3 Useful Social Media Tips

useful-social-media-tipsClient meetings are great reminders of social media tips. The great thing about working with clients who are just learning about social media marketing is that they ask great questions and it’s always kind of like a refresher course for me to answer the questions. Sometimes the questions are routine, sometimes they are questions I haven’t come across in a while. Recently while working with a new client I was reminded of some of the things that people new to social media marketing aren’t aware of simply because it’s new for them and they’re just starting out. I thought I would share these social media tips with you as good reminders for some and as good information for others.

Don’t assume that because people aren’t commenting, they aren’t paying attention.

One of my new clients is someone I know offline but who does follow me online. What I found interesting was that in the course of our conversation my client asked me about something specific I mentioned in a social media blog post. That kinda threw me. This particular client has rarely commented on anything I post on social media. But when I thought about it, there are often times when I have online chats, or offline chats and someone may reference something I posted online. Or they may make a statement about me based on things that I post online. There are several lessons to be learned here. Tips within the tip if you will:

1. Don’t be discouraged when you don’t get a certain number of comments or likes right away. It doesn’t necessarily mean people aren’t paying attention to what you post. If they don’t comment but you’ve caught their interest and they contacted you and a business relationship begins, you have still accomplished the ultimate goal.

2. Be mindful of what you post online. People will make conclusions about you, your brand, what you and your brand represent and will make decisions based on that information.

3. People are paying attention more than you think!

YOU MUST SPEAK UP!

I spoke with someone recently who thought it was just enough to post great relevant content and people should show up. Well, while that’s partially true, because you MUST have great content, you always have to let people know you’re there. Invite people to your page. Send personal messages. Announce your new page in an email. Put links to your site in your email addresses, business cards, etc;. By all means advertise your page! Just make sure that when they get there, they’ll like what they see and that means great content.

Do unto others…

Sometimes, people are so focused on their message, their content, their brand, they forget that they should also be seeking out people to follow, commenting on other’s posts, links, statuses, retweeting, etc;. If you want to make friends, you have to be a friend. Start conversations. Compliment someone online about their blog post, or graphic, etc;. Genuinely. This is how great relationships start :)

Social Media Marketing 9 Clues For Success

social-media-marketing-success-cluesSocial Media Marketing can be an overwhelming subject. There is much to learn and many aspects. The good news is, if you keep it simple, it doesn’t have to be so stressful. There are many misconceptions about social media marketing and what it is supposed to do and not supposed to do. So today I want to bring your attention to 9 points that are universal and very important to clue you in on how you should think of social media marketing and how you should approach it:

1. It’s no longer optional. You must be in the game. If you haven’t gotten started yet, get started. If you started but aren’t active. Get active! The benefits are well worth it.

2. YOU are what make your business unique. Be sure to be present and participate. It’s OK to outsource certain tasks. But make sure that you are participating in comments, responses, questions, answers, content selection. Make sure that every aspect of your marketing efforts are consistent with your brand message and image.

3. It’s not “one size fits all”. Because your business is unique, so is your marketing. What works best for one business doesn’t necessarily work best for another. Sometimes it’s trial and error. You have to see what your audience responds to best. Focus on what their needs are and how you can solve problems for them and go from there.

4.social-media-marketing-success-clues Success doesn’t happen overnight. Period. Just like anything else worthwhile, it takes time to see results. Be patient.

5. Being social is MANDATORY. Social media is not about broadcasting. It’s about having conversations. You are developing relationships. You must socialize.

6. You can do anything but not everything. Ever heard that saying? Choose your platforms wisely. Go where your audience is. If they are on Twitter, be there. If they’re on Pinterest, be there. But you don’t have to be EVERYWHERE. Build your community on one platform and then move on to the next. Don’t overwhelm yourself unnecessarily.

7. Things change daily. Sometimes hourly! You must study to keep up. Stay plugged in so that you are informed of changes to terms and policies, redesigns, new features that will have an impact on your marketing efforts.

8. Social Media is FUN. Don’t make it complicated. It’s simple, be social. Focus on building relationships, having those important conversations, building trust and ultimately loyalty. The people you develop relationships will be ambassadors for your brand.

9. You must take your networking efforts offline as well. Social Media is just one aspect, not the end all be all. Nothing beats face to face conversations and handshaking. Attend networking events, industry events, social events. Get out and meet people!

Smart Pinterest Marketing For Beginners

pinterest-marketing-for-beginnersPinterest 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.

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!