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social media consistency

Social Media Marketing: Consistency is key!

Social media marketing is a job. It’s literally my job, but for business owners who’ve decided to dive in head first and build an online presence with social media, it’s probably more like their second job. Most business owners realize the major role social media marketing is playing in their overall marketing strategy. If your customers are there, if that’s where your target market hangs out, that’s where you should be. Social media is where conversations happen. Conversations help build relationships. Relationships help grow your business.

So what stops businesses before they get a good start? Consistency.

DID YOU GO OUT OF BUSINESS?

Sadly, people abandon their social media platforms. They start out with good intentions. They post a couple times on Facebook, send out a few tweets, maybe build a Pinterest board, and then things come to a halt. No posts, no tweets.

Believe me, I know social media marketing is time consuming. But if you don’t have time to maintain your social presence, find someone in your company who can, hire someone or don’t do it. I’m not saying you have to be online all the time. You don’t. But you do have to be consistent. Consistently posting content on the right platforms, staying consistent with your message, engaging with your audience will improve customer relations, give you credibility and get you noticed.

I spoke with a client who had let her Twitter postings fade away. She recently began posting again, when one of her followers was relieved to see her tweets and replied to her. She stated that she liked reading her content and had thought she’d gone out of business. Stopping completely gives your audience that impression.

WHO ARE YOU?

Not only is consistency important but it’s equally important to stay on message. Make sure you are conveying clearly what your company culture is. If the content should be serious, because your service or product is serious, then stay with that. If you’re a little more fun, that’s ok too. Stay consistent with your content strategy and how it is shared.

DON’T BROADCAST. HAVE CONVERSATIONS.

You should be aiming for consistent engagement as well. Your audience is a part of this process. Have conversations. Use the content you share to make connections with your audience. When your audience engages with you, respond and respond timely. Timely and relevant responses are yield happy, loyal customers and ambassadors for your brand. These experiences will generate positive word of mouth experiences that they will share with their networks. That is invaluable.

Have a plan. Carve out time each day to dedicate to your social media marketing efforts. It may be as little as 15 minutes. But these efforts given daily add up. Have a strategy, set goals and plan your content. Stay present and keep posting. Consistency will help keep you relevant and top of mind.

Google Plus Key Marketing Features

Google Plus can be a powerful platform to marketing your business. More and more small business owners are discovering just how useful it’s features and tools can be to marketing their business online. Whether you became interested in the platform through Hangouts or some other feature, or you started looking for a new platform out of frustration with Facebook’s plummeting organic reach, you may have noticed that there’s a lot more activity on the network than you previously thought. Being a Google product, the search benefits make it hard to ignore. But there is even more to Google Plus than that. Here are some features and tools you can use to market your business on the growing social platform.

HANGOUTS ON AIR

Google Plus offers an awesome alternative to the webinar. It’s called a Hangout On Air. Hangouts On Air provides you with a FREE video broadcasting service that is broadcast LIVE to YouTube channel where it is recorded and can be shared over and overa again. Hangouts are integrated with Google+ where you can create an event, invite your circles, and more.

EMBEDDED POSTS

Google+ Embedded Posts is another unique Google Plus feature that lets you share your Google+ posts directly to your blog. The beauty of embedded posts on your blog  is that it extends the life of the content.

Also, Google+ content embedded on your blog is linked to your Google+ profile. Readers that are logged into their Google+ accounts, that +1s, share or comments, that activity will show on both your blog and your Google+ content. Embedded posts will record +1s and shares as if the user was on Google+ instead of on the blog.

GOOGLE PHOTOS

Google Plus helps you stay picture perfect. Visual content continues to dominate social media. Unfortunately image formatting changes from platform to platform. The awesome thing about Google Plus is it doesn’t auto-crop, or shrink your images or require you to edit, resize, change them before posting or have to scrap them altogether. You can share full size images not to mention all the excellent options you have for editing photos with Google Plus. Full size images tend to be more compelling and engaging.

Google Plus has made it hard for me to ignore the network as a main part of my marketing strategy. There are so many smart features that benefit my online presence.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/terby2/6842190306/”>iterby</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

google plus

Using Google Plus For Content Curation

Content curation is a key part of social media marketing. Because great content drives what we share on social media, we are always in search of great, valuable information to share with our audience. If you’re not so familiar with the term, content curation is the collection and organization of information relevant to a particular topic.

The technology of curation has provided a way to organize and sift through the enormous amount of content on the web. Tools such as Scoop.it or Spundge or pages like Storify where you can create stories with Twitter or Instagram.

Content curation occurs on many platforms. I often use Twitter’s search, my own newsfeed or lists I’ve created to find and share links to articles that I think my audience would appreciate.

Recently I have revisted my use of Scoop.it in an effort to find and share more relevant and useful content in 2014 and for people to find my content as well. Pinterest is also a great forum for curating content. I specifically look to Pinterest for writing and blogging tips, and related topics where I’ve found plenty of great information on the topic.

My most recent go to place for content curation is Google Plus. Content curation on Google+ is a great way to establish your authority and brand yourself as an expert in your niche with the content that you share.

You can search and find content to curate across Google plus through search and hashtags. Communities are a great way to find specific content on a particular subject. Finding content and sharing it on Google Plus is simple and easy. When you discover content it’s easy to share to your profile or page and add your own commentary to your post. Your  Google+ posts are treated as web pages by Google and indexed accordingly. Increasingly Google+ posts are appearing in search results.

Using Google Plus to find and share content has helped me build my network. Because the culture of Google Plus is one where it’s users values great content, users are content focused. When you share great content, comment and have conversations, you begin to grow your network and build your community.  Content curation is just one of the many benefits of Google Plus that I enjoy. If you’re on Google Plus, please connect with me and join me in one of my favorite communities for great discussions and content sharing on social media marketing and digitial marketing : Social Solutions.

google plus

Google Plus Redesign Includes Smart Updates

A surprise to many, Google Plus very quietly launched a redesign with a brand new layout and a focus on images. They’ve added a whopping 41 new features designed to make G+ operate more intuitively.

What Google Plus seems to be doing is paying more attention to it’s users, feedback and improving upon those features that make it a unique network. Smart. Here is a brief overview on some of the smart updates that Google+ made with this new redesign:

HANGOUTS

The ever popular Google Hangout feature will be enhanced with a mobile app. Hangouts can include text, photos and video and can be stored for you to go back and review later.

STREAM

The Google Plus stream will now have a multi-column which people are already saying looks a lot like Pinterest. I like it because it involves a lot less scrolling 🙂

EDITING

Each section of the About tab (skills, work, education) has it’s own separate section with it’s own editing feature. This makes it easier for you to edit your profile information, quickly.

REVIEWS

There is now a reviews tab that allows users to add local reviews of movies, restaurants and other businesses.

PHOTOS

Here’s where they really zeroed in on some smart updates. Google Plus Photos just became even more “awesome”: Auto Backup allows mobile photos to automatically back up so you have the ability to easily share them right onto G+. Auto Awesome is a feature that uses groups of photos in your library to create an animation. Auto Enhance is a feature that automatically uses a filter to do brightness, contrast and other editing enhancements. Auto Highlight is another pretty amazing feature that Google+ describes this way: “Auto Highlight helps you find your favorites faster by de-emphasizing duplicates, blurry images and poor exposures, and focusing instead on pictures with the people you care about, landmarks, and other positive attributes”

 

 

Google Plus Features And Overview

I love to get questions from my audience. This gives me ideas for content and helps me better serve my online community. Sometimes we assume what our audience wants to know or what they need but that should all be dictated by our audience. This weekend I was the special guest on a conference call where I was asked to talk about Social Media Marketing. I shared with the audience some of the basic definitions and how they applied to this particular industry of the listeners on the call. At the end of the call, they opened the line for questions. One of the questions asked was, What is Google Plus? I was not at all surprised by this question because Google+ has been growing rapidly as of late, so as a result, there is much interest about this networking site.

Google Plus is one of many social network sites just as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are social networking sites. All are unique in their own way and have unique features.

Google+ describes itself as having the ability to make sharing on the web more like sharing in real life. It’s somewhat similar to Facebook which has a news feed based on status updates and shared content, etc.). But Google Plus is designed to make it easier to share content with specific sets of people called Circles. This is one of the features that I like the most about Google Plus.

Circles make it easy to share specific things with specific people much like you would want to do in real life. Cirlces makes it so that you can share some things with close friends, others with your family, and almost nothing with your boss. When you “circle” people on Google+, it allows you to categorize them, by naming a circle and adding people to those circles. You might have circles for friends, family, business associates, business prospects, industry peers, or by special interests. When you post something that you want to share with only one or more of your circles, you can select that when you are crafting your post.

It also has a feature called Communities. Communities allows you to create a group where you can discuss your interests with people who share those same interests. You can join public communities around shared interests, or create private communities.

Google+ also has a feature called Hangouts. Hangouts are video chat. Hangouts can be done in different ways: 1) chat one on one 2) host a virtual meeting where you can use powerful tools like screen sharing and Google Drive collaboration. 3) you can go live in front of a global audience. 3) Group chat with up to 9 people.

Google Plus also has Pages. These are for businesses and brands. For businesses, Google+ helps you attract new customers and build deepers relationships with your current customers. This is done by making it easier to connect to the billion+ people who are searching on Google every day. Clearly, by this being Google, there will be SEO benefits that are enhanced by Google+ activity. I explain a bit about that on my Social Solutions Collective post about how to grow your online community with Google+.

Are you currently using Google+? What is your experience like? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Google Plus Spring Updates You Might Have Missed

What's Cooking At Google+
What’s Cooking At Google+
Google+ continues to be a social network that is growing and has many advantages. I like Google+ because I find that I can interact much more with people in my industry and users seem to be very genuinely interested in finding and sharing great content. I have both a profile and business page. While I have more followers on my Profile, my business page by far gets more engagement. I think this speaks to what I just mentioned: interacting with my industry peers and appreciating content. I mainly share my blog posts and blog posts that I find useful and helpful to my target audience.

Although I was not sure how this network would take off, I have come to truly appreciate it. So I have made it a point to keep up with news, tips, changes and updates to the site. One of the most noticeable was the change to the size of the cover photo. HUGE! But, I like it. I’m a fan of cover photos because I love to see how creative people get with them. You can reference this great post from Designer Rob Russo on the Google+ cover photo and it’s branding potential here.

Besides the cover photo, the About tab is redesigned, and a brand-new feature has been added called “Reviews”. This compiles all of your restaurant and point of interest reviews from Google Local.

Here are a few other changes that happened recently that you may or may not have noticed:

1) Users can automatically show their current location to circles or individuals they choose. The option, which will appear on their cover photo, must be enabled from the Google+ profile settings page.
2) The Circles Volume Slider has been replaced by a drop-down menu and moved under the pictures of Circled Plusers.
3) Interestingly, animated GIFs can now be used for profile pictures! What say you? 🙂
4) If attempting to comment on content shared in a community you have not joined, the pop-up dialogue box will include a link to this community.
5) Mobile device users have the ability to download their pictures directly from their Instant Upload page. I noticed this recently on my iPad Google+ app.

Are you a Google+ user? Do you have a profile AND business page? What are your thoughts on this social network? Tell me if it is or is not working for you and why in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!