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social media

How To Tell Your Brand’s Unique Story With Social Media

Telling your brand’s story is an important to reinforcing what your brand is. Social media is a place where you can tell your brand’s story in entertaining and unique ways. But where should you tell your story exactly?

When it comes to social media, over doing it is a recipe for failure. It’s important to pinpoint those platforms where your target market is. Social Media marketing doesn’t have to mean an automatic default to Facebook and Twitter.

If your business hosts or participates in events that you want to promote, you may need to go off the beaten path. Let’s say you have an event coming up. You might post photos of your team or make a short video clip of what is happening behind the scenes. You can use Instagram videos, or a Snapchat story of the brief moments or special highlights that occur throughout the day of the event. What if you were able to capture the moments right before you went on stage to present or captured an entertainer just before they went on stage? Such images making storytelling interesting.

Let’s take a closer look at two platforms you may want to use.

INSTAGRAM

Businesses embrace Instagram because it lets them showcase their products visually. Visual marketing is powerful, so it makes Instagram an attractive platform.

To be successful on Instagram you need to find new and interesting ways to connect with your audience through visuals. By launching contests, using short video, and even running ads, you’ll build awareness, engagement and grow your community.

SNAPCHAT

If you’d like to reach a younger demographic, especially 18-34 year olds, then Snapchat is an ideal platform. Snapchat is growing fast, and the users are extremely engaged. Snapchat is on pace to grow the number of U.S. active users to a whopping 27% this year, to 58.6 million — topping Twitter and Pinterest for the first time, according to research firm eMarketer. The challenge with Snapchat marketing is figuring out how to best to engage users in a fun way that isn’t so obviously promotional. This is why live events work so well.

SHARE MOMENTS ON INSTAGRAM AND SNAPCHAT

Get people interested in your business or organization by sharing what’s going on at your events. Start from prep and share through the wrap up. Take people behind the scenes as your prepare for the event. Share snippets of each moment as they happen. Using a combination of video and photo will keep it interesting. Make sure you brand your event with geofilters.

TELL A STORY ON SNAPCHAT

Beyond a series of pictures and video that chronicles moments at an event, literally tell a story from beginning to end.  Do you have a great story to literally tell? How an idea came about? How something was created? Map it out and then retell it in a fun interesting way that makes your audience want to follow along.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS ON INSTAGRAM AND SNAPCHAT

You can offer discounts and special sales on both Instagram and Snapchat and make them unique to each platform. Because Snapchat stories expire in 24 hours it makes it the perfect place to have flash sales and discounts exclusively on the platform. Give them a reason to follow you on Snapchat for this reason.

Nowadays, younger audiences are pretty socially savvy. So, being authentic is important.Click To Tweet

It’s important to show the “human” side of your brand and let people see the real people behind the logo. Entertain your users and stand out by what makes you unique. That comes from sharing moments and telling stories.

 

social media

Social Media Spotlight: Mandy Edwards

In my first post of my new series the “Social Media Spotlight”, I am picking the brain of my dear friend and colleague, Mandy Edwards of ME Marketing Services. Mandy is currently a contributor to Steamfeed, blogging on social media advertising & etiquette.  She also contributes to Social Media Today, Business2Community, Internet Billboards, The Southern C and Millennial CEO. She is my go-to expert on social media marketing advertising and I simply enjoy chatting her up from time to time as colleagues. For our spotlight, I asked her a variety of social media marketing questions in order to get some valuable “nuggets” to share with you all.

Here’s our Q & A:

  1. How do you find relevant content for your audience?

I have a variety of sources I use to find content. I have my favorite authors I like to follow (Mark Schaefer, Jay Baer, Scott Monty – to name a few) but I also follow aggregate sites like Social Media Today and Business 2 Community to see what people are writing about. I also like to follow industry publications like Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes and such. I have Twitter lists set up to follow all of those so it’s easy to retweet the articles I think my followers may enjoy.

 

  1. What are the two most important social media tools that you use?

The two most important are Sprout Social and TailWind. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a hopeless Sprout addict and Sprout took notice and asked me to join their new Sprout All-Star Influencer Program. Their social management tool has made managing my clients’ accounts a breeze and the customer service their provide is amazing. TailWind is the app I use to manage my clients’ Pinterest accounts since, unfortunately, that is the one platform Sprout doesn’t provide management for (yet). I love being able to schedule pins out a month in advance and re-pin older pins that maybe didn’t do as well as you would have liked.

  1. How do you find inspiration for blogging consistency?

Blogging consistency is something I struggle with all the time. When I say the struggle is real, the struggle is real. Life and business gets in the way. My goal is two articles each week but as long as I get one, I’m good. I find setting a goal to be a good inspiration – and not wanting the (local) competition to have more out than you! Blogging consistency is more of a discipline than anything else. Some people are good at publishing 3-5 articles a week, while others are good at 1-2 per month.

Inspire yourself with a realistic blogging goal and see if you can beat it each time.Click To Tweet

  1. What is your best tip for engagement?

Just be there. It’s hard to engage if you aren’t online. Be online and look for conversations to take part in or just start one yourself by asking a question.

  1. What do you think is the most important social media trend in 2016?

This seems to be the million-dollar question. I don’t know if there is one important social media trend this year. I see several – more video, more social advertising, more real-time posting, more being in the moment, more creative content. Companies are going to have to get out of the box and get creative because of content shock – be on the lookout for that!

Be sure to follow Mandy on Twitter and Facebook and check out her blog. Please feel free to leave comments or questions 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.

 

Leap Into 2016 With These Social Media Best Practices

Leap Into 2016 With These Social Media Best Practices

It’s the first Monday of 2016. You can’t get a fresher start than that! A new year means ditching bad habits and starting good ones. That includes your social media marketing practices. Towards the end of the year, you probably knew there were things you could do better and should do better but lacked the motivation to make changes. But it’s the new year and now you’re ready. Maybe you’re not sure where to start. Here’s are some key steps to get you going on the right path in 2016.

Have a strategy.

Hopefully you have a social media marketing strategy. If not, you absolutely need one. It’s mandatory. You should start by answering some important questions that will shape your strategy. What am I trying to accomplish? What are my goals? What are the KPIs? What key measures will be used to evaluate social media strategy effectiveness? Who is your audience?  What are the demographics of your current or ideal customers? Where are they? What sets you apart from the competition? What makes you unique? What platforms will you use and how?

You have a social media strategy, right? It's MANDATORY!Click To Tweet

Don’t be content. You need content.

Once you’ve established your strategy you need to plan your content. When it comes to creating content, go with what works! Share the type of content that gets the highest engagement. What does your audience respond to? Tailor your content for each social channel. What works on Facebook may not work on Twitter. Make sure your content stands out.

Plan your work and work your plan.

Social media marketing requires planning, otherwise it’s chaos. Having a content calendar can make your life a whole lot easier. A social media content calendar organizes how you curate and create content, and helps develop your editorial strategy. It saves your time and and helps distribute your resources wisely to ensure your brand consistently publishes qualify content. Your social media content calendar should be easy to read and not require a lot of explanation. It should include the information you have outlined in your content strategy. Break it down month to month and with activities further broken down by the day. You can include social media icons to represent which social media channel the content should be published to accompanying the post title for streamlining purposes.

Have a daily task list.

Social media marketing is a huge job. Tackling something big requires consistent small daily steps. Having a daily task list helps you take on all that social media marketing requires. Those tasks start with simply showing up, and include relevant content and engagement. I dedicated a post to daily task lists that outlines what your daily task list should consist of: Your Daily Social Media Task List. 

Be More Social.

All this planning is awesome and necessary but don’t neglect what’s most important with social media: being social! Make new connections, start conversations. Create content that is engaging and be sure to respond timely when your audience comments and asks questions. Share content from other brands. Build relationships with genuine interest in others. Be engaging.

Always be consistent and focus on your goals. Analyze your efforts and make necessary adjustments. What are you doing differently in 2016 with your social media marketing? How are you improving your efforts?

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.