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5 Awesome Marketers To Follow On Social Media

There are many smart, talented marketers online who offer valuable, useful content. This list happens to be a list of five marketers who I know and respect.

We can all use content that is insightful and relevant, and these marketers offer just that. Click To Tweet

There are definitely more I could mention. I may need a follow up list! For now, here’s round one! Check out their articles I reference and be sure to follow them online.

Sherron Washington – The Marketer’s Marketer

Sherron is a well rounded marketer who knows how to simplify the concepts of marketing. She is a marketer with graphic design, public speaking and social media marketing skills. I once described her content as “putting it where the goats can get it.” It means that’s it’s super easy to understand. In 2017, Sherron will host an annual conference for the third year called, “Market Simple: The Summit.” She also writes for both Black Enterprise and Smart CEO.

Check out Sherron’s website and follow her on social media.

 

Mandy Edwards – Social Media Advertising 

Mandy was one of my first virtual colleagues in the social media marketing industry. We started off in private Facebook group of small business owners, then continued on as contributing writers with Social Solutions Collective blog.  When I first started seriously implementing social media advertising into my strategies, I sought out the person who in my opinion had the experience and knowledge that could help get me started by answering my many questions and who could understand where I’m coming from simply because we are both in the business of social media marketing, and that was Mandy. Grab her Facebook Advertising Workshop Guide. Also, a BONUS: Mandy’s ME Marketing Services employs Jenn Hanford, a superb writer who lends her skills to Mandy’s blog. Check out her posts here for tips on such things as starting an e-commerce business and creating a digital marketing strategy 101 for boring brands.

Robin Strohmaier – Website Design, and Maintenance 

Wanna know what’s new with the latest WordPress update? Need some SEO tips? Do you need a great resource for WordPress plugins? You should follow R and R Web Design, AKA Robin Strothmaier. Not only does she specialize in website design, marketing and SEO, she’s a superb writer. Check out this blog post on Chrome’s Non-HTTPS Not Secure Warning and follow her on Twitter where she curates important content on website marketing and maintenance.

Brooke B. Sellas- Marketing Through Conversation

When I think of Brooke I think conversation!  That has become synonymous with her brand. Her website explains that successful social media means conversation, back and forth dialogue, and an ongoing exchange of ideas. Adding, “A simple hello can lead to a million things.” Brooke is a marketer I respect for her smart, savvy approach to marketing.  One of Brooke’s latest blog post gems talks about rethinking your Facebook strategy. “If you’re looking for your Facebook strategy to garner results and ROI, you’ve got to pay to play.”

Dorien Morin – Video Content

Do you know how powerful video content is but still haven’t gotten in the game? (Kinda like me.) Are you still trying to figure out Facebook live and how you can use it for your business? I’ve got you covered. You need Dorien Morin of More In Media. She’ll teach you how to incorporate video in your marketing strategy by shortening the learning curve, teaching you the tools you need and the tips to get you to lights camera and action.

Check out her post 3 Unique Facebook Live Uses To Grow Your Business.

Who are some of your favorite marketers that you follow on social media? Please share in the comments below.

social media goals

8 Social Media Goals To Grow Your Business

Social media marketing is absolutely pointless without a plan. Part of having a plan includes setting goals, and setting goals that are measurable. Since social media is one aspect of your overall marketing strategy, it can work well to connect your social media goals with your marketing goals.

Setting clear measurable goals helps you refine your messaging and spend your money effectively.Click To Tweet

Below are eight social media goals and metrics that you could apply to your business and align with your overall marketing goals.

Increase Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is just that. How well are people aware of your brand? It’s the likelihood that consumers recognize the existence of your service or product. Brand awareness is particularly important when you’re starting out and to help differentiate from similar products and services from competitors.

Metrics:

  • Follower count on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc;.
  • Reach of your social media posts
  • Number of mentions, shares and retweets

Website Traffic

An important social media goal is to drive traffic to your website.

Your social media activity should be ultimately leading traffic to your site.Click To Tweet This is where you want people to go to learn more about your business, read your latest blog post or make a purchase.

Metrics:

  • Referral traffic from social media
  • Share of overall traffic
  • Bounce rate of social media traffic
  • Clicks on your social media posts

Sales

You’re in business to make money, right? So, having a goal of growing revenue is natural. While social media is not about a sales pitch, you’re trying to build relationships that lead to business. So, ultimately making a sales, or obtaining a new client is the ultimate goal.

Metrics:

  • Signups
  • Social advertising revenue

Lead Generation

Lead generation can come from many sources. It can come from those who sign up for your newsletter, or fill out your content form. Providing valuable content to capture leads is key.

Metrics:

  • Downloads of your content
  • Clicks on your social media posts
  • Newsletter sign ups
  • Conversion rates of social media leads

Increase Engagement

Creating quality, relevant content will help boost your engagement. It’s the best way to help you stand out in a noisy, crowded online world.

Metrics:

  • Likes hares, replies, mentions
  • Number of comment on social posts

Community Growth

An important purpose for having an online presence is to build an online community for your business.

Community building is an investment in your company,Click To Tweet in your knowledge base, and your website. Pretty much every effort you put into the goal of building an online community increases your company’s value. It allows you to grow closer to them, listen to feedback, and gain a better understanding of what their needs and wants are.

Metrics:

  • Number of posts, likes and comments in Facebook groups
  • Number of Tweet chat participants

Publicity

You can use social media to get mentions in the press and online publications, blogs and articles.

Metrics:

  • Potential reach, shares and mentions
  • Influencers talking about and sharing your content
  • The number of people seeking your expertise with industry related questions

Research

Use can use social media to gain intelligence about your company, product or service, competitors or industry. Listening to online conversations about certain topics your customers might be talking about, helps you gather competitive intelligence that can inform your decision making and improve your services.

Metrics:

  • Number of conversations with customers on social media
  • Suggestions or feedback.

Setting social media goals to align with your marketing goals helps you stay focused on your business growth and increase your chances for success. What are your business goals and how are you measuring them? Please comment below.

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.

hashtags

Using Hashtags To Create Buzz For Your Events

Hashtags are a big part of social media. Hashtags have also migrated from online to offline speak. Nothing illustrated that better (or funnier) than the Late Night Show skit from Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. If you’re fairly online savvy, you get it. If you’re more of a newbie, you may be confused.

What is a hashtag? 

It is a word or a phrase preceded by the # symbol. Hashtags are included on social sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and Facebook. It is used to identify and group messages on a specific topic. Hashtags are searchable.

Hashtags are beneficial in many ways. They help you find things or people, and they help people find you.

Why hashtags and events work

As a business owner you are always looking for ways to gain exposure for your business, establish yourself as an authority and gain new customers. Hashtags are a great way to build brand awarness online.

When you use hashtags in your tweets and posts you are increasing your chances of building your network, brand awareness and making it easy for people to find you and interact with you, your event and people in your network.

What makes a great hashtag?

Your hashtag should be…

  1. Original:  Make the hashtag specific to your event and you. Make sure it’s a hashtag that is new. Search the hashtag you have in mind on social sites to be sure it hasn’t been used before.
  2. Short and Sweet: Most hashtags are used on Twitter. Since you have character limitation (140 or less) be sure your hashtag isbrief
  3. Relevant: Make sure your hashtag makes sense for the event. Last year I attended a social media day event in Detroit. There were social media day events taking place in major cities all over the country. So to be specific to Detroit, we used the hashtag #smdaydet
  4. Catchy:  The hashtag should be easy to remember without much thought. Relevant, short and easy to remember.

Promote, promote, promote!

What is any marketing event without promotion? Include it in your tweets and posts about the event, in your email newsletters, on graphics, printed materials, everywhere that you are promoting the event. You have to promote it at every opportunity.

During the event, make sure you encourage your attendees to use the hashtag. Make an announcement about it. Retweet those who use it. Start conversations, engage with the users. Have a contest associated with the hashtag.

Keep Track.

Make sure you monitor the conversation. Don’t miss out on any questions or comments from attendees. Keep up with the tweets by using a program like Hootsuite or #tagboard. 

Do some homework.

Check out hashtags and how they’re used if you’re not familiar. Go to your twitter search or Google Plus search and enter a hashtag to see what tweets appear based on a certain topic. Try a current event type hashtag such as #nbafinals, or the popular hashtag that LA Dodgers fans used #ITFDBB (It’s Time For Dodgers baseball).

The important point is that hashtags are widely used and increasingly popular on social sites. People use them often when watching their favorites shows or sporting events. TV Networks often assign a hashtag and encourage viewers to view and tweet. The same is true for businesses and events. It’s a process that is engaging. Engagement is how relationships and built. Relationships are how businesses grow. Incorporating hashtags in your events can be good for business!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/melenita/9404272974/”>melenita2012</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

pinterest marketing

Smart Pinterest Marketing For Beginners

Pinterest continues to be a social media site that is growing at a fast rate and is driving lots of traffic to websites. For this reason, brands are finding ways to participate in the pinning phenomenon! People are going to Pinterest for a reason. They WANT to see what people are talking about. Including brands. They want to see what their friends are sharing. They want to get information and see the creative pins that are being posted. They come ready to engage.

Pinterest’s ability to drive traffic that converts to sales, makes it a smart component of your online strategy. If that isn’t enough, consider this: it’s easy to use, it drives engagement, and inspires ideas. Those ideas, inspires people to act, create, plan and shop!

So what should you do as a business owner to get started? Here’s how you can get started:

1) SIGN UP: Go to the Pinterest Business page to join the site as a business: http://business.pinterest.com/. Your name on your page (and the name people use to search for you) is your “Business Name.” You will also have a “Username”. This name will be used to create your URL, or link, on Pinterest, like mine for example: http://pinterest.com/socialwithsara).

2) CREATE YOUR BOARDS: Absolutely include Products and Services. This is quite simple if you have a product. Pin images of the products you sell. Do you sell candles? Clothing? Jewelry? Organize boards around the product. They can link directly to your site for purchase! If you’re a service- based company,
pin images that communicate your services. I have a board called I Love Social Media. On this board I pin images from blog posts (including my own) on the topic of all things Social Media Marketing. Social Sites, news and information on Social Media, SEO, blogging, etc;.

3) Valuable, Informative Info: Tips and tricks, how-to’s. Are you a chef? Do you sell beauty products? You can pin information on cooking tips, the best cookware, makeup tips, skin care tips. Anything related to your product or service that showcases your expertise and gives useful information to your audience.

4) Sizzle: This is where you pin the really good, fun stuff. A great example is for travel agents. Pin the most beautiful scenery, amazing resorts and sunsets that you and your audience would enjoy most. Travel images are very popular. What better way to get your target market dreaming of their next vacation?

5) Industry: Are you a entrepreneur? Why not create a board for likeminded individuals? Pin images of information, tools and resources for small business owners, solopreneurs or home based business owners. Build a community of your peers on Pinterest.

Make sure your images are attractive and interesting. Pinterest is a visually driven site. Pin images that want the visitor to want to know more, click the link and share it!

Make sure you dedicate time each day to following people, brands and businesses and sharing their content as well. Check out the Popular section of the site to see what people are interested in. Incorporate those trends into your strategy if it’s appropriate.

I encourage you to go on the site to explore. Get a feel for the environment and have fun. It is a FUN site that happens to have great business potential. So don’t take the fun out of it by ONLY selling. Be interesting and engaging and you will start building your community before you know it.

Are you pinning? What tips can you share? Please comment below.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/27384147@N02/6952155685/”>Ano Lobb. @healthyrx</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

Social Media Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

For the love of social media!
For the love of social media!
What is social media marketing?

Social Media has changed the way people connect, discover and share information.
It is the technology that connects people– whether it’s to share content or just to simply chat.
Social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, are the places where these social interactions happen (discovering & sharing).

Social media marketing is the way to use that technology to build relationships, drive repeat business and attract new customers
through friends sharing with friends, and so on.

Simply put, social media marketing is really just word-of-mouth powered by technology.
It’s simply powerful.

There are a few things you want to use social media marketing to do:

Show And Tell

Show your audience who you are and what you can do for them. It’s great for brand awareness!

Sell!

Give customers offers that are so good they’ll share them with their friends. You want to be able to reach not only them but people they know.

Provide Great Service

Go the extra mile. Do a little more than expected. When you’re interacting online with customers, think of ways you can insure that they will want to continue to do business with you. Sometimes all it takes is simple acknowledgement.

Listen.

Pay attention to what your customers are saying about you and to you. It’s instant powerful feedback.

Make it last!

Build deeper relationships so customers will get to know, like, and trust you. People like to do business with people they like.

With that said, here are a few “Do’s and Don’ts!”

1. Do be nice. Social Skills apply in Social Media. Be nice, courteous, friendly and approachable.
2. Do share things of value. What expertise can you offer? Share it!
3. Do be yourself. Authenticity is crucial. Don’t pretend to be who or what you are not. Stand out from the rest by being you.
4. DO interact. The key is to build relationships. You must interact and engage to do that.
5. Don’t ignore people. Respond to comments and questions.
6. Don’t constantly broadcast. Social Media is relationship building. In relationships it’s not all about you, so be GENUINELY interested in other people.
7. Don’t assume you know what people want. Ask questions! You will better be able to serve your market when you know exactly what their needs are.

What do’s and don’ts can you share? Comment below!

I also invite you to join me and my business partner Tiffany Lymon in our Facebook group, Business Fuel where we share daily tips, news and information to help fuel your business success with online marketing tips. Join us!

photo credit: kdonovan_gaddy via photopin cc