Tag Archive for social media marketing

What Bosses Want from Social Media Marketers

With the New Year upon us, many people are either searching for new jobs or concerned about keeping the ones them have. If you work in social media marketing, here are five tips to keep in mind to meet your boss’ expectations.

1. Come to work with the enthusiasm you had the first day. Remember attitude is everything. While it may seem monotonous to spend hours on the same social media networks every day, there’s a reason your boss put you in charge of your company’s brand. Treat every day as important as the next because you just never know when you may make a social media “win.”

2. Value the opinions and contribution of others. It’s easy to think you know everything about social media and others are clueless. But the thing is, many of your co-workers have ideas and expertise you may not have. Listen to them, and allow to help you discover new information to communicate.

3. Discover as much as you can about your audience. Do your research, communicate with them and listen to their input. IT’s important to recognize most of your potential customers are not usually like you when it comes to the way they think or view the content.

4. Anticipate important events. Resist the tendency to wait until the last minute. Do your research and prepare the graphics you need to cover special events to capture the attention of your audience.

5. Be an exemplary writer. Yes, there is a lot of lol, emoticons and exclamation points(!!!) in social media writing, and your writing needs to be clear and concise. But avoid using too many abbreviations from slang, some of which your audience may not understand. Also, double check for typos, misspellings and grammar. Remember you represent your brand. If you can’t spell correctly or lack grammar skills, how can the audience trust you when it comes to getting the facts right?

These are just a few of the top things your boss expects of you. To ensure you’re living up to his or her expectations, be sure to communicate. Make sure you tell your boss the good news as well as the bad to help him or her know what’s really happening on the company’s social media networks.

Spread Your Social Media Holiday Cheer

The holiday season is the perfect time to increase your social media marketing efforts, boosting the buzz about your brand.  For a majority of companies, holiday shopping accounts for the largest part of revenue for the entire year. We put together a few tips to spread your brand’s holiday cheer online this year.

Post Holiday Tips

While you have a product to promote, don’t consistently post content which pushes people to buy, buy, buy. Take this opportunity offer gift-giving ideas or share holiday meal recipes with your target audience. This can create loyalty customers who are not only engaged during the holidays, but all year long. Statistics show more than half of social media users are actually willing to pay more for brands they trust.

Offer Exclusive Deals

Most people are searching for holiday deals, especially your social media fans. Offering an exclusive deal on Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare works well for many brands, no matter what time of the year. The best part is even if your fans don’t take advantage of the deal, they are likely to share it with their “friends” on social media networking, helping you reach more potential customers virally.

Ask Fans to Share

It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit, so seek user-generated content by asking fans and followers their special memories, photos and videos. And don’t forget to respond! RT messages from customers shopping in your store or eating in your restaurant and be sure to thank them for coming in or making purchases. You can also create a contest on your Facebook page offering a gift card or shopping spree to the winner. (Just make sure you follow Facebook’s guidelines for promotions.)

Get Charitable

It’s the time of the year to give back to others. If your company is donating to a charity, add a social spin to your campaign. If your brand is involved in a contest, create an app within Facebook that makes voting or donating easy. Or spread the word about your donation drive on all of your social media networks, and don’t forget to post live pictures during volunteer events using Twitter or Instagram. People like to see and share pictures of themselves, their children and pets.

How to Date a Social Media Professional

Dating can be difficult, especially if you’re stuck to your iPhone and iPad 24/7. After reading PR Daily’s “How to date a PR professional” article the other day, we got to thinking. Dating one of us may be even more challenging, because many of us have a journalism or public relations background before you even add Twitter streams, Facebook updates and geolocation-based applications.

So here are five things you need to know before dating a social media professional:

Hold on, let me tweet

The first thing you need to know when you’re going to date one of us is, well, we have to take a second to tweet, check in on Foursquare and update our status on Facebook. It doesn’t matter if the hostess is still seating us at the restaurant or our significant other is asking a question. Hey we aren’t egotistical. We don’t genuinely think everyone cares what we are doing and where we are at all times. But since are in the social media know, we feel obligated. Plus, what would our clients think if we didn’t?

We know what you are talking about

By you, we mean everyone. We will constantly surf the web, flip through our Flipboard app and check the latest trends on Twitter to keep up with the latest news. Whether it is a breaking headline or a funny article, we want to be the first to read it and share with others. We’re always looking for good content, whether it is for our personal use or for a client. Even if it is 1 a.m. and we are in bed with our iPad.

We can’t turn it off

Since we don’t really clock in and clock out for work, we find it hard to shut down completely. If a client emails us and wants something posted right away, we do it. If someone comments on a Facebook page we manage, we respond. That means that we are constantly connected. There is no set schedule, which may make it hard for us to ensure you that our dinner date will be at 7:00 p.m. sharp. On the flip side, we can usually take work wherever we go.

 We can’t believe you said that

We are avid writers by nature. We can’t stand grammatical errors. We take copy editing to a whole new level. If you use it’s instead of its or their instead of they’re, we have to use severe restraint not to comment on your post. We also won’t retweet what you said, even if it’s hysterical. We just can’t excuse those typos, and please don’t blame the 140-character limit.

We mind our manners (usually)

We may take our phones out at some of the most inappropriate times, but we’re not trying to be rude or ignore you. It’s our job. And in case you were wondering, we aren’t texting our friends while you’re talking to us, well not all the time! We are actually working. Social media doesn’t just happen by itself.#justsayin

Five Tips for Small Businesses in 2012

It is the first week of the New Year, and you may be trying to figure out your budget for the year or strategize your marketing plan. Something else you should take into consideration is your online presence and technology.


Image Courtesy: vichie81 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. Go Mobile
Do you have an iPad or smart phone already? Do you have trouble trying to break yourself from it? Many seminars and meetings allow phones, computers and iPads now. Some even encourage it. Make sure you know when it is appropriate to have your iPhone out and updating, and when it is a very focused meeting.

2. Clean up
Do you have the habit of saving everything to your desktop? Do you know what important files are where? The beginning of the year is a great time to start with a clean slate and become more organized on all of your devices. While you’re at it, make sure you back up!

3. Update your profiles
Make sure that all of your social profiles are current and reflect your work correctly. Update your resume, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, etc. Often times there are certain profiles that we don’t sign on as frequently, so making it a point to update all of them now makes it easier later.

4. Give your audience what they want
Make sure that you are not just selling or promoting yourself, as we have posted about previously. Engage with your audience and customers and provide quality content. Find out what they want out of the New Year. Start up a conversation with them so that they know you are listening to their feedback.

5. Strengthen your brand 
Your brand should represent quality and consistency, as well as showcase your business’ identity and uniqueness. How long has it been since you have updated your online look? You may not need to change your logo, as it is a part of your brand, but little tweaks to your website and graphics, as well as updated content, can give you a fresh look. Make sure your efforts are consistent across all platforms including your website, blog and social media pages.

Thanks for the follow, now BUY MY PRODUCT!

If you’re an active Twitter user, you should be familiar with direct messages. You may also be familiar with auto DMs. There is a setting with social media dashboards where you can send out automatic DMs when you have new followers. With this, we say to be careful. Whatever you do, DO NOT send out auto DMs with direct links to your products or any type of sales pitch.

Preferably, we say, don’t use automatic DMs at all. If you are really interested with connecting with that new follower, you should start an engaging conversation with them. Either that, or they will interact with you if they choose.

Automatic DMs generalize everyone who took the time to follow you. They may have started following you because you sent out a funny tweet. They may have seen you have the same interests, or that you’re in the same career field. Either way, if they took that time to click “follow,” you can take the time to DM them personally if you feel it’s necessary.

If you have a very active account, where there are too many followers to handle you don’t need to say “thanks for the follow” separately to each one of them. Scan your list, filter through the real, personal profiles versus the not so real. There are often “naughty” or fake profiles on Twitter that follow people at random and have zero tweets, or links to spam and viruses.


Once you have done this, choose the profiles that you find interesting. Start an interaction with them by responding to one of their tweets or retweeting them. Saying thank you is always nice, but when you’re saying thanks to everyone, it looks as if you are putting everyone in the same category. Or you could wind up filling your timeline with too many thank yous and not enough content and actual interaction that you become almost as bad as the person who auto DMs.

Did You Just Hashtag me on Facebook?

From your boss to your 14-year-old niece, almost everyone is on Facebook and/or Twitter. And since they all speak the language, the question is do you? It’s important to know the dos and don’ts of posting on social networks. And even if you think you know them, sometimes we could all use a refresher course.

Don’t

Use hashtags on Facebook
There is no point to using a hashtag on Facebook. It may look “trendy,” but there is no way for friends to follow that topic via Facebook. Our suggestion would be to not connect your Twitter and Facebook updates through social media dashboards

 

 

 

 

 

This example brings us to another don’t.

Use social media under the influence

You may find yourself checking your notifications the next day to see that you, in fact, did post that inappropriate picture of yourself dancing on a table last night. Your boss will then know why you were late that morning.

Post a ton of useless content

By useless content we mean excessive amounts of links to your favorite YouTube videos, using your status box as a journal entry including every detail of your day, or publishing a plethora of updates about your crops in Farmville.

Spam your friends

It isn’t always in your control, but try to avoid any suspicious looking links or messages from friends on your wall. If you think it seems fishy, don’t click it. Report any suspicious messages you see or mark them as spam.

Share your personal problems

There is such a thing as too much information. Think of it this way, if you wouldn’t want it on the headline of a newspaper, you probably shouldn’t post it.

Oversell

Avoid communicating with new followers or fans right away with links to buy your new product. You wouldn’t ask a new acquaintance at a social gathering to buy your product right away, so don’t do it online.

Do

Use hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags that are related to your tweet’s topic are useful (e.g. #health). This can create a trend for others to follow. It can also be a topic that is already trending. If it is, others can find your tweet once they start following that particular subject.

Post multimedia every once in a while

No one wants to read just text all of the time. Adding mobile uploads or videos to something that you know your audience will find interesting is always a great way to get feedback.

Share your accomplishments

If you just won a prestigious award, or simply baked a beautiful cake that day, that is something that your audience will like to see.

Ask questions

Asking your audience questions gets them communicating with you and interacting with your page. Be sure if you do ask questions, respond to their answers so that your audience feels like their feedback is valued.

Share good content

This is one of the most important keys to social media. Whether it is your personal account or your business profile, sharing good content is vital. If it is your personal account, share an interesting article or a funny story. If it is your business account, share quick facts or tips about your business, how it can benefit others and related materials.

Facebook: A Love-Hate Relationship

I used to think I was the only one with a personal love-hate relationship with Facebook, but after reading a lot of posts about hating the new changes, I began to really think about it. I love Facebook as a free social media marketing tool for small businesses and non-profits.

It’s a great way to interact directly with your target audience, build loyalty and increase business. But sometimes have to admit I hate it as a regular person just using it to communicate with friends. Do I need to know your every movement throughout the day? Do I care if your child went to the bathroom? Gross!

A lot of people are angry about the new changes, including a new news feed that generates top stories which many of you don’t even care about. One of my friends, and fellow social media business owner, even posted how ridiculous it was she could see her own posts there. Many think Facebook will spiral downhill.

“If an organization keeps changing like this, it will create a doom loop. Facebook, to me, is becoming a doom loop. However, now that myspace has lacked prominence in social media, Facebook is capitalizing on being a captive audience. STOP the FREAKIN’ changes!” one person wrote on Last Straw Media’s Facebook page when asked how they felt.

The thing is most people were posting their angry comments on Facebook, the same site they claim to hate. So changes and all, everyone is still on Facebook. And guess what? More changes are coming.

Mashable reports, “Prepare Yourselves: Facebook to Be Profoundly Changed.” Today at its f8 conference in San Francisco, Facebook is launching changes that Mashable (which was pre-briefed on the revamp) says “The Facebook you know and (don’t) love will be forever transformed. The news that will come out of Facebook during the next few weeks will be the biggest things to come out of the company since the launch of the Facebook Platform.”

Let’s face it, Facebook already has 750,000 active users, most of whom aren’t going anywhere because Facebook is where most of their friends and family members are. While some have predicted Google+ is going to get an edge here. I for one, think Google is a little late in the game to bring down Facebook– thought I do of course keep an eye on the new social media tool.

With a big buildup like that, I can’t wait to see what Facebook has in store. Love it or hate it, I think most users aren’t going anywhere.

Small Businesses Have Chance at Free Facebook Ads

Many small businesses shirk away from advertising on Facebook because the owners simply don’t have the money, or they started a business page because it is a free marketing technique already. But Facebook ads can be particularly useful when small businesses want to target a specific audience that will be interested in its product.

“Facebook is planning to give away $50 in free advertising to as many as 200,000 small businesses in a bid to give them a taste of the social network’s marketing potential,” said Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Next week, Facebook will unveil a plan to offer free $50 advertising credits for up to 200,000 small businesses. When a person clicks on a Facebook ad, there’s a predetermined rate for that click through the advertiser pays, 25 cents for example. Facebook will pick up the tab for the first $50 of these ads under this offer. That amount of money may seem like small potatoes, and it definitely is to large corporations, but for small businesses it can help target people they need to target to help grow their business.

For example, a child clothing store could connect with people who list on Facebook that they are parents. This opportunity gives the store a way to make connections, where the business wasn’t necessarily before.

At first glance, this offer could be a great opportunity for small businesses and gets the owners to at least try it. As with all advertising, make sure you read the small print before taking advantage of any offer.

Sources: USA Today and Smart Brief.