Author: Sara

engage

How To Best Engage With Your Social Media Audience

Social media marketing is an opportunity to publish relevant content, grow your follower base, generate thought leadership and to engage with your audience. Engaging with your online community is a key part of your social media strategy. An audience who is engaged, likes and trusts you. Engagement builds relationships, relationships ultimately lead to sales. [clickToTweet tweet=”Engagement, is a key part of growing your online community.” quote=”Engagement is a key part of growing your online community.” theme=”style4″]

Here are some suggestions on how you can engage your audience:

Make Connecting Easy.

For years we’ve seen social media buttons popping up everywhere.  These buttons can be used strategically. Use them to draw attention to platforms beyond Facebook and Twitter. Do you have a presence on Instagram that you want to direct a particular audience to? Or a platform where they can get customer service? Be sure to always provide a valuable reason they should connect with you. Don’t just tell them to follow you, tell them what’s in it for them.

Humanize the brand.

No matter what you do, you’re marketing to a person. People are much more comfortable talking and connecting with people rather than entities. They are more comfortable talking to a face as opposed to a logo.  Show you’re “human” in these ways:

  • Show the faces and names of people behind the brand.
  • Sharing behind-the-scenes moments.
  • Use less jargon and more conversational language
  • Use your sense of humor!

Don’t worry about the numbers.

Having a huge following is great, but you want to do it the right way. The tried and true method of sharing consistent and valuable content, responding timely, and being authentic, is what works best. There’s no point in having a huge number of followers who don’t engage you. Building relationships online is no different than offline – it takes time.

Help make your audience a more informed one.

You know a lot about your industry. And your audience is probably following you to gain some of that knowledge and insight. Share with your community and help them become more informed and educated. Pay attention to questions your audience asks and answer them in a blog post or on your website in a FAQ section and provide resources they can use to learn more.

Listen.

There are conversations happening on the internet all the time among your target audience that relates to your brand. To engage this audience, you have to know where to find these conversations, and figure out how to engage with them. This is called social listening. If you can find relevant discussions within your industry, adding thoughtful information and value without selling is a great way to engage. You can find those conversations through keyword searches and listening tools.

Create a schedule.

Creating a content calendar and posting schedule will help you maintain consistency. These days, we all have a lot on our plates.  Your audience will appreciate consistent, clear, concise communication.

Think about some of your favorite brands on social media. What keeps you engaged? Please share in the comments below.

 

periscope

How To Use Periscope For Your Business

Every business is looking for more ways to get its message out there: to connect with more customers and build a stronger network of new and repeat customers. That goes for the one-person shop who is selling handmade goods to the global enterprise that ships orders to a multitude of countries. One of the easiest ways to strengthen that reach is to strategically use social media platforms, and one of the newest platforms to try is Periscope.

What is it?

Periscope is a live-video streaming service that is owned by Twitter. But, it’s completely different from Twitter in the way information is shared. While Twitter is all about short, 140-character length posts with photos or videos on various topics. [clickToTweet tweet=” Periscope enables users to share live videos. The key is ‘shareability.’ ” quote=” Periscope enables users to share live videos. Like other social media platforms, the key is ‘shareability.’ ” theme=”style6″]

Make Connections

Using Periscope to connect with your audience allows your community to ask questions, make insightful comments, as well as share the content you’ve created. It allows you to connect with your viewing audience in a personal way.  Humanize your brand by offering your community an up close look at your business and what you have to offer. Doing this helps you establish a “human” emotional connection.

Live Events

You have probably considered hosting some sort of live event at some point. Live streaming has become such a useful marketing tool that most brands think of ways they can stream an event, announcement or demonstration.

Getting Started

So what exactly is this live video sharing platform? How do you use it and how do you participate? What are some strategies and ideas on how to use it to market your business? I have a simple way for you to learn the basics and get some content ideas of your own. Learn more about Periscope and live video sharing by using the tips in this graphic:

Click to Enlarge Image

Peer into Periscope: How Periscope Can Help Your Business

Instagram Album: Share Multiple Photos and Video In One Post

What if I told you that you no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an event, experience or moment on Instagram? Awesome, right? Well, it’s true! Now you can select up to 10 photos and videos in one post and swipe through to view them much like a carousel ad. Except it’s not an ad, it’s your very awesome Instagram album!

Here’s How The New Instagram Album Feature Works:

When you begin to select a photo to upload, you’ll see a new icon to select multiple photos and videos. You can easily determine how your post will display. You can tap and hold to change the order of the photos and videos you select, apply a filter to everything at once or edit each individual selection. As of now there is only one caption for the photo album. These photos are square only.

An “Instagram album” (not the official name) will display a small icon on your profile grid located on the first photo or video of your post indicating there is more to see. When viewing other posts in your feed, you’ll see blue dots at the bottom of photo album posts to let you know you can swipe to see more in that post. You can like and comment on them just like a regular post.

My first thought was “content overkill,” but, after seeing a few neat ways the feature has been used I realized it’s actually quite the opposite.

[clickToTweet tweet=”My early observations have shown that this new feature is clever and inspires creativity.” quote=”My early observations have shown that this new feature is clever and inspires creativity.” theme=”style4″]

Here are a few creative ways you can use the new feature:

  • Are you a cook? Or do you just love to cook? Either way, this feature is great for recipes.
  • Show your stuff! If you have work that you’ve created or products that you want to showcase, you can show many examples in one post.

I love what Canva did in a post showcasing one of their color combinations: Cool Meadow.

instagram album

instagram album

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Get feedback! Show a series of outfits, or design projects and ask your audience to choose their favorite.
  • Chronicle a Before and After experience like a makeover or design project.
  • You just took a fabulous trip and you want to share ten of your best photos without flooding your follower’s newsfeed.
  • Instead of posting behind the scenes photos of your business each day, take one photo every day and post a “My Week At A Glance” album at the end of the week.
  • You’re attending an event, a fancy dinner, a party or celebration and you want to share your experience from beginning to end with a combination of photos and videos.
  • Let’s face it. This is a good way to post a bunch of selfies without being incredibly obnoxious. Almost 🙂

Have you tried the Instagram album feature? What creative uses have you seen or used? Please share below in the comments.

marketers

5 Awesome Marketers To Follow On Social Media

There are many smart, talented marketers online who offer valuable, useful content. This list happens to be a list of five marketers who I know and respect.

[clickToTweet tweet=”We can all use content that is insightful and relevant, and these marketers offer just that. ” quote=”We can all use content that is insightful and relevant, and these marketers offer just that. ” theme=”style6″]

There are definitely more I could mention. I may need a follow up list! For now, here’s round one! Check out their articles I reference and be sure to follow them online.

Sherron Washington – The Marketer’s Marketer

Sherron is a well rounded marketer who knows how to simplify the concepts of marketing. She is a marketer with graphic design, public speaking and social media marketing skills. I once described her content as “putting it where the goats can get it.” It means that’s it’s super easy to understand. In 2017, Sherron will host an annual conference for the third year called, “Market Simple: The Summit.” She also writes for both Black Enterprise and Smart CEO.

Check out Sherron’s website and follow her on social media.

 

Mandy Edwards – Social Media Advertising 

Mandy was one of my first virtual colleagues in the social media marketing industry. We started off in private Facebook group of small business owners, then continued on as contributing writers with Social Solutions Collective blog.  When I first started seriously implementing social media advertising into my strategies, I sought out the person who in my opinion had the experience and knowledge that could help get me started by answering my many questions and who could understand where I’m coming from simply because we are both in the business of social media marketing, and that was Mandy. Grab her Facebook Advertising Workshop Guide. Also, a BONUS: Mandy’s ME Marketing Services employs Jenn Hanford, a superb writer who lends her skills to Mandy’s blog. Check out her posts here for tips on such things as starting an e-commerce business and creating a digital marketing strategy 101 for boring brands.

Robin Strohmaier – Website Design, and Maintenance 

Wanna know what’s new with the latest WordPress update? Need some SEO tips? Do you need a great resource for WordPress plugins? You should follow R and R Web Design, AKA Robin Strothmaier. Not only does she specialize in website design, marketing and SEO, she’s a superb writer. Check out this blog post on Chrome’s Non-HTTPS Not Secure Warning and follow her on Twitter where she curates important content on website marketing and maintenance.

Brooke B. Sellas- Marketing Through Conversation

When I think of Brooke I think conversation!  That has become synonymous with her brand. Her website explains that successful social media means conversation, back and forth dialogue, and an ongoing exchange of ideas. Adding, “A simple hello can lead to a million things.” Brooke is a marketer I respect for her smart, savvy approach to marketing.  One of Brooke’s latest blog post gems talks about rethinking your Facebook strategy. “If you’re looking for your Facebook strategy to garner results and ROI, you’ve got to pay to play.”

Dorien Morin – Video Content

Do you know how powerful video content is but still haven’t gotten in the game? (Kinda like me.) Are you still trying to figure out Facebook live and how you can use it for your business? I’ve got you covered. You need Dorien Morin of More In Media. She’ll teach you how to incorporate video in your marketing strategy by shortening the learning curve, teaching you the tools you need and the tips to get you to lights camera and action.

Check out her post 3 Unique Facebook Live Uses To Grow Your Business.

Who are some of your favorite marketers that you follow on social media? Please share in the comments below.

personal brand

How To Build A Strong Personal Brand

When people think of the word “brand”, they often think of big companies: Pepsi, Chevy, Apple.  But in today’s times, not only do big companies must think about their brand, but so do small companies as well as individuals.  It is important to think about your own personal brand and how they will market themselves as they shape their career.  A strong and authentic personal brand will help you with networking, developing relationships, finding new opportunities, as well as recognition at work or in your industry. Developing your brand can help you become a thought leader in your field.

To get started, here are a few steps to take to get started on shaping your personal brand:

DEFINE YOURSELF

What makes you unique?  What are you good at and what sets you apart from everyone else? [clickToTweet tweet=”Your personal brand consists of your experience, skills, and passions. ” quote=”Your personal brand consists of your experience, skills, and passions. ” theme=”style6″]These are the qualities that make up your unique selling points and will play a role when people are searching online for these skills and characteristics.

Are there others who have the same skills with the same goals that you have? Of course. But what makes you unique is you. There isn’t anyone else exactly like you, so it’s important to illustrate what is totally and uniquely you. You must find your niche. For example, I’m a marketer with writing skills, a knack for promoting events with experience with large organizations and a passion for non-profit organizations who make a difference in their communities, and I love music. Maybe someone else is a marketer with large organization experience and they’re passionate about art.

DEFINE HOW YOU ARE PERCEIVED

How do your friends, colleagues, other professionals, and people in your online communities perceive you? Try googling yourself. Take note what shows up first in the search results. Does it line up with how you define yourself?

Monitor your mentions online with google alerts. You’ll want to stay on top of what people are saying about you and where your name is appearing online.

DEFINE YOUR GOALS

Does your online brand reflect your career goals? Do you need to change course or reinforce what’s there?  The online world is a busy, noisy one. You must work to stand out. Be sure your brand reflects the niche you want to be known for.

CREATE CONTENT

[clickToTweet tweet=”Create and share content to establish expertise and show that your brand is authentic.” quote=”Creating and sharing content is the best way to establish expertise and show that your brand is authentic.” theme=”style6″]

You will need to learn to create and curate content well. There are many options available to you when it comes to creating content. You can write a blog offering expert advise , personal stories or commentary. You can also create graphics or start a podcast. Video is exceptionally popular and engaging. Keep in mind your goals and determine what forms of content make sense for  your niche as well as what type of content you are best at creating.

Be sure to also share from industry influencers. Sharing curated content helps you establish and build relationships with people in your field.

NETWORK

Even if you’re an introvert, you can and should network. Much of your networking can be done online. However, you’ll eventually need to take some of your networking efforts offline as well. Nothing beats face to face interaction when it comes to networking and building relationships. Become active in communities that you are passionate about. Keeping a consistent presence online and off will help build awareness and recognition for your brand.

A strong personal brand requires a strong narrative. What’s your story? Think of influencers with a strong personal brand and their story.

Make sure you are constantly cultivating and guiding your personal brand. A strong personal brand should always be evolving.

employee advocacy

Employee Advocacy: Word of Mouth Marketing

Social media is a new form of word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing can be very powerful, so it makes sense to have your employees advocating on behalf of the company via social media. According to an article by Fast Company, leads through employee social networks convert seven times more often than any other leads. [clickToTweet tweet=”People trust people more than they do brands. This is why employee advocacy makes sense.” quote=”People trust people more than they do brands. This is why employee advocacy makes sense.” theme=”style6″]

Employee advocacy also allows you to improve your reach. By asking your employees to share your messages, you can instantly boost your audience by leveraging their networks. Employee advocacy happens when employees share content on social media channels, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc;.

Before you dive in, here are a few things to consider:

Establish Guidelines

Set up company guidelines for what your team should and shouldn’t share on social media. Provide a brief training and best practices for sharing messages online.

Define Your Goals

What are you trying to accomplish? Is it brand awareness? Are you trying to direct traffic to your website? You can’t manage what you can’t measure.  Set goals and identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will show when or if you’ve reached your goals. Determine what the value of your followers and likes really means and find ways to measure those results. 

Offer Incentives

Offer incentives to encourage employees to take the time to promote your company on social media. In turn, ensure those active employees are sharing messaging that is in alignment with your marketing goals. Offer incentives for sales leads that come through employee social media accounts.

Make Workplace Culture A Priority

Strong workplace cultures attract and keep talented people, and directly improve the bottom line. People will want to advocate for the company if they feel good about being there, and believe in the product or service. Workplace culture directly effects performance. It is improved and cultivated by strong relationships.

In addition, [clickToTweet tweet=”Establish a company culture that is social media friendly to increase your audience and reach.” quote=”Establish a company culture that is social media friendly” theme=”style4″] Don’t be afraid to share suggested messages from your marketing or social media teams, inspiring employees to create their own with their own voice and style.

Track Progress

Employee advocacy can be a little scary letting employees post on their own on social media accounts. However, authenticity is very effective, so you want it to truly be genuine to be effective. As long as employees have an understanding of guidelines and policy, employees should know how to represent appropriately, but monitoring will be important to make sure employees aren’t posting anything inappropriate and inflammatory. Track progress to gauge which employee posts are most successful at accomplishing goals and recognize those employees who do it well.

Social media marketing takes time, effort and strategy to see results. With patience and analyzing your efforts, you are on your way to reaching your goals.