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social-media

How do I find the time to implement a social media strategy? The short answer is have a plan and make a schedule. Like any other aspect of your marketing, it’s important that you know your audience and post content that is interesting to your audience so they want to comment, share, retweet, etc.

Have a plan and a schedule for what you will post on a daily basis. This saves you time trying to figure out what you are going to post. Here is an example and you are welcome to modify it to suit your needs:

Monday: Link to an article

Tuesday: Quote

Wednesday:  Tip of the week or a short recipe.

Thursday: Promotion

Friday: Link to a video

Saturday:  Comment on someone else’s post or retweet something. Join a group discussion and share your knowledge.

Sunday: Post a photo with a comment.

You can also use Hootsuite to schedule posts to go out at certain times of the day.

The goal is to strike a balance so you are not posting 10 times a day, but you are posting enough to be considered active. That means 3 – 4 times per week. Find what works for you. I have just given you a basic blueprint for planning and scheduling your social media interaction. You can tweak it to fit your needs. And you may not want to post every day. That’s okay, but you still need a schedule so you know what you are posting on any given day.

What is your social media posting strategy?

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It doesn’t matter if you are a nonprofit or a for-profit business, you will benefit from implementing a few simple strategies that have been proven to get results. In today’s world, it’s all about transparency. Let people know what’s going on in your business – profit or nonprofit – so they can feel like they are a part of the action.

1. Show people what you are doing. Anyone who contributes to your nonprofit probably wants to know if the dollars they are donating are having an impact. There are many opportunities for you to do this. For example, you can post a picture of a child on your Facebook page with a brief post letting people know the impact you had on this child’s life. You could create a board on Pinterest and pin pictures of people or places who have benefitted from your nonprofit. The bottom line is this – you want to use every opportunity on all your social media channels, blog posts, YouTube channel, and newsletters to let people know the impact you are having.

2. Use hashtags in Twitter to create an ongoing conversation with your donors about your cause. Check out my blog post to learn more about hashtags. Simply post something about your organization followed by a hashtag. For example, you could post – we are looking for ideas for our next fundraiser #nonprofitideas.

3. Use a tool such as HootSuite to listen more effectively. Find where people are mentioning your organization and engage in a conversation with them by retweeting their posts, following them, or just sending them a direct message to let them know you appreciate them mentioning your organization in their post.

4. Create videos and post them to YouTube. Post a video of someone who benefited from the efforts of your organization. Create a video that shows your offices and introduces your volunteers. This makes it a little more personal.

These are just a few of the ways you can engage your donors and supporters to increase donations, increase your volunteer base, and show people the difference your nonprofit is making in the community.

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Using LinkedIn is like having an almost unlimited number of prospects and contacts, and it’s a great tool you can use to grow your business. The average LinkedIn user has a 6-figure income and there are more than 250,000,000 users. So, as you can see, there is a huge benefit to utilizing everything you can in LinkedIn.

When you create your LinkedIn profile, it’s a good idea to also have a LinkedIn Company Page to start making full use of everything LinkedIn has to offer. The Company Page allows you to tell a little more about what you do, add employees to the profile, list your products and services, list job openings, and more. You also have Page Insights for your Company Page that will show demographics, page views, etc.

One of the requirements to create a Company Page is to have a company email address. It can’t be a yahoo, gmail, or any other generic email address.

Four simple steps to create your LinkedIn Company Page:

1.  Move your cursor over Interests at the top of your LinkedIn homepage and select Companies from the dropdown menu.

2.  Click the Add a Company link in the upper right area of the page.

3.  Enter your company’s official name along with your work email address.

4.  Click Continue and enter your company information.

Note: If the email address you provide is an unconfirmed email address on your LinkedIn account, a message will be sent to that address. Just follow the instructions in the message to confirm your address. Then use the instructions above to add your Company Page.

Once your Company Page is created, your URL will be your company name with hyphens. For example, http://linkedin.com/company/abc-company. LinkedIn will follow up with you via email with other tips and suggestions to enhance your LinkedIn Company page.

Let me know your LinkedIn Company Page URL so I can see your handiwork.

social media marketing nashville tn facebook

As you probably already know, measuring ROI on social media can be a little tricky. But on Facebook, you can use Facebook Page Insights to measure a few of the metrics that matter so you can become more effective in posting content and engaging the people who ‘Like’ your page.

And having success with Facebook (or any social media) is all about engagement. Engagement can be defined as a like, a share, or a comment.

Facebook Page Insights will help you access the size of your audience and help you understand if people are engaging with the content you post.

Here is how it works … 

Log on to your Facebook account and select the Facebook Page you want to monitor. Then, under your Admin Panel, click on Show All next to Insights.

On the next page, you will see – Overview, Likes, Reach, Talking About This – towards the top of the page. Under that you will see – Graph. Then under the graph, you will see – Individual Posts.

Here are a few key metrics you can check. There are more but this will give you a high-level introduction to the capabilities of Facebook Page Insights.

Click on Likes (next to Overview at the top of the page) to see the demographics and location of the people who Like your Page,

Click on Reach (next to Overview at the top of the page) to see Total Tab views. This will show you how many people clicked on each of the Tabs on your Page along with a few other metrics.

In the Graph section, hover your mouse over the purple dots along the bottom of the graph to see the date of the individual post. Then look in the Individual Posts section under the graph to find the individual post for that date. Next to that post you will see key metrics such as Reach, Engaged Users, Talking About This, and Virality. Hover your mouse over the question mark next to each column heading to see what each one means.

If you want to download more data into an Excel spreadsheet, click on the Export button.

This is just a basic overview of Facebook Page Insights that will give you a few ideas for how you can improve your posts and give you a better idea of how you can monitor the performance of your Facebook Page.

Periodically go into Facebook Page Insights to see how your page is performing. Think about how you can use this information to improve your posts and engage more people.

Then you will start to see more and better results from the time you are investing in Facebook.

Social bookmarking sites allow you to organize and store resources online. One of the more popular social bookmarking sites on the scene today is Pinterest.

What is Pinterest? Just think about a cork board you may have in your office where you pin specific things you want to remember or pin pictures of your vacation, favorite car, or whatever.

You can do the same thing in Pinterest, except now your cork board is online where you can share the links with your friends, see what other people are sharing, and search on specific topics of interest.  And people can follow you to see what you are pinning. You can create different boards and then pin your favorite things on the boards you create. For example, you may have a favorite music board, favorite restaurant board, amazing products board, favorite websites, or anything else related to you or your business.

Why is it important? Because people are spending more time on Pinterest than on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn combined.

Now you’re probably asking, “What does this have to do with marketing my business?”

Let’s say you are an event planner – you could post pictures of your clients’ events or of your venue. The same basic principle applies if you are a musician, photographer, or selling widgets. You are sharing your interests and providing some insight into your business.

And it helps build the know, like, and trust factor that’s so important for people to do business with you. Pinterest is just another window they can peak through to learn more about you and your business.

You can set up a personal account at pinterest.com or you can set up a business account at business.pinterest.com. And if you already have a personal account, it’s easy to convert it to a business account.

There are a couple of advantages to having a Pinterest business account vs a personal account. They are adding educational materials to help businesses market themselves, along with new features and tools designed specifically for businesses.

Go to business.pinterest.com. Check out the case study and browse the site to learn more about how this tool can help you in your business.

Having a blog on your website is essential to your overall online marketing strategy. And I have mentioned in previous newsletters how you can get ideas for things to blog about by reading, researching, and brainstorming ideas. Today, I want to give you seven tips on how you can improve your blog once it’s written.

1. You can dramatically increase your open rate by creating a great subject line for your email and a great title for your blog post.

2. If possible, use your keywords in the title of your post and use keywords throughout the copy. You can use Google’s free keyword tool to do this. This tool also can be helpful in generating ideas since you can find the keyword phrases people are using to find services or products related to what you have to offer.

3. Link to other pages or other posts within your website from your blog post. These are called internal links and Google likes this.

4. Use pictures and graphics in your blog posts. It has been shown that doing this increases interest and increases the likelihood someone will read it.

5. Share your posts on all your social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).

6. Set up a way for someone to subscribe to your blog so when you post something, they will receive an email of your post. This really helps increase readership and makes it easier for them to keep up with your posts. My favorite one for WordPress websites at the moment is Subscribe2.

7. Be consistent in your posts. It can be weekly, bi-weekly, or whatever you decide, but make sure you post on a consistent basis. 3 or 4 times per week is ideal, if you can find the time to write.

And, of course, create great content that people want to read. You create great content by constantly working on your writing chops and never running out of ideas.

Keep a notebook or a file on your computer where you jot down ideas for future blog posts. A great way to do this is to use a productivity tool, such as Evernote. This allows you to jot down notes, record ideas, clip websites, and many other things that will assure you never run out of ideas.

I hope this helps.This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as things you can do to improve your blog. Let me know what you think, or if you have any other ideas.

In working with clients on their social media marketing, I have observed several key challenges most businesses face when implementing a social media marketing strategy.

Here are a just few of the challenges:

Measuring ROI. There are several ways to measure ROI – number of followers, likes, connections; number of visits to website; lead generation; sales. These are the basic ways to measure your results. And you need to get your base numbers before launching your campaign or you won’t know if what you are doing is working.

Managing and growing your social media presence. Most businesses lack the necessary resources needed to effectively launch a successful social media campaign. It makes sense to focus your efforts on your areas of expertise in your business and outsource your social media marketing.

Integrating social media marketing with the rest of your marketing. It’s important that you don’t forget the rest of your marketing when creating a social media marketing strategy. One of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make is focusing all their efforts on social media and forgetting the rest of their marketing.

Managing your content. Creating posts, tweeting, and engaging with your fans and followers is how you make social media work for you. Creating and managing content that gets your message across, informs, and educates your audience, while at the same time selling your services, can be tricky. You don’t want to be selling all the time, but you do want to grow your business. Learn basic copywriting skills. Keep a notebook or a file on your computer where you can write short notes for future posts. That will keep you from running out of ideas when it comes time to post something.

Monitoring your social media platforms. This can become a time-consuming task if it’s not managed properly. Set aside a few minutes every day to monitor comments and posts from others in your network. Block out, for example, 10 minutes just for this task and nothing else. Also, use tools such as HootSuite or TweetDeck to make monitoring your accounts easier.

A good social media marketing person will provide you with easy to understand reporting along with periodic strategy and brainstorming sessions to make sure everything that is being done is working. This will give you peace of mind and assurance that your marketing dollars are being spent wisely.

Social media marketing is not a one-shot deal or a campaign, it’s a commitment to posting, tracking, and measuring your results.

Even though social media has been around for several years now, I still get people asking me why they should use social media. And a lot of people still see it as a waste of time. But nothing could be further from the truth.

There was a time when just having a website was enough to support your online marketing efforts, but that is no longer the case. It takes a combination of both online and offline marketing strategies to successfully market your business or services. And using social media is just another online marketing strategy you can use to build your brand, build your list, and grow your business.

Here are three reasons for using social media:

Your competition is using it. How many businesses do you know who have a Facebook Page? Having a presence on social media sites is no longer an option. If you don’t have an active social media presence, you can bet your competition is using it to get customers in your target market.

Your target market is using it. Almost everyone now relies on social tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about a company and to share information with their friends and peers. If you are not on these social sites, you are not being taken seriously by the businesses and people you are trying to reach.

It starts the conversation. All of these platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) are great for starting conversations. On Twitter, you can build a loyal legion of followers by posting original and interesting content. On Facebook, you can invite people to like your page and to post comments. On LinkedIn, you can join groups, ask questions, and join discussions to share your expertise and become known as the expert in your field.

And one of the biggest excuses I hear for not using social media is, “I can’t think of anything to post.”

If you can’t think of anything to post, then comment on a post or retweet something one of your followers tweeted. Once you start doing this, you will start thinking of new things you can post.

Social media is not the answer to all your marketing challenges, but it is an essential part of your overall marketing strategy. So, spend a few minutes every day to post something, connect with people, and join conversations.

With the recent updates to Google’s search algorithm (Panda and Penguin), the focus has been placed more on your brand, your reputation, and how well you engage your followers than on how well you can “tweak” your site for SEO (search engine optimization).

Don’t get me wrong. It’s still very important to do everything you can to properly optimize your site for the major search engines doing all the regular SEO tasks. But the SEO game is changing.

Social media (Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) is becoming more relevant when it comes to ranking well in search results. And it’s not just about you posting pictures of your cousin’s wedding on your Facebook page.

It is about engaging your audience and managing how your brand is perceived by Google and everyone else. It is about having conversations and discussions with your followers, friends, and contacts on a regular basis.

So how do you do this? How do you engage your audience in discussions that are interesting enough for them to want to post a comment or retweet something you have posted?

The key is to post things that are relevant to them and the people in their circle of influence. To do this, you have to know the demographics and psychographics of your followers.

Just as you have to know this to sell to a specific market offline using traditional marketing methods, you now have to know these things to post information that is interesting enough and relevant enough for them to share with their friends.

When you think about your clients and prospects, think about the questions they ask on a consistent basis. Post things geared towards solving their problems and education. Post links to articles, videos, or other interesting things that will be beneficial to your target market. Constantly promoting yourself or telling everyone how great you are is not the approach to take if you want to engage your audience and rank well in the search engines.

It takes a little work to learn what you need to know and to come up with appropriate posts, but the time you invest in doing this will be well worth the effort. The marketplace (and Google) will appreciate and reward you with more business and better search engine rankings.

Do your part and retweet, comment on other people’s posts, share their newsletters and YouTube videos. Get involved in others conversations by participating in discussion groups on LinkedIn.

In a nutshell, Google wants to be sure your brand is relevant to whatever someone is searching for and that you are creating engagement around your brand.

It seems as if everyone is on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But why? What is the purpose of using social media in your business?

The three main reasons for using social media in your business are to engage your audience and to continually build those relationships. I believe, as a general rule, it’s impossible to build a solid relationship through social media, but it can be the genesis for building business relationships.

And whether you think social media is a waste of time or not, you have to be using the tools because many of your potential clients are using them. Think of it this way. If you knew you could go to a networking event and possibly meet 100 new prospects for your business, would you do it?

Of course you would. When you use social media, that is basically what you are doing. You are attending a networking event that is open to anyone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

But you can’t just show up. You have to engage, start conversations, and share information that your target audience will find interesting, entertaining, and shareable. You want to create posts that your audience will want to share with other people like them. That is where the real power of social media comes into play.

Can you make money from using social media? That is like asking if you can make money from a press release or from a networking event. It goes back to the basics of business. It’s all about the relationships you build and social media is just one more tool you can use to start conversations and start building relationships.

So, when you are posting something to any of your social networks, ask youself this question. Why would my audience care about this post? Is it something that will help them in their business or help them get to know you better? Is it something they will find entertaining? Is it something they will want to share with other people like them?

Also think about the time of day you are posting. Studies have shown the best time to post (or tweet) something is early afternoon. Show up when your audience is more likely to read your post.

One of the best strategies you can use on Twitter is to retweet someone else’s tweet. On Facebook, posting a comment on a post that someone made is a great strategy.

Make sure whatever you post on your social media is worthy of being retweeted, commented on, or shared. Post things at the right time to increase the chances your posts will be read. If you do these things, you will get better results from the time you invest.