Wake Up And Pay Attention To Your Brand

Pay attention to your brand

One of the first things I learned about branding is that consistency on your social platforms is as crucial to growing your brand out as is being engaged. I would actually say more so; since if you don’t have a clear message and targeting a defined space, then you are wasting time! It’s great to have social friends and I have been fortunate to make many, but my main end goal via social media is to create new opportunities for my business.

Over the past year, I have been extremely fortunate to grown my business to six figures. I’ve worked 60+hour weeks for the past 7 years and 2 years ago was able to leave my full time job to turn my passion for social media into a full time career as well as hire 2 part time assistants!!

What has happened to my own personal brand is that as a result of a big ramp up in business, I have seriously neglected all the things that I tell my clients they must do to be successful!! It’s very embarrassing when you are telling someone they need to update the look of their brand and work on the SAME details that you do not. How can I be taken seriously if I am not living by what I teach?

As a result, I became almost invisible on my own social media accounts and stopped adding content to my blog. I couldn’t seem to find time to spend even 30 minutes per day. Additionally, there is no consistency in the look of my brand. Imagery is different across all my platforms.

Almost everyone who has a Twitter account or Facebook fan page today has some type of brand; whether it be a product, business or personal brand. That means they are looking for opportunities and want to be effective with their marketing on Social Media.

3 things  you need to do NOW:

 

  •  Create a consistent branded profile throughout your social media platforms. Make sure your banners/headers are recognizable across all sites.
  • Twitter will be your most effective platform for making connections and potential clients!! Providing great content that will resonate with your followers and reflect your brand are highly effective. Real-time engagement with those followers is essential.
  • Create a blog if you don’t currently have one. Add at least 1-3 new post weekly.

Those are all the things I will be doing over the next 3-4 weeks. I’m in the process of a website redesign as well as updating all my graphics across my social media platforms. I am dedicated to returning to being the actively engaged person I used to be and will be sharing with you along the way!!

What areas have you neglected in your branding via social and what do you intend to do to improve them? Let’s do this together!!!

 

5 Tips on How to Use Slideshare for your Brand

For those of you who do not know much about Slideshare it is a wonderful online and offline tool which you can use for presentations, mini-books, sales pitches, inspiration and so much more.

Here are 5 tips for you to use it for your Brand.

Join Slideshare and upload your first presentation

Visit www.slideshare.net and open an account. It is free. Read the help manuals and take a look at some of the presentations. Get some idea’s. Then start with one of your presentations. If you don’t have one, do one. It can be anything. If you have presentations or powerpoints or keynotes you can upload them.

If you are a professional speaker this is a powerful media for you

You will find that many professional speakers upload their presentations there. It is a great way to leave breadcrumbs for your audience. So at your next presentation tell the audience that your presentation is up on your slideshare account and they can download it for free.

Slideshare is a powerful learning tool

You will get regular emails from slideshare on their top presentations or you can visit their site and search for some. There are some wonderful idea’s in them and if you don’t have the time to read them then and there you can download it and read it at your leisure.

Share the presentations you love

Slideshare gives you a wonderful option at the end of each presentation to share it across social media networks. Do it. You never know you might just connect with the person who made it. It also works both ways. People will be able to share your presentations as well.

Watch and Learn

Have a look at some of the presentations on Slideshare. Look at the one’s with the most shares and likes and downloads. Ask yourself why are they so good? What are they doing right? The answers will help you develop better and better presentations.

Eventually people will be sharing your presentations.


About Author

Fred Felton is a keynote speaker, social media consultant, author business analyst and website designer. Fred is also owner of Falcon’s Cove a digital media agency based in Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa. You can also find Fred on Twitter and Facebook.

4 Steps to Social Media Success BEFORE You Begin

4 tips to social media

You know you have to be using social media to achieve success, but you may not have a clue how to get started! It’s can be confusing to get started, but if you remember that it is just networking on steroids and follow these few simple steps you will be off to a great start!

Before you start on any social networks, you need to know a few things to do it properly, so answer these questions before getting started:

 

1)    What do you hope to accomplish from your social media efforts?

Let’s face it, we all want to make more money, but with social media you have to be very patient to get to the money making part. It takes time and energy to get to that point. Until then, what do you want to accomplish? Do you want to build brand awareness? Connect with existing customers in a new way? Offer better customer service? Grow your network through meeting new people? Really take the time to figure out what else you can get from your time on social media while working on the money part.

 

2)    How much time do you have to spend on your social media efforts in a week?

Are you prepared to make the commitment required to see this work for you? The more time you are able to put in, the quicker your results will come. You can accomplish a lot in 15 – 30 minutes a day. Do you have the time in your schedule to do this, or do you have a staff member who will take this over for you? And be really honest here, there is no point in saying you will work on it for an hour a day if you really can’t do that. Pick a reasonable amount of time and stick with it.

 

3)    Figure out what networks you are going to focus on.

There are so many networks you could not possibly run all of them very well. And what’s the point if you aren’t going to do it well? So pick one to get started with and focus on building your connections and relationships there. You can’t just randomly pick a network though; you have to know where your current clients are spending their time so you can focus on the network that will get you the most traction quickly. How do you find out where your current clients are? Poll them, email them, send out a newsletter to ask them, have a questionnaire at your cash register for them to complete. There are lots of ways to find out  Just do it. Once you know where your current clients are you’ll likely find new clients there as well.

 

4)   Plan what content you want to share with your readers.

Know what you are going to say, at least roughly, before you start up your account. Get a sense of what information your clients – new and old – want to hear from you. Aim for sharing great content that expands their thoughts of you. So, if you are a printing company wanting to connect with clients on Facebook, don’t just post about your printing specials or your equipment or even just industry news, share tips on how to get the most out of the new batch of cards they just got, how to network effectively, how to write great copy for newsletters and more. You get the idea; really brainstorm all possible avenues you can access to offer a wide range of valuable information to your clients. This will make you very memorable in their minds and position you as a source of reliable, important information.

Now you might be expecting my #5 here to be, get out there and start your accounts and start posting! But hold your horses, it’s not quite that simple… yet! Bear with me. Watch for my second post here on your next steps to Social Media Success – Starting out!


About Author

Sherri-Lee Pressman is Your Social Media Minder, helping business owners use Facebook and Twitter to grow their businesses. She is a Social Media strategist, educator, speaker and coach. She lives near Vancouver BC, Canada with her two kids, one crazy cat and an even  crazier puppy. You can visit Sherri’s site here.

 

 

Top 5 Most Popular Pinterest Topics

Top 5 most popular pinterest topics

Pinterest is the hottest new trend in social media which begs the question— what is everyone looking at? While everyone creates their own set of “boards”, there tends to be themes that everyone can zero in on.

Some of the most popular categories are:

1. Recipes –Pinners tend to focus in on tried and true recipes where they can give honest reviews. I tend to see a lot of comfort food, desserts, and family friendly meals. These recipes can be great when pinners are looking for changes to their meals plans or unique treats. I for one have tried MANY of the ideas and received rave reviews at home. It’s like one big recipe swap!
2. Clothing-– need an idea of what to wear to work or a night out? Head to Pinterest. Pinners tend to be trend forward when pinning fashion ideas. Like what you see? Many pins have direct links to sites where the fashions can be purchased. Some of the best pins you will see are complete outfits, set out there for you to copy at home.
3. Holidays—Pinners love the holidays! This time of year Pinterest is filled with new ideas for Halloween and even Christmas. New decorations, new gifts, new party ideas…all you need to look like a professional interior decorator or party planner during the upcoming seasons.
4. Home Décor—Pinners love to dream. Dream wall colors, dream furniture, dream backyards, and full-fledged dream houses. If your house needs updating or you want ideas for a dream home, Pinterest is your guide. There are beautiful and amazing pictures of some of the most beautiful home décor out there. Dare to dream.
5. Kid Stuff—Pinterest is FULL of ideas for kid’s parties, activities, and family outings. Pinterest even has tons of general parenting advice. It’s like one big parenting idea pool.
While I tend to lean toward the recipe sections, I love seeing the huge mix of ideas that Pinners create—go check it out and find your favorite category!


About Author

Betsy Larson, has worked for over 15 years in many retail based Fortune 1000 companies both in a finance and legal capacity. Betsy is currently employed at a large scale retail company within the Minneapolis, Minnesota area and is the owner of Betsy Larson Law Office which focuses on helping small businesses succeed. Betsy utilizes social media both on a professional and personal level to create efficiency as she juggles life as a busy mom of 3, wife and business owner. You can reach Betsy on Pinterest, on Twitter or on her blog.

#Turnitsocial Twitter Chat Thursday- Utilizing Video in Your Social Media Campaign

This Thursday night, September 13 at 8 pm EST, we will be chatting with Chris Yates from Huddle Productions. Chris is a video content creator for brands and has worked with companies such as Anheuser-Busch, Michael Stores and Verizon. He is also is an amazing story teller who uses video to humanize a business and therefore create a dynamic presentation that touches people’s emotions.

Video can be a very compelling way to increase brand awareness. It is one of the most highly shared forms of information through Social Media Channels and should be a part of everyone’s Social Media strategy.

Join our Twitter Chat  #Turnitsocial Thursday at 8 pm EST to find out how to utilize video with your social media business and why you must offer this to your clients to maximize their exposure!

You can reach Chris on Twitter @chrisyates11  as well as Tweet us @turnitsocial !

#Turnitsocial Thursday Night at 8 pm EST- Topic is Social Engagement

turn it social

Last Thursday evening, we hosted our 1st Twitter chat on #Turnitsocial. The turnout was incredible and we thank everyone who joined us!  Very special thanks to our cohost, Randy Thio from Ideabloke.com and Kelly Lieberman from the highly popular Wednesday night Twitter Chat  #Pinchat.

This Thursday night, September 6, at 8 pm EST we will be talking about Social Engagement. Do you feel totally at ease chatting on Twitter and Facebook or are you like many who  feel like no one is listening to them! Are you unsure what to say when you are on a Social Platform?

Engagement is the life blood of Social Media and if you are simply posting information and tweets without active communication, then your time and effort has little value! Let’s chat about what YOU need to gain more mutual engagement as well as what you may be doing that works great for you!

Join us this Thursday night at 8 pm EST for #Turnitsocial !


How To Make Social Media Engagement Work For You!

engaging in social mediaBack in 2009, I enlisted a colleague to help me start up a Twitter account. At that time I viewed twitter as a silly waste of time. Fast forward to 2012 and Twitter has become one of my favorite social media platforms and a primary networking outlet for me. Additional platforms that I enjoy and use often include Facebook and LinkedIn.

Google+ is growing on me as well and with the addition of the rel=author function, I’ve begun using Google+ more often.

People often ask me, “How did you get Twitter and Facebook to work so well for your business?” Explaining this in one word is quite simple: ENGAGE

Over the years I’ve received countless emails and DM’s from others thanking me for the simple act of replying to them. I sometimes respond, “There’s no need to thank me. Why would I not reply to you?” The typical answer is, “Oh – you have no idea how many people do not. I get so frustrated by it! What am I doing wrong?”

These folks are likely not doing anything wrong at all. If they reach out to someone with a tweet or DM, email or Facebook note and hear nothing back, it’s probably not about them at all. Many business owners and social media professionals stand by the old rule that all inquiries should be replied to within 24-48 to show maximum professionalism. On the other hand, there could be a number of reasons for the lack of replies such as:

  • The company account is being run by someone in another country and they don’t know how to respond to the inquiry.
  • The company account is being auto-run and no one gets replies.
  • The company account is being run on a part time basis and replies are few and far between.
  • The person running the account is more interested in being heard than in ‘listening,’ helping or engaging.
  • The tweet, email, DM or Facebook note simply got lost under many others – we all get busy.
  • There could be other facts involved, also, from a sense of elevation to family issues and more.
  • I read a tweet recently that said, “Not everyone wants to engage here! Some of us are just here to observe and monitor the space for marketing research.”

A lack of engagement can be the result of a number of factors. That said, this is one area in social media that can quickly set you apart from your competition!  Simply replying to others (in a positive and helpful way) has brought me additional business, wonderful networking opportunities, guest post offers, new friendships, charitable giving opportunities, donations for fund-raisers I’m running and much more.

People appreciate feeling heard, listened to, replied to and engaged with. On twitter I attempt to reply to tweets and DM’s immediately. If I receive messages while I’m sleeping I reply as soon as I get back to work and see the correspondence. I respond to emails within 24 hours, any time possible. Sometimes my reply must be, “No, I can’t do that. I’m sorry!” However, I usually offer the person an alternative solution or varying idea to solve their problem. Even if I cannot help them, someone else might be able to, right?

For instance, I often receive emails asking that I advertise someone’s business for free. I reply, “We have paid ad spots if you’d like to learn more about that. If you are seeking free advertising, I’ll send you over to an article that I wrote about ways small businesses can promote for free. Hopefully that will help you.” Many times these same people come back for services later on, based on my willingness to help them even when they did not want to pay for services to begin with.

Think… Givers Gain. It really does work! In addition, what do you have to lose by being kind and helpful, right?

On Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ I generally reply to all comments and messages within 24 hours if not sooner. I’ve found that when people comment under a post of mine, they hope to either get a ‘thumb up’ or a reply comment in return. If I do this quickly they feel as though they are really a part of our community and their presence is appreciated. Soon enough they are commenting more often and engaging with our community in a deeper way.

In closing, you might like to consider the following word play for the word ENGAGE:

E= Eager to reply

N= Never ignore

G= Givers Gain

A= Always respond to legitimate inquiries (not spam)

G= Get back what you give

E= Early replies gain respect

Off you go now – engage and grow!


Shara Lawrence-Weiss is the owner of Mommy Perks, an online community for parents, grandparents, business owners and friends. Shara has a background in early childhood, education, freelance, nanny work, special needs, marketing and business ownership. She is currently serving as the secretary of her town charity group and the treasurer of the town library board. She lives in a small town near the woods with her husband and four children. Shara and her husband volunteer for town fund-raisers with the kids and mentor numerous at-risk teenagers. Shara is also active on Facebook and Twitter.

Why is Pinterest So Addictive

pinterest is addictive

As a busy professional woman you would think that I would not get so addicted to the new social media site Pinterest which users mainly use for recipe swaps, DIY projects and decorating tips, au contraire.  For me exploring Pinterest and becoming a pinner helps me identify with things in my life from the past, present and envision for the future.  It also allows me to connect with others who have the same likes or dislikes as I do, and these likes and dislikes are not the same as likes 0n Facebook.  If you want another excuse I also hail from Alabama, one of the states statistically with the most pinners.

For me Pinning allows me to gather ideas for my present everyday life and to dream about my life in the future, especially when I am thinking about my first to London I will be taking later this fall.   Pinning for me is an outlet from the stress of other social media sites and it allows me to give people insight into who I am on a personal level.    Something I have avoided in my professional life before now.

For example,  I love Autumn/Fall so I have been pinning and re-pinning for a good part of a week about things that mean fall to me.  Whether it’s fall fashion, to décor to holidays, I get to explore visually the things I like about the season.   I also love to interact with others across the Pinterest network who are pinning about Fall to see what they like and to get ideas.  I also like recipes.

Gone are the days for me that I will sit and clip interesting recipes to try, and I don’t want to put them in a book that gathers dust.  Pinning recipes is a way for me to keep up with what’s hip and new in the food world.  I don’t cook that often, but when I do and it’s usually around the holidays, I like having interesting recipes to try.

Many marketers aren’t exactly sure what the pay-off of Pinterest is just yet.  In a recent article 10 Things to People Love or Hate About Pinterest, at Mashable.com even pinners question the glitches the Pinterest website seems to have.

Mashable talks about two consumer marketing monitoring firms who have looked at the site’s glitches and user interface.  Some of the statistics are staggering at best with 60% women and 40% men using the site, and acording to the infographic report that Netbase and SAP posted, Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site on the web .  Last year the site tracked 10 million monthly visits in the United States alone over any other website.

Two of the top five things people love about the site are sharing recipes and the comments that come along with sharing them and how easy it is to help plan and organize items from decorating, to shopping to crafts to weddings.  The top least favorite thing that people like about Pinterest is that for companies and others, we’re not too sure how pinning equates to more business for our business.

I for one believe that the complaint of monetization will work itself out.  Because I believe eventually consumers will buy something they have seen on Pinterest. I know, if there is something I really like and want to know where I can get it, I click on the photo to go to the website where nine times out of 10 I can see where to purchase the item and I visit the site at least once before I decide to purchase it.

Still other statistics I have seen on Pinterest talk about sentiment to brands.   Let’s face it people pin from sites and brands they know and love, and brands are now getting into the game with their own Pinterest boards.  Consumers like me, are recognizing this and are gravitating to their boards.  Brand loyalty may be where in the end businesses and consumers see the benefits of the hours upon hours of pinning items they like.


About Author

Kara Kennedy, a native of Birmingham, has worked extensively in the areas of Public Relations, media and marketing, and is currently the Director of the External Affairs of Samford’s Brock School of Business. Shortly after joining the Brock School of Business in June of 2007, she headed the PR team that implemented the successful strategy to brand the Samford School of Business the Brock School of Business.  Kara handles all of the events marketing, media relations, public relations and online digital strategies (including social media) for the Brock School of Business.

You can reach Kara on Pinterest and Twitter or email here at kara_kennedy@kennedyresourcedevelopment.com

 

Why Smart Social Media Doesn’t Equate to Buying Twitter Followers

buying twiter followers? a strict no noThere seems to be a significant rise lately in the number of companies that are offering “guaranteed”  Twitter followers. Unfortunately, a quick rise to Twitterdom does not guarantee success! Doesn’t appear that way if you check out the ads and tweets you see everyday online.  Who wouldn’t want to “pay only $65 for 10,000 followers”? Sounds like this could propel you to a higher influence on Klout, Kred and in your particular area of expertise or does it?

Twitter is a social media platform that gives businesses and individuals the ability to develop a highly engaged audience. So, when buying followers, you lose the ability to connect with that segment of your base. Why is this?? Because these followers are not going to engage with you since they are not active on Twitter.  They only serve to pump up your numbers so that you appear as though you are popular or influential. Does this serve any long term goals you may have planned for your business?

For those who do not understand where these “paid for” followers come from, let’s explore this. A company creates 1,000’s of accounts and then distributes these followers to their clients who elect to “buy” their influence. Most of these accounts have very few followers and minimal to 0 tweets. So, if you suspect that someone is purchasing followers, those are key indicators.

Normally, there will be a cluster of suspicious followers visible on their profile. StatusPeopleFakersTool is a great tool to show you  you the percentage of inactive, real and fake followers! Thanks to Jim Dougherty  for sharing this!

Someone can go from 0 followers to 10,000 for under $100! It sounds extremely enticing and with the increasing competition among Social Media peers, it sometimes can be too alluring to ignore.  I have observed some of my well respected and influential peers fall victim to the pressure to represent themselves as true leaders with a large following.  The result however can be damaging to someone’s reputation and the reputation of the Social Media industry. Would you trust someone that you know is buying followers?

Without true engagement and relationships, the amount of followers you have basically no value. It is about being a leader, providing great content and showing that you are an expert in your niche that will draw people to you and provide you with the success you are seeking.