Social Media Essentials for Entrepreneurs

I’m conducting a training designed mainly for all kinds of entrepreneurs, freelancers, social media managers as well as public personalities on social media marketing, called “Social Media Essentials”. This is an intermediate level training where I’m going to assume that those who are going to attend, would have a basic understanding of what is social media marketing and how it works and all that.

Date: Thursday, 12th September 2019
Time: 5.30 PM – 8.30 PM
Venue: Colombo Cooperative, 7th Floor #365 Galle Road, Colombo 03

(This is on the Amana Bank building that’s right opposite the Fab)

What are the essential things to know about social media marketing and why is it important for every business and person today?

What’s In It

This is what you will learn during this 2-3 hour session. You will get a thorough understanding of how you should get started on social media marketing, how to create content, the tools and technology to help you with the work, how to run a campaign, how to communicate with and manage your community, what to measure and how to analyze the data and how to use those insights to help to up your social game.

The step-by-step seminar will run you through all the essential basics you need to get started or perfect your existing social media marketing activities.

Who Should Follow This Training

This training would be ideal for you if you are a;

  • Startups and SME owner
  • Entrepreneur – especially a solo-preneur
  • Freelancer – full-time and part-time
  • Working-at-home moms or senior citizens who want to become a social media manager
  • Stay-at-home-mom or retired person looking for client work
  • Social media manager right now or looking to become one
  • Influencer or a public figure (like an author or a musician, any type of celeb or even a politician lol
  • Company CEO who would like to have a big online presence

So, What if you ARE someone of the above category but you don’t have a basic knowledge or any knowledge in social media marketing, in order to benefit from this training?

Fear not, I got you covered!
I have a FREE video course on one of my Facebook groups. There are actually two. one in English and the other in Sinhala. Since this training is going to be in English, I would recommend that you check out the English one. Or you can check out both. They’re pretty much identical content.

For the Free video course in English,
Step 1: Join THIS Facebook Group
Step 2: Click HERE to follow the Units

For the Free video course in Sinhala,
Step 1: Join THIS Facebook Group
Step 2: Click HERE to follow the Units

This should get you ready for the upcoming training :)

Colombo Cooperative

I must also mention that this is the first time I’m organizing my own event at Colombo Cooperative. Now, those of you who may have attended some of my GBG Colombo workshops, already know that GBG works with CC. But this is the first time I’m having my own event there.

How To Attend

And therefore, I’m going with their ticketing and pricing for the event, which is just $5. If you would like to get your tickets before they run out (as only about 10 are left, at the time of writing this), you can Click Here to visit the Eventbrite page and buy them online.

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10 Predictions for Social Media Marketing in 2019 – Based on Top Experts & Blogs

image source: pixabay.com

The new year just got started. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a summary of the top predictions by the top social media experts and blogs? Well, this is exactly that.

#1 Video Marketing

Going by the trends on the entire portfolio of Facebook and Instagram combined or according to social experts such as Mari Smith and blogs, such as Social Media Today and Smart Insights, Video Marketing will continue to be one of the highest focus on Facebook and on social media in general in the new year.

Be it Social TV – think IGTV, or more variety in video formats – think Vertical Video or Facebook Live; the video – media will continue to rise in 2019.

#2 Real Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing took a step forward last year and according to Forbes, Entrepreneur and Social Media Today and many others, Influencer Marketing will continue to rise in 2019.

It wouldn’t be just the mega influencers that will rise but the smaller, micro or even nano influencers will be something to take into consideration in your marketing plans for the new year.

Marketers would also focus on more niche targeting of influencers as well as focus on authenticity and real honesty more than anything. Today’s consumer is smart and they can easily smell fake influencers, miles away.

One of the best practices that continue to be asked of influencers who are new (and even old) is to use clear disclaimers or disclosures. In addition, Employee Advocacy would be another form of internal influencer marketing that more companies would be gunning for in 2019.

#3 Marketing Funnels & Really High ROI

Experts say, marketers would focus on really high ROI this year and for this, you need to replace your Website with a proper Marketing Funnel.

Gone are the days where you created a website to make your mark on the interwebs. Say hello, to sophisticated Marketing Funnels that churn out sales when you throw in traffic. This is the only way you can get really high ROI in your business.

Social will definitely take on all aspects of the buying cycle and according to Hacker Noon marketers should focus on a full stack approach to funnels for best gains.

#4 Audience Targeting & High Spending Digital Ads

You can’t really speak of Marketing Funnels and ROI – more like ROAS (return on ad spend), without discussing Audience Targeting. These are the Digital Ads that will bring you leads and sales. Not just traffic.

As a business, you must do razor sharp audience targeting where you tweak the Ads until you get really high ROI. And then only, scale the ads where you spend high and gain high profits in return.

2019 would see a rise in marketers adopting these methods that only a handful had been successful in doing so in the past. However, a word of caution here. Don’t just crowd your social with ads. The folks at Agora Pulse reminds us that GDPR would seep into social, and would result in a tightening of rules for digital ads.

So, make sure you have a healthy balance between your organic (think content) and paid marketing this year.

#5 Marketing Automation

image source: flickr.com

Marketing Automation is no doubt one process that makes the lives of marketers easy. While some argue that automation kills marketing, in reality, there are many processes that can and should be automated.

It is up to the marketer to figure out which processes are more repetitive and does not need human interference and which should actually require personal input. More and more sophisticated tools help today’s marketers decide on this and put each aspect into practice so that the customer doesn’t feel like they are just a number on a list.

#6 Better Content Marketing with Real Value

Providing great value through your content marketing is something all marketers strive for. Blogging and Vlogging – mostly YouTube marketing (even podcasting – which isn’t seen much in the local market). And the content you provide should not just be good for consumption but that it’s SO good that people are compelled to engage and to share them too.

Apart from providing great value, your content marketing should also focus on storytelling. Whether it’s video or image or text, storytelling is the best way to make an impact on your audience and make them remember you.

Content Marketing game is getting even better with ebooks, video courses, and live webinars etc. We are sure to see an increase in the competition when it comes to Content Marketing in 2019. Oh, and don’t forget UGC (user-generated content). It’s still powerful stuff.

#7 Messenger Marketing, Chatbots and A.I.

image source: pxhere.com

Messenger marketing will take over email marketing. That’s for sure. Email marketing has been hands down, one of the most effective and economical forms of marketing. Messenger or chat will, however, takeover Email in the years to come.

In 2018, we saw the trend appearing and in 2019 this will become a highly practiced form of marketing. The growth of A.I will boost and support business growth, together with the emergence of Chatbots.
Not only business growth but also A.I. driven customer service will also continue to rise. Newer, more sophisticated tools would aid Messenger Marketing and customer service in the new year.

#8 Social Communication & Groups

People seem to like to gather around common ideas, causes or topics more actively than participate in brand chatter connected to business pages. During last year, on Facebook alone, Group membership went up 40%, with 1.4 billion people now using Groups every month.

Part of the reason could be due to the fact that Facebook had recalibrated its algorithms to prioritize engagement with friends, family, and Groups, while down-ranking public content shared by businesses, brands, and media.
Considering these facts and trends, we can safely say that Communities and Groups, be it Facebook Groups or other niche communities will be an essential strategy for businesses to take on in 2019. Here’s an excellent post from Amy Porterfield on how businesses can maximize the usage of the 3 types of Facebook Groups. Amy’s post is a little old but definitely gold.

#9 Voice for Search

image source: growthmanifesto.com

With the rise of A.I. assisted voice search, voice, seems to be an upcoming trend that would mature in 2019, or even 2020. According to Search Engine Land, voice-based commerce sales in the United States is projected to reach $40 billion by 2022. And so, 2019 is the year to get ahead of the game.

With Siri’s popularity at 41.4 million monthly active users in the U.S alone, if you want your business to prosper and thrive, make sure to leverage voice search. And marketers must think about voice search when planning campaigns. Test and play with new social voice features as they become available and get creative with how they mesh with your social strategy.

#10 Blockchain going Mainstream

Undoubtedly Blockchain was a big conversation topic in 2018 and this year, it will definitely make more headlines as people are realizing the benefits of the technology in multitudes of areas as it gains a better reputation among marketers.

Blockchain integration with social media would see the light of day especially with security and privacy levels on social networks have been expensive affair last year. Social networks may even issue their own coins, using blockchain. A number of gaming sites and virtual worlds have been using their own currency but this can take a step forward with actual cryptocurrency with real value for users.

Apart from this, think BaaS like SaaS, which a few companies already provide, going mainstream with increasing demand. From security tokens to stable coins (which is different from cryptocurrencies) There are a number of trends to look out for, with the Blockchain technology.

For more Blockchain trends, you can get this 47-page “Blockchain Trends In 2019” report from cbinsights.com for free.

Speaking of coins, does anyone smell an F-coin or even a G-coin on the way? IYKWIM lol Okay, maybe I’m not joking. Facebook already had Facebook Credits, from 2009 – 2011 but they never went beyond the Beta stage. Who thinks we would see a comeback? ;)

One more thing – LinkedIn

Many social networks had had a rough time in 2018, mainly Facebook that had a number of blows form of legal and privacy. But LinkedIn had slowly but surely passed the 500 million mark last year and continues to grow. Unless they somehow manage a controversy, they seem to be gaining people’s faith and will rise further this year.

That’s it. Did you guess any of these on the list? Let me know what your personal predictions are if you’d like to share them in comments!

If you would like to read more on trends and predictions for the new year,, Social Bakers have done a study on the “Most Important Social Media Trends to Remember in 2019”. It’s pretty comprehensive and it’s Free. Click Here to download.

Is your business ready for 2019? If you are looking for Digital Marketing consultation for your business to work out your annual strategy or Social Media training for your team, talk to me today.

Click here to get on Messenger chat –> m.me/indunanayakkara

9 Key Takeaways From The First Keynote At Social Media Marketing World 2017

social media marketing world 2017

I just got back from attending one of the biggest social media marketing conferences on the planet Social Media Marketing World 2017; a couple of weeks ago. I must confess that I’ve been dying to attend this conference for the past 4 years and I finally made it this year! Also, according to them, I’m the first Srilankan to attend this massive conference, so YAY for that!

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The event comes on top of probably every blog post out there that tells you which are the best SM conferences to attend this year. The event takes place in the beautiful city of San Diego, California every year. SMMW17 website says that some of the recognized brands that attended this year’s conference include Apple, Cisco, CBS Interactive, IBM, Deloitte, Hilton, Humana, Macy’s, Mayo Clinic, McDonald’s, ReMax, Reuters, Sprint, Toyota, the United Way, UPS, WalMart; to name a few. It also says that people from Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and other platforms also attended.

120+ Sessions in 3 Days – Totally Worth It

social-media-marketing-influencers-smmw17-speakers

The 3 days of the conference was packed with 120+ sessions. These included 4 Keynotes, multiple sessions on  Content Marketing, Corporate Social, Measurement & Analytics, Social Strategy, Social Customer Service as well as Tactical sessions on the major social networking platforms. They also included multiple Workshops and’a Creator Series’on the topics of Live Video, Blogging, Podcasting, Video & YouTube.

If these details make you kinda wish that you too could have had the opportunity to attend the best social media marketing conference of the year, you still have the chance to catch up on all of these sessions with the virtual ticket to the SMMW17 conference which is still available at the time of publishing this blog post. You can purchase it here at a cost of $697. And no, I’m not getting a cut out of this! lol, I just think it was truly worth it.

If you’re also interested, next year’s conference will be held on February 28th, March 1st, and March 2nd and the tickets are already available at a discounted price  Also, next year they will have two different ticket categories – All access ticket and Creator ticket. If you ask me, would I be going again? Absolutely!

Key Takeaways

SMMW17 Mike Stelzner

On this post, I really would like to share the key takeaways from the first keynote of the event – Social Media Marketing in 2017: What the Newest Research Reveals By Michael Stelzner. Mike is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of the Social Media Marketing Society, and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He also hosts the weekly Social Media Marketing podcast and the Social Media Marketing Talk show.

During his keynote, Mike revealed the hottest trends in social media based on the brand new research they did with the participation of over 5,700 marketers from all over the world. This survey is the 9th edition of their annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report.

The most interesting insight from this survey is that Facebook is the most important social network for marketers as. 62% of those who took the survey have revealed that Facebook is still the most important social media marketing platform for them. Back in 2016, only 55% have said the same thing.

Also, Facebook is updating the News Feed algorithm and marketers are finding it difficult to get around it. In fact, 54% of marketers who took part in the survey had agreed that Facebook’s algorithm has decreased their News Feed exposure in the last 12 months. Only 4% have disagreed with this while  42% were actually clueless about this.

Facebook is Running Out on Ad Space?

Not so long ago, Recode published an article that Facebook says it’s running out of places in the News Feed to show people ads. The consequence of this would obviously be that it’s going to be more and more difficult for marketers to get their content in front of their audience organically.

What is also interesting is that based on the survey, 42% of marketers who’ve said they were uncertain if Facebook’s algorithm has decreased their News Feed exposure, have also said that they post 7 times a day on their Facebook page. Also, 74% of the same audience had said they will be INCREASING their post frequency in future.

Meanwhile, out of the 54% who’ve said they DID see a decrease in their News Feed exposure – are currently posting 8 times per day on their Facebook page and 64% have said they plan on increasing their post frequency as well! Is this the right thing to do?

Less is More for Facebook Algorithm

Mike says, increasing your post frequency is NOT the answer to this and that with the Facebook algorithm – less is more.

Mike’s Advice to Marketers

So what should you as a marketer do, to beat Facebook’s algorithm game and get your content in front of your audience? Here’s Mike’s advice in a nutshell:

  1. Number 1 key to beating Facebook’s algorithm game right now is with Live Video
  2. Refocus on community development. Influencer marketing anyone? In general, as a brand, be helpful to your community and customers
  3. Stop worrying about the big numbers. They won’t make much of a difference
  4. DO advertise on Facebook. But only do so with highly targeted ads so that you don’t have to spend a fortune on them
  5. Instagram is HOT. And you need to get on it! However, you need to work on your content game
  6. Your content must be visual
  7. Messaging is the future. You need to learn how to, in terms of bots and ads
  8. Create Amazing Content (Yes, content is STILL King! LOL)
  9. Make blogging part of your content creation

Details of the Keynote

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmworld/agenda/

If you’d like to know details of this keynote, in terms of market insights along with why these are important steps and exactly what you can do as a marketer to include these key points in your social media marketing game this year; let me know and I’ll do another post on the details.

I’d also love to know what YOU think about the above steps and if you would actually implement them in your action plan this year. If so, which of them would be most important to you and why? Do share your thoughts with me in comments below. Also, if you disagree with these ideas or have any questions with regard to them, I’d love to hear from you!

The Social Media Marketing Conference

Hello my readers, today I would like to let you know that I will be doing a full day conference on Social Media Marketing on Tuesday, 12th February 2013 (that’s just a couple of days from now) from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM at the Galadari Hotel.

For whom

I would like to recommend this for beginners to intermediate level Social Media marketers or sometimes who we call ‘account managers’ and Page admins. Maybe this would not go down too well with absolute beginners who are clueless about SMM but I guess one could still learn a thing or two. I would also not recommend this to the ‘pros’ who’ve been in the industry for the past 2-3 years. Nope, you would find this pretty boring :)

How to participate

This conference is organised by McQuire Rens & Jones, the people who conduct all sorts of exclusive corporate training programs. You can find more details on how to participate, on their website HERE or you can check out the e-flyer below. For registrations and more details, call them on 0727-002002, 0115-833100 or 0115-836888.

If you want to know more about this from me, Tweet me @InduNan and I’ll be happy to help! :)

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Feedback

If any of you are hoping to attend this conference, let me know in comments below and don’t forget to come say ‘Hi’ to me at the conference. Also, after attending the conference, I would love to hear your thoughts on it so go ahead and comment below when you come back – or you could always Tweet me :)

– Update –

If you’re at The Social Media Marketing Conference, you’re most welcome to live-tweet with the hashtag #SMMconSL13 and even G+ update if you like!

 

Srilanka’s Perera and Sons become active on Social Media

It was just yesterday that I noticed Perera & Sons had started following me on Twitter!

Perera and Sons on Twitter?

I didn’t even know that Perera and Sons were on Twitter before, so I started following them (@pereraandsons) back. Curiosity got the better of me so I asked them a question. An hour or so later, they managed to get me into their conversation. It wasn’t just me, quite a few Tweeps were tweeting about how not only Perera but his sons were also following them! lol

During the conversation with “Perera and his sons” that went on till late into the night, they promptly announced that they will be getting on FourSquare and will be doing some interesting promotions, starting with 15 pre-decided outlets.

Lucky for me, who pass by the Thalawathugoda and the Kotte outlets of the franchise almost daily – it seems that those two outlets ARE on the initial list. Continue reading

Have you seen the “Best Practice Guide” by Facebook?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Facebook recently published a 14-page PDF document called “Best Practice Guide – Marketing on Facebook” that contains some valuable insights into reaching your business objectives on facebook.

I personally hunt for information like this on various websites and blogs that are dedicated to educating readers, how to do their business on Facebook. So this guide coming from Facebook itself, should contain accurate and precise information for the business community.

Taking a sneak peak into the guide, here’s what you can find :

  • The Facebook ecosystem – Build, Engage, Amplify
  • Five guiding principles
  • Facebook by Objective
  • Helpful resources

Having read the above, I’m sure you want to get your hands on the whole guide right? CLICK HERE to download your free copy.

Let me know if this was helpful for your business and share with our readers, your own “best practices” through your experience (leave a comment).

Social Media in Sri Lankan Businesses

Last year has seen businesses taking a significant move from traditional marketing to integrating Social Media into the marketing mix, almost all around the world and in every arena. And some predict that the year 2011 will be the year of the “Social Media Bubble”. Throughout last year we have also noticed how a number of Srilankan business too, making a move towards social media marketing. But are we just following the herd or are we actually making any marketing sense? Do you think that the local businesses embracing social media is due to the noise social media marketing has made globally or have they actually seen the huge potential in it?

As I mentioned before, this year (2011) has been foretasted as the year that Social Media will come forward and lead the way to marketing, PR and generally – how we run our businesses. So are we ready for this here in Sri Lanka? Continue reading