Make You Strategy Before Your Social Media Initiative

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

Yet when it comes to marketing—especially as it concerns the online marketing of their small business—I see many owners wishing for success instead of planning for it.

Strategies for carrying out online marketing plans are indispensible, but are especially needed for social media marketing. Why? Simply put, because things change so rapidly in a social media environment, and because it is so easy to neglect your online presence.

Without a strategy, put in place and followed regularly, you will have no idea how to calculate personnel requirements for the campaign (how many people should work on it and what should their contributions be), which platforms you should focus on (Facebook or Twitter or both), or even how to measure success (is it the number of “Likes” or something else).

Read more ...

How to Use Social Media for Customer Service

A couple of years ago I was trying to stream a movie on Netflix, however the program kept getting interrupted. My internet connection was dreadfully slow, and the movie would freeze and display the “loading” wheel for minutes at a time.

In frustration I sent off a tweet (yes, that’s what I do in frustration: turn to Twitter), “Geez Qwest, what’s the deal? I can’t even watch Netflix without my service freezing on me…”

An hour later I was notified that I had been “mentioned” on Twitter (someone had used my Twitter username in a tweet). I looked into it, and found the following from Qwest’s customer satisfaction team: “@ClintonRLanier Hello, If you are having speed issue all the time, we can take a look. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow and DM@talktoqwest

This illustrates one of the best, but least-used, purposes for social media: customer service. While most literature about social media focuses on the marketing aspects, few really discuss the potential that platforms like Facebook or Twitter have in reaching customers for other purposes.

Read more ...

Start Social Media Marketing Early

When opening a business or launching a new product or service, many business owners wait until it is almost ready before they start marketing. After all, how can you market something if it is not yet ready to consume?

This is a valid point, and for traditional media it makes sense. Traditional media—print advertising, billboards or television commercials—are based on campaigns that have both a starting point and a fixed end point. They are also based on definite results: sales, discounts, etc.

Social media marketing, on the other hand, has no real beginning or end, and figuring out real results can become difficult.

However, if I was giving advice to one of those same business owners, I would tell them to lead with social media as soon as the idea for the business, product or service crossed their mind.

Here’s why.

Read more ...

How to Use Social Media to Fundraise for Your Non-Profit

The economy is tight and the future uncertain. Small business owners are unquestionably feeling the pinch, but non-profits and charities have been especially struggling.

Adding to the dismal situation is the prospect of new tax rules further limiting deductions taken on charitable giving, and so 2013 could be even rougher than 2012.

To help prepare for an even tighter economy, and to help boost giving before the end of the year, non-profits need to ensure they have every avenue and method of brand marketing covered, and that especially includes the internet.

Website: Make sure that your website is up-to-date and professional looking. Also make sure it can be found in difference search indexes, like Google, Bing and Yahoo!

A very important element on a non-profit’s website is a mechanism for people to give. You can set up an account with PayPal, and if you have a 501(c)3 status they will lower the amount they deduct from every transaction. You can find all of the instructions on their site that will show you how to accept credit card donations directly from you own website.

There are also a number of third party organizations that serve nonprofits by accepting donations online, and like PayPal they take a small percentage of each transaction. Do some research to find the one right for you, but just be sure to give people a way to donate when they are on your website.

Also, don’t forget a call to action on that same website. A page or story needs to be dedicated to telling people why to give, how much you need, and what you will do with the funds received.

Social Media: Ensure your organization has a Facebook Page at the very least. Recruit friends and family to like the page and ask them to do the same with their own friends.

Don’t be bashful in growing the page as much as you can, but do be careful about using it to simply ask for money.

Instead, post news about what you do. Create a compelling story and reason for people to contribute. Post about how many people you helped this month, week or day. Post about how much you spent on this charity.

More importantly, post pictures that create this story. Picture of the people you help, the activities you carry out, the things you accomplish will do so much more to spread your message than simply writing about it.

Read more ...

How to Make Your Social Media Marketing Reach Your Audience

Facebook and Twitter are two of the most powerful social media mechanisms available right now for small businesses to broadcast their message and market their brand, good or service. And many small businesses, especially in the area, are taking advantage of these channels and keeping their customers and clients updated on a regular basis.

The problem is, however, that their customers and clients do not always see the message. I have heard from several frustrated small business owners that they post regularly about events and special offers, but their patrons never seem to know about them.

This is a real problem for business owners of all types. In Facebook’s case it relates to an algorithm they use called Edge Rank that was implemented in the spring of 2012. The algorithm essentially decided for users what they should see by calculating a wide variety of variables, including the amount of interaction the user has had with a page or friend, or what the content of the post consists of (text vs. link vs. image).

Other than asking all of your “Likes” to adjust their settings so posts from your business’ page show up, there is no way to ensure they will ever see your content. All you can do is make sure you are creating and posting content designed to get seen.

As for Twitter, the element that so many people like about it—it is fast-paced and changes in real-time—is also one of the things keeping a business’ message from reaching people. If a business sends a tweet and its followers are not on Twitter at the time, that tweet will typically get lost.

Again, though, the solution lies in designing your tweets so there is a greater chance they will actually get seen. Below are some recommendations for both Facebook and Twitter to increase your social media visibility.

For Facebook you must understand that images rank higher than other forms of content. Links are typically ranked well below any of the others, and text and videos fall somewhere in the middle. If you would like a message to get across, include an engaging or relevant image with it. This can also work for links as well: post an image and then include the link in the body of the post itself.

Also make sure that your posts—your images and associated text—are engaging. What is engaging? Does it make people laugh or cry? Do people get angry or happy when they see it? These reactions will translate to “Likes,” comments, and shared posts. These will not only spread your message, but ensure those who interact with them see future posts as well.

There are fewer methods available for Twitter, however there are a couple of techniques you can use. First, understand that you must tweet often, as much as 4-5 times every day. Tweet throughout the day to catch those followers as they are online. Make your tweets interesting and (again) engaging. And finally, utilize “hashtags” often, even so far as creating your own “hashtag.”

“Hashtags” are words in a tweet preceded by the pound symbol “#.” Hashtags become linked words, and when clicked will present all tweets with that hashtag in it. So if you have engaging content, you might want to invent a hashtag—maybe your business’ name—to include at the end of all tweets.

With a little bit of work Facebook posts or broadcasts via Twitter can do more to promote your brand than just about any other (free) mechanism available. Try your best to post good content, and you will quickly see the results.

Facebook and Twitter are two of the most powerful social media mechanisms available right now for small businesses to broadcast their message and market their brand, good or service. And many small businesses, especially in the area, are taking advantage of these channels and keeping their customers and clients updated on a regular basis.

The problem is, however, that their customers and clients do not always see the message. I have heard from several frustrated small business owners that they post regularly about events and special offers, but their patrons never seem to know about them.

This is a real problem for business owners of all types. In Facebook’s case it relates to an algorithm they use called Edge Rank that was implemented in the spring of 2012. The algorithm essentially decided for users what they should see by calculating a wide variety of variables, including the amount of interaction the user has had with a page or friend, or what the content of the post consists of (text vs. link vs. image).

Other than asking all of your “Likes” to adjust their settings so posts from your business’ page show up, there is no way to ensure they will ever see your content. All you can do is make sure you are creating and posting content designed to get seen. 

As for Twitter, the element that so many people like about it—it is fast-paced and changes in real-time—is also one of the things keeping a business’ message from reaching people. If a business sends a tweet and its followers are not on Twitter at the time, that tweet will typically get lost.

Again, though, the solution lies in designing your tweets so there is a greater chance they will actually get seen. Below are some recommendations for both Facebook and Twitter to increase your social media visibility.

For Facebook you must understand that images rank higher than other forms of content. Links are typically ranked well below any of the others, and text and videos fall somewhere in the middle. If you would like a message to get across, include an engaging or relevant image with it. This can also work for links as well: post an image and then include the link in the body of the post itself.

Also make sure that your posts—your images and associated text—are engaging. What is engaging? Does it make people laugh or cry? Do people get angry or happy when they see it? These reactions will translate to “Likes,” comments, and shared posts. These will not only spread your message, but ensure those who interact with them see future posts as well.

There are fewer methods available for Twitter, however there are a couple of techniques you can use. First, understand that you must tweet often, as much as 4-5 times every day. Tweet throughout the day to catch those followers as they are online. Make your tweets interesting and (again) engaging. And finally, utilize “hashtags” often, even so far as creating your own “hashtag.”

“Hashtags” are words in a tweet preceded by the pound symbol “#.” Hashtags become linked words, and when clicked will present all tweets with that hashtag in it. So if you have engaging content, you might want to invent a hashtag—maybe your business’ name—to include at the end of all tweets.

With a little bit of work Facebook posts or broadcasts via Twitter can do more to promote your brand than just about any other (free) mechanism available. Try your best to post good content, and you will quickly see the results.

Word One Consulting
575-496-6807
clint @ wordoneconsulting.com
2263 S. Main
Las Cruces, NM 88005