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Monday, December 28, 2015

#GiftYourBusiness - The Gift of Engagement

The last entry in our #GiftYourBusiness series focuses on giving your business the gift of engagement. While social media engagement does not necessarily transcend into sales or profit, an engaged audience is much more likely to pay attention to what you are saying. They are more likely to share what you offer with others. It builds the Like, Know, Trust that is so imperative in social media and is really the standard to measure whether or not social media is having a positive impact on your business. We all know that engagement is the goal for our posts – regardless of platform. Here are some concepts to consider when it comes to increasing engagement online.


Each company needs an established brand presence, especially when it comes to their interactions online. Branding helps the audience understand you, your business, and what you have to offer. Conflicting or undeveloped messages leave the audience confused and disengaged. If your branding has been neglected, the first step is to learn more about what branding is, what your brand should be, and how to best exude your brand on the web.

Those with an established brand concept should turn their attention to building brand advocates. A brand advocate knows nearly as much about your brand as you do and they are passionate about sharing it with others. A brand advocate is like having a #1 fan who does marketing for you simply because they desire to share your message with their world. Word of mouth, referrals, and free online promotion are the valuable side benefits of developing brand advocates.

About Me Page

What many businesses have discovered while paying attention to their Google Analytics, is that an overwhelming number of their website hits are due to their About Me page. This is the page potential followers and customers go to find out more about a brand, an individual, or a company. Way before they get to the point of deciding whether or not what you offer fits what they need, they want to find out more about YOU!

The scary reality about this is that most About Me pages are done as an afterthought. They are boring, un-inspiring and often don’t convey the proper message to people in order to get them interested.

Think about a novel. How important are those first two sentences? How many people open up a book to check out the hook before deciding whether or not to read it? Your About Me page is your opening, and if it lacks the right hook – you are hemorrhaging attention.

Building a Tribe

While having brand advocates is fantastic, having a community built around them and other followers of your brand is THE way to create engagement that lasts. Not only does it last longer, often it can work even in your absence. Seth Godin, The Marketing Guru, wrote a whole book on finding and building your own tribe.

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interested and a way to communicate.”
                                    Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us

First, you have to find your tribe. This means understanding your target audience. It also means doing those ideal avatar exercises to discover who your ideal tribe member is.

Then you have to discover a way to not only communicate with them – you already do that with your newsletter, website, and social media channels – but a way they can interact with one another. This could mean a Facebook group, regular blab streaming, LinkedIn group, online forum, or some other avenue of communication. It might mean doing some investigation to understand where your avatars hang out online and then develop a communication channel to match where they already hang out.

Your Community as a Resource

Now that you have proper branding, your website is working for you, there are brand advocates and a tribe – it is important to realize what a wealth of information that is for your business. To keep engagement thriving and to continue developing products that maintain your tribe’s level of interest, regularly tuning in to what they want is essential. Assuming that what you are offering is what they want is the wrong way to go. Develop regular surveys, opportunities for commenting, and other ways to pick their brains. Don’t drop the ball here – track and analysis this information. You may find that it leads your business to places you would not have considered on your own. That, in turn, will keep your audience interested and engaged.

We all do it – we get so involved with the projects and the tasks that we lose the strategy. You know you need engagement but have you considered how to increase it and really make it work for you? Developing an environment where followers can more easily become advocates and tribe members is such a valuable investment of time and energy. Paying for ads and other marketing opportunities will attract more attention, but it doesn’t keep it. Only the right type of engagement possibilities will ensure that people stick around and then become supporters of your message.

Have a wonderful New Year and #BeAwesome today and every other day!

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don't get left behind ~ 

Be sure to Follow us and Let's Engage!

Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a "#BeAwesome" Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn,FacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+ , YouTube,Pinterest, Instagram  and the tools to manage them. 

Click here for her 
Social Media Workshops, Classes and Seminars.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Social Seven: Tools of the Trade - Post Planner

Post Planner claims to triple your engagement and reach. Erin used the tool for her own business for a while to compare its effectiveness against simply posting natively to Facebook.

It goes back to posting images versus just posting text. Posts with images get more engagement, likes and shares than if you just use text. People are drawn towards color and visual stories. Text alone is boring. It’s good to have a healthy combination of both. There is a lot less reach with a text only post than if an image is added. One of the things Erin really likes about Post Planner is that they have added the capability to create a post in Post Planner then create an image in Canva and the tool will automatically share it. It combines the two processes into one step and saves time. It’s connected to your Facebook and Canva so all those designs are saved in both places.

Another great thing about Post Planner is that it gives you ideas about what to post. When you are drawing a blank, you can search Post Planner for images, quotes, or engaging questions to ask to boost your content management. This is similar to what Hootsuite and Buffer offers but it is more of a searchable database than a list of links. Post Planner also offers insights for those seeking motivation or additional ideas.

Post Planner is only $7 a month to use, with occasional sales to make it even more affordable. Therefore, it is a reasonable, cost effective tool with some decent perks to help keep up with social media management.

We’d love to hear your feedback if you have used Post Planner and it has helped your business or helped you engage your audience.

Think this might help you with scheduling content and staying on top of your social media? Follow us on social media to find out when our Social Seven podcast is streaming live!

Monday, December 21, 2015

#GiftYourBusiness – Gift of Budget

There are new social media tools being created every day. Many of these tools make the process of curating and scheduling content more efficient and less time-consuming. When it comes to running your own business, saving time is one of the most important aspects of becoming profitable. Therefore, one of the best ways to gift your business this holiday season is to sign up and incorporate some free social media and online tools into your daily routine. Here are recommendations for some of my favorite free social tools.


Since visual content is so important to social media, a tool like Canva is invaluable. Canva allows users to create social media and marketing images quickly and easily. These high-quality, easy to design images can be used anywhere. Not everyone is a graphic designer or has access to photo editing software. Canva eliminates the need for either of those and makes image creation simple and amazing.


For those maintaining a presence on Twitter, Buffer is a fabulous free tool. Buffer allows users to track their follower activity and gives suggestions as to the best time to post or schedule tweets. It has built in scheduling and analytics. The analytics measures all major engagement statistics for posts on the major platforms.


If we were to log into social media every day, all the time, nothing else would ever get accomplished. However, it’s important that our brands remain reliable and visible on each of the social platforms to maintain our following. Hootsuite is a widely known and popular tool for scheduling out content. It has also RSS feed capabilities and allows users to interact on various platforms via one place.

Another tool that is nearly essential for Twitter users is This tool is based on the need to stay on top of relationship management within the platform. It tracks all the major interaction on your Twitter account and automatically works to nurture and engage fans and followers on the site.  The tool monitors what others are saying about you, your brand and your business. It also shows who is linking to your site, discovers new leads for you, tracks who follows and unfollows, and reports back on community engagement. There are options to auto-engage people who follow, mention, post or retweet your content. This helps keep Twitter accounts relevant on a platform that moves very quickly.

This tool provides an area online to automatically curate and organize content based on chosen topics. It is displayed in a visually appealing newspaper format. These newspapers are a great place to gather together content into a readable feed. Feeds can be organized by topic or by type of media. Users can create multiple newspaper feeds at a time and can follow people, lists, and hashtags. It also has the capability to follow Twitter lists without actually following them via your own Twitter account.

These are just some of the tools available to make life and work easier for business owners and marketers. All of these tools offer a paid upgrade option with additional features in case you stumble upon one you just absolutely love and want access to additional benefits. However, each of these tools can be incorporated into your company today at no cost to you. So, give your business the gift of both time and money this holiday season by finding tools that make you more productive.  Use all that extra time you now have to come up with even more ways to #BeAwesome!

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don't get left behind ~ 

Be sure to Follow us and Let's Engage!

Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a "#BeAwesome" Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn,FacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+ , YouTube,Pinterest, Instagram  and the tools to manage them. 

Click here for her 
Social Media Workshops, Classes and Seminars.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Social Seven: Tools of the Trade - Editorial Calendars and Trello

If you don’t have a routine or a schedule, you aren’t going to be consistent with your social media. So, it makes sense to build an editorial calendar. What do you use to build a calendar for your content? This can depend on the client. Everyone has thrie own themes and weekly schedule. Each one is so drastically different, as are their posting options. A social media manager could use tools like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Google Drive and Dropbox for different purposes. However, that means pulling from a variety of different places. Therefore, it makes sense to have everything in one spot instead of duplicating efforts.

Trello is an online tool for scheduling. There are so many things you can do with it. Trello can be set up for one client or many. There are various boards, lists and cards for each client. You can be very narrow with what you are doing. Typically, with an editorial calendar for a client is there is a social media strategy. In Trello, you create cards. These cards include brief descriptions on what to post, hashtags, timing and anything else pertinent to that schedule.

One major perk to Trello is that images that have been created to share can be placed onto these cards as well. Text can also be added so that everything for the post is in one place. Also, the client can be added in order to review the cards before they are posted. Due dates can be added and reminders via email will be sent to remind team members or clients to approve or review the posts.

Trello also allows users to label the cards with custom labels to help with organization. Then it can be copied into Hootsuite or whatever other scheduling tool is being used to post the content.  For Twitter, it may be better to use something different such as a Google spreadsheet or an Excel file. This is mainly due to the bulk uploading nature of that platform.

There are other tools available such as Base Camp, One Note and Evernote that could be used as well. Base Camp and Trello are very similar. Unfortunately, Base Camp gives you only a specific amount of time to make changes or edit a post, which could cause some issues in the long term. The idea is to keep you organized. Don’t let yourself run dry. Try out some new tools and see if you can make them work for you!

Think these might help you with scheduling content and staying on top of your social media? Follow us on social media to find out when our Social Seven podcast is streaming live!