Tis the season, and I don’t mean the holiday season.
Tis the season for setting your social media sights right for 2019. Many business owners are working to set goals and make big plans for the coming year. If you haven’t started, you may want to get to it as Q1 is right around the corner.
Getting new business tends to be the focus for many business owners, but often they forget the importance of nurturing repeat clients/customers. This alongside promoting a healthy and valuable social presence is incredibly necessary. As many business owners are bootstrapping their way to success in the beginning, they may not have the resources available to hire a company to take over their digital presence for them.
For that, I present to you the 12 Tools of Social Media!
I’ve compiled many of my tools and tips here for you to use as a resource for DIY-ing your social presence for your brand or business. Best of all, they’re all FREE in some fashion.
Trello is a fantastic app for workflow capabilities. It allows you to create, save and edit right in the app itself. It can be accessed on your computer or on your phone for ease and convenience. I use Trello to plan content for the month. My clients are then able to view, edit and comment on any changes they may need. This is a great resource for planning, organizing and collaborating beyond social media as well. Many businesses upgrade to the paid Trello plan for added options and customization. Here’s a business builder’s example board for you to view.
Image Creation Resource
Images and videos are king on digital platforms. The idea is that you want to get followers and potential followers to stop scrolling long enough to consume your content. For that, you’ll need compelling, on-brand content, usually in the form of images. I use Canva and PicMonkey as my two main image creation platforms. They both allow you to create images based on the correct sizes for each platform. You can layer text, edit photos, and create all new graphics that will help to promote your business, brand or products. Best of all, they are also available on your phone for on-the-go access.
Image Library Resource
In order to create great images, you need to have great images. Where can you get great images that are free for commercial use? Aside from spending hours taking, editing and creating new images or paying TONS of money on stock photo sites, you can visit Unsplash or Pixabay to find many images that are royalty free. Please do NOT copy images off of Google as they the majority have copyright protections that prohibit their use by the general public. Always check the permissions for the photos you find and use and when in doubt, ask the author.
As much as one might like to spend time scrolling Facebook, the reality is that business is-a-calling. There are other needs that require tending apart from social media. If you’ve created content that is evergreen, it may be smart for you to schedule it out to save some time. Nothing beats hitting “publish” live but the days fill up quickly and time needs to be saved wherever it can. Facebook offers a native scheduler that will publish content on your business pages or within your group to make this process easier. Bonus: it won’t say “posted by a third party” when your post goes live!
Much like Facebook has a scheduler build into the platform, Twitter has something similar. TweetDeck allows you to schedule out evergreen content tweets that you’d like to utilize for your posts. I always recommend interacting live on Twitter daily, but if you’d like to fill the gaps with evergreen or curated content, TweetDeck is great for that.
You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram. The sweet spot seems to be somewhere between 14 and 29 hashtags. There should be a mix of general, niche and industry tags peppered in. A hot tip for these tags is to keep a list, or note, in your phone of the 10 tags you use regularly. Then you can add, remove or update them once you have copied and pasted them into your Instagram post. This is a way to save you time and a potential insta-headache.
Content on the Go
Your phone is the best and most convenient camera you have for on-the-go content. Use that little pocket camera’s capabilities for Instagram stories, capturing photos that you can use later as well as checking in and posting when you have a few minutes. I love using my phone for Twitter as I can interact quickly and in real time. You pay oodles of dollars for that phone, make it work for you too!
Funny Holidays or Days of Note
Do you always forget “Talk like a Pirate Day” (it’s September 19th, by the way) or “Administrative Assistant’s Day”? There is a resource I use when creating content for each month which is called Days of the Year. It lists multiple fun and interesting holidays for every day of the year. When you’re stuck for lighthearted content, pop over and see what’s going on that day! You’ll be surprised what you find!
Content curation should be a good portion of the content shared. An excellent way to showcase great work that others have created is by filtering industry-specific content through Feedly. Feedly is a site where you can curate and peruse article, videos and more based on interest or keywords. You can save these searches to get daily updates and stay on top of the day’s trending topics.
A tribe is an important part of your social presence. Connect with others in your industry, networking group or in Facebook groups that you can build connections with as a business owner. These connections, when invested in you and your success, will be more likely to read, like and share your content. Don’t forget to reciprocate. Share, like and comment on the content of those you work with, admire and support. Social media is meant to be social!
Your social media presence is at the behest of the platforms in which it resides. That’s why it is so important to have a website where you can cultivate an email list. This list will serve as your foot in the door to more eyes on your content. You can share updates, give reminders and funnel your readers toward becoming paying clients or referral sources.
The Social Suite Group
Join a free group on Facebook to connect, network and learn tricks of the trade in any industry. If you’ve thought of it, there has probably been a group created for it. Personally, the Social Suite Group is a free Facebook group for DIY social media tips to jumpstart your digital presence. Join us where no question is too small, and no problem is too big!
If you just don’t have the patience or the time for social media, check out MOKup Media for assistance creating content, posting and engaging with your current and future followers. Your business will thank you!
Voice vs. Tone
The easiest way for you to make a “name” for your brand online is to stand for something. Have a personality and a voice. The voice of your brand can be described as the personality of your brand. If you were to describe your brand as a person, what words would you use? What adjectives would you attribute to your brand? Is your brand funny, professional, sarcastic or friendly? These descriptors will help you to define the way you speak to your followers on your social media platforms.
Your tone is comprised of the audience, situation and channel you’re interacting on as your brand. This tone may change depending on the gravity of a situation or the intended purpose of the conversation. Your brand will have one voice, but the potential for many tones. Much like you would change the way you speak to your best friends versus the CEO of a fortune 500 company, so will your brand’s tone change.
Defining your voice
- Choose three words that embody your brand:
ex: Professional, Educational and Relatable
- Limit those words to narrow your brand’s personality:
Professional, but not cocky
Educational, but not boring
Relatable, but not dorky
- Read over your three words while looking at the visual branding for your business. Do the visuals of color, typeface and overall feeling align with the three words you’ve chosen for your brand? If so, you’ve got it! If not, it’s time to revisit one or the other.
Mastering your tone
As a brand, you’ll want to be prepared to respond to followers in a variety of situations. A great way to hone your brand’s tone is to participate in real-time experiences online. This will help you to respond and converse with your brand in mind. Think about how you speak about your brand to potential clients and investors. That will help you to embody the brand as a personality online. The best way for this practice to become second nature is to continually practice speaking as your brand instead of about your brand.
If you are finding difficulty in determining your brand’s voice or specific tones, please reach out! We at MOKup Media would be happy to sit down with you for a session to discuss and define your brand’s voice and the goals you have for conversing online. The digital space is a welcoming playground if you know the rules. We’ll happily be your guide! You can find us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!
It’s October once again. Time for tricks, treats and getting ready for the upcoming holidays. Whether you are preparing for increased holiday sales or looking to add new clients in Q4, your social media presence is important.
Here are 5 Twitter tricks (or treats) to sweeten your social presence.
Update your profile and cover photos.
If you are the face of your brand, change your photo to match. Followers are more likely to follow and engage with a brand they can connect to a person rather than an image. If you prefer a logo for your brand make sure it is bright and clear. Also, update your cover photo to match the current season or new images of your latest products. If you’re a real estate agent, create a collage of photos of available houses in your area. If you are promoting products that can be ordered, showcase those products in a clear, eye-catching way. MLM groups may provide appropriately sized images for your social platforms. Check the resources section of your brand’s portal.
Follow for conversation, not reciprocation.
The follow-for-follow or follow-unfollow games are a short-sighted endeavor. The number of followers matters less than the engagement your content creates. The ROI of your time is better spent engaging and following 100 of your ideal clients than 10,000 people who won’t ever convert to clients or customers. If you are finding and conversing with people and brands who engage in thoughtful conversations you’re well on your way to a healthy social presence. One way to determine if someone is a follower who will stick around is to look at the numbers. Do they have 10k followers but only follow 100 people? They probably play the follow and unfollow game. Do they have engagement on their content? If not, they’re probably not engaging their audience and may not interact with you either.
Participate in Twitter Chats.
Each industry has its players. Many of those players host and participate in Twitter chats. These are digital meetings where users can engage with one another around a specific topic. They are able to follow the conversation using a chat-specific hashtag. One of my favorite weekly Twitter Chats for digital marketers is #TwitterSmarter. Tweet Reports has a growing list of Twitter Chats organized by hashtags. You can check it out here. If you can’t find a chat that meets your needs, maybe start one of your own!
They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a healthy Twitter presence. You will need to interact with current and new followers consistently. The more you interact and engage, the faster your following will grow. This takes time, energy and content. If you’re unable to dedicate the time necessary to growing your following and promoting your presence you may want to seek assistance. Many agencies exist that can help you to create and curate content that you can share with your current and potential followers.
Have a clear voice.
You know your ideal client, your products and services and you have the expertise in your industry. Develop your brand’s voice and tone when responding to a variety of topics: customer service needs, new product announcements, general conversation. Your unique voice will help you to have an identifiable presence on social media. Vanilla is great for ice cream, not so much for your attitude online.
Give your business a boost with this October Treat! Send an email with your social links (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram) to [email protected] and let our team provide you with a free digital diagnostic overview!
A URL shortener is a tool that makes a long URL shorter in length while still sending those who click to the correct page. Shorter links reduce clutter in your posts. It is also a great way to get some metrics about your posts.
There are several tools out there that will take the URL to your content and shorten it. You want to pick a tool and start doing this all the time. Here’s why.
Why Short URLs Matter
Some social media channels automatically shorten URLs, but you want to use the same tool for all of your posts. That way, you can a more complete view of the performance of your content across all uses.
There are several shorteners. I list three most commonly used tools below. They offer varying tracking features, but using any of them will tell you what’s getting clicked (and what’s not). This is invaluable insight for online marketing efforts.
Three Popular URL Shorteners
This URL shortening service offers tracking metrics so you know exactly how many people are clicking on your link. When you sign up for a free account, you can actually share links right on your dashboard and then see the data that goes along with each share.
This shortener is integrated into Hootsuite, but you can use the shortened URLs anywhere you post. It offers real-time analytics, sharing functionality, and will give you advice about the best time to post a link.
Link shortening with buff.ly is available on all plans. Buffer also gives you a dashboard that allows you to share links right from their site and then see real-time analytics. You can also shorten a URL and use it anywhere you compose and post.
Insight You Can Use
Once you get into the groove of using one of these tools for all of your online posts, you will get useful insight into what content is getting clicks. Further, you’ll know what content performs well on your various marketing channels.
Use the information to refine your digital marketing. Put more time into content that is getting attention and put aside great ideas that just aren’t performing.
For more help with your digital marketing, be sure to visit my blog. I offer actionable insights three times a week.
*Based on a true story- names have been hidden to protect the successful*
Once upon a time, there was a government contractor. They were in their 5th or 6th year of business and plodding along. They weren’t in danger nor were they ‘raking it in’ per say in terms of clients or business but they were doing just fine. Deep down in their business-loving souls, they knew there was more. More they could be doing in a digital sense, more they could be saying and more they could be meeting. But how? What was the missing piece? How could they turn their strengths into selling points and create warm leads out of new interactions?
Then, their fearless leader found a digital marketing fairy. Someone who spoke to them about a world online where they could share their stories, meet new people and reconnect with like-minded businesses who needed their services. Was it too good to be true? Could they really use the web to connect across the country? Across the world?
The digital fairy said, yes!
But the company didn’t have the time or the knowledge to take on yet another something that wasn’t front-line-business worthy. How could it all be done? The fairy said she had a way!
But it will take work…
As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a digital portfolio. The company and the digital marketer worked together to solidify their messaging, develop their brand voice and connect their goals to their outreach online. It took some trial and error based on their industry and how they wanted to interact on the different platforms. Once they had their goals and voice decided, they were off to the races. They posted, and posted again: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more! Posting each work day without fail. They shared industry news, company highlights, and celebrations as well as takeaways from local events.
Little by little, they connected with those in their target industries. They interacted online in a way that made person-to-person meetings comfortable and productive. Partnerships formed through true relationships and they supported one another’s efforts with the diligence of a competition cheer team.
They were, the bell of the social ball!
Too good to be true?
Yet, midnight was approaching. Would it all be for naught? Could everything they build disappear in a flash?
They re-evaluated their endeavors regularly, tweaked their approaches as the platforms changed and developed new initiatives to attract their ideal clients. Their hard work, persistence, and postings were a success!
Yet, their work continues. Still, they post, still, they plan and still, they connect.
Ever active, ever forward!
Are you interested in creating a digital presence that aids in the success of your goals? Start by finding a digital marketing company or professional that understands your needs and can help you to discover and promote your brand’s voice. If you have questions or would like to learn more, please email [email protected], today!