Social Media Q&A Session with Shana Bull & Kerry Rego

Social Media Q&A Shana Bull Kerry Rego

How do you talk about your business after a disaster?

It’s never been more important for us to market our businesses and communicate with our customers as we begin our recovery but how do we do that?

Shana Bull, Paul Gullixson & I are getting together to discuss what we’ve learned about having a healthy mix of media, what we learned about technology in a crisis, and how to move forward with our brands.

Join us 11/16/17 5:30-7:30pm at Santa Rosa City Council Chambers. The event is Free.

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How to Schedule Content on Facebook

Do you ever wonder how social media managers control all the posts they put out? Are you curious about how they do it? Once you know the trick, you can do it too.

Social media managers, marketing professionals, and community managers are all in charge of creating content, posting to various platforms, monitoring engagement, reviewing analytics, and creating reports. Each of these steps is an intense amount of work. Some people do all of them and some organizations are large enough that these jobs are split amongst multiple people. No matter which one they are, there’s a lot of work to be done and ways to cut down the time required.

Efficiency on the job

It doesn’t matter where you work, if you can do your job more efficiently, it’s a win. When it comes to digital marketing, I recommend deciding what content is important to your audience, what you need to be communicating, and with what frequency. I’ve talked about this before and you can read about editorial calendars and social media theme document (both have downloads.) Continue reading

How to Be a Branding Rockstar

Want to know how to be successful?

Look to those that have come before you. Study their assets, their journey, and their tactics. Watch them as they work and you will learn more than you ever expected. These observations plus your strategic planning and hard work, you too can be a Branding Rockstar.

I call this “Follow the Rockstar.” It’s a concept I’ve shared again and again over the years. Continue reading

How to Have A Good Balance of Social Media Content

Many people that I talk to are worried about providing a good balance of social media content so as to not come across as “too sales-y”. Lots of channels only post pitches to buy stuff without any soul or entertainment value. The majority of social media users are there to talk to friends or family, find out information, or be entertained. Non-stop commercials are no fun for anyone and hurt a brand in the long run. The algorithms that determine what people see in their feeds has a lot to do with how interesting the content is and how many people are responding to it. Put out good stuff, the algorithms serve you more – you get more engagements then you get served more. It’s a circle.

balancing act, How to Have A Good Balance of Social Media Content

What is that balance?

I find that great social content follows the 70/20/10 rule – 70% value, 20% promotion, and 10% human. You can apply this to content you create on any platform or tool. 70% of what you’re posting should be of value to your audience. Not valuable to you or what you want to talk about, it should mean something to them. Now you’re racking your brain trying to think of what’s important to your audience.
Think about the last phone call, email, or conversation you had with a current or potential client or lead. What questions did they ask you? What were they concerned about? Frame your content around their needs and worries. Answer their questions so that when they search for information, your content may very well be served as the answer. Remember, everyone’s biggest concern is themselves and if you offer them solutions for their problems, they will view you as a vital resource. Continue reading

Keep Your Social Media Home Grounded

Your social media campaign is like a house. The foundation and the base of it all, is your website or other place where you convert visitors. Each channel has it’s own theme, feel, culture, and rules. Every time you want to share a piece of content, you’ll need to know which “room” of your house it belongs in. Many people think it’s all about gaining likes or followers on social media. It’s not. It’s about what affects your bottom line.

Before you pick a channel, before you get fancy with the tools and toys, do this:

  1. Establish what makes you money.
  2. Increase opportunities for your customers to spend money.

Social media tools are slippery slides that smooth the path for your prospective and current customers to spend said money. Social media isn’t THE POINT. It’s a vehicle. Continue reading

Avoid Astroturfing

Have you heard of “Astroturfing”? It’s the practice of writing false online reviews for businesses. The New York Attorney General just completed a one year undercover operation targeting companies that perform this service and those that hire them.

It can be tempting to engage in but $350,000 in penalties are the payment for lying. Don’t mistake the practice, it violates state laws against false advertising and deceptive business practices. I also suggest you don’t work with anyone that offers you this service.

Avoid astroturfing if you want to be taken seriously.

via Ars Technica photo by Jussi Mononen

Marketing: Do What Works

I had a potential client call me to discuss social media marketing needs for his expanding hi-end services business. We were talking about his target clientele and he mentioned that his clients didn’t care about social media. My response was, “Well, people don’t care about billboards either but they work.” Silence on the other end of the line.

#marketing #advertising

Gamification: The Greatest Call to Action

Voter Foursquare BadgeI voted today. As I was leaving, I made sure to check in on my mobile phone using the location based service, foursquare. Why would I want to telegraph my location? Because I’m playing the game of life, that’s why. And I knew I would get a badge. I’m competitive but it doesn’t have to be with other people. I enjoy being the best (at anything) and I’m not the only one. (I also play to get coupons and to become the “mayor” of locations that I frequent.)

What am I talking about? Gamification or the use of game mechanics and design techniques in non-game contexts. It’s really a psychological manipulation to get people to do things. This can also be referred to as a “call to action”. What makes gamification more effective at behavior modification than a simple call to action, is that it may offer a reward. The reward can come in the form of more playing time, a virtual item such as a badge, points or bragging rights with the use of a leader board. I’ve learned that people will jump through hoops for real (or virtual) gold stars.

There is a great trend in applying these techniques to achieve positive lifestyle changes. Basic tasks in the areas of community participation, exercise, tobacco cessation, and productivity can all be “gamed” to get people to do them. Make it fun, give them a reward, and people will do a lot. Check out this list of products that take advantage of the game scenario possibilities:

Nike+ FuelBand – tracks activity, goal setting
Jawbone Up – tracks activity and sleep
RunKeeper – social workouts
Foodzy – food, beverage, exercise tracking

You can apply this to getting your customers to act in desired ways or observe how you, as a consumer, are effected by gaming.

Just in case you are wondering, I have 48 badges, I’m the mayor of 56 locations, and I’m a Superuser Level 1. Who’s competitive? Not me! (yea, right)

I Voted Sticker

This “I Voted” sticker is cool too!

Sample Editorial Calendar

In order to deliver good content that communicates your brand’s message effectively, planning ahead is necessary. I provide my clients with an example editorial calendar (shown below). Sometimes I help them develop it and sometimes they take it back to home base and use it as a springboard. I wrote the blog 15 Easy Blog Topics which gives you a solid set of content ideas for blogs as well as use with other social media platforms. I used those ideas to build a sample editorial calendar to give to my clients.

The beauty of using a calendar is that you can plan a year ahead in a very short amount of time. It can be done within one meeting or brainstorming session. Once you plan a structure for the upcoming 12 months, it allows your marketing brain to relax a little because it knows you won’t be drawing a blank when it’s time to write. You can bank the content ahead of time by writing in batches. Batch writing is great for tackling a subject that is too large for just one post. You can write parts 1, 2, and 3 in a single sitting then schedule them to publish at preset times. Writing ahead of time will allow you to look for the topical items in the news that you should be addressing, the things you could never have anticipated but fit nicely with your message. Continue reading

Editorial Calendar Tips

Editorial Calendar

I have a simple technique I use to help build an editorial calendar. I print out my physical calendar, identify the events that I want to promote or talk about, using color coding for social media channels I then systematically distribute information. I do this every other week. Sometimes it takes an hour sometimes only 20 minutes.

Give it a try and tell me if it works for you or you have a better approach.

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