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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

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.

light up content linkedin publisher

Light Up Your Content With LinkedIn Publisher

Every time I use LinkedIn Publisher I remember why I like publishing articles on LinkedIn. Why? First of all, it’s simple and easy. But there’s much more to it than that. It gives new life to content I’ve already written. While you can certainly write brand new content for LinkedIn and that’s absolutely great, my strategy is repurposing content. How would you like to give more visibility to content you’ve already written? With LinkedIn Publisher, you have a chance to provide useful content to your audience, increase your visibility, and further establish yourself as an authority in your field without having to write brand new content.

LinkedIn Publisher is super easy to use and allows you to gain more exposure to your content.Click To Tweet

Repurpose, Republish.

You can get started publishing right away simply by reposting your blog posts onto Linkedin Publisher. If you decide to copy the entire post, make sure you leave some time between your post and when you republish to LinkedIn. This gives Google enough time to index, understand which post is the original, and rank that one higher than the content you republish.

I choose to use my evergreen content, and usually it’s at least a year old. It gives me to opportunity to freshen up the content a bit with new information that adds to the existing post. Often, I simply copy the majority of the post and link the rest to the original blog post on my site.

This shows readers you are being transparent about republishing and it will lead them to your site where they can read more of your articles.

Another good practice is to create a new headline for your LinkedIn Publisher post that’s slightly different from the original. This is also beneficial for those searching the keywords online to find more of your content in search results.

If you don’t want to copy and reshare the same article, get inspired by some of your content, especially the more popular ones, give it a new spin or use it to inspire a whole new direction on the same content. For example, I have a post that was very popular, “Why Posting From Facebook To Twitter Is So Not Social”, I could find another faux pas around the same lines as inspiration for a new blog post to share on LinkedIn.

From Long To Short.

If you’ve written e-books, created presentations, trainings, speeches or slideshows that are too long for LinkedIn, you’ve got a content goldmine!

Use long-form to create multiple posts. Break them down into individual posts for LinkedIn Publisher adding great headlines and images and you’ve got a whole new source of content for your LinkedIn audience.

LinkedIn Publisher is a great way to increase visibility and gain new readers. Republish your evergreen content, find inspiration from existing blogs, and get more eyes on your content. There are lots of possibilities!

 

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.

rock linkedin

Utilize These LinkedIn Tips To Rock Your Profile

LinkedIn can be a powerful platform for professionals and entrepreneurs alike. When used properly, you can attract the attention of job seekers, recruiters or potential customers who want to utilize your services. In order to do that, you need to take the right approach to setting up your profile. Utilize LinkedIn’s platform and features to highlight your strengths and stand out.

Don't treat LinkedIn simply as an online resume. Set up your profile to help accomplish your goals.Click To Tweet

Here are  some tips to do just that:

Customize Your URL

It’s much easier to publicize your profile with a customized URL. Ditch the assigned numbers that you get upson sign up and make it personal, (ideally with your name, such as:www.linkedin.com/in/saranickleberry

On the Edit Profile screen, at the bottom of the gray window that shows your basic information, you’ll see a Public Profile URL. Click “Edit” next to the URL, and specify what you’d like your address to be. When you’re finished, click Set Custom URL.

Make Your Headline Sizzle

Skip the standard job title and company. Instead, use that space to succinctly showcase your specialty or value proposition. The more specific you can be about what sets you apart from the competition, the better.

Own Your Summary

Own your summary by writing in the first person.  Writing in the third person appears odd. Everyone assumes you wrote your summary anyway. No need to separate your accomplishments with your identity. Writing about what you did shows confidence and just makes sense.

Highlight Your Experience

Not unlike like your resume, your LinkedIn profile is a place to highlight your best accomplishments. Use your profile experience section to describe what you did, how well you did it, and who it impacted.

Show and Tell

Do you know you can add video, publications, documents and presentations to your LinkedIn profile? You can and you should! This is a site where people ARE interested in what you can do. On LinkedIn you can tell them AND show them!

Be Strategic About Endorsements

Endorsements on LinkedIn are great. But make sure you manage them. You can edit the recommendations listed on your profile. Keep your skills updated and don’t over list them. Be sure they reflect relevant skills.

Connect With Intent

How connected are you? On LinkedIn, you should connect with at least 501 people. This is because LinkedIn will show how many connections you have until you hit 500. People like to connect with “connected” people. Just make sure you connect with intent and purpose.

Don’t Default

LinkedIn has a default connection message that states“I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.” Don’t settle for that. Use this opportunity to stand out. Tell them why you want to connect and use this as an opportunity to show how much you value making this connection.

Use LinkedIn’s Publishing Feature

The Pulse publishing platform is a valuable way to share original content that is relevant to your business, increase your exposure and establish yourself as a thought leader. It’s also a great place to repurpose older content from your blog that is still relevant. You’ll get new life from your “evergreen” content and expose it to possibly a whole new audience.

Take advantage of these great ways that LinkedIn has made it easier to network and spotlight your skills in a digital way. You’ll stand out and maximize your chances of gaining opportunities for new business.