Week of 6/5: E-learning on Facebook and social media snafus

A weekly list of articles to skim (We highlight the important bits) so you get the creative juices flowing and market your own business.

Image for #Covfefe: Who Branded It Best? – Adweek

Twitter tests out a few product concepts.

#Covfefe: Who Branded It Best?

Everyone’s a pitchman

The nominees include…

1) Jeremy Smyth, a studio manager at U.K.’s The Creative Branch.*

2) This new brand of vodka.

3) While there is no shortage of coffee options–everything from a re-imagined Starbucks mermaid to Nespresso lover George Clooney taking a sip–Deviant Art, based in Hollywood, may have the ultimate java brainstorm. Given the way President Trump tweets at 3 a.m., this is probably the way he takes his #covfefe.

4) Writer-producer Jordan Van Dina offers this sublime Japanese TV commercial movie reference.

5) Finally, the Chevy Corvette and variations thereof seemed to make the most automotive sense to folks still hankering for a Memorial Day weekend deal (and in this case, well geographically beyond). Honk if you’re on the waiting list alongside Tim Van Martin!

*Addendum (June 1):
Via Twitter, Smyth has informed us that he did not create the chocolate box image. Only passed it on. If you are the artist, or know who is, please let the article author know.

http://www.adweek.com/creativity/covfefe-product-memes/

On – 31 May, 2017 By Richard Horgan

 

Image for 5 New Facebook Updates and Tests Spotted This Week | Social Media Today

Here are five tests of possible upcoming Facebook features seen 'in the wild' in the last week.

In order to maintain their position as the leading social media platform in the world, Facebook’s constantly trying out new measures and testing new tools in order to boost user engagement and keep you inside Facebook’s digital walls for longer.

As such, there are always limited tests and features being pushed out, minor updates that may not make big waves, but are still relevant and worth highlighting.

To help provide some additional context on these smaller tweaks and tests, we’re co-ordinating them into a weekly update to help keep you abreast of what Facebook’s trying out, where they’re focused and what you should be watching for in future.

Here are five smaller tests or updates seen ‘in the wild’ in the last week.

1. Active Admins

Facebook’s very keen to own the growing messaging space, which they largely do, in western nations at least, through their ownership of both Messenger and WhatsApp. But messaging could be so much more – there are bots, there are new engagement options – Facebook sees so much more opportunity in personalized, one-on-one, brand to consumer engagement.

To help foster such connection, Facebook’s testing out a new notification which lets Page visitors know when the Page admin is actually logged in an active, prompting you to send a message to start a conversation with them.

5 Facebook Updates and Tests Spotted This Week | Social Media TodayThe update, spotted by The Next Web’s Matt Navarra, could become a headache for social managers if it’s rolled out more widely – if more users start taking it up, it could mean an ever-growing mass of e-mails to respond to every time you log in.

But then again, it could also prompt more engagement, and ultimately, more conversions from those connections.

No word from Facebook as to whether this will be rolled out to all users.

2. Adding Posts and Check-Ins to Albums

Facebook’s albums feature is an easy way to group your photos and better categorize and present your images. But what if you could add more than just photos to albums. Like, maybe, posts within albums, or check-ins – and not just you, but other contributors?

Well now, some users can.

5 Facebook Updates and Tests Spotted This Week | Social Media TodayAs you can see, some users are now able to add ‘posts, check-ins and more’ to their albums, which creates a sort of event page within your profile.

5 Facebook Updates and Tests Spotted This Week | Social Media TodayAs you can see, the posts sit in between any images – you can choose to share the album with whomever you want, and who can also add updates to the page.

It’s another way for Facebook to encourage more group interaction and engagement, within a closed environment, in order to make Facebook the home for your collective memories.

3. Total Saves

You know how many Likes your Facebook post got, how many Reactions, how many shares. But how many times was it saved? That’s the key question.

I mean, it’s probably not, but it might be interesting to know either way.

Some users are seeing a new listing on their posts for total Saves.

5 Facebook Updates and Tests Spotted This Week | Social Media TodayMore data is always better, and there’s definitely some contextual relevance to be had here – particularly given 250 million people use the ‘Save’ option every month. But it’s hard to see how it adds anything of major significance to your analytics.

Like, just because they saved it, doesn’t mean they read it.

But then again, just because they shared it doesn’t mean they did either, so…

4. ‘Community’ Tab

Facebook ads expert Mari Smith has also reported a new change to her Facebook Page, with the ‘Likes’  tab replaced by a new ‘Community’ page.

5 Facebook Updates and Tests Spotted This Week | Social Media TodayAs you can see, there are various new elements here – the current ‘Likes’ tab shows ‘People talking about this’ and new Likes gained, whereas this new layout focuses on related videos and images and… well, the wider community, as opposed to the metrics.

The focus appears to be on avoiding the skew of base numbers, broadening the perspective to actual impact and engagement – it doesn’t matter how many Likes a Page has, necessarily, it matters who their audience is and how active they are. This new option aims to highlight the benefits of community and activity over a static graph, which could be better for prompting more engagement and involvement.

5. Facebook Learning

And the last significant test seen in the last week is a new option to create education courses within the Facebook eco-system.

5 Facebook Updates and Tests Spotted This Week | Social Media TodayThis one again comes from Mari Smith – as you can see, on Smith’s ‘Inner Circle’ Group Page, she’s been able to post a new education course unit on Facebook ads.

Smith posted several other images from the course creation process – first, there’s a prompt to add units and courses on the Group page to build the offering.

5 Facebook Updates and Tests Spotted This Week | Social Media TodayYou then need to enter all the details of the unit, which goes into the course structure.

5 Facebook Updates and Tests Spotted This Week | Social Media TodayEach unit is then added to the course tree for students to take.

5 Facebook Updates and Tests Spotted This Week | Social Media TodayIt’s very interesting to see Facebook moving into online education – though it makes sense, given the increased emphasis on Groups of late (more than a billion people use Facebook Groups every month) and the integration of Groups with Facebook Pages.

Adding educational content to Page-linked Groups seems a fairly logical step – though it’s one that will no doubt have online education providers raising their eyebrows as they consider the implications of Facebook’s reach and influence stretching into their market.

All of these functions are in test mode, and we have limited information on their future availability – which, of course, is the whole point of testing. But it’s interesting to see where The Social Network is looking, and what you should maybe prepare for in the near future.

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-networks/5-new-facebook-updates-and-tests-spotted-week

On – 01 Jun, 2017 By Andrew Hutchinson

 

Image for The Facebook Algorithm Demystified: How to Optimize for News Feed Exposure : Social Media Examiner

Are your posts reaching fewer people on Facebook? Discover how the Facebook algorithm works and how to optimize your posts for maximum news feed visibility.

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-algorithm-demystified-how-to-optimize-for-news-feed-exposure/

On – 31 May, 2017 By Paul Ramondo

Week of 5/29: Illustrating Social Media

A weekly list of articles to skim (We highlight the important bits) so you can always be updated about business tips that will impact you.

This new infographic from Healthy Business Builder outlines seven key selling techniques for social media.

The advent of social media has transformed the way people communicate and interact with others, as well with businesses they follow.

Before social media networks became popular, the only way business could interact with their target audience was via email and through traditional outreach tools, likes direct mail and telephone. Today, every business – from multinational organizations to fresh startups – has the opportunity to bring their brand closer to their target audience, immediately and on a wider scale than ever before.

But as en evolving medium, there are a lot of shifts and trends in social media that salespeople need to be aware of in order to ensure they’re marketing in the most effective way. Knowing which techniques are producing the best results will not only bring your brand closer to your audience, but will also help establish optimal leads and sales flow through the use of social platforms.

Along this line, this new infographic from Healthy Business Builder outlines seven key selling techniques for social media – are you utilizing all of these steps in your process?
7 Selling Techniques for Social Media [Infographic] | Social Media TodayThis post originally appeared on Irfan Ahmad’s blog.

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/7-selling-techniques-social-media-infographic

On – 17 May, 2017 By Irfan Ahmad

 

Creating effective social media marketing reports is a critical part of the social business process. Here are some tips for effective social reporting.

After allocating budget to social media advertising, your executive team will be expecting to see how those ad efforts are paying off. Performance reporting is an inevitable task for any business that takes social media marketing seriously –  the key to creating effective social media reports is ensuring the data you present is appropriate, and relevant, for the audience at hand.

Preparing and presenting a monthly report can bring about similar stress as those college thesis papers that counted for 75% of your grade – except this particular assignment happens twelve times per year. Your team’s worked its tail off to meet and exceed KPIs, and diligently tracked everything for reporting purposes – but if the presentation is full of disorganized data, your boss is liable to think you don’t know what you’re doing.

In the below infographic, we’ve put together five key tips that’ll give you the building blocks you need to build an effective report and facilitate productive conversation about your social media strategy.

Following these steps, you’ll be able to create a cohesive story that’s easy for clients – both internal and external – to follow, and will ultimately earn you trust and authority.

How to Create Effective Social Media Reports [Infographic] | Social Media Today

A version of the post “How to Create Effective PPC Reports” was first published on the AdStage blog.

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-create-effective-social-media-reports-infographic

On – 05 May, 2017 By Jd_prater

 

Image for Social Media - Social Media Use by Generation [Infographic] : MarketingProfs Article

Find the right social media audience for your marketing messages. Here's how different generations - Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers - use some of the biggest social platforms.

There will be 2.67 billion social media users worldwide by 2018, according to estimated cited in an infographic by Personal Money Service.

If more than one-third of the world is on social media, how can you make sure the right message gets to the right people?

The infographic suggests one way is to know your audience by generation. For example, it cites a statistic that Generation Z prefers to see real people rather than celebrities in their advertisements, and that 68% of Generation X makes buying decisions based on reviews.

The infographic also provides an overview of some of the major social media channels; it notes, for example, that 79% of all Twitter accounts are outside the US, and 65% of leading brands have an Instagram account.

To see more about how different generations use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest, check out the infographic:


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https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2017/31733/social-media-use-by-generation-infographic

On – 10 May, 2017 By Laura Forer

 

Image for 7 Powerful Social Media Techniques to Build Your Brand and Business [Infographic] - Social Media Explorer

The modern customer journey starts and ends with your social profiles. Think of it from their point of view. When it comes time for researching which business to go for, the average person starts

7 Powerful Social Media Techniques to Build Your Brand and Business [Infographic]
7 Powerful Social Media Techniques to Build Your Brand and Business [Infographic]
by | May 4, 2017

The modern customer journey starts and ends with your social profiles. Think of it from their point of view. When it comes time for researching which business to go for, the average person starts off with a google search.

Inevitably, they’ll land on your Facebook or LinkedIn page to learn more about you. In today’s world, Social is your storefront. It’s your opportunity to wow potential customers and truly let your brand’s voice shine through. Here’s a great infographic that can help you build your brand with social media.

 

http://socialmediaexplorer.com/content-sections/tools-and-tips/7-powerful-social-media-techniques-build-brand-business-infographic/

On – 04 May, 2017 By Payman Taei

What’s happening in social

A weekly list of articles to skim (We highlight the important bits) so you can always be updated about business and social media tips that will impact you. If you have questions about how you can leverage these updates comment below!

Image for Instagram Stories Updates, Pinterest Visual Search Ads, and the New Google Lens : Social Media Examiner

Social media news and developments making social media marketing easier. (Instagram Stories Update, Pinterest Visual Search Ads, Google Lens)

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/instagram-stories-updates-pinterest-visual-search-ads-and-new-google-lens/

On – 20 May, 2017 By Grace Duffy

 

Image for 5 Facebook Updates and Tests Spotted This Week | Social Media Today

Here are five new features being tested or rolled out by Facebook.

Change is the only constant in social media, and Facebook, in particular, is always trying out new measures and testing new tools to boost user engagement and keep you on Facebook for longer.

As such, there are always limited tests and features being pushed out, minor updates that may not make big waves, but are still relevant and worth highlighting.

To help provide some additional context on these smaller tweaks and tests, we’re co-ordinating them into a weekly update to help keep you updated on what Facebook’s trying out, where they’re focused and what you should be watching for in future.

Here are five smaller tests or updates seen ‘in the wild’ this week.

1. Alternative Navigation in the Main App

Earlier this week, Mashable reported on a new Facebook test which replaces the ‘hamburger’ icon at the right of the lower function bar with a new, multi-purpose, direct connection option.

5 Facebook Updates and Test Spotted This Week | Social Media Today

Image via Mashable

Interesting to note, too, that in this instance, it’s actually been added to the function bar – most users will see only have five direct links, though in the screenshot here, there are six, with ‘On this Day’ also added in.

Once you tap on the new icon, you’re taken to a listing of the various Facebook functions you can use, which you can then access within one tap.

5 Facebook Updates and Test Spotted This Week | Social Media Today

Image via Mashable

The option makes it a little easier to get to all the various Facebook tools, and could help raise awareness of all the functions available. This test has actually been circulating for a while – The Next Web’s Matt Navarra spotted the same in early May – but there’s been no word yet as to whether it’s going to be rolled out more widely.

Making it easier to access the various Facebook tools could have a range of benefits, for both Facebook more broadly, and businesses. For example, if Facebook were to add in their new ‘Rewards’ tab, which may, eventually, be linked to business offers, that could help raise awareness of special deals and promotions, which might help businesses better connect.

Really, anything that boosts awareness of Facebook’s various options will have benefit for The Social Network. It’ll be interesting to see what their initial testing shows and whether the change gets rolled out more broadly.

2. Simplified Canvas Creation

Facebook’s also looking to make their immersive Canvas ads a little easier to create.

As reported by AdWeek, Facebook’s now automatically pulling images associated with a URL when you enter that webpage into the Canvas creation process.

5 Facebook Updates and Test Spotted This Week | Social Media TodayPaste in the page you want to reference, and the images will be presented as selection options.

5 Facebook Updates and Test Spotted This Week | Social Media TodayCanvas ads are presented in full-screen, immersive format, and there’s a range of ways they can be used to get attention within the feed. Simplifying the creation process could make them a more significant consideration for more businesses.

3. Cross-App Notifications

Facebook’s also testing out a new system which would enable users to get notifications from Facebook, Messenger and Instagram in one stream, and switch to each with a single tap.

5 Facebook Updates and Test Spotted This Week | Social Media TodayThe new process was first noted by Mari Smith (and covered by TechCrunch earlier this week) – as you can see, your notifications for each platform are presented in your feed and you can switch across to whichever you want to check,

Facebook’s been gradually moving towards further integration of their key apps – they recently launched an integrated inbox which enables social managers to respond to Facebook, Messenger and Instagram interactions in one place. This new functionality takes that to the next level, creating a more seamless flow between the three platforms – though it could be distracting to see alerts from all in one place.

No word yet on whether this will see a wider roll out.

4. Conditional Answers on Lead Ads

Facebook’s also adding a new capability to their Lead Ads option, giving advertisers the ability to use conditional answers in their process.

With lead ads, you can pose a set of questions to your audience, which are either standard queries pre-filled with information which already exists via a users’ Facebook profile, or custom questions, where you have to enter in the options for the user to choose from.

Conditional answers expands upon the latter – as explained by Facebook:

With conditional answers, you can create a set of custom answers that appear based on how someone answered a previous question. For example, say you sell t-shirts and sweatshirts. The first question on your form might be, “Would you like a t-shirt or a sweatshirt?” Within your inventory, you only stock red t-shirts and yellow t-shirts and green sweatshirts and black sweatshirts. Let’s say the person filling out your form answers “t-shirts” in your first question. In your second question, you ask, “What color would you like?” Since the person selected “t-shirts,” you’ll use conditional answers to only show them answer options for red or yellow.”

Basically, it’s a means of further enhancing the information you’re able to gather based on sequential questioning – Facebook ad expert Jon Loomer has provided an in-depth guide to the new option here.

The option gives advertisers another way to gather additional context, with varying ways in which the qualifiers could be applied. This can help you hone in on the key details you need to know to better qualify your leads.

5.  Search Personal Profiles

And the final update of note this week again comes from Mari Smith, who reported the addition of a new option to search personal profiles on The Social Network.

5 Facebook Updates and Test Spotted This Week | Social Media TodaySmith notes that you can use this new search option on your own profile, or on anyone else’s, helping you to locate relevant updates and posts – obviously limited by privacy restrictions.

Everyone’s had those times where they’re trying to remember that thing that friend posted so they can show someone else – this new option makes it easier to locate those updates quickly. It’ll also help you locate previous articles or videos you’ve posted, eliminating the need to scroll through your feed to find it.

Of course, you’ve always been able to utilize similar search to varying degree, and this doesn’t add anything new in terms of search depth, but it’ll make the process more straight-forward, and could come in handy.

The option has not been rolled out to all users as yet.

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-networks/5-facebook-updates-and-tests-spotted-week

On – 20 May, 2017 By Andrew Hutchinson

 

Image for Twitter Rolls Out New Data Controls And Updates Its Privacy Policy |WeRSM – We are Social Media | Latest news on social media and tips on using Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram…

Twitter has announced a suite of tools that allow you more access to your information and more control over how it's used. The company also updated its Privacy Policy to reflect this. Twitter is

Twitter has announced a suite of tools that allow you more access to your information and more control over how it’s used. The company also updated its Privacy Policy to reflect this.

Twitter is rolling out some updates in the next few days that will affect the amount of control that you have as a user, over information about you that Twitter uses. The company wants to show you just how much it values their privacy, so it’s giving you access to “a suite of industry-leading tools to give you more access to your information and greater, more granular control over how it’s used. Finally, to reflect these “improvements,” Twitter also announced that it has updated its Privacy Policy.

Here are the updates in full, as announced in a recent blog post,

Increased transparency: Twitter is expanding Your Twitter Data to give you the most transparent access to your Twitter information to date. This includes demographic and interest data, and advertisers that have included you in their tailored audiences on Twitter. Each category of data will be clearly marked, and you will be able to view or modify this data directly.

New controls: New Personalisation and Data settings that offer even more granular control over how Twitter uses your data, including how it personalises your experience on the platform, and whether information may be shared through certain partnerships. You can use these controls to better personalise your experience and decide to opt out of various types of data usage and sharing with a single switch.

Personalisation across devices: When you log in, Twitter will associate your device with your account for purposes such as authentication and personalisation. Your experience may be personalised based on information from other devices you use to log in. You can turn this off if you like.

Policy Updates

Web data: Twitter has expanded how it uses and stores data from other websites that integrate Twitter content – embedded Tweets for example. The company also says that it does not store web page visit data for users who are in the European Union and EFTA States.

Data sharing: Finally, Twitter updated how it shares non-personal, aggregated, and device-level data, including through some select partnership agreements that allow the data to be linked to your name, email, or other personal information – but only when you give your consent to those partners.


 

Social Media Trends

http://wersm.com/twitter-rolls-out-new-data-controls-and-updates-its-privacy-policy/

On – 19 May, 2017 By George Carey-Simos

 

Image for Important Social Media Updates for 2017 - The run of the Social Media

With the advent of technology, our lives have become a juxtaposition of bytes and pixels.

 

With the advent of technology, our lives have become a juxtaposition of bytes and pixels. We are run on schedules and powered by information. The world runs on information and the one who holds the key to it is the new king. Information is the new oil.

And the ones propagating this information are the moguls of our times. The social media, the uncrowned king of the virtual world, virtually taking over the planet with its reach and content, has been transforming. It has been making changes to remain relevant. In a crowded field of upstarts and the old world, change they say, is the only constant.

Let us have a look at the changes the social media might undergo in the year 2017:

Facebook

The social media emperor at the moment and runs whatever it sees. Facebook has been evolving and today it is not only the most prolific social media platform but a heaven for businesses and marketing too. However, it is also a place for falsehood. There has been a surge in the creation and spreading of fake news and Facebook intends to tackle it seriously. False information poses a grave danger to society and countries at a large and hence the organization has come up with their new anti-fake news tools. Disputed contents are red flagged and observed before being trashed.

LinkedIn

The Facebook of the professional world, LinkedIn has added new features in its photo uploading section. It has created newer editing tools which will help the uploader to crop and view pictures better. One can manipulate color settings and also take help from the six new color filters.

Pinterest

The social platform has recently upped their ante in the field of advertisements. Following Google’s success in this area, pinners can now be counted as followers.

Twitter

The other big daddy of social media, Twitter has changed the way a community communicates. There has been a lot of transformation that Twitter has bought unto itself. The earlier limit of 140 characters remains but the usernames once added in the replies will not reduce that number.

It has also changed the appearance of the replies. Moreover, additional filters have been added to help the user to do away with notifications and unwanted news feed and stuff one would not like to see or be associated with. Twitter is also offering a premium version of its Tweetdeck, and it is primarily targeting businesses and marketers.

YouTube

The big daddy of virtual visuals, YouTube, too, has made some changes. From May 2, it has announced that is is going to do away with the annotation editor. Replacing it will be the End screen and cards. This, they feel will let the creator more access to a greater audience and hence a greater reach. These new features are both mobile and desktop compatible and will help videos cater to a larger audience better and also ratchet up better figures.

http://blogmart.org/important-social-media-updates-for-2017/

On – 16 May, 2017 By

Week of 5/15: Skimming the content to make you better

A weekly list of articles to skim (We highlight the important bits) so you can always be updated about business tips that will impact you.

Image for How to Use Content and Social to Promote Your Small Business

Small businesses have personality, and that's why customers love to buy from them and shop locally. So, play up your business's personality, using social media.

In the United States, the small business sector represents a significant part of the nation’s economic growth, with an estimated 28 million registered businesses earning 54 percent of annual sales in America. Small business accounts for 55 percent of all jobs and, on average 66 percent of new net job growth on an annual basis, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Given these statistics, there is nothing “small” about small businesses in America, except that these organizations typically follow a lean startup model, beginning as part-time businesses and growing only with time and cautious investment.  Because of this limited growth model, hiring a marketing manager isn’t an option, budget-wise, for many small businesses.

However, what they lack in capital, these nusinesses can make up for with creative content marketing.

How can your small businesses leverage content tools and brand messaging to support your growth? Here are several strategies and software packages that every business owner should consider part of an effective marketing plan.

Master social media management.

If delegating social media management to someone on your team isn’t an option, become a master content creator yourself. There are many online courses available on Udemy that start for $10 per lecture, allowing you to learn at your own pace the fundamentals of digital marketing and social media. The courses will teach you what to share and when, to optimize the benefit of professional community management.

Learn what software applications the experts use to preschedule posts, and how to get alerts sent to your phone whenever someone likes or comments on your social media content. Empower yourself (or your staff) to respond quickly to customer questions on important social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Small businesses that sell online nationally, or internationally, can benefit from looking at metrics or analytics regarding their social media engagement. Learn where your customers are from, what posts have the most traction, the most active days or times for your customers — and more. You can use Sprout Social. The software also comes with comprehensive scheduling applications, competitive reports and more.

Take advantage of newsjacking and trending hashtags.

Starting from scratch with new social media accounts means a slow, persistent build in terms of audience. Don’t be discouraged if it takes time and a lot of effort to gain traction and followers for your small business, but focus your efforts first locally, to build brand awareness in your immediate community.

Look for hashtags and other businesses in your local area that are “killing it’”on social. Follow charitable organizations from your community, including local associations and chambers of commerce. There is nothing unscrupulous about following up news events or headlines from your local area; comment, and like posts (or share them) to start networking with other businesses in your area. You can also expose your own business to more people by leveraging hashtags that are trending. Stay in the middle of the conversation.

Stimulate user-generated content.

Small businesses that advertise on social media platforms gain more traction by encouraging customers and users to create their own content. Just as product or service reviews help small businesses, so does user-generated content when shared online.

There are many ways small businesses can leverage user-generated content without pricey contests and large giveaways. If you own a restaurant, for instance, ask customers to share their favorite meal on Instagram, using a custom hashtag for your business. The hashtag will allow owners to randomly select a winner monthly, but the pictures of different items, and comments from satisfied customers, are worth far more than the price of a once-per-month “free dinner for two” incentive.

Invest in visual-content marketing.

You don’t have to be a graphic designer or professional video editor to create valuable multimedia visual content to share in your social feed. Finding the time may be a challenge for small business owners, but there are many free or low-cost smartphone apps that make it easy to create social-friendly creative posts.

If you are just starting out, and want to create some animated video posts with captions, try Ripl. The full version of the app (without the distraction of a watermark on your images or videos) is under $10 per month. Adobe Spark is fabulous software that allows a more advanced creative user to develop short videos, presentations (slideshows) and even magazine-quality graphic posts for social sharing.

Use an online-review service.

Gaining favorable customer reviews should be part of a small business marketing plan. Consider that any brand has an uphill battle to convince and convert potential customers. And favorable communication coming from the small business itself naturally has a biased opinion. The beautiful thing about customer reviews is that they hold a lot of merit with new customers, who trust the purchase or service experience of other consumers over the brand’s own promises.

Some industry leaders in online reviews, like Trustpilot, are out of budget for small businesses, despite the fact that they offer a high-traffic and easy-to-use online review format. Other review providers, such as Google My Business and TestFreaks, are more budget friendly, and the ratings and comments they enable customers to leave can be embedded for the business’s website.

Proud of your service track record? Showcase it on social media and on your website as an important credibility piece, to help establish a positive online reputation. Don’t forget to design an effortless way for customers to leave your business a review, by designating a funnel on your website; and remember to respond to comments (negative and positive) in a service-focused manner.

Overall, don’t be afraid to show the personal side of your small business to your customers, on social media.  Staff recognition, birthdays and charitable giving or events are all valuable from a public relations standpoint.

Small businesses have personality, and that’s why customers love to buy from them and shop locally. Let your passion and positive vibe shine through, and watch your small business grow.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/293956

On – 09 May, 2017 By Pratik Dholakiya

 

Image for 10 Tips for Making Your Small Business Stand Out on Social Media

You've heard social media can be a boon for your business, but how? Here's a look at what these various channels can do for the savvy small business owner.

10 Tips for Making Your Small Business Stand Out on Social Media


Chances are, you use some type of social media or content strategy to market your small business. But since so many other businesses use those same platforms, you have to constantly find new ways to make your business stand out. For ideas and tips on using social media and content marketing for your small business, check out these tips from members of our small business community.

Prepare and Execute a Social Media Crisis Management Plan

If you’ve been in business for more than a day, you’ve likely experienced a crisis or two. And when that happens, it’s important to have a plan — including one for dealing with the situation on social media. Rick Verbanas elaborates in this Your Guerrilla Marketer post.

Create Buyer Personas With Social Media Data

Social media can also be a great tool for gathering data about your potential customers and creating buyer personas. In this post on the Digital Information World blog, Ritesh Patil details how you can do this. And BizSugar members shares their thoughts here.

Track the Impact of Your Content Marketing with These Metrics

When it comes to content marketing efforts like blogging and social media, it’s important to have some kind of system for measuring results. To measure how those efforts impact your brand awareness, check out the metrics listed in this Content Marketing Institute post by Sujan Patel.

Learn How to Integrate User-Generated Content on Social Media

Social media is a great tool for interacting with your customers. And that includes sharing some of their content on your own channels. This Social Annex post by Prasad Dhamdhere features some tips and explanations about including user-generated content on social media.

Add These Topics to Your Blog

Blog content can be extremely popular on social media and elsewhere. To add some interesting topics to your blog mix, check out this post by Gary Shouldis of 3Bug Media. Then see what BizSugar members have to say about the post here.

Squeeze More Profits From Your Facebook Ads

Advertising can be another way to get more out of your social media efforts. But if you’re going to spend the money on Facebook ads, you want to make sure you’re getting as much benefit as possible. In this Kissmetrics post, Brad Smith shares some strategies for squeezing more profits from your Facebook ads.

Make Your Marketing Adapt With the Times

Marketing channels and strategies are constantly evolving. So your business needs to keep up if you want to continue getting the best results. Chad Stewart discusses the importance of adapting your marketing efforts with the times in this Biz Epic post.

Use Hootsuite to Manage Twitter Chats

If you’ve ever taken part in a Twitter chat, you know how important it is to have a good tool for managing tweets and responses. Hootsuite can be a great option, as Mike Allton of The Social Media Hat points out in this post. You can also see input on the post from the BizSugar community here.

Use These SEO Essentials for Long-Form Blog Posts

If you’re going to blog for your business, you should probably have some kind of SEO strategy. When it comes to long-form posts in particular, there are a few SEO essentials that can help out with every post. Neil Patel lists some of them in this post.

Create Better Live Broadcasts

Livestreaming on platforms like Facebook, Periscope and Instagram is becoming an increasingly popular strategy for businesses. To learn more about creating better live broadcasts, take a look at this Prepare 1 blog post by Blair Evan Ball.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to:

Social Media image via Shutterstock

10 Comments ▼


https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/04/10-tips-making-small-business-stand-social-media.html

On – 22 Apr, 2017 By Annie Pilon

 

Image for Why you should be wary of social media “Ninjas” – Marti Jeremiah-Shelley – Medium

Social media is a part of every day life. If you are a business, a small or large brand you need a social media presence so that you can…


Why you should be wary of social media “Ninjas”

Social media is a part of every day life. If you are a business, a small or large brand you need a social media presence so that you can communicate with your customers and show them what you’re all about. Social media is the norm for businesses and a great tool generally to enable us to communicate with each other and just be social.

I am a social media manager, I started my own business Wee Bit Social almost a year ago now and I manage my own channels on a daily basis as well as those of my clients. I also provide advice and training to businesses to enable them to successfully manage their own platforms. I don’t take my work lightly, I studied with Digital Mums and worked my arse off alongside my day job learning with a wonderful business who allowed me to learn my craft in a sort of social media apprenticeship.

I know enough about social media strategies and how to effectively put them in place, but I also know no matter how great they are they always need to be checked and amended, it’s an ongoing and detailed process. It’s a skill, a craft that needs to be studied and earned. It’s not something you can wake up and put on your Linkedin profile simply because you know about hashtags and you are slightly active on 5 platforms.

I’m no Gary Vee by any means, but I can walk into a room and talk to people about why their brand should be using social media, how often to post, what types of content they should be posting and why, and which platforms are the best for their business, and that’s just a start. What I’m noticing more and more of though, is the social media cowboys offering a social media “package” for £40.00 a month, a one size fits all type method to social media for business. This approach really annoys me because as there is plenty of room for everyone, this is just not a great way to approach social media marketing. In fact it’s not marketing at all. It’s these sort of companies that ultimately, encourages the opinion that just anyone can be a “social media ninja” by sending out a few tweets.

That’s just not what it’s all about and I personally feel like it downplays the skill and damages the industry for social media managers in general. Freelancers like myself and so many others I know in this industry who put so much time and thought into their work behind the scenes. Spending the time getting to know their brand, they sit down and discuss the requirements, the tone and ethos of the company they are working for, develop a strategy, look for and develop amazing content, study and analyze what works best and at what time and then put all this into place keeping in mind the customers and the brand they are working for. It involves real skill and a love of what you do and genuinely wanting to connect with your audience. Sure there are things like advertising and algorithms that come into play and don’t make it easy but these are also taken into account and it’s the reason we also believe in engaging with other people and spending the time needed to connect.

Social media is about being SOCIAL it’s not about just whipping out a few tweets a week and hoping for the best, properly trained social media managers are aware of this which is why we do charge more than £40.00 a month. So when you see a bargain deal for managing your social media for a pretty paltry sum, it might be time to consider what you will be getting for that £40.00 and the thought that you might be better saving that money and doing it yourself. Or, you could hire someone that really, genuinely cares about what they are doing, which will ultimately be reflected in their work and your business. As in most things, you get what you you pay for.

https://medium.com/@martijeremiahshelley/why-you-should-be-wary-of-social-media-ninjas-f838174d2413

On – 20 Apr, 2017 By Marti Jeremiah-Shelley

When you need a brand refresh

NEW GLASSES!!!

 

 

{Highlight to tweet!}

That’s me with my new pair of glasses which is a great illustration of what a brand refresh looks like.   It is not creating a new logo, new identity, or new anything else. It is merely updating what you currently have. you are not changing the core of your business you are just changing your glasses. If you’ve been in business for any length of time you know that what you offer and how you offer it changes.  In fact, if you think about your business 6 months ago and your business now,  how many things have you added and taken away? A brand refresh is a great way to give your brand identity a mini update and make sure you attracting the clients you want to.

a-brand-refresh-is-a-great-way-to-inject-who-you-are-now-into-the-brand-you-have-already-built-
A brand refresh is a great way to inject who you are now into the brand you have already built.

 

How to know if you need a brand refresh.

Have you been in business more than 3 years?

Chances are, how you started your business and where you are now are vastly different. That’s a great thing! When we start out business we have ideas about what we want and what we don’t want. When we’ve been working our businesses we get to test those ideas and reevaluate what we want.  Having a brand refresh now will allow the reality of your business to match the look and copy of your business.

Have you changed your business model?

Have you gone from 1-on-1 coaching to group coaching? Or maybe you’ve recently built in retainers instead of hourly offerings. Whatever choices you have made, when you make major changes to your business model you are making major changes to your brand. For example, if you are focusing more on group programs how you structure your offerings, your copy, and who you speak to will also change.

Have you refocused on a new ideal client?

Have you recently changed who you like to work with? Well, this is a perfect time to update your copy and spruce up your look.  A brand refresh will ensure that you are speaking to your new clients. and they can find themselves in your brand.

How to refresh your brand on social media.

Update your cover images

Whether you change the font, the image, or the Call to Action (CTA) updating your cover image is a must do. If you’ve had your cover image up for more than 3 months, chances are, it can use some updating to reflect what is important in your business now. This process can be as easy as changing your CTA.

Update your bios

You haven’t touched your bio since you set up your account. Fine tuning your bio is a great way to promote new project and attract different clients. This process can be as easy as adding a link to your new ebook.

Reevaluate groups you are a part of

You’ve racked up a tons of groups as you’ve rumbled along. It is time to pare it down and focus on the 2 or 3 groups that will have the greatest impact on your business NOW. The others you should either delete or keep around for a different marketing need.

A brand refresh does not have to happen over night. It can be little updates here and there throughout the month. The important thing is that you refresh your brand to give your audience something new to see.

 

 

 

 

How To Show Up On Social Media

 

So, I thought you would enjoy the videos.  I enjoyed making them. I recently showed up to a Creative Mornings and was going to do my normal thing just “show up”. I wasn’t going to talk to anyone, I wasn’t going to raise my hand, I was just going to soak in the amazing energy and get a new perspective. Well, this time, at the last second, I did something different – I raised my hand.

Me raising my hand at Creative Mornings (artist representation)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I volunteered to smash eggs on my forehead for an Apple TV. (Honestly, I had to Google what it was.) I played the game through 3 rounds and walked away a winner. Surprisingly it got me to thinking about social media. I saw it was a great example of how you can show up on social media or show up and take action on social media.

 

The Difference?

What’s the difference? As long as you show up on social media that is an action right? Yes, it is an action. It is not an action that will deliver results.  Just like me “showing up” at Creataive Mornings and not interacting and not raising my hand – I got a very solo experience. However, when I raised my hand, after ward I was speaking to people and starting conversations. I also met people that I already knew that I didn’t know was there.  My experience was connected and I reached more people.

 

Showing Up on Social Media

Showing up on Social Media looks like posting valuable content, sharing valuable content, and creating a meme or two. This is a great beginner’s place to be. You have consistency in your content and your online voice is consistent. If you are having trouble “Showing Up on Social Media” use these bullet points to get you consistent in your business.

  • Set a weekly time to schedule your content
  • Create an RSS feed lists to help you curate content
  • Look at your business goals and see what content will promote that

 

 

Showing Up and Taking Action on Social Media

Showing Up and Taking Action On Social Media is where you really put your social media in gear. You are interacting with people, having conversations, and building relationships. This is not the easy part of social media but this is the part where you make money on social media.  If you have trouble “Showing Up and Taking Action On Social Media” use these bullet points to get you engaging with your audience and creating a firestorm around your business.

  • Participate in a tweet chat
  • Check into trending topics on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope to see if there are topics you can leverage for your audience.
  • Starting conversations (use questions, polls, and hashtags)

 

Remember if you don’t raise your hand you will never have the opportunity to win new clients, other’s won know you are there, and you’ll miss out on the fun that social media can be!

How are you showing up and taking action on social media?

Exhaustive List of Periscope Communities to Join

You finally did it! You’re on Periscope but you don’t know where to start, how to connect, or what people to follow. This is where Periscope communities come in. Periscope communities are great to join to give you support and accomplish a goal. There are a lot of communities on periscope and I have compiled this information so you can make an informed decision on which community best fits your needs and how to join them. If you see communities I missed please let me know by a quick tweet or email and I’ll add them to the list. I will continually update this as new communities are created everyday!

 

Before we jump into the good stuff I want to give you some ground rules to make your Periscope community activities are fruitful.

Don't Join All The Periscope Communities

1.Don’t join ALL the communities. This is about building relationships. Choose 2 Periscope communities that you can really be involved in. Remember you are running a business and you have other things you have to do. 2 Periscope communities will be enough to reap the benefits without driving yourself crazy.

2. There are an infinite amount of hearts. The hearts you can give don’t run out. So share freely. If it resonates give it hearts. If you want to show support give hearts.

3. Comment. This is a two way street. And while the broadcaster can’t see you they would love to read what you have to say. Commenting not only introduces yourself to the braodcaster but also to the audience that is watching along with you.

Another great way to understand these communities is search their hashtag on twitter and look at the kinds of people that are participating!

Tagtribes

tagnew-1

 

 

 

Website

Founder – Mark Shaw

Purpose – Connect, Collaborate, Brainstorm, Sell Goods, Mastermind, Gain more exposure, Get help & Support, Chat, Learn, Find Business Leads & Opportunities, Get inspired all with the aim of getting more business.

Join


Perigirls (#perigirls)

Perigirls-logo-pink

 

 

 

Website

Founder – Jo Ann Pham

Purpose – Women supporting women excel on Periscope fostering friendships, partnerships, and learning.

Join


 

Peri10k (#peri10k)

peri10k-small-logo

 

 

 

 

Website

Founder – Katya

Purpose – Peri10k is an inspirational Mastermind of Live Streamers and Periscopers. They are known for their daily inspirational show on Periscope called the ShareAThon which aims to provide value and inspiration to their audience.

Join (There is an appliation process)


 

ScopersUnite (#scopersunite)

scopers-unite-logo-sm

 

 

 

 

 

Website

Founder – Steve Gadsby

Purpose – They engage in various efforts to support and encourage new scoppers and those struggling to connect. They believe that live streaming is a magnet for amazing people and everyone can benefit.

Join


 

LoveTribe (#lovetribe)

Website

Founder – Dana Garrison

Purpose – They are an online community of Periscopers and Livestreams offering support and growth through the power of community.

Join


 

BoPoTribe (#bopotribe)

bopo-logo-png1-300x300

 

 

 

 

Website

Founder – Zsuzska Szkiba

Purpose – BoPoTribe is more than just a social community; it is a home for those seeking for respect and acceptance; a family to find a warm welcome and unconditional love; it is a life changing philosophy to adapt: every body is a good body and your values, your happiness and success don’t depend on your looks.

Join


 

PeriTribe (#peritribe)

Website

Founder – Kim Garst

Purpose – They are an online community to provide support to new scopers.

Join


 

PeriMarketplace (#perimarketplace)

Website

Founder – Diane Bernard

Purpose – To bring the vendors of Periscope together to make it easier for buyers to peruse and sell  while the vendor get educated on various ways to use Periscope for their business.

Join



 

SoulFam (#soulfam)

Website

Founder – Anita Wing Lee

Purpose – The Project:SoulFam is an initiative to connect global humanity through Periscope. We scope stories that matter and raise funds for humanitarian causes.

Join


Periscopers Group (#talknerdytomejoy)

Website

Founder – Joy Pulson

Purpose – This group is for anyone using Periscope that wants to support, empower and brainstorm ideas on how best to use it.

Join


Fleek Fam (#Fleekfam)

Website

Founder – Dupé Aleru

Purpose – The Fleek Fam is a place where we inspire and motivate others to reach their full potential. Every member in our group exudes greatness within them. The first step towards discovering your divine purpose begins in your mind. You must first believe that you are great. Then, your burning desire to succeed must be back by faith. Next, affirm every day that you will manifest your dreams into reality by setting your goals and putting them into action.

Join


Boom Squad (#boomsquad)

Website

Founder – Jamilah Corbitt

Purpose – Supportive online collective of movers and shakers

Join


Women of Worth (#WoW)

Website

Founder – Janine Cummings

Purpose –

Join


PeriNewbies (#perinewbies)

Website

Founder – Maryjoy

Purpose

Join


Also, if you want to rep your community do so on the comments. Share why you love them and why you decided to join.

Join me on(2)

Reviewing and Measuring your Social Media Success

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ve taken the plunge and have been consistent with your social media presence. But the work does not stop there. The next step is to review and measure your social media so you can make on going adjustments to your overall strategy to increase your success. Below you will get a quick overview of questions you need to consider and processes you need to have in place to get a basic gauge of how successful your social media efforts are.

Review

What happened in your social media?

This is the first step in the process. You are going to look at the numbers that happened as a result of your social media efforts. Which numbers matter you created when your first created your strategy. Take a quick look at how to do that here or creating your metrics here. You can use an excel document and enter in what your number were for each month. It is easiest to do this next to your target goals.

What did you want to happen in your social media?

Once you input your data about what actually happened you will compare it to what you wanted to happen on social media. The months where you hit your target – use that as a basis for your strategy moving forward. The months where you did not ask these three questions:
Where did I deviate from the plan? (This could be posting less or taking on unexpected engagements.)
When I deviated what happened to my overall strategy? It is important to understand the impact your actions have. For example, if you took on an unexpected vendor opportunity did you not have time to send out your monthly newsletter?
What can I put in place to prevent that from happening in the future. Sometimes it is as simple as saying “No” sometimes you have to create a team.

What is the gap between what you wanted to happen and what did?

On the months that you did not meet your goal and you followed your strategy what was missing? Did you less response from your newsletter? Did you forget about a major holiday? Maybe you didn’t include enough follow up. When assessing your plan take a look at the feedback that you received when people did respond and use that information to adjust your plan. For example, if you ran a promotion and a lot of the feedback you received was that people are “busy” and didn’t have time to take advantage of the offer – next time you run a promo that is similar to that address “busy” in your copy. Take a look at the image example below:

Save time Untitled design(7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use the information you gather to make changes in your strategy to improve your results. This can be changing things such as the time you post or what types of promotions your run.

There are many things you can do to interpret the massive amount of information your analytics gives you however, if you answer these question you will be well on your way to pinpointing areas you can improve in your social media strategy.

If you want to take your review to the next level incorporate your google analytics. If you have questions about that or anything else you can email me here or leave me a voicemail by clicking the button on the left.

Evaluating the new kids on the block: Which new social media platform is best for your business?

5 questions you need to ask

How do you decide which new platform to use? If you’re like most people you either jump on anything that’s new or wait until your grandmother is on it to try it. That is not a good way to do business. This is the second part in a series that is meant to help you create your social media marketing strategy for 2016.

One of the hardest parts of reevaluating your strategy is deciding which platforms to add or even when to add new platforms. We are first going to talk about Periscope and Blab and then go over 3 questions you can ask yourself to decide if these, or any new social media platform, is right for you and your business. If you want a more in depth review jump to the blog post and get examples and 2 more questions you need to ask yourself.

Periscope

Periscope is a live streaming app that happens on your phone. I say it is the internet come alive. The app started earlier this year and has exploded in popularity and usage.  You can find politicians, celebrities, small business owners, and pets using the app. If you have a perspective someone wants to hear it. The app only keeps the video for 24 hours, after that it’s gone. While you are streaming people can type in comments and give you “hearts” Hearts are a way to show appreciation, support or agreement for what the broadcaster is saying. There are a lot of ways to interact, gain a following, and share your brand. If you want to check out my channel you can see recent replays here.  If you have more questions about Periscope email me!

Blab

Blab is another live streaming app however, it is desktop based. You can have up to 3 other people on video and it has been used to launch talk shows, host conferences, create interactive classes and collaborate.This is another recent entrant into the social media space and has may early adopters. You can also record your Blabs to share later. While you are live people can join you from the audience (but you don’t have to let them), give “props”, and comment.  This highly interactive platform allows your audience to see your brand in action. If you have more questions about Blab email me!

The great thing about these two new apps is that if you determine it is a good fit for you it will be easier to get your brand out there because they are new. But make sure you have a strategy and a plan first.

5 Questions You Need To Ask!

Do I have the time?
Social media is a great way to build and stay connected to your audience. However, it is a cost first and then a benefit. It takes time to build a community that supports and buys from your business and it can’t be done with sporadic involvement. If you are already stretched thin do not add another platform.

Is my audience there?
While a new platform might be the hot new thing you have to ask the question is it the hot new thing for your audience? Snapchat is gaining by leaps and bounds but if your audience isn’t college age then you don’t need to be there. If you want to understand the demographics of social media platforms you can click here.

Why will I do this?
Even if you have the time and even if your audience is there it is still important to have a strategy. Knowing what metrics you are trying to impact with your participation in a platform will allows you to effectively use it. (If you haven’t ever created your social strategy click here.) Are you going for brand recognition? Newsletter sign ups? Customer care?

 

What resources do I need?

Each social platform has it’s own communication mode. Twitter uses words, Instagram pictures and YouTube Video. When you embark on a new social network it is important to also consider the amount of time it takes to create content for that network.  If you don’t have the resources for creating graphics or videos you  have to determine if that social network is right for you.

 

How will I implement and integrate?

Once you decide a social platform will benefit your business you then have to decide how you will make use of it. This includes how your brand is portrayed, how you will take care of your customers, what kind of news you will disseminate and more.  Each social media channel does not have to be a full system. You can handle customer care on Twitter, Information dissemination on Instagram, and Tutorials on YouTube. However, deciding what platform serves what purpose involves understanding how your community interacts with you on social media.

Once you have evaluated new social platforms and determine which would be the best to add to your marketing strategy we will go over reviewing and measuring 2015 in the next newsletter.

If you’re ready to supercharge your efforts now, take a look at the S.T.O.P. club. Training, coaching, and content created for you! Learn more here.

Scoping the Periscope: 3 Reasons Why It’s Good For Business

Periscope Logo

Periscope is the new kid on the block. That does not mean you have to jump in and do it for your business. However, there are some great reasons that Periscope will make you a better business owner or you can just watch the video here.

(If you want to know the mechanics of Periscope check out their help section here.)

1.Messaging

You’ve heard of the saying that practice makes perfect and that’s what doing Periscope is – practice in front of a live audience. You hone in on your messaging and what is important to you and your brand.  You learn the various ways you can share it and how it resonates with your audience. You get instant feedback on whether people like it or not. It is also a great place to do message testing. If you don’t know what to scope play around with it! This is a new social network and EVERYONE is learning. Get in there and get messy.

2.Up Your Close Rate

The currency of Periscope is hearts. How this makes you a better business owner is that you have to ask for them! Just like asking for the sale you have to ask your viewers to Share your scope and “heart” what you are saying. If you have difficulty in asking for money practice by asking for hearts. It will make a difference in how you interact with potential clients.

Entrepreneur Quote

3.A Lesson in Being Fearless

There are a millions reasons why you feel you should not do video. You have probably thought of a million and one. They are all based in fear. One of the strongest hallmarks of a successful entrepreneur is best stated by:

Entrepreneurship requires a special kind of courage — you must face a great deal of uncertainty as you launch and maintain your business. The ability to recognize your fears, assess the causes and then make decisions about how to proceed can mean the difference between success and failure for a new company. -Richard Branson

The continued persistence to move through and cause results amidst the fear of everything is what makes an Entrepreneur successful. You can take that step today.

Comment and tell me what your Periscope handle is and what are the next steps you are going to take with Periscope.

Want an easy way to jump into Periscope? I am hosting a 30-day Gratitude Challenge. I will be giving out gift and I promise a mindset shift. Follow me to learn more!

Personalize to get business!

Personalize to Show Customers You Care

(Highlight to tweet!)

I watched this video at least 3 times (It had my name everywhere)! Who doesn’t love their name in lights? As I hit play again something occurred to me…this is why social media works.

Social media’s strong suit is not in getting your brand out there but giving you the ability to connect one-on-one on a massive scale! (Trust me, this is not an oxymoron)

Personalization gives people that feeling that you are talking to them. The more you can personalize your content the more you can draw in your customers. Below are 5 ways that your customers can see their name in lights!

 

1.Use your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) to keep track of all the little notes you pick up along the way. Your CRM is a pivotal aspect of your business. It allows you to keep track of your customers and their likes, hobbies, and more. Maybe they have a love of Corgis or can’t stand to be without their Tab. Whatever it is, if you know it, you can connect with them using gifts, articles, or events! (If you need to pick your CRM here is a great resource )

2. Use their name! Take the time to use their name. It not only catches their attention but you further your relationship. So, when you are replying on Twitter – use their name. Mention them on Facebook or Periscope. It will make them feel special.

This is why personalization works

 

3.  Find content that directly relates to them. Using the notes you have amassed in your CRM find relevant articles about their interests not just their business. If they love a sports team send them a small note of congratulations.

4. Share in their accomplishments. When they post about their new client or an award their business received congratulate them! Shout them out on social media. LinkedIn is a great platform to do this in but you an also send an email.

5. Create and source unique opportunities for them. Because you know all the things they like from keeping track in your CRM you also now know what kinds of events that would make them excited. If you sponsor an event look to see who would also love to attend that event and invite them. If you are invited to an event see if you can add a +1.

These are just some of the ways your clients can feel special and appreciated. What other ways have you found to personalize?

 

TOTD: Making Instagram Automation Easier

(Highlight any sentence to click and tweet!)

Instagram

Instagram is a great way to share facets of your business to make it interesting and come alive. But to really use Instagram effectively you also have to use Hashtags – a lot of hashtags. But, if you are currently using Instagram automation to post from Instagram to Twitter or Facebook it doesn’t look good. Below is a quick tip to make it easier where you can auto-post and keep your hashtags too!

Don’t Do This:

Normally, people will post their hashtags in the caption field. When you do this your milllions of hashtags will also automatically be posted to Facebook, a place where hashtags are not really used. In order to avoid this social faux pas keep reading.

How you are doing Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do This:

Instead, use your caption to write a short sentence (140 characters if it is going to Twitter) and write the hashtags in your first comment! Now, you will not be able to edit the comment like you can edit the caption. However, it does make it easier to automate the sharing of your Instagram messages everywhere without creating a social faux pas.

How you should do Instagram

 

If you are curious about how to automtically send your Instagram pictures to other social platforms check out Zapier or IFTTT. These are really great programs that extend the life of your content without having to do everyting yourself!

Sometimes, you have to learn the hard way

(Highlight any sentence to click and tweet!)

I’ve been toying with this idea. This slightly depressing but exhilarating idea.

Sometimes you have to learn the hard way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, sometimes you can’t take the knowledge of others or read enough or listen enough to avoid learning the hard way.

It’s like the first time you really understood why you can’t text and drive. Everyone told you it was wrong but until that moment that you slammed on the breaks you believed that you could handle both of those tasks at once.

Learning the hard way is nothing you can prevent. But it is something you can benefit from. It also doesn’t mean anything about your capabilities, talents, or skills. The hard way is not the bad way – its just a particular path you have to travel down. Sometimes, you get the fork that says “Easy” and you don’t doubt yourself then – so why would you doubt yourself when the patch says “Hard”? When you get the path that says “Hard” buckle up – you are about to learn!

Now, even though I say you can’t avoid the situation- below are somethings that will help ensure that you benefit.

1. Seek Experts

There is nothing like bumping up against an invisible wall. Let alone running headlong into it. But this is what happens when you don’t know what you don’t know! As a business owner, this can be alot. Would it occur to you to research hashtags or use RSS feeds to create content? Probably not, your job is to do what you do exceptionally well. It’s an experts job to counsel you in all other areas.

(Contact me if you want to talk about social media.)

 

 

List 3 ways this situation has improved your expertise2. Get Over it

This was bound to happen. Don’t dwell in the “coulda woulda shoulda” done something differently. The worst thing you can do is despise the rocky path for being exactly what it is – a training tool to hone your expertise. If rocky paths were never there you would never come into the expertise you have now. You might not be in a place to thank the rocky path. But you can certainly list 3 ways your expertise was improved. In fact, I suggests you do that exercise every time you have a close encounter of the rocky kind.

 

 

3. Acknowledge You’re Doing Something Right

You probably heard some variation of this but it’s still true:

great money is beyond your comfort zone

 

 

 

 

 

 

The very existence of the “hard way” is proof positive that you are doing something right. People who are up to big things have big breakdowns to match. Just imagine if you were a county-living tea-sipping granny. Your biggest breakdown would be they didn’t have your Tetly in the store. But when you are creating a business to live a life you love you will be presented with rocky paths that look like disasters. They are not. They are merely mile markers to indicate you are on the right path.

I wrote about this because people always worry about jumping into social media and doing something wrong. They want to research and read everything on the Internet about getting it right. They want to avoid the pain of getting it wrong. I always tell them ‘Understand and create a strategy and then jump in. You will do something wrong and you will recover.”

This idea of learning the hard way is one that should free you up. Now, you don’t have to avoid messing up because you know it’s going to happen. Now,you can just BE. Now, you can focus on getting results and learning from the hard way.

What was your last rocky path?

 

Oh, I talked about this on Periscope..find me @where2start

How to: Create a Business you Love through Customer Appreciation

Create a business you love through customer appreciation

 I bet you’ve heard this before…

(Highlight any sentence to click and tweet!)

“You need to surprise and delight your customers!” You understand how to execute customer appreciation IRL (in real life) but are less sure of how to execute it through social media. You understand the “why” – but the “how” is a bit fuzzier. Going that extra step with engaging and acknowledging your customers makes them feel special and shows you’re paying attention. More than that – it shows you have a clearly defined ideal client and you know how to reach them.  Use this mini-guide to get you on the road to customer appreciation rock star! If you want more guidance check out this webinar: How to Love on Your People Through Social Media.

 

Use your tools!

Social media is quick and can be hard to keep track of. Keep track of your clients using a social CRM. (Check out a list here. I use Nimble.) When you use a social CRM you can keep track of their comings and goings online while also making notes about your last meeting. It is the best place to create a full picture of your client and what’s important to them.

Use the features of social media platforms. Have you created your Twitter List? What about tagging in LinkedIn? Following people on Facebook? These are all great way to keep up with your customers. One you set up your systems – they become an invaluable tool in providing you insight.

As an added bonus, if you keep detailed enough notes, you might be able to see trends and preferences among your ideal client. Another way to use business data to your advantage.

 

Make it a habit.

Customer appreciation is not about the sale.

Acknowledge a client once a week. Share their accomplishments or triumphs with the world. It shows you’re paying attention and you care.

As an added bonus, create a 30-day challenge for yourself and see what happens. By acknowledging one customer a day the momentum you gain – both in understanding your customers and engaging with them will be invaluable.

 
 
 

Get creative.

Maybe you’re an artist. Why not create an exclusive “Awesome client” digital background they can download through a special link you send them? Or, you can share a 15 min wardrobe “Pick me up” if you own a boutique. The important thing is you’re providing extra value and making your customers feel appreciated.  Customer appreciation is about understanding what motivates your customers and what makes them smile. It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated – it has to be thoughtful and tied to the core of your brand.
 
Creating a business you love through customer appreciation is not the quick way. But, it is the raving fan way. If your customers know how much they mean to you they become loyal. Loyal customers are like a de facto sales force. They answer your surveys, share your content, and promote your business. Social media is a digitized word of mouth. By sharing some love with your customers you remind them why they are loyal and prompt them to share that love. Create a business you love by using customer appreciation to spread the love. Don’t forget to register for the webinar.

 

How have you shown customer appreciation?

(If anyone wants to take the 30 day challenge with me I’m game!)

 

How To: Create your Social Media Calendar

Social Media without a plan will #Fail.

(Highlight any sentence to click and tweet!)

Let’s create that plan together. First, you need your overall marketing strategy. Don’t have that? Check out this post. In this post we’re going to delve into how social media will support your marketing efforts and how to create a social media calendar for that.

Social media is a great complement to any other marketing strategies that you are using. In fact, it can amplify and maximize the reach you are now getting. It helps to build excitement about your events, releases, and updates that are happening in your business.

To start creating your calendar let’s work from an example. Let’s say you have a sale that you want to support through social media. This is what your calendar might look like:

Boutique Social Media Calendar Example

 

Another way……

 

Social Media Calendar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember you are also sharing other content at the same time. This just ensures you are properly sharing your own your information.

Now, let’s break this down the logic behind this social media calendar:

Twitter

A tweet has the life of a gnat. So, it’s important to share on Twitter more often. Repeating updates allows more of your audience a chance to see them. However, make sure you are continuing to share interesting and relevant content for your audience.

Facebook

The Facebook algorithm is changing. So, you should change with it. Try posting more on your page. See what results you get. Alternate between promotional posts, tips, engagement posts and more (Don’t forget video). Why does your audience like you? Why do they come to you? What expertise are they looking for? Keep these questions in mind when creating your content. If you don’t know what kinds of content your audience responds to – look at what kinds of things they have liked or commented on in the past.

Pinterest

While you can see repins long after you first pinned an item. It’s important to pin at the right time of day. Unlike other platforms you can’t really pin the same item multiple times so that your audience sees it. It’s also important to consistently pin. Keep yourself top of mind.  Whenever a follower is  endlessly scrolling – let them see your name pop up consistently.

Now, a sale is a short term goal. You also add to this calendar your long term business goals. Maybe you want to increase your newsletter subscribers by 20% in the first quarter or you want to increase traffic to your website by 20%

Think about creating a #hashtag for your

 

Your other type of promotional posts will support these long term goals. Directing people to your blog to see a new post or talking about the subscriber only sale will have an impact on your long term goals.

This is not the exact schedule you need to follow! Social media is not, and will never be,  one size fits all {Tweet this}. It’s best to understand your audience and their movements online. You can learn this from using analytics. Once you understand that, you can craft a schedule that works perfectly for your business.

 

But how do you start actually creating your schedule – how do you put pen to paper?

Well, I love to work backwards. Yes, backwards. Starting from my event I first just mark down the days and or times I will post to various platforms. Remember the 80/20 rule when you are deciding on how often to post.

Next, I go back and incorporate my tone and CTA for each post. When I say “tone” I’m referring to whether the post is urgent, educational, humorous or more. Generally, the closer to the event the more urgent I word my copy. Conversely if the event is further away I educate more about the benefits.

Finally, I create custom graphics for the posts ahead of time so I am not rushed.

Rinse and Repeat.

Now, this just works for me and my brain. I like to build in layers to make sure that I don’t miss anything. But maybe that process is just too slow for you. Well, you can plot the post, tone, and CTA all at once. You just need to create something that works for you and something you’ll do on a continual basis.

I suggest you plan out 1 month at a time. If you want to do more – have at it. However, this can be slow going and overwhelming so give yourself some time to complete this. Also, your social media calendar is a living document and should change when your events change.

Want to ask me questions about this? Sign up for my upcoming webinar this month.

You now have steps to create your calendar from top to bottom. Check out my Startup Program if you want some coaching along the way.

What are you going to include on your calendar?

 

The Social Media Party

When you first started your business it was important you pounded the pavement and made those connections.

The same is true when you expand your business online.  Showing up online involves consistency and great information.  Here are 5 things you can do to show up to the social media party.

Here are 5 things you can do to show up to the social media party.

1. Be yourself. Honestly. If you are that geeky guy who loves to paint with water colors share that.  Or maybe you are a gloves and pearl woman but like to dirt bike on the weekend. Share and create that community online. The most important thing in social media is to inject yourself or your brand. That is the special part that people align themselves with. After all, there are 20,000 other people who do what you do. What makes you different?

2. Comment on the stories you share. This is content curation. More than just pulling together everything that is hot on Mashable, add your thoughts and ideas as to why this story has an impact. Better yet, write why you disagree.

3. Ask about someone else. I know the easiest person to talk about is you. But to get others talking ask them about their passions, dreams, and goals. What motivates them?

4. Comment. Yea, people actually do want to hear from you. Your thoughts, ideas, and opinions actually matter. Share them.

5. Follow up/Track. When was the last time you were networking and didn’t follow up? Business is in the follow up. The same is true with social media. Make sure you add them to the appropriate Twitter list or make sure to check in with them monthly on LinkedIn. Need more? Check this out.

This list might sound like things you’ve heard before. Good! Social media is about the basics. Providing great content with quality insight from a particular brand voice is a basic. {Tweet this!}  Make sure you use it in your business.

What do you bring to the party?

Creating Your Marketing Strategy

Every New Year people call Mulligans,  a do-over from last year.

(Highlight any sentence to click and tweet!)

Resolutions have become ineffective promises that leave you in the lurch when reality hits {Tweet this}.  I’m pretty sure you have done this in your business too – we all have in fact. This is where strategy comes to the rescue. It is a framework for completion. A way to support your business before it becomes the “heat of the moment” and something doesn’t happen.

Creating your strategy doesn’t have to be difficult and you don’t have to create it from scratch.  Here’s a *quick* list to use when putting together your marketing strategy and schedule. It’s not exhaustive, but will get you headed in the right direction. If you want more one on one help check out this option.

First, determine how much money do you want to make next year? This preliminary step allows you to create your revenue goals and ensure that your business activities are working to meet them.

How do you plan to accomplish these goals? A new offering? An increase in clients? A partnership? Break down these revenue goals to understand how to get them accomplished.

For example, if you wanted an increase of $25,000 in revenue. How many sales or programs is that? How many is that a month, a week, a day? Understanding, to this level, what it will take to reach your goals will actually make it easier to reach them!

Knowing these numbers will also give you a set of actions that are focused to create a result. It’s easy to fall into the trap of being “busy” without working however, having a goal and a plan significantly cuts that down.

This step ensures you meet your goals. It also lets you know if you are not on track. This step ties your actions to revenue to ensure you stay in business.

 

Tip to help you when creating your marketing strategy

 

 

Now, you’re ready to sit down and start creating.

In this step you pick your dates. You are giving these money-making business activities an existence by putting them in your calendar. This now have a better chance of getting done. The first question is:

What days are you taking off?

Put these dates down on your calendar. Mark them out first so you don’t “accidentally” plan anything there.

Part of the great thing about being a business owner is that you can take time off to be with your family and friends. You make time for what’s important which is why this is the first thing you do when creating your marketing strategy.

To have this calendar work, you have to take into account your life and commitments. Don’t create something you cannot fulfill on. This is about creating a business you love and one that works.

 “If it’s not broke, don’t break it.”

 

Next, you want to look at what events or programs worked last year.

  • Are these events in alignment with your current goals?
  • Do they serve a specific purpose?
  • How will you ensure they meet those goals? (Follow up, limited time offer, discovery call)

These are great events or programs to add again. If it’s not broke, don’t break it. These events and programs can include things you’ve attended, programs you’ve created, or events and sales you’ve sponsored.

Next you want to add your marketing efforts that you always do, such as your newsletter, webinars, and other scheduled activities.

Finally, add your short term special events such as partnerships, speaking engagements, launches, or sales.

Remember this process doesn’t happen quickly. You often have to check your calendar, your children’s calendar, your SO’s calendar, and more. But that’s great! It means you are actually creating a business that works for your life.

Now we’re ready to create you editorial or content calendar.

This calendar is the basis for the type of content you will be creating and what business goal that content supports. Great content without purpose get’s you nothing. {Tweet this}

When you first outline your calendar look at themes you want your work to center around. What will you focus on each month? How will these themes support your business goals and objectives? This is where you create integration with your content and your activities. Isn’t it weird when a boutique has a sale and there is no mention of it on Facebook or Twitter. This won’t be you.

You can get theme ideas here:

By creating a theme that supports your business you don’t have to sit down and “think something up”. You already have a topic and a purpose when you sit down. Trust me, that makes writing so much easier.

Now set up your schedule. How often will you blog? Create a LinkedIn article? Create a video for YouTube? One you determine the frequency of these content pieces you will place these on the calendar along with your newsletter and webinars.

Now, you want to look at how social media can support this marketing calendar.

Do this by creating a process to share your content. This infographic gives a great example that you can adapt for your use.

However, I go more in depth in the next post.

Take a deep breath!

You have the quick and dirty way to create a strategy that will work for your business. Let me know in the comments what questions you have!

Or if you want to sign up for the webinar where you can ask all of your questions click here.

Until next time!

Finish 2014 Strong with these tips!

It is easy to lose track of this year. I mean, it’s the end right? NOPE! You can still make new clients, get new contacts, and begin your 2015 in a whirlwind. Finish 2014 so you can start 2015. Here are 5 actions you can take to make that happen.

End your year with a bang!

Follow up – This is the time of year when everyone is busy. So if you feel like your bugging someone – remember they have a lot of other things on their mind!

Holiday party networking extravaganza – Everyone is getting together in a relaxed environment and looking forward to their time off. It is a great time to network and enjoy time with new people!

Share – It’s the season of giving. Share your content to draw people in. In fact, that’s a perfect reason to follow up!

Ask for the sale – Just because it’s the end of the year does not mean people have closed the pocketbook.  Ask for the sale so you can make their 2015 a success!

Send a gift – It’s the time to show your appreciation. Send a little gift to your clients to let them know how much you appreciate their business.  They are why you serve. They inspire you to  be better in your business. Give them a little Thanks.

What do you do to end your year with a bang? Share in the comments!

Bonus: What’s one awesome thing you did this year?

 

 

Social Media Over the Holidays: Managing and Promoting

I recently did a webinar called “Social Media Over the Holidays: Managing and Promoting while not Losing Your Head”.  This turned out to be a great webinar with great questions and insights. However, I forgot to record it. So, I promised to turn the webinar into a blog post for everyone that missed it. Let’s dive in.

 

Managing.

One of the things that continually happens to small business owners is they get very excited about social media and the possibilities and then stop posting. They get excited again and stop posting again. Social media needs consistency to work. If you put out great content but only do it sporadically – it makes it hard to build that relationship.  What follows is a process that allows you to continually post during the holidays while still managing your business.  The process is simple but leads you to the outcome of more time.

1. Write 2 blog posts (1 series post)

2. Breakdown the blog posts in bite size pieces

3. Schedule throughout the month

In creating your holiday content you have to look at the intersection of your business, topics people currently care about and your business goals. For example, during Christmas that would be family, deals, stress, travel, renews, gifts, etc. During Valentine’s Day it would be love, relationships, dates, proposals, family, etc.

  • So where does your business lie in these topics?
  • What can you contribute your expertise to?
  • How can you make sure your business goals are supported?

Using this information you can brainstorm appropriate topics for your blog posts.

After you have created the blog post and series post you will take this long form content and break it down. You will repurpose it to use for your social media posts.  Each blog post can now be multiple FB posts. You can also create a Pinterst board. You can also do a Tips or Did you know post or tweet. You can create pull out quotes from your article and create a meme. Breaking down your content is a great way to repurpose your content without creating something new. (If you want to see this in action click here)

However, none of this would make your life easier if you did not schedule it. You can use tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer. How often and when you post on each platform depends on your audience.

When you are scheduling, keep in mind replying. It is important to take the time to respond if people take the time to comment. That is why you are on social media – to create a connections.

Tip about how to write a blog post without writing.

 

Promoting.

Promoting is an important part of social media. While you’re sharing valuable and great content – you also want people to take certain actions, such as buying your products or services.

A general rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule. This rules states that your posts on social media should be 80% value and 20% promotion. (This is value to your ideal client – not the things you find interesting) This is a great guideline to keep in mind that allows you to build a relationship on trust and value. While you consider this also think of your customer sales cycle. When they are looking at your social media what part of the sales cycle is your customer in? What kind of information do they want to hear?

When you are promoting your program or services you have to also look at the type of event. The more people have to do, i.e. travel , the more time they need to plan and the longer you need to promote and talk about it. Also, knowing your conversion rate will let you know how many people you need to reach to get to your overall target goals. An example of a conversion rate for newsletter sign ups is below but it can be used for a variety of things.

#of subscribers from website/# of website visits = conversion rate (how effective is your call to action?)

OR

 # of event attendees/ # of total invitations sent = conversation rate (how effective was the invite?)

Knowing your conversion rates and goals will allow you to effectively plan and promote your events. Having interesting and relevant content to share makes sure people keep coming back to you.  Social media is an on going process that’s never done. But it can have a great impact on your business.

What take away will you implement today? Share below!