My Cell Phone Will Have a Place at the Holiday Table

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

I’m so grateful for my cell phone and iPad that I’m setting a place at the table for them this Thanksgiving!  I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. I love everything about the digital world we live in. I love that I can find recipes and get ideas for beautiful table settings on Pinterest, compare prices and even purchase online, most of my holiday gifts, all while driving home from a ski day with the family (in the passenger seat of course).  I love being connected to lots of smart people who are generous with their knowledge, inspiration, and their witty comments.

Now before you call for me to put back into the strait jacket (yes I’ve been in one before for a photo shoot, and it was quite comfortable), let me explain.

crazy for technology and social media, gina schreck in strait jacket

We live in a connected world, and there’s just no way around that, unless you start sharpening your wood furniture making skills and get that horse and buggy I saw for sale on eBay, we are all moving forward in this technologically connected world.  WWW used to stand for World Wide Web, but today it stands for Whatever information we need, Wherever we are, and When ever we need that information.  I am constantly amazed, and extremely grateful that we are able to carry around a device that allows us to chat with family members, snap and share a photo of the puppy we just got, look up movie times and purchase tickets, and even connect with the chef you just saw on The Cooking Channel’s, Restaurant Takeover, and ask him for the Short Rib and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie recipe you just saw and get a personal reply from him within an hour, so you could make it the next day! (HUGE thanks to Chef Derek Minkensky, who made me a superhero cook with my family.)

Shepher'd Pie Chef Derek Minkensky

I am grateful for technology and connectivity.

I have formed some amazing friendships with people that I have met online, via Twitter mostly, but through Facebook and even Instagram.  People that started out as just someone whom I shared a common interest with.  But through regular, short conversations online, our friendships grew.  In the past, friendships were nurtured through the weekly or perhaps monthly phone calls that lasted 30 min (or an hour in my case) hearing all about what they had been up to and just catching up on life.  Today, it is different.  I see that Donna is spending the day sitting on her porch swing through a photo she posts on Twitter or Facebook, and I comment back to her that one day we will have to meet there to have coffee.  She replies and tells me about a class she has the next day and I wish her good luck.  All that in 4 or 5 tweets.

Twitter Collage of friends of Gina Schreck

My mother’s new iPad has helped to start healing our relationship.  Yes, it’s true.  We have had a difficult relationship for a long time.  It would take years and a very comfortable couch for me to explain here, but let’s just say we rarely spoke.  We live a healthy distance apart —she in California and I in Colorado, so when, and if, either of us called (usually the obligatory holiday or birthday call) it was superficial and short, ending before it turned into negative stories about one family member or another.  It would drain me to even think about making those calls.  My mother usually heard about our family updates through my aunts or my sister, because of the short and regular conversations we all have on Facebook.  My mother refused to get on Facebook, saying it was a waste of time and that she would have to go into my step-father’s office and then remember her password to log in, and so the hassles kept her off.  However, she recently got an iPad and learned that Facebook opens up with the touch of an icon now.  With a bit of prompting from me and bribing her with seeing the girl’s engagement or high school photos that were recently taken, she got on.  She started slowly, liking or commenting here and there on a post of mine or a photo of the kids, and now she is sending messages and writing embarrassing messages everywhere!  We love it.  I was moved to tears last week, when I got a private message on Facebook from her saying, “Okay, I’m addicted.  I love being on here and getting to chat over coffee with you every day.”  It has been a healing tool.

connecting with social media

I love having clients that are more like friends because of how we share with one another on Facebook or other social media sites.  I don’t just know their business goals, I know about their dream vacation or that they are teaching a cross-fit class on weekends and buying a hot new red convertible.  These are the little social snacks that nurture relationship and deepen friendships.   

For all the bad press, being too connected gets, I raise my glass to my cell phone and iPad today.  I give thanks for Verizon, and every other carrier that allows us to be online anywhere, anytime and for anything we need.

Cheers to being connected!

cheers to technology and social media

If we are not connected, please do so on any social site you are on…I’m there!  I am grateful for each of YOU and wish you a wonderful Holiday season connecting with those you love!

social media marketing small business, hotels, social business

6 Tips To Get You Ready To Flex Your Social Marketing Muscles

Social media marketing is a lot like working out.  It takes discipline. It’s hard work. You don’t see results after one workout. And, you have to do it more than once a year.

I don’t necessarily enjoy working out.  It’s so hard and I hate sweating.  I mostly hate working out because for the next few days I cannot walk, lift my cup of coffee, or go to the bathroom without first installing handicap bars.  My husband says it’s because I don’t maintain a foundation of fitness.  I work out hard for several weeks and then get too busy to make it to the gym for another few weeks.  That’s when the foundation of fitness cracks, and I have to start again.

When you make the commitment to engage in social media marketing for your business, you need to build a foundation of social fitness and keep at it before you will see results. Here are a few social fitness tips:

 

  1. Have a plan before you begin.

    What do you want to accomplish?  Do you want to lose weight, build muscle or just get healthier?  In social media marketing, you should determine what your goals are for each platform.  Are you opening your social media doors to increase sales opportunity?  Are you wanting a more interactive platform for customer engagement?  Perhaps you are just wanting more people to become aware of your name or brand.  Know what you are there for before you step into the gym.

    social media plan. social marketing plan

    So here’s the plan. You tweet and I’ll pin.

  2. Learn to use the equipment.

    There’s nothing worse than walking around a gym, sitting down to use one of the machines and then realizing you are sitting on it backwards.  There are tools and “equipment” to help you stay the course with your social marketing.  Tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and more.  Tools will help you do more in less time.

    how to use social media for business. Social media tools.

    How do I use this thing?

  3. Show up every day!

    social media is hard work. Help with social media marketing

    I will have thousands of fans and followers by tomorrow!

    I know, I wish we could work out once a year and still have bulging biceps, and buns of steel, but it won’t happen. You can’t post something on your social media sites once a month (or even once a week) and see results.  Results do not equal having a post on your page.  Results equal people talking about and sharing your content.  People are online every day, around the clock. If you can’t commit to being on the social web daily, perhaps it’s time to hire someone who can help you, or to just do it for you.  Now if only we could hire someone to work out for us!

  4. Round up more workout buddies.

    You might be a lone wolf kind of exerciser, running that long country road in solitude.  Perhaps you put your Dr. Dre headphones on and pump iron with Barry Manilow blaring into your head…”Oh Mandy…” Sorry to share so much personal information.  In social media, it’s all about the SOCIAL.  Each and every day, you come into this gym to find and connect with new potential customers, members or friends.  You don’t stand there with your digital brochures waiting for people to approach you.  You get out and find people that you are interested in connecting with.  Who are your ideal community members?  What hashtags do they use?  What groups do they belong to and engage with?  Find them.  Listen to them.  Chat with them. This is what it takes to grow your community with the right people.

    social media marketing tips. How to use social media for my business

    Social Marketing is FUN!

  5. Hire a personal trainer or coach.

    exercise vintage coach stretching

    Show me again how to tweet!

    Some of us need a harder push than others.  Perhaps you just need someone to teach you to use the equipment. There are so many great resources out there.  You can sign up for a class, a webinar or an AWESOME Coaching Program (Wow, what a coincidence … we have one at SocialKNX! HA!)

  6. Mix it up.

    social media sites like Pinterest or Instagram

    I can wear great shoes AND exercise. This is SWELL.

    If all you do is run on a treadmill, you may not see the results you want after a month…or 6 years of this routine. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for new tools and new social platforms that your target audience may be experimenting with.  Pinterest and Instagram are the social sweethearts today, but there are sure to be others that come along.  Don’t be afraid to create a profile and check them out.  Who knows, you might find that you have more of an audience there than you thought.

Which of these is the hardest for you?  Make a commitment this week, to get into that social gym and work on one of these items.  Want more accountability?  Tell us in the comments section below.  We will cheer you on …. It may from the comfy couch while eating chocolate chip cookies, but we will be cheering loudly!

Connect with me on Twitter @GinaSchreck 

gina schreck-socialKNX-social media marketing Colorado

Download your free CONTENT PLANNING RESOURCE GUIDE to help you plan out your content and all the pieces that go with it, leaving you more time to actually HIT THE GYM!

Content planning template guide

 

(Photos from Shutterstock)

 

4 Tips That Will Make Your Personal Brand Shine on Social Media

Less than two-tenths of a second is what your personal brand is given by an online visitor to form a first opinion, according to researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. 

Do your social media profiles cause people to want to learn more about you? Are people intrigued or do they move on to the next on-line suitor calling for their attention? Your personal brand (that is who others see on-line), must be managed like any major brand, with regular attention and upkeep. Imagine your social media profiles stopping more “eye-traffic” and enticing people to discover more about you.  Draw them in with these four tips:

  1. Let Your Social Media Profile Offer a Warm Welcome

    Consider your profile picture to be your initial greeting. Just as a weak handshake can ruin a first impression (Hello, wet fish), a weak profile picture sends the same message. Time for an update? Consider slightly angling your face to the side and subtly tilting forward as opposed to a straight-on photo. These small changes will place you in a position for a more flattering headshot, and don’t forget to smile. (Tips for Great Social Media Headshots)

  2. Pack a Punch in Your Social Bios

    Filler words merely take up space, and you certainly don’t have a lot of space on social media bios.  Twitter gives you 160 characters, Facebook and LinkedIn, a few more. Keep your points clear, concise and add a bit of personality. Don’t sound like everyone else. Be sure you sound interesting enough to make someone want to know a bit more. Scanners will be able to focus on the meat of your thoughts and not become stuffed with the complimentary chips and salsa you may be unknowingly serving. Mumbling never took anyone far. Keep the fluff for the dryer cycle.

    personal brand social media brand you

  3. Mind Your Manners on Social Channels for a Strong Personal Brand

    Smack talking, whether while chewing gum in person or virtually chewing on others, will not serve you well with first impressions.  Once you press enter, that comment sticks longer than a wad of gum finding its way to the bottom of your shoe on a hot Summer day. Unless you’d repeat your words verbatim on a Sunday call with your Mother, resist the urge to lose your cool online. Learn to disagree with class and poise. Someone looking at your social media profile might see something that sends them packing before you have a chance to show them your polite side.

  4. Mix, Shake, and Stir

    Cocktails may be stiff, however, your online persona should not be. Blending a splash of personality and professionalism is key to authentically connecting with your community and humanizing your brand. Despite what the Great and Powerful Oz thought, people really do want to see behind the curtain.  Go ahead and post your business content, but occasionally let your audience see what goes on behind that curtain in Oz.

 

Now, I’m curious. What first catches your eye when viewing an online profile?

 

We’d love to help you manage your brand’s social marketing. Contact us for help with blogging, social customer service, writing daily social content and monitoring your company’s brand every day! Contact us or set a 30-min free consultation today!

4 Tips to Get More People to Your Website with Social Media

How to drive traffic to your website with social media- empty party room

 

You have a website and yet you may feel as if you are the host of a party, everything is set up, and yet you are standing alone waiting for anyone to come by.  You have profiles set up on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and every other social media site you can think of, and yet that doesn’t seem to be working either.  You feel betrayed by James Earl Jones, who promised, “If you build it, they will come.”  What’s a person to do?

Most of the time it’s one of two reasons: First, there is nothing on your website for people to do or spend time looking at except boring text that only you find compelling to read over and over again. (We do tend to admire our own work so much that we become blinded to the fact that it is stale and needs to be replaced.) The second reason just might be that, although you have good content on your site, no one knows about it….not even Google.  Web content alone isn’t enough.  Social media alone is not enough, and now with the recent changes to Google’s algorithm, over-stuffing that website with keywords and creating back links from shady websites to your site aren’t working either. (But you weren’t using those tactics anyway!)  You need a well balanced plan of attack.

Social media is one tool used to engage people, to nurture the relationships and then to invite them to find more valuable information from you on your site. It is not any more effective than a stagnant website if all you are doing is blasting out boring content and one sales pitch after another.  It is one tool in your tool belt and you need it working in conjunction with the other tools. So let’s get all of these pieces working so the party can begin!

Use social media to increase web traffic

 

     4 Steps to Get More People to Your Website with Social Media

 

  1. Create valuable resources that people would exchange their email or other contact information for. Perhaps you are a local business and want to share the top 20 activities to do over the holidays, or you can create a top 10 questions to ask when looking for a _______ (fill in with your service).  How about a booklet, white paper or short eBook that helps your target market accomplish something?  These are all great to draw people to your website.  Create several of these resources and save them as PDFs for download.
  2. Create a landing page for each of your resources that will capture those visitors and their information when they come by to download your resources. (This is a very easy task for your website manager and shouldn’t take more than 30 min)
  3. Start blogging.  You’ve heard this over and over.  Yes it is time consuming, but so is worrying about why no one is coming to your website.  Set a goal of posting new content twice a month, and then move to once a week, and keep striving for more frequent posts.  At then end of each post, put a call to action that offers one of your resources.
  4. Promote these resources with the link to your landing page all over town.  Take a photo that represents your resources (example: a photo of a pair of ice skates for a Holiday activities in your city list; a photo of beautiful fall leaves for your top 10 home improvements list for fall) and load the photo to Instagram with the caption and link inviting people to your landing page.  You can use apps like OVER, A BEAUTIFUL MESS, or the website, PICMONKEY to add text right to the photo for further customization.  Create 5-10 different versions of a Twitter post and schedule them at different times over the next week or two promoting both your blog post as well as the landing page resource directly. Don’t forget that Twitter now shows your photos in the Twitter stream and load that photo here as well.  Pin your post with the link and photo to Pinterest.  You get the idea.  Don’t throw the same text post on every site. Each has a slightly different personality, so take the time to create several versions.

So if you want to pack your party, be sure to send out lots of invitations on every social media site you are active on.  If you are providing great value and are engaging with people with real conversations, they will have plenty to celebrate!

Social Media works when you do.

use social media to drive people to your website- party at your website

This is what we do every day for the clients we serve and we get excited when we see their analytics proving the value of social media.  We also know that it takes time and it takes a multifaceted approach, so don’t give up too soon.

We’d love to hear other ideas that you have or ways that you have found to continually drive people to your website.  Leave your comments or questions right below.

Making Time for Social Media: 3 Time Saving Tools And Lots of Apps

save time managing social media, social marketing tools

Time.  We never have enough of it.  We get excited when daylight savings ends, as if that is extra time in our pocket each day.  When it comes to managing the social media activities for your business, it seems like time is our worst enemy.  Because I travel a lot and happen to be on just about every social network out there for my personal social media connections as well as for our business, finding ways to do more in less time is a priority for me.  I have so many people asking me how I can possibly get it all done and still manage to run a very busy and growing business. Here are my secret weapons:

social media from mobile phone

  1. A GREAT Mobile Phone.

    I have been using the LG G2 (I am part of a VerizonInsider blogging team and I am lucky enough to get some of the hottest tools before they are released to the world and this is one of them).  I was hesitant to try this phone at first, because I love my Samsung Galaxy S4 so much.  I am a power user when it comes to my mobile phones.   I stay connected to my family on Facebook, Instagram, and through text messaging, my team at work via Facebook, Twitter, and email, my network on every social media site, and my customers via Skype calls, email and yes, even old fashioned phone calls. I use apps to book and check in for flights, find places to eat, I do my banking, buy my coffee, and to take loads of photos that I can share on Instagram.  My contacts are in my phone for easy access, every document and photo that I have on my desktop in the office, is available at my fingertips through apps like Dropbox and Evernote and no need to search for a scanner or fax machine, when my phone can scan and send in less.

    When you have a great mobile device and learn to really use all the features it has to offer, you will be shaving time off of your day every time you use it.  One of my favorite features on this particular phone is the ability to take quick notes while talking on the phone.  It’s a feature built into this LG phone that allows me to pull down a quick note from the notification area and scribble a note right on the call screen. It then saves it with the call history for me to clean it up and file it later.  How many times are you on a call and the other person is giving you important information while you scramble for a piece of paper?

  2. Social Dashboard on your mobile device.  social media dashboard, tools for managing social media

    We use Sprout Social to manage our content and social media platforms for all of our clients, as well as our own personal profiles.  Sprout allows us to write and schedule content, see who else on our team has interacted with a particular connection, reply to or even alert another team member to follow up with someone that contacted us through a social channel.  If you are not using a social media tool like Sprout Social or Hootsuite, you are definitely eating up twice as much time logging in and out of each social media site.  We love that Sprout Social is available on every platform (iOS, Android, Desktop and mobile) and has all of necessary features we need on our mobile devices as well as the web. After all, who is tethered to their desk anymore?

  3. Power Apps.

    I mentioned a few already when talking about the importance of a great mobile device, but here are a few more apps that pull their weight to help manage your workload while on the go:
    power apps, productivity apps

    • Sign n Send (iOS) or DocuSign Ink (Android, iOS, and Windows) allow you to open any pdf or other file format that needs your signature and without having to print, sign and scan and resend, you simply sign the document with your finger or stylus, type in any information needed and hit send to email it off to whoever needs it.
    • Flipboard, Feedly and LinkedIn brings me the news I want to read.  I get in about 30 minutes in the morning (usually on my iPad) and then anytime I have 5- 10 minutes of waiting time, I can catch up on daily news in multiple industries.  We manage the social media marketing for companies in every industry, from Hotels and restaurants, to realtors and software companies.  With these customizable magazines, I create a specific news feed for each of our client industries to stay up on what is going on.  When I see an article that one of our clients or community managers should see, I simply shoot it over via email. If I want to share the article with my social networks, I can do that as easy as clicking the share link.  It’s like having a subscription to over 100 magazines and being able to peruse them each day for helpful or interesting content.

Don’t relegate social media management to your desk.  Being able to get tasks done while on the go, will save you lots of time.  We’d love to hear what other tools you love and use to help you manage all there is to do in social media marketing. Write your suggestions and recommendations in the comments below.

If Social media management is too overwhelming for you, give us a holler.  It’s what we do!  We do all the daily tasks of building your community, writing and posting content and so much more.  Let SocialKNX be your number one time saving tool!

social media marketing small business, hotels, social business   @GinaSchreck

 

       MORE APPS TO KEEP YOU PRODUCTIVE

apps for business, social media apps, time saving apps