Time Saving Content Creation Tips

time-saving-content-creation-tipsAs business owners, our time is very valuable. It is important that we manage our time wisely, make the most of the time we set aside for each task and work smart within that time. In order to have success with online marketing you need to have great content. Creating content takes time, planning and commitment. When you think of all that is required: posting to Facebook, tweeting, video creation, images, blog posts, email newsletter etc;. it can be overwhelming. But if you simplify the process it can be make your content tasks much easier to manage. Here are a few tips:

1) Short and Sweet: Your blog posts, newsletters, status updates, don’t have to be lengthy to be great. Yes, even with your blog posts. EVERYONE is pressed for time. Or at least that’s what they say :) So make your blog posts super readable by using lists, bullet points with powerful information (much like this one) :)

2) Do what you do best. If you are great with video but not so great with writing, stick with the videos. You can always hire a writer to put together articles for you based on information you provide. Outsource!

3) Share other great content. You don’t always have to share your blog posts. Share other blog posts with your audience. There is plenty of awesome content to circulate. Organize files of great content you come across to share with your audience in the future with a tool like Evernote.

4) Reuse. Create tips, status updates and tweets by taking excerpts from your blog posts and repurposing them on social sites. You don’t have to constantly create. You can recreate as well.

5) Be my guest. Ask for someone to guest post on your blog. It’s a great way to get fresh, new, useful content out to your audience and build relationships at the same time.

6) Review. Valuable information can come in the form of a review. You can review a product or service that you use that will be useful to your audience.

What other tips do you find work best for you? Please share in the comments below.

8 Ways To Build Relationships Online

ways-to-build-relationships-onlineWhen I evaluate a person’s social media presence who is expressing frustration about not getting results it is usually pretty clear they don’t get what it’s about. They think it’s about their product. They think it’s about promoting their company. It’s not. It’s about relationships. It’s about making friends. Being a friend. Listening and sharing. It’s not about selling. Nobody likes to be sold to. You don’t go to social events and start a conversation by pitching your product. People like to do business with people they like. Friends. The way to get there is to build a relationship. It doesn’t happen instantly. It takes time. Here are some way to do that on social media:

1) Share: Your expertise, tips, useful information that your audience finds valuable and solves problems for them.

2) Ask Questions. It’s the best way to start a conversation, which is how relationships are build.

3) Blog. Build a community by blogging about what you know best.

4) Say Thank you. Thank those who share your posts, tweets and status updates.

5) Initiate Conversations. Find people online to talk to. Don’t just let people come to you. Be the initiator.

6) Write Personal Notes. Send someone an inbox message with a genuine message of thanks or inquiry.

7) Retweet. People noticed people who retweet them.

8) Comment on Blogs. Another great way to start a conversation. People appreciate that you took the time.

Keep in mind that relationship building online takes time, just as it does offline. Make the time to spend online building your community by building relationships and starting those important conversations. Be social! :)

Google Plus Spring Updates You Might Have Missed

google-plus-spring-updates-you-might-have-missedGoogle+ 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!

Pinterest Updates You Need To Know

pinterest-updates-you-need-to-knowSeems like February and March was the time for social media platform announcements, changes, updates additions, subtractions, you name it. Lots of changes and shaking up. So much so, that the Pinterest changes almost snuck by me completely unnoticed. Don’t tell me you’re a social media expert. It’s darn near impossible. It rightfully belongs in the world of technology: ever-changing!

I’m apparently in the right business because I love the social media world and I really get excited with changes and announcements. Yeah, I need to get out more. This particular change with Pinterest had me very interested because I do very much like the site and the concept. I am BIG on images. I love photography anyway, I love seeing photos and I love the creativity that Pinterest inspires. Naturally, I was excited to see what they had in store. I always love when they change a site to make it simply better to look at, and that’s what I noticed right away. Here’s a few ways they did that:

1) LARGER IMAGES. When you click on a Pinterest image you will notice right away that it is much larger. It’s gone from 600 pixels wide to 735. Pretty noticeable difference.

2) CLEANER LOOK. Pinterest eliminated the white space between pins and boards, and cleaned up navigation options. I think this change gives it a much cleaner look. Thumbs up!pinterest-pins-300x225


3) NEW BUTTON. Keeping in line with a fresher look, they have updated the pinning option with a new red “pin it” button. The comment button is no longer an option until you open the pin and then you can comment below the image. Comments can no longer be left on the home page.

4) RELATED PINS: When you click and enlarge a pin, you will be shown a sidebar with “related pins”.

5) SIMPLIFIED SETTINGS:Here’s a feature I love. Pinterest has updated the settings area to make it easier to select your notifications. Lovely!

When I logged on to Pinterest after the changes were introduced I immediately opted to have the new updated version, (which everyone will have soon anyway). No regrets, I like the new look.

I also did something I’ve been putting off for a while. I converted my account to a business account as I mainly intend to use my account to build a community for my business. I also, with the help of my business partner, verified my website. If you are pinning for business, these are options you should strongly consider, particularly if you are trying to drive traffic to your website.

Please note, you will need to verify your website to get the new analytics feature.

With the new changes, there are some features that are gone or have been tweaked:

1) HASHTAGS – that was a surprise for me. Not sure why, but it is no longer a function on Pinterest.

2) TWEETING – you can no longer tweet a pin at the same time that you pin it.

3) BOARD LIKES – Gone. You no longer have the option of “liking” a board.

4) LINKS – There is no longer an option to leave a link in your comments or pin description.

5) EMBEDDING LINKS – You MUST use Pinterest embed link to link your pins. Otherwise, your image is broken.

6) PROFILE DESCRIPTION – Your profile description is now limited to 160 characters as opposed to 200.

The REALLY big news is the new web analytics feature as I mentioned above for business accounts. Now you can find out what’s working and not working. Huge help to those of us with a strategy for our pinning.

Have you activated the new Pinterest design? What are your thoughts? Please share below.