Unplug and Look Up

Unplug your device, live your life. We don’t need to be socially connected all the time. Watch and see why we miss so much when glued to technology.

Gary Turk is a 27 year old writer, director and spoken word performer. He is the creator of the YouTube film ‘Look Up’, which has gained over 45 million views and has gone on to be a international hit. Watch his video below, then unplug for a while, live your life.

Blog Comments Let’s be Social

Blog comments were social long before social networks. Interacting online, submitting feedback and comments is a mainstay of the social network.

Opening your blog to comments comes with baggage in the form of comment spam. Think email spam but take it up a few notches.  My content management system of choice is self hosted WordPress. I rely on two WordPress plugins to protect against spam. One is named Akismet advertised as the worlds best way to protect your site from web spam. In addition I use GrowMap anti-spambot plugin.

Comments made with the sole purpose of gaining a backlink, which in turn will send traffic or link juice (provided the blog in question doesn’t use the nofollow tag) to the site of the spammer. Some spam comments are very explicit and come with several links to drug or gambling related sites. (definition from http://www.dailyblogtips.com/the-bloggers-glossary/).

I compare spam to a dirty window that can’t be cleaned no matter what technique is used. Spam is annoying and persists because somewhere somehow money is made from it.

Bloggers, good bloggers that is write to share valuable content with readers. Readers, good ones leave comments in praise or to debate different points of view.  Smart bloggers harness the power of social media and offer social sharing buttons for readers to use.  Social sharing is great and comments are too.

Responses to comments and the resulting conversations is what makes the commenting relationship social.

Many social sharing options are preferable, we’re not all on your favorite social network are we?

I find my social sharing stats within the content management back end of my wordpress website. I monitor and measure social shares often.

arrow171While we search the web for answers, take a few moments to leave comments if you can on valuable blog posts. Then tweet it, share it and post it on social networks. Good bloggers often reply. The process of interacting is welcomed here, please leave your comment below.

 

 

 

Triberr and Social Reach

Triberr is a blog sharing social network that caught my interest a few years back. I remember it as clunky and buggy.

Fast forward to Fall 2013 and hello again Triberr your social reach really matters!

Ms. Ileane Smith of basicblogtips.com wrote a blog post named What Changed My Mind About Tiberr that reminded me of my Triberr account. Honestly mine had fallen off as inactive because of the previous issues.

Ms. Ileane discussed many important items such as sharing, interactivity and popularity. It was my inspiration to reactivate on Triberr. I find myself checking in every day or so. Hello reach – look at this screenshot of my personal profile!

maria-snyder-profile-triberr

Ms. Ileane wasn’t kidding.  Her Ms. Ileane Smith Blogging tribe reach is at 1M. The M means million.

Get on over to Triberr, renew or create your profile and spoof it up like I did with a header image and links. Begin to share blogs, comment on others and even ask questions as I have over the past few days.

Here is Ms. Ileane herself talking about Triberr.

 

Many users appear socially engaged, you will see active discussions, comments and free flowing ideas. The interface is fast, clean and easy to use. Become part of numerous tribes with common interests.  There is so much to offer, so much to gain and Triberr really is easy to use. Expect your reach to grow naturally over time as you continue to participate on this content rich network.

Have you thought about joining Triberr? Let me know in the comments below. 

Savvy social media marketing

Intimidating is what marketing is, right? There is a balance that must be achieved using social media where you aren’t selling but are creating interest in an informational way that is remembered by your audience. There is no one right way, or is there?

 

Balance, that is one solution answer we all want the answer to

Most common social media platforms have a balance of selling and sharing of information. Each one is unique, there is no one size fits all approach. I’d like to share with you some common guidelines to help you find the solution of balance on social media.

First and foremost, keep your business and personal profiles distinct and separate. This way the photos and information shared of your day to day personal life are not intermixed with your business postings. Business postings should be professional, engaging and encouraging to engage customers in conversations around your business brand and products or services.

Most if not all business are selling something on social media and we need to first be honest, that’s why you are here. For every ten posts on social media, one can be a direct sell including a call to action to buy. Customers above all deserve and respect honesty, so take the one in ten opportunity to sell.

 

Marketing, do it with photos

The story they say is in the picture and that pictures tell one thousand words. Use visuals in your company social media posts, ensure likes and shares or plus ones by choosing photos that are awesome and can capture the attention of your current and future customers.  Be cognizant of the impression all images will have with your customer, make them memorable and stand out in their mind.

Know the best image sizes for each social network, they’re easy to find, just Google it and seek current parameters.

Studies show images are more memorable than text so use them more. You have my permission to be awesome.

 

 

Humor and the curious nature of us all

Yes I could quote someone funny, instead I’ll quote Seth Godin in his brilliance.

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
—Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

 

Faking it, no just don’t

As businesses we can buy just about anything.

  • You can buy fans and friends on Facebook
  • You can buy followers on Twitter
  • You can acquire testimonials for $5 on Fiverr
  • You can buy reviews for your products

Get the picture?

We are blinded by it all. Being a faker has costs and benefits. Gain your fans, followers, testimonials and reviews the real way, by earning them.

Four Tips To Increase Your Twitter Followers

I strongly advocate that individual and especially business social media users target followers and engagement organically, via sharing valuable content, links and great information. Sometimes businesses just want to have big numbers, especially on Twitter. This guest post by Nate Atkins shares reasons why numbers matter.

Twitter, the numbers matter

Small business owners cannot underestimate the power of Twitter and the revenue a properly written and timed tweet can bring them. Though very few small businesses will ever accumulate the 35 million followers Lady Gaga or the 17 million of Kim Kardashian, marketing companies are willing to pay these individuals $100,000 or more to publish a sponsored tweet just for the exposure, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Twitter can become a valuable asset to any company, blogger or socialite as the number of their followers increases. Branden Hampton, who founded @notebook on Twitter, told Smart Money he built a 4.4 million strong following in two years without spending any money on marketing. He said its possible to earn a six-figure income with a half-million followers. Here are some ways to increase your number of followers on Twitter.

photo by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer

Twiends.com

One of the best kept secrets on the Internet when it comes to increasing your number of followers on Twitter is Twiends. This free service is like a virtual business card printing mechanism that subsequently hands said cards to thousands of individuals. In a nutshell, the applications lets users accumulate “seeds” every time they watch a video on Youtube or “like” a Facebook page. You can then use those seeds to, for lack of better term, buy followers. All you have to do is sign up for an account (you get 25 free seeds just for signing up) and, depending on how often you use it, could have a few hundred new Twitter followers in a matter of days.

Use Hashtags

Some people prefer to get followers the old-fashioned, organic way. Including #hashtags in your tweets exposes them to millions of Twitter users who would otherwise never see your thoughts. Small business owners should check what is trending locally and in their fields of business. Tweeters can tailor their trends to these specific subject matters simply by clicking the “change” link where trending items appear on your Twitter page.

Guest Postings

Writing for other blogs and websites exposes your name and brand to a whole new audience. Every guest post you write should include a link to your Twitter bio so readers can learn more about, and hopefully, follow you as well. Most websites that accept guest postings will post their policies about the process somewhere on their home page.

Follow “Autofollowers”

You may notice that there are some Twitter users with tens of thousands of followers, who also follow tens of thousands of people. Autofollowers automatically follow everyone who follows them, with the idea of attracting like-minded followers from the new followers’ following (say that three times fast). Some of these autofollowers are obviously spammers, as they only have a few followers in return. When you find one of these spam accounts, follow everyone who follows the spammer. These people are all likely autofollowers, and you’ll get a follow-back instantly.

Keep in mind, people are more willing to do business with and interact with those with thousands of followers. Just like the crowded bar is more likely to attract more patrons than the empty one across the street, the same goes for social media.

Guest post by Nate Atkins
Nate is a programmer and technology blogger living the dream in Silicon Valley.

Naked social media strategy

Yes you read the title correctly, I said naked. It comes with such a fascination implying to see all. Just think how boring life would be if we could see all. I’m a mystery girl and appreciate my imagination, maybe you appreciate that we’re all not always naked too.

So who’s naked?

There are tricks to being naked right? Everything is naked, it’s what you allow others to see that matters. Social media is a naked strategy. There is the information, the tease and then the revealing sale. The balance is, to get all three accomplished in the correct order with proper timing. That’s where the difficulty lies. The answers are not easy because you will always have a who, what, and when variable depending on the topic, time and place. It’s complicated or isn’t it?

You are naked. I’m not looking don’t worry.

The truth in advertising is in the copy. That’s rule number one. It applies to your social media posts also. Truth in the copy (text or images) should be stated but in such a way that you want your reader to think it’s witty, smart or irresistible. Your reader thinking about your product or service all day is the best kind of reader to have right?

 

[88- 365] Hair tuareg Gemma Bou via Compfight

 

So how do you duck and cover if you’re naked?

Simple.

Be truthful, be reputable and be positive and the reader shouldn’t notice that all you are really trying to do is drive web traffic to your primary site to BUY IT !  Authority and reputation are earned in the social sphere. Social media posts first and foremost are best designed to engage your audience, entertain them with your true story, inform them with your tips and facts they didn’t know but now are glad they do. For every ten of these types of engaging posts dish out a selly sell buy my stuff direct call to action post.  It is ok to be honest that you like money and that your service or product is worth it or even on sale – just avoid desperation.

Makeup hides the naked stuff.

Makeup when skillfully applied hides imperfections, highlights beauty and draws attention somewhere like the eyes or lips. Quality made makeup works better than the cheaply made kind. The same rule applies to social media posts. Quality well thought out posts are better than quick blurbs of meaningless information. When business posts are worded as an intelligent, meaningful conversation with proper grammar and spelling it isn’t noticed. If the opposite is done, improper language, spelling or ALL CAPITAL letters the message you are sending is more easily ignored and dismissed.

Advertising with social media – it’s connected.

Most social media campaigns need to have some background advertising associated with it. It can be the old fashioned kind, the word of mouth telling your neighbor, co-workers, friends and family type stuff but in reality that’s not a big audience. Use Google Adwords or Facebook Ads to give the social media campaign a boost of clicks. Detection is important, getting noticed matters more. Once the detection occurs your business must be ready to make your customer completely satisfied with their decision to hire you. Your social media posts should already contain the valuable message, tips and content that your new customer expects to see.

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

7 Reasons Why Affiliations Matter

Darren Rowse has the best definition of an affiliate marketer. [http://www.problogger.net/archives/2009/07/07/what-is-affiliate-marketing/]

“Perhaps the simplest way to explain affiliate marketing is that it is a way of making money online whereby you as a publisher are rewarded for helping a business by promoting their product, service or site.There are a number of forms of these types of promotions but in most cases they involve you as a publisher earning a commission when someone follows a link on your blog to another site where they then buy something.Other variations on this are where you earn an amount for referring a visitor who takes some kind of action – for example when they sign up for something and give an email address, where they complete a survey, where they leave a name and address etc.

Commissions are often a percentage of a sale but can also be a fixed amount per conversion.

Conversions are generally tracked when the publisher (you) uses a link with a code only being used by you embedded into it that enables the advertiser to track where conversions come from (usually by cookies). Other times an advertiser might give a publisher a ‘coupon code’ for their readers to use that helps to track conversions.”

While affiliate marketing can be lucrative, for many it isn’t easy money.

Affiliations matter. Here’s why.

  • I’ve used many products for social media and rely on so many of them that I developed a page of resources. Many of the links included are affiliate links.
  • Because of the risk of turning my already engaged audience [you] off I try not to push hard. I use a whimsical approach and stay away from products that don’t relate to what I do. If you publish (push) quality, people like you will stay on my blog longer.
  • Each product I refer I’ve either used myself or I have directly communicated with a trusted colleague who’s used or tested it.
  • Grunt promotional work is done for me. Stuff such as banners, links and copy are easily available.
  • You don’t need a product, you need to pick which product is best to promote.
  • Affiliate clients bring more work to my business because it leverages my marketing efforts.
  • Affiliate programs rely on merchants who seek you to work for them. Check out Shareasales merchant program here: http://mariasconsulting.com/recommend/shareasale-merchant/

You my fair reader are important, my credibility matters.

 

Coffee matters too but that’s more of a necessity. One recent affiliation you need to check out is this one aptly titled Coffee Shop Millionaire – wow  CLICK HERE

 

Chris Brogan, the well known speaker, social media innovator and all around nice guy approved me to provide links to his Finding The Superpower of Flight Webjam (How To Give Yourself Permission, Build Your Brand and Live Your Dream). The 36 page workbook is embedded in the presentation, start your plan for world domination now. [deal ends soon so act fast!] Click here to register

 

Disclosure: My company, Maria Snyder Consulting may receive compensation from the companies whose products are presented on this page and site.

What do you think about affiliations? I’d love to hear what you have to say. Leave your reply below.

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!