Pinterest

7 Social Media Misconceptions

Transition-Marketing-ServicesSocial Media Marketing.

Social Media has quickly grown as a marketing tool. Several years ago there was a massive push by marketing consultants to bring clients of all backgrounds onto Social Media. This has dramatically changed the social media scene in both feel and usage. As corporations took to the Social Media “Airwaves” the content and type of usage has evolved.

The need to increase ad revenue has pushed the big contenders in new directions which has significantly impacted their content, the display of YOUR content and the overall reason for the average household’s usage. Not everyone has been happy with the changes, and many users have become disenchanted with the big Social Media platforms, seeing them as no more than Corporate shills. Yet usage continues to be steady.

Like it or not we will continue to see this push by Marketing & Advertising agencies for a few years yet, until the next big tech revolution occurs, or until our first big tech blackout happens. All indications are that advertising options will continue to grow as a must for many Social platforms.

This Social Media revolution has taken place over a little more than a decade. Over that time the platforms have evolved, the tools have adjusted and our methods have changed. Tips and tricks for optimal Social Media usage have come and gone like political promises.

In three previous posts we have outlined several Social Media misconceptions. Ideas, tips and information that simply are not true. These posts can be found here:

In the following post we will finish up with 7 final Social Media Misconceptions that business owners and marketers alike can (and should) ignore.

Okanagan-Marketing

7 Social Media Misconceptions.

1) Engagement Is The All Important Metric.

Let’s start by explaining. There are two key non-paying metrics involved in Social Media:

  • Number of Followers: Your number of followers or likes – essentially your Social Media audience.
  • Follower Engagement: Your engagement and individual connectivity with your followers.

Now both of these metrics are important, both will lead to potential sales and income. However neither by themselves will generate dollars. In our previous post we discussed why gaining followers is not the single key to success on Social Media. Engaging them is equally important, however one must note that “Follower Engagement” itself is considered a non-paying metric also.

Follower Engagement not only a non-paying metric, it’s also a fuzzy metric with many different interpretations. It is important of course. It establishes communication and relationships with potential leads and it provides insight into which of your content is connecting with your audience, which then impacts your future content and design decisions.

Follower Engagement however, is simply one more piece in the big-picture-puzzle. Your number of followers does not alone dictate your economic success, likewise engagement with those followers is just another in a several step process to generating sales interest.

2) Only Publish Content About Your Company.

Wrong.

I personally do not want to hear or witness a non-stop feed of propaganda about your business. If you are publishing only messages and content about your company, unless I am a stock holder, I DON’T CARE.

Ask yourself this: Would you want to sit and listen to someone you hardly know tell you all about how great they are? Probably not.

Why then would anyone voluntarily listen to you spout of a list of your awards, events, products, reviews etc? It is the exact same thing, and it is obnoxious. I will unfollow you quickly, as will the bulk of Social Media users.

Instead let your audience assist in dictating your content. The odd post about your companies recent achievement, or new product is great – but build the rest of your content based on what your audience wants. Think about it like romancing a first date. If you do all the talking, attempting to promote yourself, there likely won’t be a second date. Instead ENGAGE them. Find out about them, take an interest in their lives. Base your conversation around what THEY are saying.

Ask yourself (or rather ask them).

  • What are their concerns?
  • What are their problems?
  • What are their challenges?
  • What are they interested in?
  • What are they talking about?

Romance your audience. Pay attention to them and engage them with your content.

3) You Should Post A Certain # Of Posts Each Day.

This is a common misconception and it is actually rooted in legitimate research. There are in fact optimal times during the day in which to post, likewise there is an optimal frequency with which to post. There has in fact been a great deal of research done on the topic including this great report by Dan Zarrella.

However, this research is not carved in stone and it does not necessarily pertain to everyone. As with any data and research, this report was based on independent results stemming from multiple test posts over a large number of accounts.

Every Social Media platform is different and has different optimal times for posts. Similarly every independent Social Media user has a different audience with different schedules, browsing habits and agendas.

We recommend that users do their own research based on their own profiles and their own audience:

  1. Test the timing for each of your posts and see when you are receiving the best level of connectivity with your followers.
  2. Test the frequency and verify the same.
  3. Test your content and see what is engaging the most.

Remember, these are YOUR followers, they are custom to you and your post scheduling should reflect that.

4) Setup Your Facebook or Twitter or Blog (etc) Profile and The Rest Is A Breeze.

Wrong again. Very wrong.

Engaging in Social Media is just like any other “Social” or Networking event. It is not enough to just be there. You need to be involved.

Think about it this way. If you set up a booth at a trades show and sat in a chair in the corner for the duration and never spoke to a soul, what would you expect for results? Social Media is much the same. It requires constant vigilance, updates and response. It is called “Social” Media for a reason. The entire premise of it is to get out and connect with other users. It is about conversing, communicating and networking.

Social Media requires time and effort. It requires consistent maintenance and updates.

5) You Can Just Wing It On Social Media.Small-Business-Plan

There is a misconception that Social Media requires little planning, that one can just post to it as they see fit.

In fairness, Social Media does require a flexible and adaptable controller and the posts can be spur of the moment. When operating a Social Media profile the controller must be prepared for anything, you are engaging people over the anonymity of the internet after all, and that can result in some bizarre interactions.

However, while flexibility is a must, so is an overall strategy. A few things to consider when developing a Social Media strategy:

  1. Why are you on Social Media?
  2. What are you goals?
    • How will you achieve them?
  3. Who are you targeting?
    • How will you find them?
    • How will you approach them?
  4. What content will you need to develop and post?
    • Do you have the means to do so?
    • Who will be in charge of doing so?

Figure our you goals, then determine who you want to connect with to achieve them; how you want to connect with them and what you need to do so? Who in your company is responsible for what? Have a plan to ensure success.

6) Every Division Of Your Company Needs An Individual Account.

They don’t.

You don’t.

Big corporations often go this route. Many large corporate companies (Kohler, Apple, Coca-Cola etc) have multiple accounts. In fact a report by Altimeter indicates that the average corporation has 178 corporate controlled Social Media accounts. That is an overkill even for companies of monolithic proportions.

The fact is that for every additional Social Media account, you are incurring added costs, added drain on resources and another avenue that can jeopardize the consistency of your brand’s communications. For the small to mid-size business especially, this makes zero sense. In addition, adding multiple accounts divides your efforts, provides far more information to analyze and reduces your overall Social Media reach.

The best plan is to create and build up a single account on whichever platforms you have deemed pertinent. If you have multiple target markets, don’t create multiple accounts, rather diversify the content on a single account, to reach the different targets from one place.

7) Don’t Ask Followers To “Follow, Like or RT” You.

This is a bit of a fair presumption actually. It seems quite forward and rude almost to just come out and ask someone to “Like” you. Yet the truth is that it works. There won’t be any terrible fallout or heckling as a result. You are simply putting it forward to someone – already engaged with your content – to share it. It is a  polite call to action and it is in fact a recommended thing to do.

Don’t abuse it of course, if you are constantly badgering everyone to RT every post… well that may indeed get a little stale.

Okanagan Small Business Marketing

Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.

Pinterest In A Nutshell

Pinterest-Comic

Pinterest In A Nutshell

Just like Facebook and Twitter before it, Pinterest is garnering a ton of attention from individuals and businesses alike.

So what is Pinterest? It is essentially a site that allows you to pin images of your likes, dislikes, interests etc. to an online “board”. The images can be linked directly to various websites as well.

Users can “re-pin” other users pins from one online board to another, thus sharing the content and website links quickly and efficiently.

This clever little comic we found online illustrates it quite nicely.

Five Social Media Misconceptions

Social-Media-Marketing

Social media policies can be crippling.

1) Social Media Requires Policing And A Policy.

Ok let’s cut through the red tape and the bureaucracy because Social media policies wind up wasting time and stalling out efforts. Attempting to police every single thing published within a single channel is nearly impossible and one stands to lose more trying to get approval to reply, then just replying promptly.

It’s impossible to prepare for every possible scenario on social media. What is more, with social media speed is of the essence. One must respond quickly at every opportunity. If one has to run every reply through a chain of command, or get approval via policy, then they risk losing out. Social media is lightening quick and dialogue on it must reflect that.

The best bet is to put simple guidelines for social media publication in place, rather than a full fledged policy. Make sure that those representing your brand on social media have good judgement and then entrust them to represent you properly.

A few examples of good guidelines are as follows:

  • Use your common sense.
  • Beware of privacy issues.
  • Play nice, and be honest.
  • Allow publications to fun, while still relevant & respectful.
  • Encourage conversation & discourse.
  • Consider asking your representatives to add their initials to posts.
  • Maintain a distinction between posts for your brand and personal posts by your reps.

 2) Social Media Is 100% Free.

Marketing-Content

Image Source: techpost.ug

This can be a common misconception. Yes there is almost never a cost to sign up to a social network however the natural evolution of your social media profiles will require time & resources, which as we know requires “moola moola”. True social media marketing success requires an investment of time. It requires consistent updates and posts, content creation, publication, searching and dialogue with other users.

Do not make the mistake of assuming social media is quick and easy. If you want any real success via these channels, then you need to maintain, update and use them properly. All of these things take time and time requires money.

It doesn’t end there either. Once you have a social media plan in place and the cogs are turning, the next step is marketing analytics. The only way to see if you are truly making any progress on social media is to measure the ROI. This as well, requires time, people and software.

There is no question that social media pays however it must be looked at as an investment and not simply a free ride.

Small-Business-Marketing

Social media is the fishing line and your website is the boat.

3) Social Media Alone Is Enough.

FALSE! False, false, false! Social media is a wonderful tool but it DOES NOT REPLACE other marketing strategies. Social media is simply an additional channel. It complements other parts of your strategy but it cannot stand alone.

If marketing is “fishing for leads”. Then consider social media to be the fishing line. It works great to hook potential customers, but you still need somewhere to reel them in to. A “boat” as it were. You must have a landing page, somewhere for those followers to go to find the information they need. You cannot convert social media followers to potential sales leads without a landing page(s).

Simply put you cannot attract followers in social media without good content. That content must come from somewhere, a blog, a website etc. You cannot convert followers into sales leads without landing pages (blog, website etc.) that provide necessary information and “can’t-refuse” offers.

Long story short: Get a website or other form of landing page (no Facebook does not count).

4. Social Media Cannot Be Measured.Marketing-Analytics

Everything can be measured. In fact one of the founding principles within every successful industry segment is “measurement”. Whether dealing with marketing, production, distribution or other, without measurement there is no way to determine the success of an endeavor and no way to determine whether to continue or not.

Social media is the same. As with every other marketing tool, social media can be measured.

So how do you measure? There are many ways, the first and primary step should be to set a goal and gauge your progress.  Here are a few examples:

  1. Seek to engage existing consumers and gauge the number of successful conversations.
  2. Create an offer only available on social media, then measure how many people attempt to cash it in within your business.
  3. Seek to gain new leads & set a quantity to reach by a specific date.
  4. Seek to increase the reach overall of your content. Measure using software and analytics tools built into that specific social media platform.
  5. Seek to support Customer Service by reducing the need for support calls. Measure how many calls are coming in and then compare as your social media profiles begin to take flight. Monitor to see if the average number of calls per month decrease over time.

Whatever you determine to be your goal, there is a way to measure it and that measurement is crucial.

social-media-followers

500 or 5000 followers. It doesn’t matter if none of them convert into leads.

5) Your Number of Followers Is The Most Important Metric.

A high number of followers can certainly be indication of doing something right. However followers don’t generate income. They are not sales, they do not pay your bills and they will not guarantee your business survival.

Also to be considered, is that every social media platform has a high number of “spam” profiles, essentially dummy profiles that follow you simply to be followed back. There is zero value in these profiles as they cannot be converted to leads.

Instead what you must consider, is what is most important to your business. Generating massive numbers of followers should not be a top priority. Rather you should focus on thoroughly engaging a smaller number of followers in order to transform them into leads and eventually into sales.

Okanagan-Marketing

Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.

Five MORE Social Media Tips To IGNORE

Social-Media-Marketing

“There is no such thing as a social media ‘guru’, nor a ‘maven’ nor a ‘ninja’ nor any of the other silly terms people are using. There are those who understand social media as a tool for marketing, those who *think* they understand and those who do not.” – Transition Marketing

In our previous post on March 14, 2013 (HERE) we took a slightly different tact on the traditional social media propaganda by REFUTING several of the dominant social media “tips” presently in circulation. In today’s post we will continue with a thorough examination of FIVE MORE TERRIBLE SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS.

Employee-Social-Media-Gagging1) Avoid Allowing Your Employees on Social Media.

This is a ridiculous and asinine request. For one, attempting to police this is a tremendous waste of time. Even if you block Social Media on their work computers, they have smart phones. The resources, time and ill-will that this breeds isn’t worth it. Try to block or regulate their cell phone usage at work, they will still visit those sites on their breaks and at home. Forbid any use of your brand or business name by your employees and they will simply create fake profiles.

All you do by creating an iron-fisted regime is breed sore feelings, hurt office morale and damage work relationships. You send a clear message that you don’t trust them, create a hostile office environment and what is worse, you turn your back on an incredible asset.

Your employees are your company. They ARE your brand. This is not just a cliché corporate catch-phrase. It is a solid truth about the world we now live in. Social Media has changed the face of branding. Every consumer, every employee, every individual now has the option and the power to share their experiences with thousands and even millions. Businesses cannot muzzle the voice of the general public and there has been a significant shift in the way that businesses now market themselves (More on that HERE)

Your employees (just like your customers) have a voice and a reach that can further spread your brand and marketing message, for good or for ill. One way or the other your employees will talk about your business. To fight the lost battle of “policing” their voices, instead so rather than trying to encourage them is folly. Instead give them guidelines for good use and encourage them to share positive stories and experiences.

Allow them to be “Brand Advocates” and put their voices to use.

2) Ignore Negative Feedback On Social Media.

Oops, someone has gone and said something bad about your brand. There is no going back now, it exists and it is plastered on the internet. Whether it reaches dozens or thousands there is no going back once it has been posted.

Many brands are encouraged to ignore negative comments, to not risk entering a hostile conversation to avoid it. However by not responding to angry comments online you are allowing it to simply sit and fester and worst-case scenario it could quickly take on a life of its own.

Mistakes happen so when you make them, admit to them. People are far more gracious when one owns up, apologizes and tried to make things better. Attempting to ignore, avoid or argue them will tarnish your brand. Admit mistakes when necessary and then detail how you will address them.

Our go-to method when negativity strikes, is to address the comment immediately and take that conversation offline.

For example, if someone tweets negatively about you, ask them to DM, email or call you with the specifics. Then work with them to resolve the issue outside of the public’s eye. Once a resolution has been reached, take it back to the mainstream and tweet the resolution back to them as an affirmation.

The public doesn’t need to know every detail, just that is was addressed and made right.

3) Address EVERY Negative Comment.Dont-Avoid-Comments

This may seem like we are suddenly contradicting ourselves, however there are certain negative comments that exist for no other reason then to get a rise out of you. Known as “trolling“, the concept of provoking reaction through negative or even shocking content has unfortunately become quite a popular online. This is more specific to big business and well established brands, however it pertains to all of us.

Beware of those who are simply trying to further their own agenda’s and gain visibility by pushing you for responses to their comments. On social media, as in life, there is a time to talk and a time to walk away. Learn to discern the trolls from those consumers with real concerns.

4) Delete Negative Comments or Disable Comments Entirely.

Social Media is about conversations, about sharing and discussing. Disabling comments runs contrary to this entire premise.

People are going to share experiences with or without your Facebook page. They have their own page, their own profile and their own audience. By ALLOWING them to post their thoughts and feedback on YOUR page you can monitor and address the feedback. If you’re smart you may even learn a few things to change your business for the better.

Responding to customers, involving them and discussing with them is in fact what social media is all about. Simply posting content over and over, without ever establishing customer relationships is a dated practice meant for television, billboards and radio. Online “Marketing 2.0” is all about creating consumer advocates through online discussions via social media.

As for deleting comments, do so and you will have created a consumer enemy for life. Nothing will infuriate a consumer-with-a-voice more, than attempting (poorly) to silence them. They will simply find other avenues and lambaste you even worse!

Delete-Posts

5) When Making A Mistake, Deleting The Post Will Fix It.

This is absolutely horse-feathers and rubbish. Let us reiterate, once a comment has been made and posted, it will not cease to exist. Whether you posted it or a consumer did it is there.

“Love and life may pass, but Facebook posts are forever”.

There is no way to completely erase a post and no way to stop viewers from screen-shotting it and sharing it with the world. Think about what you say before you say it. And admit to any mistakes you make (apologize when necessary).

Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.

5 Pieces Of Social Media Advice You Should Ignore

Hint: If they use the term "guru", they aren't.

Hint: If they use the term “guru”, they aren’t.

Social Media Advice You Should Ignore.

The following are five REAL pieces of social media advice from supposed “Social Media Guru’s”. We highly recommend familiarizing yourself with and then IGNORING these suggestions.

1) Your Target Market Isn’t On Social Media, So Don’t Bother.

This is one of the tallest tales and longest lies out there. YES YOUR PROSPECTS ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA.

In a recent study by the Pew Research Center, an estimated 69% of the adult population was found to be using social media. That 69% includes your targets. If statistics don’t do it for you then we challenge you step onto ANY SOCIAL NETWORK and test drive their targeted advertising programs (trying out is free). You will quickly see just how large an audience exists for your business.

Setting aside the obvious sales benefits and lead prospects, there are a number of other reasons to get on board.

  1. Communicating with other members of your industry.
  2. Monitoring competitors actions and communications.
  3. Researching new developments within your business sector.
  4. Discovering advertising, Public relations, press release or other marketing opportunities.
  5. Connecting with influencers & industry leaders.

Social Media presents an unprecedented opportunity for businesses of all sizes. A responsible business owner owes it to themselves and to their employees, to research it properly before choosing to accept or reject it.

2) Utilize Trending Hashtags To Gain Exposure (Twitter).

Hashtags were at one time the means to organize tweets. They are still a common tool used to organize specific campaigns or events. Hashtags can be promoted to gain exposure, and they are designed in such a way as to enable tracking, sharing and monitoring content related to specific events.

Pro Tip Note: The key for organizing around hashtags is to understand which hashtags work. Generic hashtags (IE #marketing #advertising #tuna etc) are seldom monitored and therefore seldom reaches anyone new. Attempting to use these can result in  being labelled a rookie.

You can view top trending hashtags in the “Discover” section, these are tweets that are being promoted, being used to organize, or are otherwise hitting the “viral hotspot” on twitter. Attempting to become involved in these hashtags to gain exposure is a dicey proposition and often fails miserably.

Consider this example from last year. Kenneth Cole, a brand that should have known better, attempted to hijack the trending #Cairo hashtag. The hashtag was trending during the massive tumult that was occurring in the middle east. Perhaps you remember, when an Egyptian citizen enacted self-immolation and lit himself on fire in protest against the government. This sparked an upheaval throughout the entire middle east and quickly became a trend on Twitter.

Kenneth Cole coldly and ignorantly attempted to jump on board with this little tweet:

Hashtag-Twitter-Fail-Brand-Social-Media

People were not pleased and it quickly became a PR nightmare. All because of a haphazard attempt to gain a little quick exposure off of a trend. Source

This doesn’t necessarily mean that taking part in a trending hashtag is bad, it just means do so with caution.

3) Outsource Your Social Media.

 

This CAN BE quite a ridiculous suggestion once you understand the purpose of social media. Social media is the means for you to communicate with your audience (aka customers). How can this be accurately done if someone else is doing the speaking for you?

  1. The “voice” of your social media efforts needs to be your own.
  2. The conversation’s content has to be based on you and your knowledge and experience.
  3. The answers, comments and reactions to interactions have to come from you.
  4. This pertains especially to small businesses or niche markets.

You are the one best suited to represent your business, whether in person, on the phone or online. If not you, then someone within your business that is qualified to accurately respond and with the customer care necessary. That doesn’t mean hiring out is entirely out of the question, but it must be done with great caution and with an understanding of what is at stake.

There are MANY “professional social media guru’s” that will fight to represent your business online. If you are going to hire someone outside of your organization, we recommend reading either (or both) of these articles:

4) Hire An Intern or Otherwise Temporary & Inexpensive Employee To Rep Your Social Media.

This really just echoes what was said above. At least a social media specialist might know what they are doing. Why anyone would trust their brands image and communications to someone so unqualified is beyond us. At best you get someone who cares about their job, but lacks experience. At worst you get someone who could care less about their job, about your brand and about your customers.

Image source: incedogroup.com

Image source: incedogroup.com

This actually only acts to magnify the root of the problem, which is the idea that social media is just a throw-away marketing strategy with little value.

Social media is in fact a highly intense and in-depth field on which to market ones brand. To trust this marketing to non-qualified individuals is on par with hiring a middle-school media class to produce your commercial. Don’t do it.

Rule of thumb, would you let this individual represent you in a television interview? No? Then don’t put them on the social media channels.

5) Don’t Get All Personal, This Is Business.

Yes it is business, however one cannot forget the “SOCIAL” in social media. That means talking, sharing, conversing and otherwise relating to your audience. Social media marketing is different in that respect from many other marketing avenues. Social media requires the brand to talk directly TO their audience as opposed talking AT them.

“People don’t fall in love with hex colors and logos — they fall in love with people,” – Erika Napoletano (@RedHeadWriting)

Social media give one the unique opportunity to share some of their “colour” or personality. One gets to share a little bit of what makes their brand unique, the people. When you take to the social media air waves, don’t shy away from being personal, embrace it. Engage and converse as a business owner and not a corporate automaton.

Okanagan Small Business Marketing

Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.

10 Social Media Tips You Need To IGNORE

10 Social Media Tips You Need To IGNORE

Image Source: Allisterfrost.com

Image Source: Allisterfrost.com

Social Media & Marketing.

Social Media as exploded. It has generated an entirely new way of viewing marketing and has opened up a multitude of new avenues for broadcasting a brand message.

Yet with the onset of a new and ever-changing marketing tool, there has arisen a rather nefarious term.

The “Social Media Guru”.

The Social Media Guru can most often be found in its natural habitat – Starbucks – and is often seen sporting a skinny-boy decaf light while blogging basic Facebook propaganda over their Macbook pro.

Ok, that is not entirely true, these so-called gurus can take many different forms, but all are equally dangerous. Knowing how to operate social media is one thing, any teenager can do that. Knowing how to properly MARKET on social media is an entirely different animal. These gurus and gurus in name only, a name that is quickly becoming a tiresome cliché.

Unfortunately much of their advice is limited or incorrect and can quickly steer unknowing businesses, the wrong direction. There is a lot of bad direction being handed out by these self-titled miscreants, so how does one accurately asses what to believe?

10 Social Media Tips You Need To IGNORE

Image Source: Kozinets.net

Image Source: Kozinets.net

1) Social Media Guru’s Do Not Exist.

They are a fabrication. The term Social Media “Guru” (or Maven, or Ninja) is simply a misleading term used to disguise the fact that these so-called experts have no formal education or experience in marketing. They dub themselves with these lofty titles in an effort to stand out as “marketing renegades” and to disguise the fact that they have no credibility within the industry and therefore no actual credible title.

When one sees the term “guru” or “maven” or “ninja” or “evangelist” or whatever the next pop-slang cliché may be, let that be the first warning that these “experts” may not be what they seem.

They are responsible for a high level of the spammish content that Social Media user’s are forced to wade through each day. They are also the instigators of a great deal of bad advice.

The next nine tips will attempt to undo some of the nonsense surrounding Social Media as a marketing tool.

2) Always Use Facebook.

Or always use Twitter or always use (Insert Platform Name). The fact of the matter is that no one social media platform holds all of the answers for everyone. Business or Brand “A” is different from business or Brand “B”.  One does not market athletic shoes in the exact same way and to the exact same people, as one does a fast food joint. EVERY business and brand is different, their audience is different and their needs are different.

One needs to seek out their audience and go to them. Discern where the consumers that are most likely to purchase the products and services are and then go hang out with them. Be intentional, be relational and seek them out.

Many of the larger platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter have massive audiences that span a variety of demographics.

3) Be Everywhere & Do Everything.

Image Source: Socialimplications.com

Image Source: Socialimplications.com

A horrible lie that will exhaust both time and resources. Small business owners do not have the time necessary to populate every social media platform available. Social media success is dictated by presenting a strong presence through content, conversation and consistency. This requires commitment and dedication to maintaining an active presence online.

Spreading oneself over multiple platforms is the quickest route to failure. Instead one should choose one or two platforms, that they KNOW their audience hangs out on, and  then focus on solid social marketing to them.

One makes a far larger impact by maintaining active, consistent, engaging and relevant content on one platform, as opposed to watered down, weak, boring content on multiple platforms. Remember this is about marketing, about lead generation, about SALES, one does not need to be everywhere, they need to be where the audience is and they need to be focused on engaging them.

Social Media Marketing is not about carpet bombing the internet, it is about intentional and relational brand awareness. About find consumers, connecting with them online and creating a “social” experience between them and the brand.

4) It’s New! Quick Get On Board!

New platforms appear almost every six months, some make it, some fail and some supplant existing ones. At the end of the day Social Media Marketing requires a level of adaptability, but do not be too quick to jump on the next new thing.

More often than not, the shiny new “thing” won’t go anywhere, certainly not immediately. Take Pinterest for instance, in the last year it has grown exponentially and has begun to take on powerhouses the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Yet it existed for years before its recent popularity.

Certain platforms, like Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter and more recently, Pinterest, have rooted themselves deeply and it may be awhile before they are knocked out of the game. Don’t make the mistake of jumping on the band wagon. Concentrate on what works and monitor the new arrivals.

Image Source: Soshable.com

Image Source: Soshable.com

5) Social Media Replaces SEO.

Let’s get a few things clear. Yes Social Media does impact a website’s visibility and does increase the search engine ranking. However it is not the definite means unto itself. Rather SEO and Social Media should work hand in hand. Social media is an additional avenue for generating traffic and ranking, however standard SEO practices (key phrases, meta-tags etc.) are still influential and still play a significant role.

6) Automate Updates.

This is a tempting tool and one that plays a role in social media, to be sure. However one cannot rely on automating all of their posts. We always point out to clients that social media is “SOCIAL” media and automating ones presence is anything but social.

Social media is all about developing conversation with customers. It is about talking with other users and creating a brand presence that is honest, transparent, trusted and relate-able.

All of the things that an automaton is not….

Social Media Marketing is a game changer, as Seth Godin said “Marketing that interrupts people is no longer effective“. If ones interest is in plastering messages across media and not conversing, than they do not belong on social media.

An entirely automated profile sends a message that is in stark contrast to the entire zeitgeist of social media. If one intends on using social media to market to consumers, than they need to be prepared to chat.

That said, automating certain posts is a useful tool in the small business marketing tool kit, but like any tool it has a limit on its uses.

SocialMediaMarketing7) Use Direct Messages & Automate Them To All Your New Followers.

Don’t. Seriously. The most obnoxious part of Twitter is the automatic DM (Direct Message) that drops into my inbox when I follow someone. It makes me instantly want to UNFOLLOW.

It does not matter what the message is. A thank you, a call to action, a website link or your mothers recipes for borsch – DM’s are spam. They are cold, un-calculated, impersonal and they reek of SPAM. We are continually shocked by the “Social Media Guru’s” that continue to insist on this invasive and borderline useless tactic. One of the best words to describe DM’s that we have come across is “inconsiderate”.

Don’t DM. It is a social media faux pas.

8) Publish ALL THE CONTENT!

Are you familiar with “Zuckerbergs Law”? It essentially states that the sheer amount of content on social media will continue to grow exponentially without limit. What that means is that for the target consumers using social media, trying to weed through the mass amount of posts will become exceedingly difficult.

It is and will continue to become more difficult to grab the consumers attention via Social Media channels.

There is a cliché term that has made its way around various marketing circles – “Content is King”.

As with all clichés, this one too, is rooted in truth. Content is indeed the king  and it is means with which to garner an audience. Simply put, one must give the social media masses a REASON to view their posts, like them and follow them. It is not enough to be on Social Media posting non-stop – even a chimpanzee can do that with a little training and a few ripe bananas.

No, care, thought, creativity and dedication must be taken in the content of each and EVERY post. Only the highest quality content will be noticed. Being unwilling to provide the best posts possible simply states that the brand does not care enough about the consumer to put in the effort.

There are countless brands on Social Media, if there is no reason to follow one, the consumer will simply follow another.

Dwigh-Schrute-False9) Social Media Means You Can Skip On Email.

In the immortal words of Dwight Kurtis Schrute; “FALSE!”

Social Media has existed for over a decade now and yet we all continue to use and rely on email. There is no indication that this is going to change. Email is the go to tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Similar to its relationship with SEO, Social Media works WITH email marketing, it is a tool to be integrated and not a stand-alone resource.

  • The first step for signing on with just about any Social Media site, is to provide an email address. That alone should speak levels.
  • Consider the similarities between email communications and most social media communication. In most cases they are nearly identical.
  • For many, email is still viewed in a different light than social media posts and this can be leveraged.
  • Email can give access to content types that are not always readily available via all social media channels.

10) Setup Your Profile To Autopublish Content to ALL Other Profiles.

Many profiles, especially blogs, will allow an automatic integration and publishing to most, if not all, social media profiles. For instance the minute we publish a blog here on WordPress, we COULD set it up to automatically feed to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. What a great time saver!

Don’t do this. Why?

  1. For one thing, posting the EXACT SAME MESSAGE to every profile looks shoddy, lazy, cold and impersonal.
  2. For another, every social media platform is different. The way posts appear on one site is entirely different from how they will appear an another. Posts should be built for each specific profile in order to be effective.
  3. Lastly, the TYPE of content and the FREQUENCY with which you post needs to be different for each specific site. How one posts successfully to Twitter is different from how one posts successfully to Facebook, which is different from how one posts to Pinterest and so on…

Autopublishing becomes painfully obvious very quickly and it a great way to ensure ones social media efforts go no where.

Okanagan Small Business Marketing

Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.

How To Pin Your Own Photos On Pinterest (Manual Pinning)

So you want to pin a website to Pinterest, but when you try to do so, no photo is available? or perhaps the photo available is  a low quality thumbnail, or irrelevant to the content on the site (yes, believe it or not, that STILL happens).

Did you know you can upload your own photo when pinning? Well you can! It is actually surprisingly simple.

1. First, Log On To Pinterest:

Your first step is to log on to Pinterest! If that was not obvious you may want to rethink what you are doing.

2. Second, Click The “ADD+” Option At The Top Right Hand Of The Screen:

Second step is to click the Add+ option at the top right hand portion of the header menu.

3. Third, Choose To “Upload a Pin” From The Three Options:

Third, from the menu that pops up, choose to “Upload a Pin”.

4. Fourth, Click “Choose File”:

Fourth step, you will be offered the option to “Choose File” – do so.

5. Fifth, Choose The Image File (JPG, PNG Etc.) You Wish To Us As Your Pin:

Fifth step, choose the image you want to use as your pin.

6. Sixth, Enter Your Pin’s Information:

Sixth step, enter all of the information for your pin. (Hint: include keywords and your web URL)

7. Seventh, From The Pin Display Screen Choose To “Edit” Your Pin:

Step seven, you will be brought to the Pin display screen. From here choose to “Edit” the pin.

8. Eighth, In The Second Text Box Labelled “Link”, Type or Paste The Desired URL For Your Pin:

Step eight, in the second text block, enter the link or URL of the webpage you want represented by the photo.

9. Ninth, Click “Save Pin”

Congratulations, you have just manually pinned your first Pin on Pinterest. Quite simple really, this is a great way to share content, and maximize the visual impact of your boards. Now get out there and Pin the love!

 

Transition Marketing Services. Our passion is educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how were doing or if you have any questions. TRANSITION MARKETING SERVICES – Small Business Marketing Specialists.