Shedding Light on Social Media Marketing: It’s Not As Scary As It Appears

Halloween is coming and aside from it just being a holiday to get us all to buy giant bags of our favorite candy and pretend we are going to give it all away to the trick-or-treaters, it is time to “celebrate” all things CREEPY. When you are new to social media marketing for your business, it can be as daunting and scary as stepping up to one of the scary haunted houses. But like even the scariest of haunted houses, once you turn the lights on, you see how things work and the creepy factor goes away…a little bit. So why don’t we turn the lights on and explore some of these “scarier” social media tools that can help you with your social media  marketing…as you eat another tiny box of Milk Duds. Learning social media practices as well as engaging in the sites can produce terror, especially the fear of your time being sucked into the ground with zombies. But they aren’t as frightful as you might think.

  • Facebook is Not Frankenstein

“He’s Alive!” Dr. Frankenstein cried as his monster moved after lightning brought him to life. Facebook is definitely alive and well and more popular than ever. Heck, even the young people are said to be sneaking back on. But it doesn’t have to be scary. The sight has over 1.5 BILLION users and 750 million active users who on average, share more than 30 billion pieces of content per month. If that many people engage in Facebook, it can’t be that terrifying. And getting used to Facebook just takes a little practice and consistency (like going house to house begging those poor adults for candy). Articles like “How to Use Facebook” can easily be googled and walk you through the process, and if you are needing to set up a Business Page on Facebook, we created a guidebook that walks you through that entire process. (Download: Getting Started with Facebook Business Pages) Once you are a part of the community, pretend you are having a dinner and invite a few friends into your living room. Just a few. Soon you will invite more and your fears will be alleviated. So put down the torches, villagers, and give it a try.

  • Twitter will not suck you dry like Dracula

Twitter was launched in 2006 and tweets have been flying through the digital air ever since. Folks may find Twitter scary because of the sheer number of tweets that are sent every single day (500 million tweets per day are sent out), but it is a communication tool that can benefit you professionally, even if you are not a constant user. Like Dracula, Twitter has sunk its teeth into our society with its influence in how we communicate as well as what we use to communicate. Hashtags are “IN” and the pound sign is out (we’re still not sure how and when that happened). But unlike Dracula, Twitter does not have to suck the life out of you.  In “Ten Questions you were too Scared to ask about Twitter” Chris Robley takes the fear away by explaining how to use Twitter step by step. No need to carry a wooden steak when you sign up. Twitter can be advantageous and fun.

social media isn't so scary

  • Pinterest is not a scary ghost, but more like Casper.

Imagine a haunted house you’ve been dared to enter. You are told ghosts are living there so you are naturally frightened to cross the threshold. But you’ve also been told that inside that house, a wealth of creative ideas are awaiting your perusal. Do you go? Pinterest is a great place to visit. People may fear they will get lost and not know what’s real because of the litany of craft ideas, creative quotes and scrumptious recipes. But be warned…it is somewhat of a Hotel California. You can logon anytime you’d like….but you can never leave! It is a friendly and beautiful place filled with amazing photos and lots of shiny objects. For businesses, there are wonderful opportunities to sell your products with the new “Buyable Pins” on Pinterest.

You can pin ideas or pictures to your own boards to keep suggestions fresh. And although, Pinterest is known for crafts and party ideas, your business can benefit from it also. Tech boards are a plenty and provide learning tools for your company. And of course, the fear of the unknown can be taken away by reading articles like “How to Use Pinterest for Beginners.” Jump on there this week and you will sure to be delighted by all the treats and fun Halloween items to buy or just “Pin.”

  • Streaming Video will NOT turn you into a zombie.

Now the thought of being on video can certainly send chills down the bravest spine, it doesn’t have to be as scary as you make it out to be in your mind. First, realize that people actually see you every day already. They hear your voice and see your face, so get past the frightful thought of not liking how you look on HD video (alright….that IS a frightful thought for any of us over 45) or how you sound on audio. It’s what you look like and sound like, so realize that boat has sailed already and turn on the video camera.

Secondly, streaming video is as hot as a witch’s caldron! Trust me, it’s H-O-T, HOT! From Periscope and Meerkat (which we are betting will soon be buried in the graveyard soon, along with Google+ and Ello) to the new sweetheart tool, BLAB. The trend is in producing your own show and streaming it live to your social media audience. Blab is our favorite since it feels more like a call-in radio show, allowing listeners (or viewers in this case) to jump in and ask questions or interact via chat in the sidebar. It’s not as crazy to keep up with as a TweetChat, and it is more than just you being a talking head. To take the scariness away, trying joining in one as a participant, or viewer, then as your courage builds, you can jump in one of the “hot seats” to ask a question of make a comment, then before you know it, you will have your own army of Blabbers slaying zombies out there. We do a weekly Blab, focused on savvy business people doing cool things in their marketing.

So this Halloween, get your gigantic 7-pound bag of candy, and get comfy on the couch with your computer. Delve into the world of social media and conquer those fears. There’s no secret “trick” to learning and it will be a “treat” in the end.


Robbie Iobst blogger for SocialKNXRobbie Iobst is on the blogging team at SocialKNX and still hates haunted houses!

An Entrepreneurs Guide to Marketing Success: HUSTLE and PERSISTENCE

Today James, Oliver, Jr. and I jumped on Blab to discuss the entrepreneur’s journey and how to be a marketing success with loads of hustle, little sleep  and getting up each and every day to do it all again!

James is a work-from-home dad of twins, writes a great blog for entrepreneurial dads called ‘Trep Life Dad and runs the company WeMontage!   He has gotten some wonderful press for his cool, removable photo wallpaper, from being featured on the Today Show TWICE, to being written up in Wall Street Journal and even Martha Stewart giving WeMontage a shout out as well.  James has had WeMontage featured in CNET (due to a great cold email message he wrote to the tech blogger there–> Check out his tips we all should be using here on his post: How a Cold Email Got My Company Featured in

Listen to this replay of our BLAB show and see how HUSTLE and being PERSISTENT has made him a 4-year overnight success!  HA.

Here’s to all the HUSTLERS AND PERSISTENT marketers out there who grind all day and rise again the next, to do it all again!

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Who Are You and Why Are You Here? A Content Marketing Story

Who Are You and Why Are You Here? A Content Marketing Story

There is an old story of a Rabbi, named Akiva, who walked 7 miles into a village to gather supplies. On his way home he was deep in thought, pondering his life’s purpose, when he turned onto the wrong path, landing him in front of a Roman gate. 

A voice boomed down, jolting the Rabbi from his deep thoughts, “WHO ARE YOU and WHY ARE YOU HERE?”

Akiva, being a good Rabbi, answered the question with another question.  “How much do you get paid to stand there and ask that?” The guard replied, “Five drachmas a week.” To which Akiva offered, “I would like to pay you twice the amount to come and stand outside my home and ask me these questions each day as I leave.

content marketing purpose mission statement for social marketing 

This week I want to be the sentry at the gate, asking you “WHO ARE YOU and WHY ARE YOU HERE?”  What purpose does your content serve? Let’s create a content mission statement that answers these questions; a mission statement that helps us, as we write any piece of content, to stay on target and to remember who we are writing for. 

We started this blog series a few weeks ago, focusing on putting together our content marketing strategy (read: Why Following a Content Marketing Strategy is So Hard ). We were all to look at where we fit into our marketplace. What expertise and knowledge qualifies us to serve our community? What are we passionate about and how does that tie in? The next week we looked at what makes us unique (Content Marketing Strategy: What Makes You So Special ). We are usually not the only one in town doing what we do, so how are we going to stand out and be seen as unique. There are some great examples of people owning their market by putting such a unique twist on the delivery of their content, like Maria Cyza or Jessica Edwards. (read: The Content Marketing Genius of Angie “Watch Me” Castalano )

Now it’s time to hang the sign outside our door, telling the world WHO WE ARE and WHY WE ARE HERE! It’s time to create our content mission statement. Every piece of content we write, whether a whitepaper, an infographic, or a tweet, serves a purpose, and should tie into our overall business plan. So if we break this down, it looks like this: Who you are + Who you are here to serve + What your content is there to do= Your Content Marketing Strategy. 

When you start creating content for your website, put your mission statement in front of you to avoid going off on a technical tangent or using language that might sound more like you are writing to impress your competitors than writing to help solve the needs of your target market. This mission statement should help you from writing content that is too “fluffy” and lacking helpful information as well.

content marketing strategy

Lets’s take a look at a few examples.

If you are the owner of a heating and air-conditioning service, your website and content marketing mission might be:

“We are a team of heating and air-conditioning experts who will provide simple and easy to understand tips and information to homeowners, to help them take care of their homes, especially when it comes to keeping them running more efficiently while using their home heating and air-conditioning systems”

Do you see how this can help when they start creating content for their website and social media channels? They would be reminded to keep it in simple terms for the homeowner. They are not writing content for other HVAC professionals, and will not include jargon that the average homeowner wouldn’t know.

If you are a personal fitness and nutrition trainer, targeting women, your content marketing mission statement might be:

“We are a team of health and wellness experts who will create a website and social media channels filled with content that will help women who don’t make time to take care of themselves. We will provide tips, tools, inspiration and recipes to help them live healthier lifestyles.”

This content mission statement helps you remember that the target audience is women who are busy. It helps you to stay focused on tips and techniques that can be implemented with little time investment or the motivation to make the time investment.

Okay, it’s your turn. WHO ARE YOU and WHY ARE YOU HERE?

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I’m Gina Schreck, CEO of SocialKNX and, and I am here to help marketers and business owners use today’s content marketing and social media tools to build their business and manage their brands. (Do I get a star for doing my homework?)


The Content Marketing GENIUS of Angie “Watch Me” Castalano

Last week I was introduced to the marketing genius of Angie Castalano; me and thousands of others who couldn’t get enough of her Facebook Makeup tutorials! In 24 hours, Angie had my team and most of the Facebook community reciting her lines: “WATCH ME…WATCH ME” and “CALM DOWN WITH THE TRICKS” all day. She is hysterical and draws you in with her strong Jersey accent and crazy hair, but by the end of the video, even the men watching, feel the desire to buy some “pigments” from her “boss” Maria Cyza, a director of sorts for a multi-level marketing makeup company.

Angie Castalano

After becoming obsessed with Angie and watching almost every video I could find, I started to realize that Angie was really Maria in disguise. At first I was sad to realize Angie wasn’t real. I wanted to find her in Jersey and spend the day shopping at Walmart with her, but then I fell in love with Maria’s marketing genius!

How many people are selling makeup on social media? Thousands … hundreds of thousands! But how many can have the world fall in love with them instantly, and want to not only buy the makeup but sign up to become a sales person for the company because of their videos? ONE…Maria Cyza, aka, Angie Castalano.

In my last blog post, “Content Marketing Strategy: What Makes You So Special?” we discussed finding that unique content twist or tilt that makes you different. The marketing angels sent Angie to us to show us an example of this twist! Angie is simply providing great makeup tutorials, but instead of the videos showing a teen-aged girl applying makeup with a valley-girl uptone voice and techniques that seem unattainable to the average woman, we see an over-the-top Jersey woman who loves her husband, Sal, and knows she is GOH-GEOUS with her wild hair, and we are glued to the screen. We can’t look away, no matter how much we know we should get back to work. We love ANGIE!

Maria found a way to create content around her products so desirable that it would not be an interruption to people on Facebook. Her content was so desirable people were watching her videos with an insatiable appetite for MORE! What if you could find a way to create content that people wanted MORE of? What if you didn’t have to run ads to promote your content, forcing it into the newsfeed to interrupt the readers? Angie, or Maria, found a way to make the way she delivered her content the thing that makes her different.

This also made me think of all the talk around Apple’s new ad-blocking tools that have the marketing world panicking. Instead of worrying about people not seeing our ads on their iPhones, perhaps we should reevaluate our content. How can we create content that is both helpful and interesting? Content that showcases our services or products without selling them. Content that is created by first asking ourselves, who is my audience and what are they looking for. Content that starts from the questions and needs of the audience, not from the features and benefits of our “stuff.” Once we know who our audience is and what they want, perhaps we can find a way to deliver it in a way no one else is doing.

As we plan our content, let’s think of crazy Angie and her “SHIMMA eyeshadow.” Let’s think of a way to stand out, to be different, to be a little wild and GOH-GEOUS.

Now will Maria face backlash as people, who loved Angie and believed her to be real, discover Angie is a character? Can Maria maintain the persona? I think so…look at Flo on the progressive commercials. Maria is definitely using a different approach from Hanna Hart (My Drunk Kitchen) and Jessica Edwards (see last week’s post) but she is getting the attention all the same.  I would love to know what you think about this type of marketing. Do you think it is a stroke of genius or a dangerous fake-out?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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