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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

#SocialIsntScary – Fear of Getting Started

With around 78% of people using at least one social media platform, nearly 1/3 of the Earth is on social. This infographic from Uzu Media breaks down the number of users on the most popular social media websites to give you an idea of the possible impact of participating on these platforms.

While small business owners are aware of the need for social media marketing, as well as the potential it generates, many have yet to get started. Only 31% of small business owners have created and cultivated an effective social media strategy. These professionals are afraid of quite a few things when it comes to doing their own social media. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

  • Don’t know where to start
  • Afraid of failure
  • Not sure what to post
  • Not sure where to post or how often
  • Worried about negative engagement or reviews
  •  Not comfortable putting myself out there
  •  Concerned about the level of commitment necessary to be successful

I bet at least one of those resonated with where you are currently. That’s okay. With any new endeavor, sometimes you just need to make a plan and jump in!

Have a Strategy
The best way to eliminate your fear is to make a plan. Marketing and social media strategy is essential. Goal setting, analytics, decision making, ROI and impact will be difficult to incorporate and track without a plan. You need to know what you want to do ahead of time and then you need to be able to measure what worked and what didn’t so that you can adapt your strategy for success as you go. 

Here are the elements that need to be included in your strategy:
  • Where to post content.
  • When to post content.
  • Who you are posting content for currently.
  • Who you’d like to reach with your content.
  • What to post
  • Why you are posting.

For those concerned about negative social engagement, the key to keeping the trolls at bay is having a plan in place to monitor your social accounts. You will need to understand the difference between engagement that offers opportunities to fix the problem versus engagement that is spammy, inappropriate or harassing in nature. The quicker you delete the spam, the inappropriate posts and harassment – the better. Understand how to delete, block and remove content from your social feeds.

On the other hand, don’t go around deleting every negative comment. Part of what makes social media work is that it gives your audience the opportunity to connect with you and be heard. If they have a genuine complaint or concern, simply deleting and ignoring them will not be viewed favorably by your audience. Once you see this type of negative engagement, immediately post so that they know you’ve seen their comment/post and want to have an off-line conversation to cover what can be done to resolve the issue. They are giving you an opportunity to turn it around. Just take the conversation offline so that it’s private.

Once you get started, be sure you’ve come up with a way to remain consistent. This may mean starting small and working your way up. That way the audience doesn’t notice that you aren’t posting as often as you used to and then make the assumption that you are no longer invested in your social. Adding more is always better than cutting back. The old adage of don’t bite off more than you can chew is the key here. You can always add new platforms or more posts later if you discover you have the capacity to do so.

Be Authentic
Today, people are more likely to support brands that they know, like and trust. That means they aren’t investing in a logo, or a big office, or an online shop. They need the opportunity to get to know, like, and trust you. Purchasing anything has an emotional element to it as well. Provoking an emotional response from your audience will help them become more interested in you and what you do. 

However, people are smart. They are assaulted on all sides by direct mail, spam, advertisements, commercials… they’ve learned how to spot a person who is being authentic from a used car salesman type. 

You will need to truly understand your target audience and what they are seeking. The more authentic, genuine and real you come across, the more they will trust you. If you can combine that authenticity with a message that appeals to your followers – you’ve hit the social jackpot!

Team Up
It can be frustrating to create great content when you haven’t built a following yet. However, that content is what is going to grow your audience. If you want an organic way to fast track your exposure, find influencers that have a similar target audience and collaborate with them. Guest blogging is the easiest way to do this. This will expose you to their larger following and connect you with experts in your field or industry at the same time.

Once you create and implement a solid marketing strategy for your social media, you will only need to focus on maintaining it. Start small and work your way up – just one social platform to start is more than enough if you are worried. If the effort you are putting into social is too time consuming, contact our team. We specialize in helping small businesses #BeAwesome with their social media, branding, and marketing strategy online.

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, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

#SocialIsntScary - Fear of the Camera

Are You Afraid of Using Photo or Video in Your Social Media?

There are a variety of different ways to generate marketing content but do you really need to be on video? Is it truly necessary to get some professional headshots done? The truth of the matter is audiences are becoming more and more visual. Social media effectiveness is greatly enhanced when visuals are involved. What is more visual than having a video conversation with your target audience? Don’t you feel more comfortable when you can get a feel for the person you are interacting with? Video also opens up what you offer to a segment of the population that doesn’t enjoying reading. It makes you appear more personable and really adds to that Know, Like, Trust relationship building that great companies can establish.

Knowing that you need to get in front of the camera is one thing. How do you get past all the fears associated with getting started? Worried about how you will appear in video or look in pictures? Don’t know where to start? Here are some basic tips to getting started with visual marketing.


Visual marketing involves utilizing images, graphics and other visuals to make your content more powerful. Images grab and keep attention much longer than basic text. When putting together a marketing or social media plan, it’s essential to incorporate visuals into your content management strategy.

Do they have to be pictures of you? No, they don’t. However, the added benefit to using professionally done photographs of you and various aspects of your business are worth the investment. Photos of you establish a connection with the audience. It makes them more comfortable. The more conversations you have and visuals you put out there, the more your clients feel like they are getting to know you.

If you are concerned about how you will look, shop around for a trusted photographer or portrait artist. Express your objections or fears and have them suggest ways to create stunning images that even you will be pleased with. Then come up with creative ways to use those images with your social media and website content.

Don’t let fear hold you back from making an impact with your marketing!

Video & Vlogs

Tip #1: Practice

Do some rehearsals. Record yourself. Work on developing a connection with the camera lens. Talk to the camera and don’t get distracted or look away. As with any new skill, the more you practice the better you’ll become.

Tip #2: Review Visuals

Watch your rehearsals. Turn the volume down. This will give you a chance, without sound, to really examine all the elements of your video. That’s what video is all about. It’s a visual platform.

Examine these elements:
-       Aesthetics
-       Lighting
-       Environment
-       Facial Expressions
-       Positioning

Tip #3: Review Sounds

This time look away from the camera and just listen. By listening, you will hear how you sound on video. Listen for dramatic pauses or overused phrases. Does the sound flow? What can you do to make transitions sound better?

Tip #4: Be Realistic

No one expects you to be a filmmaker. Your videos don’t have to be perfect. Focus on the art of conversation. Have a conversation with your camera, which is really your audience. Vlogging isn’t about fancy special effects or understanding every element of YouTube.

#SocialIsntScary and neither is putting together visual marketing elements that can be a true asset to your brand. If you’d like some examples on how you can #BeAwesome using this techniques, give us a call!

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, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

#SocialIsntScary - Scared to Curate Content?

When it comes time to tackle social media, the vast majority of options can be pretty overwhelming. All the different platforms, including their strengths and weaknesses, means there needs to be a varied strategic approach. This also applies to curating content for all of these outlets. If the pressure of needing to sit down and curate your own social media content gives you the shakes, don’t worry. Here is a breakdown of how to gather content like the professionals do – without the spinal shivers.

First, it’s important to understand what curation means. Curating content means gathering content of the highest caliber that is targeted to your audience and then sharing it via social media. The ideal way to curate is to create or collect information, graphics, and other content, adapt it to your specific brand and demographics, and then use it to start a conversation. What are some techniques you can use to curate your own content?

Pay Attention

First, pay attention to what the industry experts in your niche are up to. Watch their content stream to get an idea for what inspires the most engagement. Be careful. No one likes a copycat. However, the work of others can be an excellent source of inspiration. Also, their trial and error will help you leap ahead when it’s time to post your own content.

Gather Resources

Do some research on statistics in your industry and then come up with a creative way to use them. Design an infographic. Create visuals with photographs or renderings. Make a video. Add your own spin to the numbers to get the information out there in a fun or more interesting way.

Don’t Ignore Commentary

Use your current audience to curate content. Did someone say something motivational? Share it! Did a comment make a valid point? Use that as a jumping off point to create a new post. Was there some engagement that got a particularly high response rate? How can you spin that into something you can use?


Work with others in your industry or field. Collaborate to create something amazing and then share the content. This not only benefits both parties in terms of saving time but also introduces each of them to the other’s current network and audience. Find influencers with an already established audience and work on something together.


Use the work of others to inspire you to curate content. Attend a fascinating workshop or local event? Use that to create content! Read a great ebook? Summarize the points that really hit home for you and share it with your readers. Enjoy that last Powerpoint Presentation? Take notes and use those as inspiration to share great snippets. There is inspiration everywhere. The key is to keep your eyes open and ask yourself how you can use it to create something interesting.


Worried about needing to be in constant creation mode? Don’t be. Set aside time to do the work and then schedule out the posts in a tool like Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows users to gather text, images, links in one place and then schedule them out for a future date. No need to be in curation mode every day.

These are just some of the ways you can approach curating content for your social media. The sky is the limit so there is nothing to really be scared of. Practice using some of these techniques this week and see if that doesn’t make curation a bit less painful.

If you are still frightened to take that first leap into content curation, contact us and let us show you the way! Don’t forget to #BeAwesome and remember that #SocialIsntScary.

 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, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

#SocialIsntScary - Spooky Branding

While branding is essential, often it can also be overwhelming. Partially this is because many people don’t really understand what branding is. A brand is basically an idea, image or feeling that the general public gets when they think about you or your company. In fact, it’s the public who truly controls what your brand is by the way they perceive you and what you do. This makes it complicated for small businesses and people to wrap their heads around branding.

While we can’t control how others perceive us, we can certainly influence it. That is how we brand successfully. This means your images, your posts, your style, your voice are all fundamental aspects of your brand. In branding, it’s called touchpoints. Every aspect of your business that interacts with another person is a touchpoint. This could be your office space, your website, your invoices, your trade show booths. One way to tackle your touchpoints is to approach your business the way a potential customer, client, vendor or influencer would. What would you want their experience to be like? What would you want them to see? To hear? To read?

So, when developing your social media, thinking about your brand should be intentional. You have a brand whether you’ve invested time in developing it or not. The smart method would be to decide what you want your brand to say about you and then incorporate it into everything you do – including your social media strategy. Here are some ways to keep branding in mind while managing your social media.


First, what are your discriminators? A discriminator is basically what makes you stand out from your competition. What do you offer that you want to highlight or feature? What makes your company stand out? Why should people follow you? It’s ideal to have one to three specific discriminators to work with. Think about your level of expertise or your skill set. Consider the aspects of your business that you are super passionate about. What type of information draws you in while you are online? These will give you a good indication of what your strengths are.

You may have a lot of different interests. It’s important to narrow it down to just a few that tie into what you do. Focus is important in branding. An individual needs to be able to receive a clear idea of what you are about and not get lost in too much clutter.

Now find ways to incorporate these discriminators into your branding. Find a handful of popular keywords that closely relates to what you are doing and incorporate them into your content regularly. Do some research on hashtags for the same purpose. Sometimes being specific can be more successful than going with trends. Niche businesses have a market too and those specific keywords may not draw the most attention but are more likely to pull in just the right audience.


Make sure that you develop some images that coincide with your brand’s look and feel. Then use them over and over again across various social platforms. Someone should be able to look at your website, your LinkedIn page, and your Twitter account and instantly recognize you and your company.

These graphics will help people find and connect with you. It will solidify the branding images in their minds that they retrieve whenever they think about you. Make your photos, colors, fonts and descriptions match across all sites. While it can be tempting to change things up and be creative occasionally, this can be confusing for your target audience. After all, they are the ones who determine what your brand is. Make certain what they are seeing is what you want them to be experiencing when they interact with you.

Post on a regular basis. The online world is fast paced. If you don’t regularly attempt to keep their attention, they will move on to the next big thing. If it looks like you have abandoned one of your channels, even for a short period of time, your viewers will stop checking in. It’s important to have downtime, and vacations, and people do get sick – use scheduling tools to make certain there are no gaps in your posting.


Social media is all about engagement. Therefore, it’s important to at least keep your brand in mind when interacting with others online.  Follow up on your comments, likes and mentions in a manner that is consistent with your personal style and voice. Join online groups that fit well with your brand and what you do. Surround yourself with influencers and experts in your field. Each time you respond to something that is a touchpoint for that person.

#SocialIsntScary and neither is branding. It just involves making deliberate choices that mesh well with your brand and keeping it in mind as you go. This will help you #BeAwesome and stand out!

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, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.