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Social Media

How To Solve The Biggest Problems With Social Media

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Social media has become inextricably connected with online marketing and nearly 2 billion people use it every single day. This presents business owners with an unparalleled platform for advertising their company, but managing these accounts is challenging at best. Making mistakes with social media will have a long-lasting impact on a company and could do quite a bit of damage to the bottom line. Every business owner should take a look at these common problems and see what they can do to avoid them in the coming years.

No Clear Plan or Goals

After the accounts have been set up and linked to the company’s website, it is time to start thinking about clear goals and a plan of action that will help the business meet those goals. Countless businesses create accounts with a few social media platforms without even considering what their plans are for the coming months, and this will waste their time and resources. It is important to start setting monthly goals and at least develop a rough outline of how those goals will be achieved.

Content Becomes Overly Promotional

Content that is overly promotional has become such a problem that Facebook actually announced it will crack down on these posts and remove them from users’ feeds. Social media accounts cannot be seen as a digital billboard in which a company can plaster their advertisements. Instead, owners need to start thinking of them as a way to interact with current and future customers while adding valuable content to their life. This content can be as simple as a lighthearted joke or as important as a breaking news story within that particular industry. There is a time and place for advertisements, but social media accounts are not one of them.

Regular Updates Become Overwhelming

After a few months of managing social media accounts, many will begin to notice just how time-consuming it can be. For these individuals, it is time to start thinking about quality over quantity. Facebook updates, Tweets, and YouTube videos don’t need to be released multiple times a day throughout the week. Instead, it is more effective to strategically time updates at peak hours and then analyze which of those updates are getting clicks. Business owners want to ensure that they continue to have touchpoints with their customers without overwhelming them with useless information.

Grammar Errors and Inaccurate Information

All it takes is a single bungled post for followers to immediately lose interest. In the best case scenario, a typo or grammar mistake will be overlooked, but it can also lead to a barrage of corrections and snide remarks. Even more dangerous is sharing information that is later found to be incorrect. Businesses that plan on sharing news and pop culture must be exceptionally careful where they are getting information from. It often seems like a good idea to jump on a breaking story just as it happens, but even the largest news organizations can get information wrong at some point.

The Competition Is Creating Too Much Noise

Social media gives small business owners an unprecedented platform to connect with the world, but it is also a busy, noisy, and fast-paced arena. Instead of going head-to-head with larger competition, small and medium-sized businesses need to narrow their focus instead of casting a larger net. Owners should be looking at where their key demographics interact and then engage them in those forums, chats, websites, and pages. If a few hours of social media management only produces a few dozen key customers per month, then it is most likely time well spent.

27 Things About Social Media Your Boss Wants To Know

By | Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

There is an art to helping out your boss and your company without becoming an office outcast, and one of the best ways to do this is to offer them some simple and proven advice when the opportunity presents itself. Here are 27 tips, tricks, and ideas that your manager will definitely want to know about when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and all other social media sites.

1. Fun Bios Go A Long Way

Taking a few extra minutes to write up a funny and interesting bio for any employees involved with the social media account and all of the managers of the company is a great way to add a face to your business.

2. Professional Pictures Set Social Media Accounts Apart

Professional pictures are more affordable than ever and a photo that doesn’t scale correctly to fit the website is an unprofessional eyesore.

3. Schedule Email Invites Regularly

As your email list grows with current and past customers, use these emails to your advantage. Instead of spamming them every week, schedule a few invites at monthly intervals.

4. All Pages Should Link to Your Social Media Accounts

Outside of a few key pages on a website, essentially every page should have one-click access to sharing or liking on social media.

5. And Vice Versa

Just as your web pages lead to your social media accounts, everything from Twitter to Facebook should have one-click access leading back to the homepage or pertinent product pages.

6. Advertise Your Social Media Accounts Instead of Your Website

Instead of writing out a lengthy web address to a potential new employee, go ahead and have them like your Facebook page and have them contact you through there.

7. Be Helpful and Friendly

A Cardinal Rule of social media is to stay friendly, helpful, and professional at all times. Never get into squabbles on a public forum.

8. Go Easy on the Sales Talk

Social media accounts can link back to product and service pages, but most traffic on these sites and apps are there to be entertained.

9. Always Measure Results

It is important to measure the success of all social media strategies. This may include anything from clickthrough rates to new followers.

10. Create Goals

When you have an accurate way to begin gauging your success, start setting monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals with these accounts.

11. Get As Many Employees On Board As Possible

Make your social media accounts fun for employees as well as clients and customers as they can drive quite a bit of traffic to you.

12. Update As Regularly As Possible

At the very minimum, business owners should be looking to update at least a handful of times per week with major posts a few times a month.

13. Don’t Just Broadcast, Engage

Instead of simply updating your feed or Tweeting a news story, take the time to respond to followers and engage with them in conversation.

14. Social Media Isn’t An Ad Page

As always, keep the conversation on social media pages light, cheerful, and useful for followers.

15. Make Someone Responsible

Pick at least one employee in the company to be responsible for updates and responding to followers.

16. Don’t Treat All Social Networks the Same

The same things don’t need to be shared on LinkedIn as Facebook and owners should know how to pick their outlets.

17. Use Hashtags Appropriately

Managers should be able to pick 10 to 15 of the most important hashtags and then focus on using those when possible.

18. Tag Appropriately

Every employee does not need to be tagged in a company photo so be careful about spamming followers with this information.

19. Marketing Objectives Should Be Rethought Periodically

Whether your current tactics are working perfectly or need some improvement, take some time to tweak them every few weeks.

20. Speak to Other Industry Leaders

Engaging with other industry leaders is not going to give them free advertisement, it will establish your place as a leader in that field.

21. Link to Other Industry Leaders

Unless they are direct competition, feel free to share information from other companies or industry leaders when they put up good posts.

22. Social Media Sites Should Have A “Personality”

Whether you choose to be quirky, sarcastic, or morose, pick a personality and stick to it with all social media accounts.

23. Fun Accounts Get Followers

Unless it goes against your industry, always remember that fun accounts get new followers.

24. Social Media Helps Create Business Relationships Too

Instead of simply searching out new customers, start to look for how your social media accounts can connect with vendors and business partners.

25. Inconsistent Profiles Lose Followers

Even if you are overwhelmed with business one week, always make sure to give followers and friends at least something to read.

26. Integrate These Accounts with All Departments

Social media account information should be forwarded to all pertinent departments such as human resources and customer service.

27. Create Company-Wide Social Media Policies

Finally, as your accounts become more popular, ensure that everyone in the company and everyone with access to those accounts understands that there are policies in place designed to avoid advertising catastrophes.

How You Can Leverage Social Media to Increase Your Site Traffic

By | Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

Social media has been touted by many as the ‘next big thing’, with companies jumping on the bandwagon and setting up accounts with little consideration put into why and how, then wondering why they haven’t achieved the expected results.

Using social media can be the key to increasing your website’s ranking quickly if time and thought is put into doing it right. Here are our steps to getting your content shared and traffic increased to your website or blog via social media…

Choose the right social media platforms

Don’t sign up to every social media site going indiscriminately; you need to pick the ones that are appropriate for your business, and avoid having more than you are able to update regularly. Nothing looks less professional than a Facebook or Twitter page set up, updated a few times and then abandoned.

If your company is ‘business to business’ consider making connections via LinkedIn, and if it’s ‘business to consumer’ Twitter and Facebook might be more appropriate for you. Some other useful platforms include Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and if you’re a little more daring, Snapchat or Vine.

Consider your brand values…

As when designing and launching your website, when using social media you must make sure you put some careful thought into how you come across. You should have the same tone of voice on your website as you do when communicating via social media, so your brand’s message doesn’t become confused.

Whilst the nature of social media communication is instant this doesn’t mean you should let your grammar and spelling become sloppy. A lot of errors will make your company look unprofessional; take a quick check over for mistakes before you post.

Make sure your post is visible

It’s a great first step to create quality content for social media, but if it isn’t easily visible your hard work could be lost. Make sure you attach an eye-catching image to every post you share on Facebook.

Uploading an image manually means it will appear larger in news feeds than if you just use the automatically attached thumbnail, and for important posts consider the ‘highlight’ option to really make them stand out.

Meet and interact with potential clients

A recent study by Audience Insight Report has found that LinkedIn drives more traffic to corporate websites than any other social media platform.

LinkedIn is a great place to find relevant businesses and people in your industry. Make connections, join LinkedIn groups, create groups and share your news and blog posts to get the most traffic and enquiries through to your site as possible.

Quality content

Possibly the most important thing is the quality of your content. However beautifully your Facebook page is designed and presented, if all the posts shared are dull and derivative it is pretty meaningless.

Your posts must be compelling in some way, and explore an interesting point rather than just regurgitating the thoughts of another blog. To be heard it helps to be controversial, very specific about your topic, an authority on your topic, or all of these things.

Emily Bradbury is writing for Superdream, a digital marketing agency specialising in graphic design, SEO and web design in the Midlands.

Top 5 Signs You’re Doing Social Media Wrong

By | Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

If you have five followers or barely any status updates, your social media habits need to change. For marketing professionals, social media is more than swapping recipes and bonding with old high school friends. It is a strong tool to connect with current customers, potential clients and watch your competitors’ behavior. Many signs point to poor social media use, but you can change that with a little online upkeep.

Your Posts Are Not Relevant

At the very minimum, post to social media at least once a day. For marketing purposes, you should be active throughout the day with multiple postings. Your updates should not be picture diaries of your various lunch meals, however. Post relevant information that is engaging for readers. With all of the information flowing through multiple social media sites, your post needs to stand out. Find interesting facts about your industry, including historical references. Any information to keep customers listening is the key to good social media use.

People Feel Alienated

Every business wants to bring in as many clients as possible. People have varied backgrounds, from their religion to nationality. Do not post any derogatory or controversial information about politics, religion or race. You do not know who may be offended, including a very lucrative client. Social media for marketing purposes must remain professional. Picture a group of clients sitting in front of you as you compose your post. If you cannot say it out loud with clients in the room, do not post it on social media.

You Forgot About Your Company

You are not alone in the social media sea. Don’t forget to link your company’s website and relevant contacts to your social media accounts. Clients reading your posts can automatically contact your company with questions or sales calls. Allow your marketing team to design a unique wallpaper for your social media account to further entice clients when they visit your posts. A company logo and corresponding company colors create a polished look to impress clients. Making communication easier between you, the client and your company increases sales dramatically.

What Competitors?

Competition is fierce in some industries, such as real estate. Being blind to your competitors’ actions makes you vulnerable to more competition and potentially lower sales. Use private lists on some social media sites to watch your competitors’ posts without officially following them. You do not want them to know you are aware of their activities. This strategy gives you an edge during sale negotiations, especially if you and your competitor share a common client.

Conversations Seem Old Fashioned

Posts are not static declarations. Comment on your post if people join in on the conversation. Create an instant messaging conversation with an online client. Engaging your client helps them feel comfortable with you, especially if you offer a few industry tips. When it comes to a future sale, your client feels that they owe you a favor because of the previous tips. Using reciprocation in social media conversations helps your bottom line soar.

Using social media correctly takes some consideration of your post quality. Read your posts to yourself before sending them. Correct grammar and spelling for a more polished online presence. Clients still want a professional regardless of the particular industry. Keep your comments clean and concise to entice clients onto your media page for increased revenue.

Derek is blogging for Hudson Horizons, an integrated web agency located in northern New Jersey. He enjoys blogging about social media, SEO and web development.

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