, titled "How to Be More Productive on Social Media".

The infographic was created to help the reader cut back on the number of hours they spend on social sites, and teach them how to be more productive on the social web.

Cutting back the number of hours I spend on social sites is something I want to do, and becoming more productive on the social web is something I want to learn.

I thought it would be a great personal exercise to follow the suggestions in the infographic, and see what result, if any, it had on our iASP Central social media profiles.

It is also knowledge I felt would benefit our regular blog readers, so I thought it would share with you - my journey to becoming more productive on social media.

Before I start, I'll briefly share our current social media strategy so far: iASP Central has a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a Google+ page.

We regularly post our blog articles, and a regular #FridayFunny post, along with shout-outs of new websites that we publish for our clients, and occasionally we share links to articles that we consider to be important or valuable to our client base.

We also have a Klout score of 45 (at the time of writing), because I read about Klout when first starting as our social media manager and thought it would be cool to test it out.

Now before heading off on my journey, I will first work out what I am going to be doing.

The infographic splits the daily tasks of a social media manager into 3 groups: Content, Community Management and Growth.

Content consists of the tasks of curating, crafting, posting and scheduling content for social media.
Community Management consists of the tasks of responding, listening, engaging and helping.
Growth consists of the tasks of measuring, analyzing(sic), planning and experimenting.

For the first leg of this journey, I will be going through the Content group suggestions.

The infographic lists some tools and 5 steps I can take to help me with the daily content tasks.

The Tools:

  • Content Sources: Nuzzel / Digg Deeper / Swayy
  • Gathering Tools: Feedly
  • Streamline Tools: Pocket / IFTTT
  • Scheduling Tools: Buffer / Hootsuite

The Steps:

  1. Feedly to gather content.
  2. Setup Pocket's automatic intergration with Feedly to add articles to your list with 1 click.
  3. Setup IFTTT (If This Then That), so when you "Favorite"(sic) an article in Pocket, it will automatically be sent to Buffer queue.
  4. Collect stories, you can grab anything and everything that catches your eye or seems like it might be helpful for your audience to read.
  5. Comb through the curated content and remove anything that doesn't apply.

Reading through these steps, I notice some familiar names of tools that I have heard of from other sources. Many I haven't heard of before though.

And now, to head of on the first leg of the journey.
Let's see how I go.

Step One - Set up Feedly.

Before I get to Feedly, I notice that the infographic has listed a few websites as content sources, so let's have a look to see what they are.

Nuzzel - Nuzzel is a website that allows you to collect all of the articles shared by your social media friends/followers in one easy source. This sounds pretty handy, so lets sign up.

I link Nuzzel to our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and almost instantly I am given a list of articles, ordered by share popularity (shared by friends / people we follow).

If anything, it looks like Nuzzel will be a good way to see what topics our peers are sharing and discussing. I can also configure Nuzzel to send me an e-Mail once a day with a list of the most shared articles for the previous day.

Digg Deeper - Digg Deeper "now shows you the most-shared stories from your Twitter friends". Just like Nuzzel, I connect Digg Deeper to our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts and it gives me a list of articles being shared on our Twitter feed.

At first glance, to be honest, I'm left feeling confused. The interface is difficult to navigate. The posts listed as being the most shared aren't going to be useful for our audience.

Either I haven't set it up properly, or we aren't the right type of user. In either case, I'm going to keep an eye on it to see if it turns into more after time.

Swayy - Swayy "helps you discover the most engaging content to share with your audience on social media based on their interests and engagement".

After signing up, like the two before, I get a dashboard of articles that are suggestions for me to share. Rather than being a list of the articles being shared by friends however, Swayy appears to provide a list of articles from unselected sources that relate to us.

Compared to the first two, Swayy looks swish. It will provide me with analytics of the articles that I share through the website. It provides a list of topics matched for our audience, based on our profile (after connecting our Swayy account to our Facebook and Twitter accounts). Swayy also has a browser plug-in to make it easier to share articles that I find while surfing the web.

So after all of that, I'm left feeling like I have at least two good sources for content to share that I know is going to be relevant and valuable for our social media audience.

Now let's have a look at Feedly.

The first thing I read upon loading the Feedly website is "All your blogs, organized, and easy to read.".

It looks like I'm going to gather all of the blogs and websites that I regularly check for articles into one list. There is no need to sign up, I simply log in using our Twitter account.

Then I search for all of the blogs and websites that I read and use as content sources. Feedly recommends a minimum of 3. I pass that target without any effort.

Feedly has a free account, which you can use to share to Facebook and Twitter. But to share to other websites such as Buffer, Hootsuite or IFTTT (which were mentioned above), you need to upgrade to the Pro account. This will be interesting then.

Step Two - Set up pocket.

Pocket is a website/browser plug-in combination that allows me to mark a webpage / article I am reading for future reference.

After signing up to the Pocket website, and installing the plugin, I test it out by visiting the QuickSprout article, and clicking the plugin button. Success! I saved my first item to Pocket.

Viewing the article in my Pocket List, I can share it on Facebook/Twitter/Buffer, and I can assign tags.

Pocket seems pretty easy to use. I can see it replacing the folder of bookmarks I maintain for Good Articles to Share. Now I just add them to Pocket.

Step Three - Set up IFTTT to automatically schedule Pocket favourites into Buffer.

I've heard about IFTTT before, though I heard it referred to as If This Then That.

It allows you to write scripts (or recipes, as they call them) to automate things you do every day. For example, you can set up IFTTT to automatically tweet a photo on your Twitter when you upload a photo to your Instagram. It sounds pretty amazing.

After signing up, I'm given a list of recommended recipes, and I have to say, it looks promising. I can do things like automatically update our twitter profile picture if our Facebook profile picture changes, or send myself an e-Mail when the President signs a new law (wait, what?).

Getting back on task however, I want to create a recipe to automatically add an article that I favourite in Pocket into our Buffer queue. So the first thing I will need to do is create a Buffer account.

Setting up a Buffer account is relatively straight forward, and after connecting our 3 social media accounts to it, I'm now ready to set up a recipe to link Pocket to Buffer.

There is probably already a recipe to do this, but I want to learn for myself, so I create a new recipe. It's surprisingly easy.

First I select Pocket for the IF part of the recipe, and select which of the available recipe ingredients I want to use.

Next I search for Buffer for the THEN part of the recipe, and again select from the options.

Then I put it in the oven at 180 degrees for 45 minutes... no, I click Create, and it's done. Now to test it out, which takes me to...

Step Four - Collect stories.

Going back to Feedly, I search through the many, many lists of articles from the blogs I added before, and pick three.

Using the Pocket browser plug-in, I save the articles to my list. Then I view the list on the Pocket website, and click the star alongside each to Favourite them.

Now, I'll check our Buffer account, and lo and behold, the three articles are sitting there, scheduled to be posted to Facebook.
It's all working.
So now there is one final step for the first part of this journey.

Step Five - Comb through the curated content.

And looking at the Buffer schedule, I definitely want to do this.

Because of the limitations of the IFTTT recipe, the scheduled posts only have the title of the article, along with the tags I set in Pocket when adding the article to my list.

This is a bit too simplistic for me, so I manually edit each, and add a little more to the posts.
Save, and they're ready to go.

Phew! I made it!

So at the end of the first leg on my journey to becoming more productive on social media, I have:

  • Found two new sources for content (which also highlights content that our peers are posting).
  • Gathered all of our content sources into a single source.
  • Set up a post schedule and streamlined the collection and review of our shared posts.


Of course, I have lots of tinkering to do with all of the new accounts and services that I've just signed up for.

I need to test Buffer to make sure it is posting messages correctly, and in a format that suits our needs.
I need to check that everything is linked together properly and communicating properly.
And I want to play with IFTTT a little more to see what else I can automate.

But once all the kinks and creases have been ironed out, the whole set up should hum along nicely.
Now I just need to train our other staff to use it too!

Next week, I head of on the second leg of my journey to becoming more productive on social media - community management tasks.
Stay tuned!



If you have any questions or comments about my journey so far, hit me up on our iASP Central Facebook Page, or Get in Touch.


How Much Is That Like There In The Window?

How Much Is That Like There In The Window?

How Much Is That Like There In The Window?

6 Steps to Better Social Media Campaign ROI

In our last blog article - How Much ROI Should Social Media ROI If Social Media Could ROI? - we considered what a reasonable expectation of return on investment (ROI) from social media is, from the point of view of a small business trying to build and grow their on-line social media community.

To quickly re-cap, we essentially concluded the expectation of a ROI on social media can be like the expectation of winning the lottery. Don't play the game expecting to win, play to be in the game.

Of course you shouldn't leave it all to chance.

Review and analyse the effectiveness of your activities to determine those that generate the most engagement and adapt your strategy to suit.

Counting the number of Likes and Re-tweets each post you publish receives will most likely only result in heartburn and ulcers, but that doesn't mean expecting a ROI for certain social media activities is insane, in fact it's very rational, especially when expectations are framed within the context of the following.

So, let's look at our 6 Steps to Better Social Media Campaign ROI:

Step #1: Set a Goal - What is the primary aim of the campaign? Are you aiming to increase your eStore sales during a promotion? Are you trying to collect new business leads?

Step #2: Define a conversion - What action or result will count as a 'hit'? Following the two examples above, a conversion may be a completed sale, or submission of a Contact Us form.

Step #3: Differentiate & Measure Conversions - If the goals you have set are similar to goals you have for your website, which they likely will be, you need to determine how you will differentiate conversions generated through your social media channels against conversions that were not generated through social media.

In the case of sales, it may be by counting the number of sales that used a particular promotional code that you only publish on your social media channels, or in the case of submitting a form, you may track submissions through a dedicated form or via a shared link that contains a variable. Depending on your analytics tools, you may be able to track visits to your website (or a particular page) that originated from social media websites that end with a completed sale or form submission.

Note: The iASP™ platform features a highly functional affiliate and referral tracking system that automatically tracks the source of visits, enquiries and sales.

Step #4: Calculate your return - How much was each conversion worth?

There are two methods you can use to determine this:

  1. Using data: Calculate the average total of the orders you received during the campaign (as per your tracking analytics). Or you can calculate the average lifetime value of the leads that you received over the campaign.
  2. Use a guesstimate: If you don't have enough historical data to help you, make an educated guess. For example, how much would you estimate to earn from your new customers? How much would you estimate customers spent?

Step #5: Calculate your investment - How much you spent on the campaign?

Your investment costs will be the total of things like:

  • How much it cost to plan, execute and manage the campaign.
  • How much it cost for graphic design.
  • How much it costs for the analytics tools you are using.
  • How much you paid to boost/promote/advertise your posts.

Step #6: Crunch the numbers - Now it's time to calculate your return on investment using the simple formula:

ROI = (Return - Investment) / Investment.


Summary:

Don't be disheartened by the results of any individual campaign, the key is to test and measure and evolve an approach that over time connects and engages with your audience.

Remember that social media can be very hit and miss. In our experience content generates engagement both above and below expectations.

The element that many people seem to overlook in social media analysis is mood and emotion. It changes from time to time in humans, and mood is very difficult to measure because it can be affected very quickly and very easily by factors so far removed that not even those affected couldn't tell they were being affected. For example, my football team just lost, so now I'm not in the mood to read a post I normally would.

The key to success is adaptation and experimentation.

Review your campaigns, try to identify why they did or didn't perform. Keep trying something different and comparing the results.



Resources:



How you ever calculated the ROI of a social media campaign you ran? How did you go? Let's discuss on our iASP Central Facebook Page, or Get in Touch.