“Time is the currency of social media.”
Social Media Examiner
And then some! Yes, the social media platforms are free but the time it takes to learn how to use them—and then use them, your time—is not!! Every day, as I train social media topics across the country, the main question I’m asked is, how do you squeeze it all in?! The short answer is, you don’t.
And if you are truly having a conversation with your audience, then expect to spend MORE time online. The more you learn about social media, the more you “do” social media, the more people there will be to talk back to you.
The good news is—your people are talking back to you! Some companies feel they are screaming into the void. So, celebrate the people who take the time to interact on your social pages.
Here are my 4 favorite functional tools designed to save you time as you interact with your audience online.
Here we go:
1. Toggl.com—a time management tool that allows you to track and understand your online habits. If you’re like me, you can fall into your computer, emerging hours later to the realization you’ve got nothing done!! Stop the madness and monitor your time investment. Use the free version of either desktop or app program and track your tasks. Set-up takes only minutes as your task list build itself with your activity. Remember to track separately the time you spend on each social network. Pull a report at the end of each week and month to track your time investment—and prove to the boss there’s a conversation happening online.
2. Canva.com—for the graphically challenged! Like me. I always wondered where those professional, eye-catching online graphics came from. And then I found Canva and started creating them on my own. Using the free online and app versions is easy, but consider spending the $15/month fee for the upgrade and easy resizing options. You’ll also expand the background, photo, and clipart selections in the easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface. Take your time; have fun. Use their handy templates to get your creative juices flowing. Download all graphics to your computer for easy storage and use my next tool to help get your graphic posted across all the social platforms.
3. Pushbullet—share easily between your computer and phone and team members! Once you create a graphic on Canva and download it to your computer, you can upload that graphic to Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and your blog. But if you want to post in on Instagram or Twittter, use the tool Pusbbullet to quickly and easily forward the graphic from your computer to your phone. Share the graphic photo or video from the Pushbullet phone app directly to the platform desired. I often link my Instagram and Facebook pages to save time posting across both platforms at once. For those needing to post on many platforms at once, check-out tool 4. Pushbullet is also a great tool for collaborating and sharing links, photos, videos, and text easily between team members.
4. Hootsuite—a social network dashboard management program. Instead of logging into three separate social media networks, imagine you could log into one dashboard and check them all. You can—and for free!! Hootsuite is one of the simplest tools available for monitoring the activity of your newsfeeds. But you can monitor so much more than that, newsfeeds, posts, mention, and hashtags. And if that wasn’t enough, you can also simultaneously post messages across all your social networks and once!!
Would you want to do that? The short answer is: sure. The likelihood someone saw your info across all the platforms is pretty small, so do it. In a perfect world, you’d write separate messages for each of your social networks as each has its own culture, language and nuances, but let Hootsuite save you time until you can find that time. Use Hootsuite daily to join the online conversation. The paid version will give you multiple streams and robust analytics.
Use these 4 time-saving social marketing tools weekly and watch your online audience grow.
Make your website the hub of your online campaigns.
The first website page is dated back to 1991. Technology has come a long way in the last 25+ years , but it's probably safe to say that our websites contain years of accumulated information. David Scott, author of the book The New Rules of Marketing and PR, says the internet is a city and our websites are the storefronts of the city.
The question is: Is your website an accurate representation of your business today? Or is your website a throwback to the past decade?
Your website must be both user and search engine friendly. That means you must write words and language used by your target market as well as words and language recognized by the search engines.
You can use this handy tool powered by HubSpot to evaluate the effectiveness of your current site: website.grader.com.
Evaluate your website based on:
3. Search Engine Optimization
Website.grader.com even offers helpful suggestions to get your web score up to 100.
Make sure your website reflects the true nature of your business. Use google analytics to measure traffic to your site, link to your social sites to your website, and blog regularly.
Have fun! #LoquaciousLindee
Your website equals your internet storefront.
Companies spend thousands of dollars creating dynamic, engaging websites, but only 2% of website traffic “converts” on their first visit. Only 2% do what you want them to do.
Just because someone found your website doesn’t mean they’ll do what you want them to do whether it’s buy a product, book an appointment, subscribe to a newsletter , join a group, download a paper, make a donation, and the list goes on.
This is where “retargeting” can keep your company’s name in front of your website visitors simply by tracking their future activity.
In a nutshell, when new visitors come to your site, a cookie is placed on the visitor’s computer browser. Once the visitor leaves your site, the cookie lets you place your ads in front of that visitor by serving your ads to them in a retargeting campaign as they continue their daily browsing activity.
Some of your website visitors might not even be aware you can track and target them. They might think it’s a coincidence that products they viewed on your site appear on their social media, email, and search results. But most internet savvy users understand impersonal data collection is part of the online game. We all leave a digital footprint; be aware of what your history says about you.
As you try to reach people who visited your site with the hope of bringing them back, here are three quick retargeting tips from Retargeter.com’s article, The 7 Deadly Sins of Retargeting:
If you are targeting Facebook specifically, don’t miss this retargeting tell-all by Margot da Cunha, The Ridiculously Awesome Guide to Facebook Remarketing at WordStream.com. She includes a hardcore, nitty gritty “how to do it” list along with best practices.
Retargeting and remarketing are the newest buzzwords in content marketing and digital marketing for a reason. It allows marketers to continue the online conversation by reaching out to customers where they are online.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how much is a picture of a thousand words worth? Sort of bends the mind, doesn’t it? But it really isn’t a fair twist on the question.
If a picture is worth a thousand words it means the story is so complex that words on paper (or the screen) can’t possibly do justice to the photo. One thousand words can’t begin to describe the action and convey the story. Only a visual will do.
How much is a picture of a thousand words worth? Well, that depends on what the words are, how the photo was generated, and what story the words tell.
Take these two photos for example. The first is a picture of me; a simple photo in a field of grasses. To my friends and family, a thousand words wouldn’t be enough to describe who I am, what I’m about, and what’s important to me. To someone with little interest, as few as four words might suffice: just some random brunette.
But then I created a photo of all the words on my website, lindeebrauer.com. I used WordClouds.com to create the picture. Since I’ve been blogging on the site for nine years, I’d say it’s a pretty sound representation of who I am and what I find important.
In this case, the picture of words is a lot more telling about me—and consequently worth a lot more to me--than the picture of me. The words, and word picture, tell my story in a way that a regular photo cannot.
So, here’s my challenge for you and question to you: how do you tell your story, using only words? And how much is it worth to you to turn your words into a photo? Try it, and find out.
What’s going on in social media today?
That’s the million dollar question, and here’s the thing. That million dollar question is being asked a million times a day on the internet. Did I say a million? I meant a billion. I base that on the milestone set by Facebook in September 2015: one billion people logged on to Facebook in one day.
With that many people logging on the internet daily (and that was just Facebook), asking the million dollar question, you know something is going on. There has, no doubt, been a new innovation, novelty, or tool that’s caught on like wildfire; it’s only purpose to amuse and amaze us. Some new meme has gone viral and a new prodigy discovered. Keeping up with what’s trending is a full-time job!
In the headlines today? Facebook, in an effort to compete with SnapChat, has bought Masquerade. I confess, I’ve never heard of Masquerade. But as a SnapChat enthusiast, I’m interested in knowing more.
Described as a “silly selfie-altering tool,” Masquerade allows you to switch faces with friends in photos, or overlay celebrity faces like Leonardo DiCaprio and President Obama. The app lets you play with your pictures. It’s the next cool tool with over 15 million sign-ups in the first three months.
That is what happened today. And even though Facebook hasn’t disclosed how much they paid for Masquerade, based on the fact they offered to buy SnapChat for $3 billion, you know Facebook paid more than a mere million dollars.
What's going on is social media today? A million dollar question, asked, and answered.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, (are we there yet?) Snap Chat, Vine, Slideshare, and the list goes on and on and on. Who possibly has time to be on all the social media channels? If you do, you’re probably a “marketing professional,” someone tasked with helping companies get their message out. If so, chances are, you’re on social media channels more than forty hours a week. But that’s not the norm.
Most people select one channel of two, based on their own preferred communication style. They’ll choose Twitter over Facebook, Instagram over Pinterest; or visa versa. But have you ever wondered WHY?
Your job, as a marketer, is not to be on ALL of the social media channels. Your job is to choose a channel that best matches you! Then, get out there. Start talking, and let the people come to you!
Stop “targeting” your audience and start “sharing” your story. From your own unique perspective, and that includes your choice of social media channel.
Not everyone needs a blog. Not everyone needs to micro-blog. Some people prefer pictures to editorial. (Proof positive: Instagram, now with 300 million users.)
Start asking yourself, which channel most appeals to me? (Hint: which social media platform do you spend most of your time on? Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn?) Start there. You’re already a part of the community. Are you talking? If you’re not posting fresh content, are you liking, commenting, or sharing others’ content? What’s your reputation among your online peers? When they see your static icon roll by, do they tune in and read your post, or do they let it flow through their feed? What’s your online cred (credibility)?
Each social media platform has a slightly different function and therefore audience. We keep hearing stories of teenagers leaving Facebook in droves, but where’s the proof? Oh yes, they’ve embraced Instagram and its 100% visual picture feed, but they’re still using Facebook to talk to their friends.
Which channel do you prefer? Facebook or Instagram? Begin by telling your story there.
For those of you preferring a more “professional” audience, consider LinkedIn and perhaps Google+. For those of you looking for a high-tech audience, choose Google+ and Twitter. For a fashionable, creative crowd, pick Instagram, and/or Pinterest. Facebook and Youtube—the two top social media channels—are always a good option.
The social media channel you choose is an extension of you; your megaphone; your one-million-watt amp!
Get clear on what you want to say, and say it.
For more info on talking to Millennials, read 4 Ways to Market to Millennials
I laugh when people question the validity or longevity of social media. Like your cell phones, social media is here to stay, get used to it, and learn how to use it.
Get the facts here at Social Media Examiner, the experts in what's current and relevant. Their 2014 Social Media Industry Report is bound to convince you to join the online conversation. Dowload their free report, share the charts and stats with your boss or board of directors, and get the online party started.
Better brand visibility, increased customer satisfaction, and more leads and sales are awaiting you.
If you've ever wondered WHAT the allure of Twitter is, listen to co-founders Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone explain the magic. Twitter: it's how we're all connected.
Or at least one of the ways. ;)
Another year of amazing social media stats, as noted by Erik Qualman, author of #Socialnomics.
Half the world's population is under 30!
That get's me every time!
4 Ways to Market to Millennials
1. Use the word “we” in your ad slogans and campaigns.
Millennials’ have a “Live and Let Live” mentality that is refreshing and defining. You’ll hear them say, “It’s All Good.” Or “No problem,” and mean it. They respect each other, and honor each other’s choices. They have an inclusive mind-set.
2. Create your own “mash-up.”
Take a lesson from the Glee song-book; combine two old songs to create a new one. Ie. Rolling Stone’s Start Me Up with Bon Jovi’s Living On A Prayer. In your campaigns take an old product or service and combine it with something new.
3. Get information into the hands of Mom and Dad—Grandma and Grandpa, too!
We often see Baby Boomer companies market to Millennial children, think retirement villages—they target children of Boomers. Same thing in reverse, target Boomers to reach their kids. 86% of Mills take advice from their parents.
4. Fill their need to balance work and family life.
If you have a product or service that allows Millennials to spend less time at work, or be more efficient with the time they have at work, most likely they will be looking for a downloadable version.
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