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social media marketing

Social Media Marketing: What To Do, What Not To Do

Social Media Marketing is not so new anymore. It’s no longer a consideration but an integral part of one’s overall marketing strategy. Even with that being the case, it’s still new to many people. It’s new for those who are just starting a business or career, and it’s new for those who are late to the game.

Recently I had the honor of presenting on social media marketing at ICLE’s Probate & Estate Planning Institute with Terrence Quinn, Estate Planning Attorney. Terrence was presenting, “Marketing Matters” which discussed how to market your law practice. He brought me along to discuss social media. I thought it would be fun to discuss the Do’s and Don’ts.

Whether you’re late to the game or just new to business, you need to know a few rules. What better way to illustrate some of the most important rules than with a few “do’s and don’ts?” Here are 5 that I outlined at the presentation that I feel are key for starting off right and positioning yourself for many wins.

Let’s count them down!

5. DO SHOWCASE YOUR EXPERTISE

The content you share should help make your audience a more informed consumer.Click To Tweet Your content should be valuable and relevant. Offer tips, industry news and recommendations. Social media marketing can help to brand you as an expert in your field, and a thought leader. Take for example, my client, Attorney Terrence Quinn. When  Michigan’s Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act was announced, Terrence immediately wrote an article explaining what it meant and what you need to do. This is how you join in on a conversation that is relevant to your audience and establish yourself as an expert.

4. DON’T DO ALL THE TALKING

My friend Brooke Ballard of B Squared Media always says, “Think Conversation.” Not only should you be sharing relevant content but you should be having conversations. Take the time to comment on posts, reply, retweet, ask questions and share. Be present even if it’s just a short time but be consistent. Conversations build relationships. Relationships lead to business.

3. DO NETWORK LIKE YOU WOULD OFFLINE

Or, like you SHOULD offline. When you’re at networking events you’re looking to make connections. You don’t just walk up to people and start talking about yourself and your business. That is so not social. Think about how you feel at networking events and what you do or don’t like when you’re networking.

2. DON’T THINK OF IT AS A SALES OPPORTUNITY

Some professionals, like lawyers, are restricted from soliciting business under the Rules of Professional Conduct. GREAT! That’s doing it wrong anyway. People like a soft sell on social media. They like to do business with people they like and trust. This is achieved by developing relationships. Gain their confidence by providing value. Most people are tuned into WIIFM – What’s In It For Me? Focus on making your audience more informed and having conversations.

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH

Have you ever heard the saying you can do anything but not everything? This is true with social media marketing.Click To Tweet Do what makes sense for your business. Know your target market and where they are hanging out online. By all means, don’t try to wing it. You need a plan. Plan where, and plan how by doing your research. You could simply survey your customers or clients as one way of learning more about your target market and what their habits are.

On the flip side of research, do know that your audience is doing their research. It’s called Google. When they search, are they finding you or are they finding your competition? If they’re finding you what are they finding?

Keep these important rules in mind when beginning your social media marketing journey. Set yourself up for success.

social media marketing

How To Spring Clean Your Social Media Marketing

We have had an amazing week of warm weather here in Michigan. Considering that just a few weeks ago we had unusually cold weather with snow flurries, it’s a welcome sight. Since we’re in the full swing of Spring, it got me thinking, am I ready for the midway mark of 2016? More than likely, it’s time for some social media marketing spring cleaning.

Spruce Up Your Social Media

If you conduct a social media  spring cleaning inventory, you might find that there are some things you are missing, should change or needs improvement. Let’s take a look at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to see where you might need to do a little sprucing up.

FACEBOOK

How’s Your Headshot?

If your profile picture is more than a couple of years old, it’s time to upload a new headshot. Make sure it’s head and shoulders and professional.

Update Your Cover Photo

Spring is a good time to give your page a fresh new look with a new cover photo. Maybe you want to have something designed that fits your brand and represents your business. You may also want to make a collage of photos of your products or a collection of photos from events.

Check Your About Section

Make sure the About section accurately portrays what you do. Is it up to date? If applicable, include your hours of business and contact information. Hopefully  you have a vanity URL in place. Secure one if you don’t already. For example, is your business page URL: facebook.com/(a bunch of random numbers and letters) or does your URL include your business name like mine: facebook.com/socialwithsara.

Are you verified?

If you have a brick and mortar business, meaning you have a physical location, you can verify your page. Here’s how to do it.

Next, consider cleaning out your “friends” and “likes.” If your page has fraudulent likes (as the result of “like farms”), it can really skew any paid advertising you do on Facebook. For this reason you’ll want to clean out any fake accounts.

Set Up Authorship

Facebook allows you to set up authorship so that your blog posts are attributed to you when they’re posted on the platform. I discuss how to set up Authorship among other Facebook features in this post.

Try Something New

Ready to shake things up a bit on Facebook? Why not incorporate Facebook Live in your social media marketing? It’s very easy to use and it’s a great way to get in front of your audience in a simple engaging way. Here are some tips from Social Media Examiner on how to do it. 

INSTAGRAM

Optimize Your Bio

How you set up your bio on Instagram is crucial. Make it interesting and easy to look at with spacing, emojis and symbols. This helps break up the text. You’ll want to include keywords around what you do such as: Travel, Photography, Foodie,  LA-based (don’t forget to use a location tag 📍)

Include your contact information and website. This is the only area in Instagram where urls are hyperlinked. So, if you’re promoting something special like an ebook that you want your visitors to land on, you’ll want to put it here in the bio section.

Content Consistency

It helps to use the same filter to give it a balanced look. If you use text images with tips, set up a template with your logo and brand colors so that your images are recognizable with your brand.

Hashtags Are Mandatory

Did you know that according to a Simply Measured Instagram study, posts with at least one Instagram hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag? The use of hashtags is a great way to target new audiences on Instagram. It will also help other Instagram users discover, follow, and engage with you.

Use niche specific hashtags that already have an engaging community behind them and use the ones that your audience is already using.

TWITTER

Tidy Up:

  • Add your personal or company website to your bio if you haven’t already.
  • Consider updating your photo, especially if it’s outdated. Always keep it current.
  • If you’ve updated logos or colors, you should also consider changing your header photo and background color to accurately reflect your brand.

Who are you following?

Some people you may want to consider unfollowing: Those who post about things that don’t interest you or those who never post.

For followers, check to make sure they aren’t spam accounts. Spammers can add fake accounts to your list of followers. Find out who’s fake, then delete or block those accounts. A great tool for cleaning up your followers is ManageFlitter.

Create Lists

Consider creating Twitter lists to organize friends or those in your industry. Even make a list of those accounts whose content you want to see for content curation purposes.

Check Permissions

You may also want to check up on your app permissions. See which apps or sites you have given permission to access your profile and remove any that you’re no longer using.

LINKEDIN

I recently wrote a blog post on Creating A Winning LinkedIn Profile. It contains an infographic to illustrate all the keys areas. It’s a great place to start to get your LI profile where it needs to be. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Your headline is seen more than anything else, so make sure it contains the keywords that you want to be found with.
  • Is your headshot outdated? Always keep your headshot up to date with a current professional headshot.
  • Work on your summary to highlight your best skills and experience.
  • Make sure your contact information is updated so clients and others can get in touch with you.
  • Personalize your profile’s URL with your name or business name.
  • Are there new projects that you’ve done since your last update that showcase your abilities? Add them!
  • Do you need some new recommendations? It’s ok to ask.
  • What about your connections? When you first joined LinkedIn, you probably connected with everyone. I did the same. But once you’ve been on the platform for a while, it makes sense to be strategic with your connections. Make sure they’re relevant to your industry.

Spring cleaning your social media marketing will get you on the road to being ready for the second half of 2016. Don’t forget to check your analytics and insights to see if there are adjustments you can make to your strategy for better results.

 

linkedin profile

How To Create A Winning LinkedIn Profile

First impressions count. That is both true offline and online. Think about what you do when you are checking out a business, potential client or otherwise. You do a google search, right? You want to check out people and businesses to see what you can find out. So really, when you’re considering doing business with someone, you’ve probably already come to a few conclusions before meeting them. This should tell you a little something about how you present yourself online. Your business representation starts online.

With LinkedIn, which is very much like your online resume you have an enormous opportunity to market yourself and your business.Click To Tweet People can make decisions about pursuing you for opportunities just by simply looking at your LinkedIn profile. How you set up your profile, in every aspect, what you say and choose to highlight is essential.

Often times I see that people don’t take the time to upload a good looking photo. Their headline tells you very little, they skip the summary altogether or if they do, it reads the wrong way. We can be the biggest barrier to our own opportunity when we aren’t careful to put our best foot forward online. And LinkedIn is where you want to have your buttons buttoned, your shoes shined. Am I judging you? Yes. And everyone else who goes on a search on on LinkedIn is also judging you. How does your profile look?

Do you..

  • Have a unique URL?
  • Have keywords in your headline?
  • Have a summary sharing your unique selling position
  • Have your summary written in the first person?
  • Have accomplishments listed and recommendations added?
  • Have a high quality professional profile photo?

Let’s explore step by step how to create a winning LinkedIn profile in this infographic below from  Akken Cloud and Ghergich & Co. Position yourself to stand out, grow your network and your business.

Breaking Down the Anatomy of a Successful LinkedIn Profile

Via AkkenCloud

snapchat

Is Snapchat Good For Businesses?

Is Snapchat good for businesses? Is it good for YOUR business? As with any other social media platform, you have to do what makes sense for your business. Without question, you need to be where your audience is. Did you know that as of June 2015, there are 100 million daily users and 86% of it’s users fall into the 13 – 37 age range?

Your target audience just might be there.

So why should businesses be on Snapchat?

Snapchat is a mobile app that lets you send public or private snaps of images and video to people from your smartphone. Because it’s a unique social network in comparison to others, it offers you a unique way to connect with your audience.

Being connected socially is a strategy that cannot be ignored, and Snapchat is no exception. Click To Tweet

In addition to it being unique, it is:

  • low cost
  • allows for creativity (with doodles, emojis, video enhancement)
  • Users are buyers with 76% of users buying a product online in the last month

The infographic below from SurePayroll and Ghergich & Co breaks down:

  • What Snapchat is
  • How it works
  • Statistics
  • How to use it
  • Why you should be using it
  • How to build your following

Check it out and see why a a social platform of vanishing content boasts 9,000 photos shared every second.

 

successful-live-tweet

Successfully Live Tweeting An Event

During my social media marketing career I have had the pleasure of being part of a social media team designated for large events. Our objective is to share content live from the event on social media accounts, but our main task is live tweeting.

Live tweeting events is an excellent opportunity to build an audience of targeted followers and build awareness around your event, organization or cause. It’s about sharing what people are saying at an event, as it’s taking place.

Live tweeting is very different from your standard daily tweets. Live tweeting is focused on the event’s designated hashtag.

Whatever you tweet during your event has the potential to have increased attention and make a major impact.Click To Tweet

Most recently, I worked with a live tweeting team for an automotive summit with high profile speakers, attendees and major sponsors.

With several large events under my belt, I’ve put together a list of live tweeting success tips for events:

  1. Study Up

Have as much background as possible on the event, the speakers and sponsors as you can ahead of time. Being informed is always an advantage. Know the history of the event, the background, the purpose, and information about the speakers and their relationship to the event helps you to be a better tweeter.

  1. Have access to the Run of Show

It is always helpful to have a run of show. Know what’s going to happen when so you can plan ahead. You could even schedule certain tweets or have drafts of tweets prepared. For example, you could craft tweets to introduce each new speaker that is introduced.

  1. Create a system for photos

For large events, a photographer is a must. Make sure that the photographer is immediately uploading photos to a file sharing site so that you can attach photos with your live tweets. Tweets with photos get more engagement. And they just look good! 😉

  1. Make a list of Twitter handles and hashtags.

Having a list of twitter handles for each speaker, their company and the hashtag or hashtags associated with the event will save you time, extend reach and encourage engagement. It’s also a good idea to create a Twitter list of speakers and companies so that you can easily access tweets that they are sending out from the event.

  1. Encourage Audience Engagement

Every event should have a hashtag associated with it. Be sure to use every opportunity before and during your event to promote the hashtag and encourage attendees to tweet and share photos using the event hashtag.

  1. Engage With Participants

Make sure you follow the event hashtag periodically throughout the event so you can engage with participants who are tweeting by retweeting, favoriting and replying.

  1. Select A Platform

Select a live tweeting display platform where you can project the tweets associated with your event hashtag that can be viewed in the main room of the event. (Some services are free, some are paid.)

Here are a few examples:

ZOOMPH 

Tweetbeam 

Visible Tweets

Live Tweet App

Composing the tweets themselves requires focus and concentration. You need to be familiar with who is speaking so that you can include photos of that person live from the event. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Keep tweets as concise as possible.
  • Try not to split a thought, phrase or quote into two tweets.
  • Remember to use the person’s twitter handle when quoting.

Live tweeting is beneficial for business. It’s drives the information and messaging for your event. Be prepared with these steps, have a strategy and reap the rewards of increased visibility and valuable connections.

Live Tweeting Team
A few members of the social media team for the 16th Annual Rainbow PUSH/CEF Global Automotive Summit, L-R: Katrina Turnbow, Kanopi Social; Carlotta Tutt Holloway, True Root Marketing; Sara Nickleberry, Social With Sara. (Photos by Robert Deane, Avima Designs)

 

 

 

 

 

verify facebook page

Local Business? Verify Your Facebook Page

If you have a local business, you are in for a nice new treat from Facebook. You can now display a verified badge on your Facebook page. Pretty exciting news from a platform who hasn’t made it exactly easy for businesses to get noticed without advertising.

Although this is only applicable to local businesses with a physical address, Facebook does plan to eventually roll out verified badges to all business pages in the future. If you have a physical address on your Page, the verified icon will be a small gray check mark as opposed to the blue one you see with celebrities, public figures and large companies, etc;. 

A verified facebook page will give you authenticity and SEO benefits.Click To Tweet

The local business verified badge began rolling out in the United States, the UK Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and others will follow shortly.

To see if you’re able to verify your Facebook page, simply go to your Admin settings in the top right corner of your Facebook page and look for the verification option. You’ll have the option to verify your page with your your business’ publicly listed phone number. You can also verify by uploading an official document like a phone bill. This process takes a few days. I was able to verify a client’s page in a couple minutes with the phone number option.

Here’s a breakdown of the steps to take to verify your local business’ Facebook page:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page
  2. From General, click Page Verification
  3. Click Verify this Page, then click Get Started
  4. Enter a publicly listed phone number for your business, your country and language
  5. Click Call Me Now to allow Facebook to call you with a verification code
  6. Enter the 4-digit verification code and click Continue

facebook page

Facebook is offering this feature to help verify your page as authentic. This will distinguish legitimate businesses from fake pages who may pose as your business. This feature is also designed to help you show up higher in search results.

Verified pages will also be able to access the new feature Facebook LIVE, a new video streaming feature.

Read more about the new local business verified badges in this post from Marketing Land.