My sister is a realtor and one of the best I know. She does more for her clients than should be legal. She waters lawns and flowers, holds garage sales for her clients, watches pets during showings and so many other crazy (in my opinion) things to serve. Because of this high-touch service, she has avoided social media marketing. She, like many others, has said, “I don’t like all of the technology tools that have us tweeting and texting instead of speaking face-to-face. But the other day she admitted, she feels that she has passed the point of no return. She has been left behind.
Another small business owner I spoke with on the phone, helping him set up a Facebook business page, said he has let the technology bus get too far ahead of him and now he doesn’t think he can catch up. What a scary and overwhelming feeling, especially when your plate is already full with other tasks to keep your small business running successfully.
Here is the good news: It’s never too late to get started and most of what you missed is probably obsolete anyway! If you are playing the catch-up game, here are 4 very important tips:
1. Put on your explorer hat! When using new technology and social media marketing tools, it’s important to remind yourself that things will not always be easy or smooth. You will be exploring new lands, learning new languages and meeting new people, which is exciting and scary at the same time. When you feel overwhelmed or miss the “simple days,” just remind yourself of how far you have come. After all, you are no longer setting up Fax campaigns and you most likely are backing up important documents on a cloud-based system like Dropbox or Google Drive!
2. Take your time. You will not become an expert in a day, no matter how fast you run to catch up, and you don’t have to be. Take it slow. Set daily or weekly goals for yourself such as, “I will create a Twitter account this week and find 10 smart people to follow and learn from.” “I will finally create a business Facebook Page.” “I will fill out my LinkedIn profile more completely this week.” Don’t spend hours trying to cram it all in. This will frustrate you after you realize you have spent your entire day on your social media marketing activities and got nothing else accomplished. Start with 30-minutes in the morning and 30-minutes in the afternoon or evening, and then you can increase the time needed as your community grows and you start seeing results.
3. Do something every day. You don’t have to do everything every day, but do something that helps you incorporate today’s social media marketing tools into your sales and marketing efforts. Even if you post one update on Facebook with one tip that would help your potential customers know you are an expert in your field or a single tweet each day sharing something exciting you are working on. You may not think anyone is listening yet, but Google is. Just start and be consistent.
4. Don’t quit! So many people spend a great amount of time all up front and when they don’t see results within a week or a month, they scrap it all and call it a failure. As an explorer, you have to remember that you are on a long journey. You will not find gold at every stop and you don’t quit when your first dig comes up empty-handed. You just keep sailing, and digging, and enjoying the process.
We’d love to hear your explorer stories–share them in the comments section. what was it that kept you going? What is your biggest challenge today?
If you need a travel companion and want byte-sized learning nuggets, check out our DIY.social Coaching Program that includes in-depth courses, tips, and tools so you can implement on your time and not be overwhelmed.
We’re here to help, or to just cheer you on along your journey, so be sure to connect!
Whether you are active on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram or the next BIG thing that comes along, one thing is for sure, people love great photos. We live in the age of the “camera in everyone’s pocket” and with more than 2.5 billion camera phones in use we are entering a new dynamic era around image creation and content according to Bob Lisbon from Luminate.
Photos included in your articles and social media posts will increase the likelihood of that post being read by 94% (MDG Advertising), so watch this short video for tips on where to find great photos and then grab that camera and start snapping away!
We want to hear where you find great pics? Are you the photographer or do you have a fun source?
This is a question that we hear all the time, “How often should you post on social media?” and there is no real right or wrong answer. Business leaders are hoping to hear, “Oh, just whenever you get around to it is fine!” But the reality is, frequency and consistency do matter… a lot.
Each platform has a different tolerance level, and you want to keep your audience in mind, but you can most certainly post more often than you think. We might see all of our posts because we are loading them in or watching every post carefully, but our community of followers is not sitting in front of their computer watching everything we post (I know…shocking).
Twitter has the highest threshold because there are so many tweets flying by, fast and furiously. You could post every 30 minutes and most people would only see a few of your posts if even that many. If you are NOT posting often enough on Twitter, it is hard to be seen or heard. The lifespan of a tweet is approximately 18 minutes (See Peter Bray’s post from Moz on this interesting lifespan). Of course the more followers one has, the longer the tweet can live through retweets. It becomes a 4th-grade math problem with 31 tweets traveling north at 50 miles per hour and 72 retweets going southbound…how many people saw your content? But let’s just agree that tweets have a short life span and they move quickly through the Twitter streams, so you need more posts here to reach the number of people you’d like.
LinkedIn has the lowest tolerance for multiple posts because it is strictly a business tool and if you are blathering all day on LinkedIn, you will quickly annoy most people. As with any social channel, the more relevant and helpful your content is, the more it will be acceptable. Posting a status update once or twice a day will improve the visibility of your profile, and if you are writing long form content as a POST on LinkedIn, posting once a day is great (if you can write great content that often).
There is much debate over how often to post on a Facebook business page, but the reality is, like the others, if you have great content and an engaged audience, they will take it as often as you want to dish it out. Even a year ago, Facebook said 4.75 billion pieces of content is shared every day! You may think you are seeing them all, but you’re not. Every time someone visits the News Feed there are on average 1,500 potential stories from friends, public figures, and pages. Most people on Facebook are now connected with so many more people and follow so many businesses, that it shortens the lifespan of a post. Facebook’s algorithm is set up to auto-filter for you, therefore you don’t see content from everyone you are connected with and very rarely will you see content from the business pages you have liked…unless of course you go to their page, which most people don’t. This is why posting often works for business pages. I see some pages post hourly on Facebook and they have a big enough audience that the content is liked, commented on, and shared, spreading like wildfire! For most pages, posting once in the morning and once in the afternoon seems to work well, and there are some businesses that simply want to have a presence on Facebook, so they keep one post per day dripping along and of course very little engagement will happen there.
Instagram seems to be more like LinkedIn, in that fewer posts make for a more desireable stream to follow. Instagram hasn’t implemented a filter or algorithm yet, so you will see every post from every follower if you scroll enough. So when people get carried away posting 8-10 photos (some, all in a row) it gets irritating for most. Of course, there are marketers who love sharing every move they make on Instagram and now seem to have more promotional text-filled graphics than actual photos, so this platform continues to morph. The thought is a few really great photos or posts each day go a long way to attracting view
After watching this short video, we’d love to hear your feedback.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Where do you post the most? Is there a sweet spot when it comes to the timing of content for your community? Inquiring minds want to know! :))
While each brand will have it’s own communication style, there is a right way and a wrong. The most important thing you can do is to acknowledge the voice of the customer, really hear and respect what they are saying. If what you’re hearing is a complaint, let them know a resolution is being sought, then follow through on that resolution to the best of your organization’s ability. Once again, don’t consider social in a vacuum. Integrate your response with existing channels and let the most appropriate channel lead the way to resolution.
Listen and pick your moments. If sales are a priority, nurture potential leads with relevant and helpful content. Make sales through engagement. The age- old sales maxim, “Make a friend first, a sale second” still applies to social, only even more so due to social’s ability to amplify positive, or negative, experiences.
Give advice. Hilton Hotels takes an entirely non-sales oriented approach with @HiltonSuggests by taking an engagement for engagement’s sake position. Hilton monitors online conversation for travelers looking for recommendations all over the world. Acting as a quasi global concierge, @HiltonSuggests steps in to offer accommodation advice to travelers whether a Hilton is a viable option or not.
Perks don’t hurt. 61 percent of consumers use social to look for discounts. Social is obviously a great way to highlight promotions and deals, but make them appropriate and relevant to your brand. For example, why would a bakery give away an iPad? Promotions of this kind are common and can build vanity metrics such as Likes or Follows, but those need to be balanced with engagement. How engaged are iPad fans with bakeries? Fans of customized cakes are much more likely to be highly engaged and even influential to a fledgling bakery. Fewer more influential followers trump hordes of deal hunters every time. With HootSuite’s custom URL parameters, our bakery could even track conversions arising directly from their posts to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and put that iPad to use around the office.
SocialKNX is a Hootsuite Partner and our team could not live without the fabulous features that this tool offers! From extra security for our client profiles to custom reporting and social monitoring for brand management, there isn’t another tool out there doing all that Hootsuite does. We’d love to answer any questions you might have regarding Hootsuite or if you are looking for someone to help you manage the chaos of social media in your business! Just give us a shout!