Category Archives: – How to Use Facebook

The Art of Social Media

The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users

The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawaski and Peg Fitzpatrick

Book reviewed by Stephanie Adams, Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire

This very easy to read paperback is packed with practical and useful tips for using social media to the maximum effect.

It includes over one hundred tips and covers: tips on content and responding to comments; integrating social media and blogging; getting more followers; running Google+ Hangouts and Twitter chats; optimising individual platforms and putting it all together. There’s also a very helpful glossary of terms at the end of the book.

I am going to share some of the tips I found most useful here, which does not include content from every chapter.

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How to get started with Digital Marketing

For anybody interested in ensuring that their business is able to compete in the 21st century, it’s incredibly important to have a good online profile. Digital Marketing is becoming the new buzzword, even for those businesses who provide physical products of face to face services.

Digital Marketing Basics

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Amazingly, over 50% of the UK’s small businesses still don’t have a website, and whilst maintaining a website might not seem like the most important aspect of your daily routine, it’s a good idea to get the basics in place in order for your business to thrive.

Whereas a few years ago people routinely used the Yellow Pages to search for a tradesman or a company, now more and more people just use Google, so it is essential that your company shows up in a search of your local area for whatever it is that you do.

Here is a brief overview of digital marketing basics, which you may want to consider if you are trying to attract new customers to your company.

Your business website

As it’s often the first place that a customer will encounter your company, your website should be simple, clear and up to date.

It’s now relatively easy to create a quick website with online resources such as Blogger that can include the basic essential information about your company such as contact details, opening hours and a brief summary of the services offered.  You can set up a website of this kind for free, although with websites, you get what you pay for, and for most companies it is worth having a website designed for you if you don’t know how to do it yourself.

From there, it’s just a matter of building your site up to include features such as special offers and product descriptions. Many sites such as Bedstar have created an exhaustive online shopping page for all of their beds, and whilst such a project may be beyond some smaller businesses, using an online shop such as eBay or even Etsy for craft-based products can provide a good short-term solution.

Social Media

Although most of us use social media networks in a personal capacity on a daily basis, there are many ways in which these sites can be used to market your business and enhance your reputation among your potential customers.

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Not only do social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook offer us an instant way to communicate to our dedicated customer base, but they can provide a relatively cheap way to advertise to followers based on criteria as specific as age, interests  and location.

Furthermore, social media means that it’s now easier than ever to build up a two-way relationship with your audience so that they can even advertise your products through visually-friendly social media apps such as Instagram.

Get Blogging

As the internet offers us an ever more close relationship with our target audiences, it’s important to make sure that any language used isn’t too stuffy, salesy or formal.

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That’s why having a blog is a great idea as not only does it present a more friendly face of your company, but it can also have great demonstrative value in illustrating how some of your products work.

A blog doesn’t have to be too complicated. The blog at Zinnia Folk Arts provides a nice little background story to the products that they feature, whereas Bitte’s range of baby clothing and toys is perfectly complemented by a blog that features interesting interviews and profiles on some of creators of the products.

As long as your blog is relevant and up-to-date, it’s the perfect place to build a bridge between your business and your audience.  The other main advantage of a blog is that Google likes to see websites which are regularly kept up to date with fresh content.  A blog provides this fresh content, and this means that Google will more likely to show your website to people when they are searching for your service than a site which has just one page and never updates.

Digital Marketing Assistant

If all the above is starting to make your head spin and boggle you, do not despair.  The joy of digital marketing is it can be done by anybody, not just somebody who works in the same building as you.

Nowadays there are many people (including me), who work as digital marketing assitants, helping companies with aspects of their social media, website design and blogging.  You don’t have to take on a full time employee – just a couple of hours a week from somebody who knows what they are doing on social media can reap enormous rewards, and give the impression that your business is up and ready for the 21st century.


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How to Get the Most Out of Social Media

Facebook has more than one billion active monthly users and on average Britons have four social media accounts, spending one hour and twenty minutes a day managing them. The question is, is this time well spent?

social media for business

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If you are a parent of school-age kids who’d rather play Candy Crush Saga than do their homework you’d probably say that it is a complete time waster. But in reality, social media can be very useful for keeping in touch with people in your personal life, and essential for keeping in touch with clients in the business world. So how can you be sure you’re getting the most out of social media?

1. Understand your purpose.

Social media isn’t suitable for all purposes, and certainly some forms of social media are much better than others for achieving things. Before you can get to grips with social media, you must understand in what ways you think social media could help you. Is it for keeping in touch with family, for organising community events, or for promoting your business?

2. Look at the Social Media alternatives

Facebook is probably all you need for sharing holiday snaps and organising family get-togethers but for more professional matters you’ll need to look at multiple accounts.

Depending on the nature of your organisation, customers and clients may expect to find you on any or all of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and more, so your first step is to peruse all of these options (you usually don’t need an account to view business pages or news streams). What are your competitors using and how are they using it?

3. Learn to do it right

Once you’re more familiar with the options you can start planning your own accounts. It might sound simple but it’s so easy to get it wrong. Your profile picture, bio and public interactions all need careful consideration.

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Places to go for help include:

Blogs – many bloggers produce how-to guides at the request of their regular readers. A quick google on ‘using twitter for business’ or ‘how to generate impact with Instagram’ will produce plenty of reading.  You will even find quite a lot of information in this blog, if you check for relevant posts in the Categories list on the sidebar.

Just beware of old posts because in the world of social media, things move on quickly.

Classes – for reliable up-to-date information and the chance to ask personalised questions your best option is a masterclass. City Lit offer courses in central London to help you get the most from social media. Taking a class gives you dedicated time to navigate social media successfully and develop your own business strategy.

Books – as with anything, you can teach yourself the basics from a book but again the difficulty with social media is that the tools and marketing strategies are continually evolving so make sure the information you’re using is up to date.

Talk to someone – if you want a bit of help getting started with social media there are plenty of people around who can help you (including me).  Sometimes it is a good idea to pay somebody to get you started, set up and running, then they can teach you what works in your market and give you the tools and confidence to continue by yourself.

The most important thing to remember is that it takes time to learn social media if you want to use it in an effective way for business, but that time invested can reap great rewards in the long term.

 

301 ways to use social media to boost your marketing by Catherine Parker

review by Stephanie Adams – Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire

I recently borrowed this business book from a library near to where I live in Hertfordshire and felt it would be useful to write a short review and share some tips from it.

I know most of us use social media in our businesses and it is often a requested topic at the Motivating Mum events I run in East Herts. Keeping up with useful information to apply is always the challenge! Continue reading

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Top 10 Tips for Growing Your Social Media Following

As you know, having plenty of followers on social media is an important indicator of your influence. It’s a good way to get the social proof you need to sell your products, services and ideas. But you don’t want just any followers – you want a lot of targeted followers who are willing to engage with you and answer your calls to action (CTA). After all, the entire point of having followers is to encourage more people to buy your products and services.

 

  1. Share Unique High Quality Content

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While your website should be the home where all your original and curated content lives, it must be promoted. One of the very best ways to do so is via your social media accounts. Sharing relevant content often is one of the surest ways to get more followers. If your content is unique, and high quality, your followers will share it too. Then, due to their sharing your content you’ll end up with even more followers who want to see more of what you have to offer.

  1. Share Your Connections’ High Quality Content

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When you share other people’s content that is relevant to your audience, you not only give your audience more proof of your brilliance and ability to help them find the information they need, you also get the attention of the people whose content you shared. Many times they will take notice and start sharing your high-quality, unique content with their audience. Notice that to do this correctly, you don’t just share anyone’s content. You share only content that is relevant to your audience. Plus, it’s better if you share content from business owners who are not in direct competition with you, but who sell complimentary products and services to yours to the same audience as you.

 

  1. Ask Your Partners, Current Customers, Vendors, Friends & Associates to Follow You

 

3-ask-followYou already have people who have purchased from you, read your blog, and who associate with you on other channels. Ask them to follow you on all the other places you consistently share information. By telling your audience where to find you, and where they can connect with you, you’ll open up more opportunities for them to follow you. Create a special invitation in an email newsletter that you send to each member of your audience, as well as to connections that might not be customers but who may know potential customers.

  1. Set Up Share Buttons, Badges, and More on Your Website

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Grab the code you need to set up the right buttons, badges, and links on your website so that it makes it easy for your audience to find you, follow you, connect with you. Use your contact page to place all the ways to contact you including your social media places as an additional spot to put this information. Don’t forget to add a Facebook “Like” box on any high traffic page sidebar. Don’t forget to add a Twitter badge and any other badge that you can get from your social media accounts to more than one spot on your website and blog. Multiple places help your audience connect with you easier.

 

  1. Use Your Signature Lines and Bios

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Naturally, you should include links to all your social media accounts in each email that you send out. Using your signature line to connect with people is the best way to use a signature line, including on social media networks that allow it. When you’re able to, you should put the links to your social media in any newsletter, direct mail, business cards, and other marketing collateral. You want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to connect with you, follow you, like you, and communicate with you.

  1. Link To Your Social Media

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Whenever you can link to your social media through webinar thank you pages, whitepapers, eBooks, guides, blogs, you should. In addition, ensure that you cross-promote other social media accounts by promoting your Facebook on Twitter, your Twitter on Facebook, and so forth. By cross-prompting social media accounts you make it super easy for your audience to find you, connect with you and engage with you. The more you engage with people, the more followers you’ll get.

  1. Don’t Forget Your CTAs

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Other than creating relevant, unique and frequent content, it’s important to remember to always include a call to action (CTA). Whether that is to “Like” me, “Follow” me, “Answer” me, and so forth, it doesn’t matter. But, what does matters is that you include the CTA in all your emails, thank you pages, blog posts, eBooks, eReports, and more. Every time you communicate with your audience you have a chance to get them to act. Don’t pass them up.

  1. Encourage Membership

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People like to feel as if they belong to a group and that they are somehow special and exclusive. One way to do this is to create content that only followers can access. You can do this in a number of ways, such as requiring a sign in to see all of your content. Give some away free, just enough to pique their interest enough that your audience wants more, then require that they sign in. Or you can let them read all the content but not comment without signing in with one of their social media accounts. By creating content only members can see and/or participate in, you’ll encourage membership.

 

  1. Encourage Fans and Followers to Invite Others

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Ask your current fans to invite others, and incentivize them to do so by offering prizes or other encouragement. Another way to encourage your current fans and followers to invite others is to have campaigns such as asking your customers to make videos or memes about what they love about your product or service and share it with their friends, family, followers and connections, as well as tag you in the process.

 

10 Engage With Others

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Social media is nothing if not a place to interact and engage with others. On every social media account it is imperative that you engage directly with those who speak to you and to actively respond to questions and provide answers to those who ask. In addition, it’s important to comment on and interact with people on their own social media accounts too. Engagement is an essential component in making social media work for you and attracting more followers.

Understanding that social media is an imperative in online marketing today, and that the entire point of social media is to get more audience members (as well as to encourage your audience members to answer your calls to action) is your first step to making social media work for you. Following these top ten tips for growing your social media following will work every single time.

 

These tips and more are covered in my new ebook – Mum’s the Boss Guide to Social Media Management

Top 10 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website from Social Media

When you realise that the entire point of social media is to drive traffic to your website, which should be the centre of your online marketing world, you start to use social media correctly. Social media is not supposed to be the destination of your followers. Instead, social media should only be the beginning of a long relationship that involves sharing, interacting, learning, and engaging.

Use social media to remind followers to visit your website for more information, products and services. Use social media as a way to listen to what your audience wants. Use social media as the method by which you become an important industry expert from whom your audience seeks information. The following tips are used by industry experts, large organisations and businesses alike to drive traffic from social media to their websites. No need to reinvent the wheel, these ten tips work.

1) Become a Thought Leader

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It may seem strange that the more popular you can become off the Internet, the more popular you will be on the Internet and the more people will connect with you, follow you, and then go to your website. Spread yourself around, write for other popular blogs, magazines, and newsletters then cross promote. Accept speaking engagements outside of the Internet but record them, and put them on YouTube.com, embed the recordings or links on your site, and share via social media. Write a book, and use that as your calling card.

2) Create an Interactive Community

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People love to talk to each other about issues that affect them. If you really want to offer a huge benefit to your customers and potential customers, form a community around them. Create a message board that is interactive and generates a lot of visitor activity and participation. Promote the board, which will promote your website – thus garnering not only more traffic the first time you promote the forum, but if it’s active people will also come back again and again.

 

3) Don’t Forget SEO

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Search engine optimisation is a very important component in any online marketing strategy. Optimise for social media by including the right keywords, the right metadata, and including information about images, content, and more, so that you can be found. Remember to focus on both on-page and off-page SEO for best results.

 

4) Engage on Social Media

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You can’t just open a social media account, fill out a profile, start blasting updates and expect any results. Well, at least not the results you want. You need to start with a plan, understand your goals, choose your tactics, and then seek to engage with others on social media to ensure that your plans happen and your goals are met.

 

5) Listen to the Buzz

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A really great way to use social media is to use it to listen to the buzz about your business. But don’t just listen. When you find something about your industry or product in general, or your business in particular, ensure that you respond with the right answers, links, and information so that you can get your message out to participants. If you don’t find any buzz, create it. Make your own groups, start your own discussions, and share, share, share.

 

6) Track, Measure & Adjust

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Find out which types of content get more shares, more comments and more action. Know what your customers want to read. Ask them what they need to know. The more you can track the success of your campaigns the more you can improve. You can actually adjust and improve any campaign in progress if you have the right information.

 

7) Use Strategic Paid Advertisements

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Paid advertisements can be very expensive if you aren’t sure why you’re doing it. When it comes to social media, run an advertisement to get more signups for your newsletter or more likes on your Facebook Page. Then market your products and services to them that way, rather than using the ads as a way to market your product directly. While at first you may not notice much of a change in traffic, you will over time because you’ll have them in your marketing funnel.

8) Use Varied Content on Social Media

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Mix up what type of content you share and add to your social media updates. Use newsworthy content, evergreen content and content in different forms like video, infographics, and text. You want to write a blurb before each share in order to pique the reader’s interest and share high-quality, relevant content on a regular basis.

 

9) Work with Influencers

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There are always going to be “rock stars” in every industry that are well known and who can highly influence your audience. Research who these people are, connect with them, and find ways to engage with them in a way that helps you leverage their audience to spread your message. If you can get an influencer to recommend your products and/or services to others, your traffic will explode.

 

10) Present Content with Strong CTAs

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Never send out any content on social media without a call to action (“CTA”). Your CTA must be varied, and to the point. Don’t beat around the bush. If you want your audience to share your infographic, ask them to. If you want your audience to “like” your post, ask them to. If you want your audience to click through to read the rest of something on a website, ask them to. Finally, if you want them to buy something, ask them to buy it. Tell them the benefits of doing so, and ask them to do it.

It’s clear that social media can be an important avenue to gain more traffic to your website or blog. But, it’s not going to happen automatically. You are going to have to work a little bit more to get the ball rolling. Fortunately, these tried and true tips really do work. By using them you will drive more traffic to your website from social media. Not only that, if you’re clear on your message you’ll drive targeted traffic that is ready to answer your calls to action.

 

These tips and more can be found in my ebook Mum’s the Boss guide to Social Media Management

5 Facebook Gurus you should Follow

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I’ve been doing a lot of work on my Facebook pages just recently.  So many people are complaining that reach is dropping and engagement is dropping and I have been noticing that as much as the next person.

Some of my friends are suggesting that now is the time to get out of facebook and concentrate on marketing elsewhere.  But I’m not sure about that – Facebook is still huge – and some people are still able to harness its power and generate super engagement.

So I think it is just a case of going back to school and studying what the gurus are doing nowadays, and learning some new tricks to deal with the new Facebook algorithm.

So here are 5 of my favourite Facebook gurus to follow: Continue reading

20 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Reach

The goal of every  Page Owner is to get people to read their posts.  But the sad fact is that people only read a certain amount of their newsfeed, and the competition for space in the newsfeed is becoming limited. So how can you improve your Facebook reach in the new social media climate?

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Facebook for Business: some Practical Hints and Tips

Thank you to Louella Schooley and Ruth Dutton from Chirp Communications Limited www.chirpcomm.co.uk for sharing some practical tips on using Facebook for Business at the Spring 2014 Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire event in Hertford.

The event covered Facebook for Business in a great deal of detail but here are some of the key findings from the talk:  

A FEW FACEBOOK STATISTICS:

  • 1 in every 13 people on the earth use Facebook
  • 23% check their newsfeed five times a day
  • Women tend to be more frequent users than men
  • Older people are using Facebook more than younger people
  • The average user has 130 “friends”
  • 77% of B2C companies have acquired customers from Facebook
  • 20% of internet page views come from Facebook
  • The average person “likes” 40 brands

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FOLLOWERS VERSUS FRIENDS?

  • Business users have “followers” who like their brand page
  • These are known as “friends” on personal Facebook pages

 

RECENT FEATURE CHANGES ON FACEBOOK

Back in December 2013, the Facebook algorithm was changed, and it continues to be tweaked throughout the first part of 2014. This algorithm decides which content appears on a person’s newsfeed.

Brand posts used to appear regularly on a follower’s newsfeed. Now, only a small percentage of your followers “see” your posts. If a particular post receives a high volume of engagement (likes, comments, shares) then a higher percentage of your followers will get to see it.  The only way to guarantee that the majority of your followers see your post is to pay to promote it.

In short, it’s harder to share your content for free on Facebook and if you are a small, local business, with limited time and resources, you need to seriously consider whether Facebook is the correct marketing channel for you…

 IF YOU DECIDE TO CONTINUE WITH FACEBOOK, WHAT TONE SHOULD YOU USE AND WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD YOU SHARE?

  • Social media is like a dinner party. It’s a friendly, chatty and co-operative kind of environment, so create conversations and engage with your followers.
  • Your style should reflect your business. Are you formal, professional, funky, personal? Your posts should mirror your brand personality.
  • Don’t be afraid to use other people’s content: link to the content and share blogs etc but always credit the source
  • Much more likely to engage followers if you use an image and keep the length of a post less than 250 characters, or less than 80 characters for maximum impact
  • Pictures of cats, babies and weddings really do encourage engagement, but if you’re using your site for business you must have a reason to post these kinds of images e.g. “Funny Friday”.
  • Use a call to action in posts: ask for a response, ask for comments and instruct people to share. Calls to action increase interaction by 23%

PLANNING YOUR FACEBOOK AND SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY

  • Take time to consider what it is that you want to get from Facebook and your other social media platforms. You may want to increase followers; to run competitions; to increase sales or to engage with existing customers. Whatever you decide, you need to commit to your goal and always post content designed to support your goal
  • Be consistent across all of our communications channels.
  • Put together a month by month spreadsheet with topics and images, ready for future use and post regularly. Some sources believe that you need to post up to 8 times a day to get enough engagement to ensure your followers see your posts for free.
  • Use themes, events, seasonal activities (e.g. Easter) or special occasions and use images to support them
  • You can schedule your posts when in Facebook itself (once you have written a post, click the clock in the bottom left corner to schedule a time)
  • Best times to schedule posts are morning for Facebook and evening for twitter but vary your posting times to see when your audience in online – it will be different for each business.  If you’re marketing to mums, between 4.30-7pm is a difficult time.
  • Always respond if someone takes the time to comment or share your posts and try and do this in a timely fashion

LET OTHERS KNOW YOU ARE ON FACEBOOK!

  • Add the Facebook logo to your marketing collateral
  • Ask people to follow you on Facebook and to interact with you
  • Include calls to actions in your Facebook posts

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Louella and Ruth are also available for one-to-one consultations where they will help you create a bespoke social media plan. They also specialise in marketing and employee communications and are experienced copy writers ready to write flyers, website text, brochures and press releases. 

Unsurprisingly they have a Facebook and Twitter account, so feel free to visit and find out more about how they can help you.

@ChirpComm  www.facebook.com/ChirpCommunications

 

The next event I am now organising is the first Motivating Mum Conference which is on Wednesday 14th May 2014, between 10am and 2pm, in East Hertfordshire. I am very pleased to be organising this event.

Debbie from Motivating Mum UK will be one of the conference speakers, talking about how to develop a social media strategy and there are several other speakers and a good amount of networking time too. Debbie and I hope to see some of you there!

http://motivatingmum.co.uk/events-and-workshops/motivating-mum-conference-2014

Tweet, link and post your way to social media and business success

Some practical hints and tips from a Motivating Mum East Hertfordshire workshop 

Thank you to Liza Armstrong, resident Business Advisor at the ‘My Incubator’ in Ware, www.myincubator.co.uk for sharing these tips with the women able to attend this final pre-Christmas event on the 20th November 2013 in Bishop’s Stortford.

Social Media

 

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