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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

#AwesomeEngagement – How Social Engagement Benefits Your Newsfeed

Social media has become interwoven into the fabric of our society. We use it for personal reasons, socializing, networking and for work. Billions of people are using Facebook every day. The popularity of social media has the app companies tweaking their algorithms regularly to keep their offerings relevant. The enormous amount of data available to us each day would be overwhelming if not for this process. However, that also means that we may not be seeing everything that we want to see in our feeds – or, conversely, seeing too much of what we don’t want to see.

How do you make the algorithms work for you instead? You have to invest a bit of time to get the huge payoff in the long run.  It’s SO work it though. Here is a list of things to do on Facebook to improve on the content in your feed and increase the amount of quality, catered to you, posts.

Engage, Engage, Engage
The algorithm tracks how often you like, comment and share. The pages and people you interact with the most are the ones you will see more often in your feed. If you like something but are in a rush, do a quick thumbs up as you scroll. REALLY enjoy something? That’s when you comment and share. You will have to train the algorithm to display the type of content that resonates with you.

Hide Sources
Did you know that you could hide sources? If a friend or business page posts something you don’t feel good about – but normally shares quality content – simply click the arrow in the top right of the post and hide the source. That way you are still seeing that individual or company’s posts but nothing from the source that you didn’t care for.

It can be tricky when a friend or family member becomes a problem on your social media feed. Unfriending someone may seem a bit too extreme and cause more drama than you’d like. You don’t have to unfriend them, however. You can choose to Unfollow them instead. This means you are still friends on Facebook but you won’t see what they post. This can often be a win/win.

Click Cautiously
Our curiosity can often get the best of us and that is why click bait is prevalent in social media. There are multiple issues with click bait – or misleading posts created to convince you to click on a link – but the one we are most concerned about here are related to the algorithm. Not only can click bait be a waste of your time and lead to potential malware issues, but it also informs the algorithm that you were interested in that post and that source. Which means, guess what? More click bait in your newsfeed. Links are great but use some caution. If you are uncertain but still curious, open up a separate browser window and do a search for the topic in question instead of clicking that link.

While this blog post has mainly focused on Facebook, these methods can be effective on any social media platform where you spend your time. It will take some effort on your part in the beginning but ultimately you, and your feeds, will benefit from the cultivation of content that you actually want to see.

Own a business page or social media account and want to encourage more organic engagement? Make sure you are creating quality, consistent content that your audience will actually want to engage in. If you feel like your social pages aren’t getting enough attention, ask yourself whether or not you are publishing content worth engagement.

Want some help with doing a social media audit or suggestions on how to improve your social content? Give us a call. We know exactly how to help you #BeAwesome with your social so that you can make those algorithms work for you, instead of against you.

Want even more detail on this topic? Check out this Buffer post on Decoding the Facebook NewsFeed.

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 LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

#Trendsfor2017 - Lead Generation in Your Social Media Should Be 80/20

It is often said that Generating Leads (in both quality and quantity) is a marketer’s most important objective. Lead generation is the engine that keeps your sales funnel full of sales prospects while you sleep, run your business, or are otherwise engaged.

In 2017, lead generation needs to be your 80/20 focus. For those who don’t know what I mean, the 80/20 rules (or the Pareto Principle) states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the effort. If you want to succeed, you need to find the 20% and focus on that. Lead Generation is key to that success.

This critical marketing tool is often overlooked, but is necessary to run a sustainable business. There are four crucial elements:

In order for a customer to be interested in your services or products, you must provide quality content. Thanks to fraud and rampant spam, it is harder than ever for people to give up their information to you. If you provide an irresistible offer, however, they will be inclined to work with you. Offers can include ebooks, whitepapers, coupons, product demonstrations, free webinars, free consultations, and more. You can have as many offers as you like, but keep in mind that each offer will require its own landing page. See more on that later.

A call-to-action (CTA) is an eye-catching text, image, or button that links direction to a landing page. This gives people an easy way for people to find and download your irresistible offer. Your CTA needs to be engaging and easy to navigate, or else you’ll miss the opportunity.

Landing Page
Landing pages are far different than normal website pages. It is a unique and specialized page that is tailored to the offer that got them there. Remember when we said you needed one landing page for each offer on your website? This is what we mean. A landing page needs to be focused. No side bars, flashing ads, or other article suggestions here. You don’t want to give them an excuse to click away. That’s why it’s called a funnel. You block out the distractions and let them focus on what they want: namely, your content. This, in turn, lets you get what you want: their information so you can begin your process of converting leads into paying clients and customers.

The form is a key ingredient for lead generation. You must capture the information of the person who receives your content. Remember, this is an equal exchange of information. You provided something they needed in exchange for their contact information. But how much information should you gather? That’s easy: the minimum amount of information you need in order to sustain their trust. It will be directly proportional to the content you provide. If you offer a downloadable printable checklist, don’t expect to get their name, email and mailing addresses, phone number, and credit card information. You can ask for their first name, email address, and maybe a contact phone number if the content warrants a phone call from you. Most of the time, you gain more interest by keeping the request to a name and email address. So, keep that in mind.

This is one trend you shouldn’t shy away from. #BeAwesome in 2017 and take your social media to the next level!

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, January 17, 2017

#AwesomeBranding - Your Personal Brand is Just as Important as Your Corporate Brand

The Social Media Advisor specializes in training and supporting small businesses in their branding, storytelling and social media strategy. A decade ago the concept of corporate branding was still getting traction. However, today, branding is a must for companies of every size. The advances and innovation that new technologies have brought us are extinguishing traditional advertising methods. This is why branding and permission-based marketing methods are the most effective right now. People are tired of being pushy sales methods. That means that every company needs a solid, clear branding strategy so that their target audience truly understands what they are buying.

“Branding is fundamental. Branding is basic. Branding is essential. Building brands builds incredible value for companies and corporations.” Scott Goodson, Forbes Contributor

The workforce no longer needs to be convinced that branding is essential. The concept is mainstream enough today that large corporations and entrepreneurs – all of them invest in a branding strategy. A corporate brand focuses on the feeling or impression that their audience experiences when they think of your business. A lot of thought is put into a corporate brand and ensuring all the touchpoints that a person interacts with are infused with strategic branding.

What is a personal brand and why is it important?

Your personal brand is a separate entity from your corporate one. However, the idea is the same. When branding your own persona, the concept is to develop or hone the areas of your personality best suited to what you want your audience to think when they walk away from interacting with you. 

Today, people do business with other people… not corporations. They want to build a relationship with their customers, contractors and vendors. Building like, know and trust is more than just a social media construct. This is a cornerstone of relationship marketing. This is why personal branding is necessary. What is your audience seeking? Who will they trust and want to do business with? This is not an invitation to build a fake persona because that is not authentic or genuine and it will turn others off right away. However, it is an opportunity to examine your own personality and interweave it with your corporate branding to come up with a personal brand that benefits you and, in turn, your business.

Here are five suggestions for developing a strong personal brand:

Keep Your Inner Circle Small
1.     Be mindful of what you say. We all have bad days. On days when you are feeling off your game, limit your negative communication to those in your inner circle that you trust. Do not just vent to any random person. You never really know who is connected to whom…and who would love to repeat what you say. Plus, a negative judgment could be attached to you and your business that will last long beyond your temporary moment of weakness.

Personal Branding Follows You
Your personal brand will move, and grow, with you. If you have a career change, parts of that personal brand will go with you. People will associate your personal branding with who you are…not just who you work with.

Don’t want to confuse people? You have to keep your branding top of mind and consistent. If you are worried this will be difficult to accomplish, be certain that the foundations of your personal branding incorporate your true personality so that just being you – at your best – is enough.

Blending Your Branding
Be sure that your corporate and personal brands blend well together. If they are contrary in any way, this will work against you.

Accept the Way Branding Works
As with any branding, what others think about you (your personal brand) is ultimately not up to you. You cannot control another individual’s impressions and thoughts. All you can do is build a branding strategy, follow it consistently, and hope for the best.

If you’ve already spent time building your corporate and personal branding, then it is time to roll out that strategy into your social media marketing and other marketing content. Need assistance creating a great story around your brand? This is where we excel. We can build out your online assets to reflect your branding in the best possible light and get you on the right track to creating quality content that is consistent with your messaging.

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.