Client social media formula

What is the client social media formula and how do I use it [NOW]?

Do you struggle with what to post or how to post? If yes this formula is for you.

Customer interest is what we seek. We seek to be effective and nurture customer interest.

The formula is easy for all social messages:

[Image] + [Engaging question] + [Call to action] + [Link]

 

It’s important to think of the post in terms of layers, like a delicious sandwich.

  • Images should preferably be square. Studies show square images are more effective.
  • Engaging questions should be under 100 characters. Short and sweet.
  • A call to action matters. Tell the reader what to do.
  • Your link should be relevant to the customer.

Next apply the formula to your engagement calendar. Most social networks allow scheduling – do it.

Why wouldn’t you write out your messaging in one sitting to save time? Plan messages for a few weeks, a month or even longer.

One week’s message planning should take 20 minutes to an hour.

I prefer to use Hootsuite a perfect tool to manage social media.

 

HootSuite Solution Partner social media

[TACTICAL TIP] Use a spreadsheet with formula capability to prepare the calendar. Include a formula to count characters. Keep track of message length so they remain short and within limits [140/100] Drag and drop your messages right into the social network post field.

  • Focus on popular days of the week depending on your brand. Develop a theme around days of the week.
  • Plan out holidays, trivia, key dates and sales using messages effectively.
  • Consider a content review process so an independent viewer can judge if the content is clear and not to salesy.

Do you need a photo for every post? No. You do need text on every one yes.

The text is what many customers say is the hardest, especially questions. Here are some examples for you:

{from a radio station twitter feed} What throwback song do you want @djawesome to play at noon? Tweet us your requests

{from a skin care company Facebook post} Would you rather have [a] a good hair day or [b] a good skin day and why?

{from Disneyland’s Facebook post} Mickey is awaiting your arrival. When will you be visiting him next?

{from Disney’s Facebook again} Today is national hot dog day. What is your choice at Disney Land resort hotdog or corn dog?

[TACTICAL TIP] Use spell check, read message out loud and read the message backwards to see spelling errors.

Messages must always be light [less than 100 characters], bright [provide a fun smile] and polite [media ready].

[TACTICAL TIP] Don’t count on privacy settings. Focusing on light, bright and polite will get you further ahead.

 

This post and some of the ideas came from a Hootsuite Partner seminar named 5 steps for safe & effective social media management presented by Josh Ochs founder of MediaLeaders.com

 

7 Crazy Social Media Lies

The Northeastern USA air is transitioning to winter. It makes me think of holidays, friends and family. I’m wired that way and I love it.

Before the holidays, I spend time following the news and reading the paper because I want chit chat material to talk to friends and family about. Yeah I ask about Aunt Marge’s sore foot and Uncle Larry’s surgery and Grandma Betty’s dog but in between I need some filler material. I can talk to anyone for hours, even a total stranger. I’m wired that way too.

This year is different. My filler material is social media and the lies that are told about it.

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
Albert Einstein

 

social media lies Chris via Compfight

Here are 7 crazy social media lies:

  1. Social networking is for the young. Older people are more active on social networks. In fact the fastest growing demographic is 45-54 year-old’s [http://www.socialnomics.net/2012/06/06/10-new-2012-social-media-stats-wow/]
  2. Nobody likes Google +. Google Plus attracts 100 million monthly active users and it’s growing much faster than any previous social network [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google%2B]
  3. Automatic sharing of content on Facebook is fun. Not really. Are you sick of your friends locations check ins too? There are thousands of web based articles about how to limit your sharing on Facebook. Here’s a good one from the Dummies people [http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-limit-who-can-see-your-facebook-posts.html
  4. My kids aren’t on social media. Scary right! My kids are aged 11 and 14. My youngest is on four social networks and my oldest on six. My 11 year old has a YouTube Channel, an Instagram account, Twitter and Tumblr where she writes micro-blogs. Add on Facebook and switch out Tumbler and another and that’s the differentiation. Facebook is a huge negotiation I’m not willing to begin for my 11 year old. If your child has their own email account, I can almost guarantee they are on one or more social networks. Ask them. [http://blog.sysomos.com/2012/06/13/the-new-social-question-how-old-are-you/]
  5. Twitter and Pinterest are social networks too. These two networks are actually micro-blogging sites for sharing snippets of text or photos that can link to other websites.
  6. They can’t do that. Sorry, yes they can. All social networks have terms of service and privacy policies that you agree to when you signed up. You know that long wordy text you scrolled past when you signed up that changes once and a while (it did?). Social networks are businesses, they’re not all publicly traded companies like Facebook but you can bet the terms of service and privacy policies protect them, not you. Here are Facebook’s terms of service  and privacy policy: [https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms] and [https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy]
  7. People care about privacy. Sadly this is not true. You think the settings you chose last year are still the same don’t you? Click this chart by year, the bluer it is the better it is for Facebook. And they aren’t the only social network that have changed their privacy settings, Twitter is on it’s sixth iteration [http://mattmckeon.com/facebook-privacy/] and [https://twitter.com/privacy] Did people even notice, I doubt it. Did I freak you out?

Do me a favor? If you click this button and pay with a tweet you’ll get my free eBook about kids on social media. Be cooler than them this year and learn a trick or two!

Your Social Media Problem Solved

Ever started in social media then been overwhelmed?

Do you find it hard to know what to post and when?

Ever said a blog is just too hard because you don’t know what to do?

Social media chaos, confusion and frustration?

Is this you?

Let me solve your problem with real solutions. Simple, effective and ready now.

Social media and relationships built on a solid foundation take time.

If you seek real solutions, real customers and business relationship building, keep reading.

So social media, that’s what we’re going to do – great. What is that exactly?

Social media [in 61 words; quote credit to David Merman Scott http://www.webinknow.com/2009/12/social-media-marketing-explained-in-61-words.html]
You can buy attention (advertising)
You can beg for attention from the media (PR)
You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales)     Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free: a YouTube video, a blog, a research report, photos, a Twitter stream, an ebook, a Facebook page.

So we’re clear we will use social media to earn attention, create something interesting and valuable and then we’re going to publish it online for free. Opportunity awaits, the customers are seeking you and if you are not on social media the customer may not find you.

itcantbedoneyesitcan

I read with interest an article by Tom Pick in July 2012 that I can’t help but reread. [ http://www.business2community.com/social-media/72-fascinating-social-media-marketing-facts-and-statistics-for-2012-0229237 ] The article had many interesting facts and statistics and discussed user statistics, lead nurturing and many social networks.

Studies show that customers using social media actively have a higher customer satisfaction rating.

Reports say that companies using social media are found faster.

Back to the social media issues you face. What do you do?

My best advice is consult with me, now before it’s too late. I’m your business expert in social media whose driven to make sure you aren’t overwhelmed, that you know what to post and when and you’ll realize a blog is easy. No more social media chaos, confusion and frustration. Maria is here, Maria knows what to do. Call me for a quote 315.706.4123

Here Is Why You Are Failing At Social Media

Succeeding at social media takes work and time.

Failing at social media is easy.

If you want to fail skip this list and move along.

Want to succeed? Read on, here’s what not to do.

  • No plan was set up to define what success is from the beginning so that you are measuring results from the start and judging what works and what dosen’t.
  • You haven’t listed your location, address or phone number in the social profile.…how will they know where you are and what number to call?
  • No description is provided of what the company does or what it sells….customers are not mind readers.
  • Your main website is not social media friendly….how do I share this or tweet about it?
  • No client testimonials….am I their first customer?
  • You haven’t included any calls to action such as click here or the occasional buy this post.
  • You haven’t posted in a month – or longer….are you closed?
  • Few likes, followers, circles or listings….maybe they’re bad?
  • You post bad or offensive jokes….maybe you’re not as funny as you think?
  • You post constantly. Many posts about selling too often….why are they desperate for customers?
  • You forgot to post when the sale starts and ends….I wish you had posted, I would have bought it on sale!
  • You have no photos or the photos are terrible.
  • The posts are always about you.…what about the customer, do they matter?
  • Lack of value sharing in the form of news articles or snippets of valuable information.
  • No reciprocation of likes, shares or congratulatory posts.
  • Misspelled words appear unprofessional. Bad grammar will too.
  • Misuse of proper capitalization in sentence structure. Each sentence starts with a capital letter and ends in a period….What grade did they finish school at?
  • POSTS IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS means you’re yelling. Please stop.
  • Excessive use of itinialisms such as LOL, TTYL, TTFN, CYL, FYI are annoying.
  • Excessive smile faces or 8.) and :…) are reserved for texting.
  • Swearing, cursing or offensive language is awful. So are posts done with anger.
  • Negative opinions of competitors or complaining will be misinterpreted.
  • Lying, plagiarism and stealing photos and content is wrong, especially online you can be sued.
  • Gossiping is also pretty bad. Rumor spreading is also….I can’t believe they said that?

Are you guilty? I think all of us are guilty of at least one, or two….ok so move on, think positively about social media and stop failing!

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Who’s the fairest of them all? It was a huge question and it came with big answers didn’t it? Mirror customer relationships on your targeted audience and you hit the mark.

Are your business customers on social media? Are they searching for your business online? If you answer yes to either of these, you need a social media plan and goals because it will help your customer find you.

Here is where you begin with social media, we don’t get online for quite a while [after the photo]:

Your audience is on social media. Figure out where they are. If you are seeking college students, they’re on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. Seeking professionals employed or otherwise, look seriously at Linked In. Seeking the Mom crowd, look at Facebook and Pinterest.  If you sell pretty stuff, look at Pinterest and Instagram. If you’re something in between or don’t know, Google Plus fits everybody. Why? Because it’s Google and I get into that later.

You now need to listen, watch and observe your customer audience. Your observations occur in face to face conversations, in phone consultations or simply watching customers in your place of business. Ask questions of your customers, do they use social networks? What is their favorite network?  Are they using smart phones? Customers using smart phones probably are actively engaged on one or more social network. What networks are your employees on? Simple and easy to figure out, do an anonymous survey of customers and employees.

Have an executive brainstorming meeting. The brainstorm can happen in fifteen minutes or longer. Decide where you found your customer online and what your customer needs [hopefully they need you].  You need to develop a perspective of fulfilling your customers need. Think in terms of YOU not I because if you start talking in the first person, you will be selling, slimy and loose the attention of your customer. Your customer matters and needs you and your product or service. This social thing is about them not I. Clear? The conceptual idea should be evolving, a plan is emerging.

Where are we so far? We found our audience, we’ve studied them, listened and asked questions. We’ve brainstormed and focused on the audience who needs you. A considerable amount of time has passed. You still haven’t actually activated your social account yet, with me?

Here is the actionable part of a plan. I call this phase the three D’s.  Dedicate time to post, share, link, comment and engage customers. Designate the people, owner or person to take care of it for you. Demonstrate your willingness to respond to criticism  and accept suggestion because you will get it. There are many scheduling applications such as online calendars that can text, beep or alert you to the timing of posts, shares, links, comments and engaging activities. Encourage the use of Google alerts to monitor when your business name or product/service appears online.

Find your competitors social profiles and lurk, listen and see what they’re doing. It’s ok to take notes. Once you go live, yes we will follow them, circle them and even like their page (as a clicking process). We may even say hello in a comment. [Ninja trick that will get some awareness out there] We still have a lot to do before going live.

During the brainstorming sessions, many ideas evolved. You developed a conceptual idea about who you will be online didn’t you? In any new event with a business, there needs to be a build up of excitement. This is where you start telling your customers about your new [secret] without telling them about the [secret]. Name the [secret] your big secret, the big shh, the new and exciting [secret] don’t tell anyone about a Google Plus page or social media page, keep it secret. They already have the idea because you planted a seed during your observation phase when you asked questions. Mystery sparks curiosity and curiosity sparks desire. You need and want curiosity and desire.

Seth Godin’s blog post titled Long-term Manipulation Is Extremely Difficult makes a great point about easy and difficult. It applies to our strategic social media process:

In the short run, it’s easy.

It’s easy to fool someone or lie to them or give them what they think they want. It’s easy to write a great block of copy, to sell on credit, to grab the attention of the mob.

Not so easy: to build mutually profitable long-term relationships that lead to satisfaction, trust and work worth doing.

Lincoln was right about fooling people, but along the way we often forget that while trickery is easy, the longer path of keeping your promises is far more satisfying and stable.

[END]

We’re working on the not so easy part. To build mutually profitable long-term relationships that lead to satisfaction, trust and work worth doing. That build takes time. How much time and effort depends on you.
There ain't no mountain high enough Fernando Rodríguez via Compfight

Our profile isn’t live yet. The plans are evolving and we’re getting closer. Continue on to the next page for further reading.

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7 shortcuts to local business

Local business needs you. I am spreading the news about how important social media is to small local business.  Small business is important to the economy.

 

Start your path to gaining local business by searching for it on the web. I use Google search.  Start with your business target and a few keywords. Type the information into the search box including the city or region where local is for you and hit enter.


Notice as you drive in the local area what business you see along the roads.


The key is to find those local businesses who need YOU.

partnership agreementCreative Commons License o5com via Compfight

 

Got one or two, maybe three, good now let’s go!

      1. Discover who the business competitor is and seek a relationship based on getting them more business customers
      2. Find out about the business, ask your neighbor, Google them
      3. Have you elevator pitch ready, clear your throat, take a breath, pick up the phone and call – ask to speak with the owner
      4. Know one service or product they can’t be with out, for me I always recommend a Google Plus Page “click here for yours”
      5. Deliver a short clear message about what your business is – peak their curiosity and interest, give your name, phone number and your website
      6. Stop by in person to follow up your phone call within three business days, leave your business card or printed flyer
      7. Tell them why they need you, how you can help local business share a successful story

 

Offer a quick three minute business consultation and straight out ask “are you looking to hire me”?


There are hundreds of ways to engage local business.  I follow many on social networks. I’m dialed in to see what opportunities are on local roads near me. Local business needs me.

 

My Google+ page

Google + Pages for businesses is an opportunity and Maria Snyder Consulting is there.  Have you Google-d social media or Maria Snyder Consulting lately?

 

A business not on Google is missing an opportunity to be found.  That is HUGE!

 

My personal profile has been on Google Plus since early July 2011.  I joined G+ during beta testing.  As a result I launched my business page as soon as the Pages option was launched in November 2011.  So far….so great!

 

On my business page I strive to keep posts related social media management, maintenance and consulting.  News links and conferences I attend are some of the recent posts shared. G+ seems naturally positioned for engagement.  It is very easy to +1 posts everywhere. Pictures are so easy to share and get great exposure due to the clean white background on Google Plus.  Look right there is an opportunity to +1 ————->>

 

Here is a list of many features of a Google Plus Page:

  • Multi-administration
  • Better search opportunity
  • About section with introduction, website, contact information, recommended links
  • Map showing business location
  • Photo tab
  • Video tab
Awesome Google Plus Page features
  • Google + pages are found in Google search
  • Easy to use G+ sharing buttons
  • Clean white space to showcase your business
  • You +1 Pages to show support or add them to your circle
  • Google Plus Pages provide social analytics
Some items to note
  • No Google + Page can follow you until you follow them
  • Google + Pages can not mention you unless you’re connected
  • Google + Pages automatically unfollow you if you unfollow them
Please +1 my post and circle me into your awesome Company circle, thanks!


Cornerstone

Your business has a business plan and cornerstone, a base to stand on. Get social media incorporated into your marketing plan from the beginning.

Yes business can exist without the cornerstone and many have, my point is that it is not advisable to exist without one.

Start your cornerstones narrative, take out a pen and paper and start writing about what your business does, sells or manufactures.  That narrative and mantra is your business base, your cornerstone.  There is power in determining what makes your business stand out.

Once your cornerstone narrative is written and ready, tell everybody everywhere – share this new found power.

Successful business delivers. Successful business is accessible; it’s your goal to be known everywhere your customers are.

My point is, you need to deliver, be accessible and be known everywhere your customers are. Why are you waiting to use Google Plus for social media “click here” to START!

Start NOW, use Google Plus, set up a personal profile then create a Google Plus page. “CLICK HERE“.

Google + is intended to be a conglomeration of Google products including search that ties people together across all of Google  You may already use Gmail, Google search and Google Maps.

Content on Google + is more likely to be visible for people to notice.  Incorporating the +1 button on your website or if you’ve incorporated it into other network pages it makes G+ all the more captivating.

Of course there are other places to exist on the web, such as a website, Facebook, Twitter and Google Places for example. Those should be leveraged to broadcast your content also, that’s a whole other topic.

Business and Google plus

Google’s new social network Google + is becoming one of the fastest growing social networks ever. Currently in field testing as of today 7.12.11, business profiles are not welcome on the network. I’m Ok with that.

 

As I consider Google’s decision to hold off business profiles I begin to feel that’s a good idea. The new social network is about being social, sharing and interacting by people, not businesses. gplus-rectangle-logo The field test is still in process so business should stay out until, us the people and users are completely in tune with how G+ works, feels and performs.



Google Product Manager Christian Oestlien has posted a short YouTube video that discusses business on Google Plus. Click the link to see the video:Google+, Businesses and Beyond


Oestlein announces that business pages will be able to integrate Google Analytics and Google Adwords. Predictions abound regarding the business options for Google Plus. Google is smart, their current product Google Places must integrate some how in their plan, that is my sole prediction.


Google Places are available, read more on my recent blog post:Google places faces and searching


As a Google Plus field tester I’ve signed up to receive notification when Google Plus for business becomes available. I will be offering social media services related to Google Plus, price pointed possibly lower than Facebook monitoring and set up, stay tuned.

Google + wow

When I heard about Google + my first reaction was, wow that’s brilliant! I immediately began to read articles and learn about it. I know I wasn’t the only person salivating when they announced a “field testing” with limited access. I had to “get in”.

 

Straight from Google + is a well designed page with videos and descriptions of what the new social network was all about. http://www.google.com/intl/en/+/learnmore/



Google + in a nut shell puts your connections into circles which the user easily drags people to circle shaped group icons. I categorized unknown people to a circle named follower. As I learned who people were and interaction happened, I regrouped people to more specific categories. In addition to circles, here is a small list of G+ offerings:

  • Sparks; a stream of videos and articles Google thinks you will like. The learn more page link above claims, “there’s always something to watch, read and share. Grandpa would approve”.
  • Hangouts; a face to face video chat where people in your circle can be invited to video chat. You let buddies (people in a circle) know you are hanging out and see who drops by for a face to face chat.
  • Instant upload; a way to upload photos directly from your mobile device. “Taking and sharing photos is fun”. (quote from the learn more link).
  • Huddle; it’s described as a group chat providing an example of getting six different friend to decide what movie to see. It’s a restricted group chat seemingly selected the way sharing is.

Sharing for me has been easy on Google +. It’s simple.  To share I selected the share box at the top right corner and typed in a seemingly limitless narrative with photo, video, link and place capabilities. After my narrative is complete, I simply select which circles to share my content with. My shares show up in a stream similar to Facebook. I can tag people within my circles by adding a plus sign just before the first letter of their name. You can bold and strike through text too, neat.


Read about the benefits of Google places from my recent blog post
http://mariasconsulting.com/places-faces-and-searching/


Google has redesigned it’s menu bar, its now black with links to Googles applications. My menu bar shows +Maria then Gmail, Calendar, Documents, Photos, Reader, Web and a more drop down with even more Google stuff available.


Google plus or G+ as I’ve been typing is still in field testing as of July 7, 2011. It’s not open to brands or business pages, yet. I’ve read unconfirmed reports that brand and business profile capability will be unleashed at the end of July 2011.


If you are reading this and got into the field testing phase of G+, here is my G+ profile so we can circulate together. http://www.plus.google.com/Maria Snyder I’m claiming the phrase “circulate together” I invented it, so join me and let’s “circulate”
firstgeng
To learn more beyond what my impression is, check out this great article by Social Media Examiner. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-get-started-with-google-plus-your-complete-guide/