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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.

Engagement is a key part of growing your online community.Click To Tweet

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.

 

twitter advanced search

Content Curation Made Simple: Twitter Advanced Search

Social media marketing has become a way of life for savvy business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals trying to build a personal brand. Truth be told, social media marketing is a lot of work in building a community and sharing great content.  One of the best ways to engage with your audience outside of creating engaging, valuable and relevant content is to curate interesting content to share.

Using the right tools and resources to find the right content and easily share it with your audience will allow you to be able to save time and find content your audience will appreciate.

TWITTER ADVANCED SEARCH

Finding the right content is about using the right tools and knowing what and how to search.Click To TweetTwitter Advanced Search is a powerful resource. On Twitter’s search results page, you’ll have menu options allowing you to filter by media type, (photos, videos) profiles, and more. But what’s also great is the ability to curate content on any topic.

In the search fields, add your topic to the ‘All of these words’ field and then add ‘http’ to ‘This Exact phrase’. So, for example, if you want to find blog posts related to estate planning, your search will pull up results  as seen below where you can select to see the top tweets, the “live” or most recent ones, photos, videos and more.

twitter advanced search

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another time saving aspect of Twitter Advanced Search is the ability to save searches. Twitter allows you to save up to 25 searches per account. To save a search, click More options at the top of your results page and then click “Save this search.” Saved searches are also a great way to track keywords that are relevant to your business.

MAKING LISTS

When you’re using Twitter Advanced Search you’ll no doubt come across Twitter profiles who share awesome content or whose content is ideal for your audience. Those profiles you’ll want to be able to come back to for fresh new content on a regular basis so that you can in turn share that content with your audience. A great way to do that is with Twitter lists. You’ll want to create a list of profiles that will filter out just their tweets so that when they tweet our their latest blog posts you’ll be able to see it quickly and easily. I have a list of Social Media Marketing resources that include companies who share amazing content such as Buffer, SocialTimes and Copyblogger.

ALWAYS BE SOCIAL

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in social media is “firehosing.” Make sure that in addition to creating and sharing awesome content, that you’re having converations and sharing your thoughts. Tell your audience why the post you’re sharing is valuable or your favorite takeaway. Ask your audience what they think in return. Don’t just set it and forget it. Be sure to engage as you get replies and shares.  Always begin and look for the conversation.

instagram marketing

Simple Tools To Improve Your Instagram Marketing

My current favorite social media platform is Instagram. Apparently I’m not the only one, it’s extremely popular. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and with the new account switching feature, it’s easier to use than ever. There are many tools that social media marketers use to help them do their jobs more efficiently. With so many tools and apps available to solve many of the same problems, sometimes it can be hard to choose.

Here are a few of the tools I use to make my Instagram Marketing simpler and more efficient.Click To Tweet

LAYOUT

Layout is a photo collage app from Instagram. It accesses your camera photos to allow an easy way to select and create a photo collage. It has a built-in Photo Booth to take spur-of-the-moment shots. Layout gives you a choice of various laid out combinations for you to choose from. Just pick one and edit.

RELIGHT

The Relight app addresses a common photo editing problem: lighting. Relight Instantly correct slighting and exposure to make your photos look exceptional. Relight is realtime HDR with eight modes that correct lighting and exposure issues, add artistic HDR effects and enhance details. In short, Relight lets your camera see closer to what you see. Finally!

ADOBE POST

Adobe Post is a simple and easy way to create Instagram posts from pre-designed templates. You can “remix” these handcrafted templates into the color scheme and text layout of your choice.

REPOST APP

Sometimes on Instagram, you see something great that you just want to share. Sharing is simple with Repost App. You can reshare photos and videos in 3 steps while still giving credit to the original Instagramer. The original caption will also be copied to your clipboard to include.

CROWDFIREAPP

Here’s a tool you can use for both Twitter and Instagram. It helps you manage your followers on either platform. You can manage your Twitter and Instagram accounts far more effectively by:

  • Finding inactive users and your unfollowers – unfollow them if you wish to
  • Finding relevant users to follow using the “Copy Followers” feature
  • Keeping track of how your social media updates affect your follower/unfollower stats
  • Checking the relationship between any two Twitter/Instagram
  • When you’re trying to manage your follower/following ratio

Apps are always evolving, new tools are always emerging. As social platforms change, our needs change. What tools have you discovered that work great for Instagram? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

 

website

Website Traffic: Give Your Audience The Green Light

Our prime online real estate is our website. Every effort that we make, every online activity for our business, we’re hoping results in a visit to our website and ultimately leads to action. You’ve worked hard to make your website look good, to show what you can offer, how you can solve your target audience’s problems, and how you can make their life better. Your website is designed to let them get to know you better. You’re hoping to win them over. But in order to do that, they have to land there.

How do you get visitors to your website? Well, there are some really obvious ways and perhaps some you didn’t even think about. So let’s go through some possibilities to make sure you’re covering your bases.

Social Media

You might be thinking “duh”! But let’s just think about it for a minute. It’s time to do a checkup on your social sites. Are your website links where they should be? Did you set up apps on your Facebook page and are they leading to your website? Does your Twitter bio include your website link? What about Instagram? LinkedIn gives you a few options for website links. Are you taking advantage of them? Take inventory of your social sites to be sure your links are there. Don’t forget your personal profiles.

Email Signature

Your email signature is a great place to drive traffic to your site.  Your signature can include more than your name and title or phone number. Your website should be there too. You can set up signatures with any email provider, but you can use an app to make your signature really stand out. I use Wisestamp. You can have a free version that will include an add, or upgrade to the paid version and choose from several design options ad free.

Content Curation Sites

Are you sharing your blog content on sites like Scoopit, Spundge, or Medium? These are excellent places for discovering content, so make sure your content can be discovered there. Medium for example, is growing in popularity. It’s a great place for publishing and a place for content distribution.

Drive traffic to your site by showcasing your content where people are looking for great content.Click To Tweet

Linkedin Publisher

We already mentioned social media sites, but you may not be taking advantage of LinkedIn’s all important Publisher tool. You can blog straight from the site and gain exposure to a possibly new audience with your posts. Read my post on how to repurpose your content for LinkedIn Publisher and link back to your website in the process.

Never miss an opportunity to direct people to your online hub. Take advantage of what’s out there to get your audience where you ultimately want them to land.

3 Things You Can Do To Prep Your Social Media Marketing For 2016

3 Things You Can Do To Prep Your Social Media Marketing For 2016

Another holiday season, another new year approaches. A new year is a chance for new beginnings, changes, improvements and a fresh start. The same holds true for your business. The new year is an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve been doing and decide what you can do to improve upon it. Here’s 3 things you can do to improve your social media marketing in 2016:

ANALYZE.

Take a deep, careful look at your social media analytics. What content has been working the best for you? What does the analytics reveal about posting times? Which social sites are driving the most traffic to your website? How is your engagement from site to site? If your audience is engaging with your content more on Instagram but not engaging on Facebook, perhaps you should put more effort into Instagram. Analytics are key to improving your content. They tell you what you need to know to improve your efforts and tell you more about how your social media audience is responding and what changes you need to make or what you should do more of.

EXPAND.

Expand your reach by finding new audiences. One way you can do this is by repurposing your blog content with LinkedIn. Take a look at your content that is still relevant or evergreen and repurpose it to post with LinkedIn Publisher. LinkedIn Publisher gives you an opportunity to freshen up the content a bit with new information and share it to a new audience. LinkedIn Publisher is easy to use and gvies your older but still valuable content new life while exposing you to a potentially new audience.

STRETCH.

Some content is just more popular than others. Visual content is generally more engaging, eye catching and shareable. If you haven’t embraced it yet, you probably should. If you’ve incorporated photos but haven’t tried video, make it a point in 2016 to give it a try. If you’ve done video but haven’t experimented with Infographics, this may be an opportunity for you to add a new type of visual content into your social media marketing that your audience can appreciate. Trying something new can be scary, but it can also be the key to taking your business further. This is known as stretching. Stretching for me is initiating conversations at networking events. Although scary, it could be mean more opportunities or more business.

A new year gives us the opportunity to try new things, the inspiration to be better and the motivation to go to the next level in our business. What do you plan to do to improve your business in 2016? If you haven’t already done so, connect with me and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.

A Gift For You: My Favorite Online Marketing Tools

A Gift For You: My Favorite Online Marketing Tools

If you ever wonder how social media professionals seem to always be online, how they keep up with the latest updates and trends, how they’re able to consistently publish content, the secret is: marketing tools!  Keeping up with online marketing is near impossible without them. So in the spirit of the season, I’m sharing my favorite online marketing tools to help you be a better online marketer in 2016.

BUFFER

Buffer is my favorite online marketing tools period. It makes my life as a digital marketer so much easier. It was great when I first started using it and it’s even better now. It’s the easiest tool for scheduling and sharing social media updates. What it does is very simple.  You add updates to your Buffer queue and it will be posted for you at the times you choose or use preset times. You can use anytime to fill with great Tweets, Facebook stories or LinkedIn updates. I prefer to use the chrome extension. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Click the buffer chrome extension while you’re on a blog post you want to schedule and up pops a window for you to select where and when you want to share it along with the text to accompany it. It’s a beautiful thing.

COSCHEDULE HEADLINE ANALYZER

Your blog posts won’t get read if the headline isn’t interesting enough to click. That’s why I use an analyzer to help determine if my headline has what it takes to pique the interest of social media users combing through their newsfeeds. My tool of choice is the Coschedule Blog Headline Analyzer. This free blog post headline analyzer will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value. It’s one of the marketing tools that is a must for my blogging. Don’t click publish without it!

TWITTER LISTS

Is a Twitter list a marketing tool? You bet it is! It’s an awesome content curation tool and I use it almost daily. A list is a curated group of Twitter users that you can create and follow. For example, I have created a list of the best sources of content for social media marketing. I use this list to curate content for my own social media sites to share relevant content to my audience. I use similar lists for my clients to share relevant content on their social sites for their audiences. Twitter is a great resource for many things, especially content. But because it’s has such a busy newsfeed it can be difficult to sort through without creating lists. Leverage your lists for content creation needs.

I hope that you can use at least one of these to improve your productivity in 2016. These are just a few of my favorites. What marketing tools do you use that help you work more efficiently? Please share in the comments below.