Tag Archives: social media

How to Create a Meaningful Social Media Presence

social media icon cloudLots of companies have a social media presence. They have Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Pinterest pages, Instagram, YouTube and other online accounts. They may make an effort to create a presence on every new social platform; however, the mere presence of social media accounts will do nothing to help your company’s marketing efforts. If customers don’t have a reason to pay attention to your social media efforts, they will be a waste of time and energy. At worst, some companies manage to annoy their customers through their use of social media. A well-planned out strategy can help you avoid these marketing mishaps.

Many businesses hire social media experts to help them manage their online presence. For smaller companies, a dedicated social media employee isn’t a realistic option. Often, they choose to work with consultants who help them build a useful online presence. Often, social media consultants work with website developers to help integrate the company’s image into a consistent brand. An important part of this is engaging customers without annoying them.

How do you attract customers without pestering them?

  1. Don’t post articles or send messages that have no purpose other than self-promotion. Some companies post Tweets or Facebook messages that are the online equivalent of saying “Hey, we’re here!” Most users view this as another pesky internet advertisement which they promptly ignore. They may even unsubscribe from your Facebook page or stop following your Twitter account if they are particularly annoyed.
  2. Use your sites to include customers in your business. Allow them to post Instagram pictures on your Facebook page. Follow your customers back on Twitter. Respond to Facebook friend requests, if your page is setup to maintain your professional persona. When customers post comments on your Facebook page, send a reply. This creates interaction that entices customers to share your sites and return for future interactions.
  3. Include promotions on your sites. Share coupons through sites like Twitter and Facebook. Encourage subscribers to share coupons with friends. Offer new promotions and coupons on a regular basis to encourage interest.
  4. Host contests that users can share on social media. Encourage them to share contests with friends. Contests can give away free or reduced price products. Share information about the winners so that users know contests are real. You can even share photographs of winners with their permission.
  5. Run seasonal promotions and share the information with all your followers and friends. If you don’t attract their attention regularly, they will forget about you. A dormant social media presence becomes invisible over time. It does no good to create a Facebook page if you never use it.
  6. Use tools like FanPageKarma or Woobox to increase customer interaction through Facebook contests. You can ask users to like or comment on a post to enter a contest. The tool picks a winner at random out of the number of “likes” on the Facebook page. The contests need to be real or users will quickly catch on.
  7. Try creating a YouTube account that features fun or interesting videos. Share the videos with customers on social media. You can create a variety of different types of videos. Take videos at company events. Record a community event that is related to your business. Ask customers to create testimonials. Always get permission before using people in videos. Never use copyrighted materials in visual media.
  8. Avoid commenting on politics or controversial social issues. Your customer base probably includes people with a wide range of opinions and convictions. Don’t alienate people by posting political articles, criticizing local leaders or campaigning for candidates. Businesses have lost customers by commenting on a variety of controversies. Reread any posts and ask for a second opinion if you think you might have crossed a line.
  9. Write articles that inform consumers. Customers don’t want to receive notifications about new marketing campaigns; they want information that helps them solve problems. Create articles that educate people on current issues and concerns that are relevant to your industry. Don’t create content that is merely self-serving. Instead, create interesting articles with expert advices, questions, answers and helpful resources that readers will share with others.
  10. Use your social media presence to support community events. Many companies sponsor local charity causes including parades, fundraisers, races, food drives, dances, museums, youth sports and other causes to help build community awareness. Encourage readers to become involved in events through links on your Facebook page. Send tweets that inspire people to join in to help. This isn’t a direct marketing strategy, but it affects the public opinion of your organization.
  11. Use Twitter in a variety of ways. Link to articles. Post advertising videos. Thank customers who have replied to your tweet or have retweeted your posts. Retweet relevant links. Use hashtags that are relevant to your company.
  12. Link to your social media sites through your website. Customers can use Twitter to request help or ask questions. They can like your Facebook page to receive promotional information. They can pin product information or designs from your site directly to their Pinterest boards if you provide a link. These steps can help increase the traffic to your website from potential customers.
  13. Use a casual but professional style at all times. If your writing is sloppy, people will view you as incompetent. Work with professional writers and editors if you don’t have the time or staff available to carefully review your work. Small mistakes can detract from your company’s image.
  14. Follow related businesses, experts and individuals on Twitter and review their posts. You can learn a lot about customer interactions and current issues. Reply to posts on occasion if you have something relevant to add to the conversation.
  15. Encourage comments on your social media pages. Ask questions about current issues in your industry. Ask customers for feedback. What flavors do they want? What new styles interest them? What are their favorite events to celebrate at restaurants? When customers comment on your page, reply and thank them for their comment. If the customer has a complaint, contact the person directly to resolve the issue.

Encouraging Users to Visit Your Sites Regularly

The goal for business social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter is to build customer awareness. These sites are an important part of any modern marketing campaign. These tools help you increase your website placement in natural ways. You’ve probably noticed websites that rank at the very top of website searches for certain terms and are labeled sponsored or have a different background color. Often, these sites pay search engines for high placement through pay-per-click (PPC) services. You don’t have to pay to get good results, if you are patient and willing to put in the work to gain placement organically. You need to build an organic enhancement strategy that incorporates a social media presence that supports your overall marketing strategy.

Pinterest

pinterestIf you visit department stores, boutiques and other fashion websites, you may notice that they have a “Pin It” option. This means users can click the button and pin items they like to their Pinterest accounts. Pinning your product allows the user to return later to buy the products. Customer pinning also helps in your marketing efforts giving your product a chance to go viral. Once pinned, other pinners will see your product on the person’s Pinterest page, and they may decide to pin the item to their boards. More and more people see your product as it is pinned to pages. People tend to follow other Pinterest users with similar interests. This increases the likelihood that your product will be seen by potential customers.

You can create a Pinterest account for your company in under 5 minutes and start pinning, but beware “pinning” can be so much fun it may not feel like work! Creating a Pinterest account is a creative process so be sure someone with the right skills is in charge. The page needs to be appealing and interesting without being self-serving. Don’t pin every item in your catalog to your page. Instead, create themes and pin items within the themes.

pinterestEngage your customers by repinning items from follower’s accounts; this will make them feel included in your efforts. Pin items often and include a wide variety of items on your page. Don’t use straight marketing materials. Instead, use items that are visually interesting and that will inspire consumers. Create boards that relate to your business in a creative and interesting way. For example if you’re a travel agent, create a “Bucklist” board and pin the activities people should do in their lifetime – visit Paris, see the Parthenon in Greece and Nashville, TN, cruise to Alaska. Employ the tool called “WiseStamp” which enables you to display recent pins in email newsletters, capturing your audience’s attention.

Always add a “follow” button on your web site and install the Pinterest app on your business Facebook page. This will make it possible for people to keep up with your pinning on regular basis. Remember that Pinterest is a primarily visual tool –beautiful and interesting images are how you capture attention. If you are unsure how to create a Pinterest page that engages customers, work with a marketing consultant or designer. They can help you understand how to use the platform in an engaging way and show you examples of successful pages.

Facebook

There are many ways to optimize your use of Facebook. It’s a popular social media tool with over a billion accounts, but companies often don’t make the most of it. You can use Facebook as a key part of your marketing efforts, especially if you are willing to sponsor your posts.

facebookGive users the option to share posts with friends and tag themselves in your photos. This will increase your visibility among your potential target audience. Many companies effectively attract interest by running promotions through Facebook like Soma with their “This” or “That” contest where a commenter can win an item. Consumers like looking for deals, so posting coupons that customers can print or redeem electronically is sure to draw more fans. Also, the deal encourages users to share the coupons to build interest among other potential customers. Contests are another great marketing strategy. You can run contests that reward users when you gain a certain number of “likes” or followers. You can start a seasonal contest to promote new products by giving away prizes. Some companies offer samples to a certain number of users through their Facebook accounts. These are all effective marketing strategies for this social media platform.

The one potential marketing hazard with Facebook is showing up in your fans newsfeed. Often times when fans become inactive and are no longer liking, commenting or sharing a business page’s posts, the posts stop showing organically in the user’s wall fed. If your page has been inactive for a while, the same will happen; your fans will be blind to your new posts. To combat this, Facebook offers sponsored posts. For as little as $5 you can market your post, encouraging those non-active fans to become active again. You already got them to like your page through paid or organic marketing efforts, now you need to engage them.

Twitter

Twitter allows you to send out short messages to people who follow your account. You can create a free Twitter account or you can purchase paid Twitter advertisements. If you use a good marketing strategy, there is no need for a paid account. You can accomplish your goals by working with the tool in a well-thought-out way.

When you create a Twitter profile, you will be able to select an avatar and complete a profile about your company. It is critical that this profile is consistent with the marketing messages you send about your company in all media. That includes print advertising, websites and other social media platforms. Ensure that your logo is visible and properly displayed. A graphic designer can help you properly resize or adjust your logo so that it fits your avatar. The avatar is the graphic that is displayed every time you send a tweet so it needs to be familiar to your customers.

You will also need a large photo for the background on your profile. Text will display over your background so the photo shouldn’t make the profile text difficult to read. You can also customize your Twitter background. This is something else a graphic designer can help with. The visuals on your Twitter account should fit in with the rest of your marketing materials. You’ll also need to have a brief description of your company on the profile. This should be carefully worded so that it fits in with your marketing strategy.

One of the advantages of Twitter is that every tweet will arrive in your follower’s feed. This is a marketing advantage because your messages won’t be filtered out the way Facebook posts are. You can use Twitter to send photographs, videos and article links. You can also link to specific webpages. You need to follow the same strategies on Twitter that you do on other social media. Present useful information that engages readers. Don’t simply use Twitter to blatantly promote your company.

twitterMention other users in your tweets by tagging them with the “@” before their Twitter handle. You can do this without replying to a particular tweet. This will engage the person you mention and other readers. This is a good way to thank a customer or colleague. It’s also an effective strategy for linking your company with community events and charities by mentioning the names in your Tweet.

Entice readers to view your blog articles or web pages with questions or teaser statements. Follow the statements with a link to useful article. Here are some examples of teasers:

  • Learn more about new tax structures for small businesses
  • Here are some tips for entertaining children on snowy days
  • Try these tasty cocktails to cool down on hot days

These teaser statements will entice users to click on the link and read the article. If it interests them, they are likely to retweet the message to their followers. This can dramatically increase the reach of your message because now you have the opportunity to engage all of their followers too, resulting in more fans and readers.

It’s key to use social media carefully as a part of your marketing strategy. Your goal should always be to interest and engage readers – focusing on their needs and interests, not just pushing your product or service. Engaged readers will help you naturally grow your social media presences because as they repin, like and retweet your posts, they open your company up to a new audience. Social media sharing is the new viral marketing – make sure your company’s marketing strategy is incorporating this valuable resource.

How to Enrich Your Online Presence

How long will it take customers to forget about you? You don’t want to find out the answer to this question the hard way. Establishing social media accounts is a first step, but you shouldn’t stop there. When it comes to Facebook and other social media, you need to regularly post or your readers will quickly lose interest in your page. If you don’t post often enough, your posts won’t show up in your readers’ newsfeeds. It doesn’t matter how many friends or fans you have if no one is seeing activity from your page.

Create a blog

wordpressMany companies have added blogs to their websites. Why? Blogs are a valuable tool for reaching out to customers. You can create a blog simply and quickly using WordPress. If you want support using the tool, you can work with a website developer who is experienced with WordPress. They can quickly install the tool and help you update it over time. Once installed, the tool is as simple to use as most word processing software. You can easily write articles, use spell check and add graphics and links.

Your blog can contain a wide variety of articles. Focus on content that is useful for consumers. The blog shouldn’t be an obvious marketing tool. Instead, it should contain information like:

  • How to solve common problems customers have with your products.
  • Ways to resolve issues that don’t involve your products but are related to your industry.
  • Answers to common questions customers have about projects that are related to your products and services.
  • Articles about trends in your industry.
  • Assistance in researching common concerns.
  • Advice from experts in your industry.

Spice up your Facebook page through WordPress Plug-ins

jetpack pluginYou can easily create a blog on WordPress and link relevant articles through your Facebook page. WordPress has a plug-in that can help you make the most of your blog and Facebook relationship. You can schedule articles to automatically post to your social media pages. What is social integration? It also known as social publishing. It means you can cross-post your content between your WordPress account and your Facebook timeline. This helps you save time and send your posts to Facebook immediately. You can also tag friends and other pages which will help you distribute your content to a wider audience.

The WordPress plug-ins are simple and don’t require complex coding on your end. If you don’t have the time or staff resources to deal with WordPress plug-ins, you can find a contract website developer who can install these plug-ins quickly and inexpensively. Ask the installer to explain how the new plug-ins work and how you can use them effectively.

You can publish new content to Facebook in more than one way. First, you should have a company page set up. You can regularly post content and it will appear on your fans’ newsfeed. Next, your authors can create their own Facebook pages so they can share their articles with their followers. Encourage employees to repost links on articles that interest them.

You can use WordPress widgets to point users towards useful content. You can add a recommendations box to refer users to site content based on likes and comments from other users. You can also do this through an activity feed. You can also embed the public post content on Facebook in your WordPress posts easily by entering a shortcode or embedding a link.

Update WordPress Features

WordPress adds new features all the time. New WordPress widgets can help you boost your interactions with customers all the time. You can use social plug-ins that let you learn more about your friends and followers. The activity feed will show your friends’ and fans’ activity on Facebook. This might include their comments on other pages and likes. You can use this information to create posts and articles that relate to the interests your customers have.

WordPress plug-ins allow you to create richer comments sections on your blog. The plug-ins make it possible for readers to comment on your site and post these comments back to Facebook. You have the option to use moderation tools. Why are these tools important? Many spammers use comments sections to plug their websites or post irrelevant links. Other times, readers get into arguments on unrelated issues in the comments section. You don’t want this type of content to post to your Facebook page. It wastes your reader’s time and they’ll get in the habit of ignoring your posts. They may even hide your newsfeed so that they can’t see the information.

Make Use of “Like” and “Send” buttons

facebook likeYou can use WordPress widgets to embed “Like” and “Send” buttons into your posts. Customers can then easily share your content to Facebook using the buttons. They don’t have to take the extra step of copying and pasting the link to their pages. This makes them much more likely to share your content on social media.

General tips for social media

Here are some general tips that will help you keep your social media presence relevant and engaging:

  • Post regularly. Don’t neglect your blog or social media accounts. If you don’t have time to create posts and links, work with a social media expert. There are a variety of writers and marketing consultants that can do this work on an as-needed basis.
  • Share useful information. Don’t send blatant marketing materials. Instead, share information that will interest your readers.
  • Avoid engaging in controversial issues on your company’s social media. Don’t send, like or repost content on politics and social issues no matter how strongly you might feel about them. Your customer base is diverse and if people are offended by posts, they’ll probably delete you from their Facebook and other social media accounts.
  • Use Twitter to send your information to users. This can help remind them to visit your page on a regular basis.
  • Run contests and regular promotions. Send the information through social media and encourage users to share with their friends. Many companies successfully use coupons and regular specials to engage readers.

Keeping social media up to date is a critical part of the modern marketing process. Remember, if you don’t have the time or staff to dedicate to these efforts, you can always hire consultants to support you. If you neglect social media, you will miss out on opportunities to engage potential customers. This can have a direct impact on you company’s bottom line.

Fluid Online Marketing

Online marketing is an important tool for modern businesses. The challenge with online marketing is that the playing field is constantly changing. Your company needs a flexible strategy that can adapt to changes quickly. You and your colleagues should plan to meet regularly to discuss your marketing efforts and how they are working. Even if only one person in the company deals with social media, you should plan as a team.

Changes in social media

social media managerThink about how much social media has changed since the introduction of sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and lead-generating services (ones for payday loan leads, etc). Five years ago, some marketing managers didn’t think about these tools at all. Now, they’re a critical part of any company’s strategy. Print, television and other types of advertising are still important as well. A good strategy integrates all of these pieces to make a social media campaign that has the best chance of reaching potential customers.

Up-to-date campaigns

Many businesses choose to work with a consultant to help them keep social media campaigns up-to-date. They may also hire graphic designers and website developers to make the work of social media less cumbersome. Specialists may be able to do this work quickly and at a lower cost than you expect. Often, it’s cheaper to hire an expert than to try to do the work in-house. It’s important to pick a strategy that works for your business over time. You may be able to do some social media campaigns on your own and hire assistance for others.

Flexible strategies mean that your company can adapt to new changes. It’s important that you analyze your marketing plans on a frequent basis. Evaluate all the new trends in social media and determine whether you are effectively addressing that trend. You’ll need a knowledgeable staff member who understands trends in social media. A marketing consultant can also help in this area. You can work with a consultant on a monthly, quarterly or other basis to evaluate your social media campaigns and their effectiveness.

Keep in mind that you cannot develop a static marketing strategy and expect it to work over the long term. The days of planning all of your marketing and advertising for the next five years are over. The world changes too quickly. Customers rapidly change their behavior. Today, many consumers search for information on businesses before they make commitments. They search for business ratings on sites like Yelp! before they determine who they want to work with. They may ask for referrals through social media like Twitter or Facebook. Customers sometimes decide what they want or need by looking at sites like Pinterest or Instagram.

Some companies have found ways to market themselves with tools that customers already use. Restaurants and bars encourage customers to post pictures on Instagram. Retail businesses often advertise specials through Facebook and Twitter. Other businesses reward customers by encouraging them to share information on social media. For example, some companies run contests that customers enter by retweeting or reposting information on Facebook. Some businesses allow users to pin products to Pinterest. Companies have to develop these strategies quickly to keep up with new customer behavior on the internet.

A constant presence

social media risksSocial media marketing has to be constant in order to be effective. You cannot post occasionally to Facebook and expect to have an impact. Your Facebook page needs to be interactive in order to attract visitors. You can use a Facebook site to invite customers to events. You can also share coupons with them or invite them to discussions. Whatever you do, it has to fit in with the way customers are currently using Facebook. Customers change their behavior on Facebook constantly due to changes in the tool itself. Your Twitter account also needs to be active on a regular basis to keep users interested.

Users often stop following Twitter accounts that don’t offer new or useful information. Many users find information from hashtags or sponsored tweets. The person in charge of social media at your company must stay aware of the latest trends. He or she should constantly check for new social media trends platforms. He or she should then evaluate how best to integrate new social media trends into your company’s efforts immediately.

Search engine optimization

There are a number of marketing sites on the internet that can help you understand new trends in marketing. You can learn how to naturally place keywords for search engine optimization (SEO). It’s important to keep abreast of new SEO tools because search engines are constantly evolving. You may have an SEO strategy that works for now, but becomes stagnant due to changes in Google or in customer behavior. It used to be acceptable to place lots of keywords in articles to improve your search engine ranking. Today, that kind of keyword approach is ineffective and can even harm your search engine rankings.

Wordpress-white-circle-150WordPress

If you are blogging, you may already be using the WordPress tool. WordPress is constantly changing. New plug-ins and tools are constantly being developed. You should ensure that you are using the latest version of WordPress and that you are taking advantage of all of its features. You may need to hire a web development professional on a temporary basis to help you optimize WordPress. An experienced developer can quickly set up the plug-ins that you need most. It’s often cheaper easier to hire someone than try to learn all the ins and outs of WordPress yourself.

Evaluating efforts

There are a variety of tools that can help you evaluate your marketing efforts. You can check page views, incoming traffic on your website, retweets and other social media statistics. If your company offers discounts or coupons through social media, you can determine which ones are being used most. This will give you reliable information about which marketing efforts are working and which ones aren’t.

Adaptability

The most important part of your marketing strategy is your ability to stay current and adapt to new trends. You may find it helpful to work with a consultant who is constantly focused on these trends. If you handle marketing on your own, remember that you need to evaluate information frequently and thoroughly. What tools are bringing in new customers? How can you integrate new trends into your company’s marketing strategy? Are you doing things that aren’t working? If so, how can you adjust to make your efforts as effective as possible?

How to Avoid Common Online Media Mistakes

online mediaSocial media is a part of modern business. It’s rewarding when it’s done correctly. When it’s not, it can thwart future business. You can build a good marketing plan by avoiding common online media mistakes.

Sub-standard graphic design

Good graphic design serves many purposes. It helps viewers understand where they should focus their attention. The design naturally guides readers to the information they need. It dramatically improves the visual appeal of marketing materials. Graphic design is also an important part of organizing information. Tables, charts, stylish headings help users get a coherent picture of the information you are offering. Graphics sometimes explain information better than pages of text.

Professional graphic design helps you brand your website and other marketing materials. Branding is essential because it helps customers recognize your company and products. Think of many of the brands you use on a daily basis. You recognize them because of the consistency of their branding. You pick out products based on familiar logos, graphics and color themes. Your marketing materials should speak to your company, its products and mission. The branding should be consistent throughout your online presence including sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Bad graphic design has a wide-ranging effect on your marketing efforts. It looks unprofessional which may cause viewers to develop negative attitudes about your company. They may consider the company out-of-date or out-of-touch with modern concerns. Readers may see your marketing efforts as sloppy or childish which will affect their opinion of your abilities. Customers want to see company marketing materials that look modern and reflect the organization’s competency. Graphic design is a critical part of this process. Badly designed visuals are frustrating. They confuse readers and may distract from people’s ability to pay attention to your marketing information. Well-designed marketing materials are pleasing whether they are in print or website form. Readers are naturally attracted to visually pleasing information. It catches their attention and doesn’t irritate or frustrate them.

Bad grammar

Many readers are instantly turned off by bad grammar. They view this as a reflection on the company. Bad grammar in marketing materials can hamper your sales efforts. Writers often confuse terms like “it’s” versus “its”. Other common mistakes include using “their” and “they’re” incorrectly. Other marketing materials are plagued with typographical errors. Some readers may make fun of poorly executed marketing materials and share your mistakes with other readers. This can negatively affect your company’s reputation.

Poorly written text

It can be worth the expense to hire a writer and/or an editor. Nothing turns off readers faster than bad writing. They get confused and have to reread text to try to figure out information. Think about all the times you’ve had to read unclear product installation instructions. You’d never read the information if you didn’t have to. All readers feel the same way. If the articles on your site are unreadable, they will never share the information on social media. They may not even finish reading the text. This is a waste of your time and marketing efforts. It also gives the reader a negative impression of your company.

Broken links

Readers get irritated when they click on a link on your website or blog and it doesn’t work. This can happen for a number of reasons. The original article you’ve linked to may have expired. Websites may be taken down or renamed. Sometimes, companies go out of business and, consequently, the link doesn’t work. In other cases, the original writer entered the link information incorrectly so the link never worked at all. You should always carefully check links to make sure that they function correctly. You will need to review older posts on a regular basis to ensure that the links are still valid. If a blog post has become irrelevant due to broken links, you should remove it. This will keep your readers from getting annoyed and will make your online marketing materials appear professional.

Neglecting naturalized web placement

There are a lot of irritating marketing practices on the internet. Email spam, unnecessary links and blog spamming are epidemic on the internet. Some websites redirect users to irrelevant sites or Tweet useless information. Their Facebook pages are blatant sales platforms and provide no benefit to customers. Your company does not need to resort to these behaviors to have successful marketing efforts.

Naturalized web placement involves a complex understanding of how Google and other search engines rank websites. Search engines change these algorithms on a regular basis to thwart unethical marketing approaches. This is why many businesses turn to marketing professionals and consultants to help them create organic search engine placement (SEO).

Good marketing strategies integrate information about your company and its services with material that interests customers. A marketing professional with in-depth organic SEO knowledge can help you identify the keyword terms that will lead users to your website. Then, they will help you integrate these keywords naturally into your materials. You will avoid creating awkward text that is created merely to increase SEO rankings.

Attracting the wrong traffic

A good website does more than generate traffic. It attracts the right traffic. Your site should contain information that is useful for potential customers. If you integrate blog articles, they should have information that customers need. Content shouldn’t be limited to your company and its products. You can provide problem-solving articles, relevant research and resources that users may not be able to find elsewhere.

If you use substandard marketing practices, you may attract viewers to your site. However, if they aren’t the right viewers, the traffic is useless. Viewers won’t stay on your site to learn more about your products and services. They’ll leave the site quickly to look for what they really want. You only need traffic that consists of potential customers. You need to use the right keywords and SEO strategy to attract these people. Otherwise, you are wasting your marketing efforts.

Search engines evaluate the content of your site to determine what kind of information it contains. SEO best practices change constantly, which is something marketing professionals understand. They can help you develop a naturalized web placement strategy that will attract the right users to your site. Marketing professionals can help you navigate the constantly changing field of organic SEO so that you have a strategy that is current. Some businesses think that SEO marketing is too complicated and frustrating to pursue. Without an SEO strategy, you could be missing out on a lot of future business. It’s actually expensive to not have online marketing plan.

How to Write Quality Content for Social Media

quality contentIf you’re reaching out to clients through social media, you need to be conscious of the message you are sending at all times. These means caring about the complete images your customers receive. Your social media strategy should align with your business goals. The content of your communications, blogs, postings and Tweets is important. You want to send rich, interesting information. However, it’s also important that you pay attention to the details. Don’t be so focused on speed that you neglect the quality of the writing in your communications.

Why does quality matter?

Why does the quality of writing matter so much? Isn’t the information the most important thing? It’s easy to think of social media as a place where normal writing and grammar rules don’t apply. Some writers use abbreviations and don’t capitalize letters or check their spelling. Just because it is common doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. Customers notice the quality of your writing and make judgments based on what they read. They will see carelessness as an indication of a bad attitude and low commitment to quality. If you don’t care enough about the quality of a simple message, will you really care about your customers’ needs? Will you take the time to do your work properly if you can’t even communicate clearly?

Clean copy

The copy in your messages needs to be easy to read and free of errors .Typographical errors are signs of carelessness. Your messages send a lot of information about your business. Potential customers may be exposed to your company for the first time through social media. The first message they read can make or break their impression of you and your services. You may never have a chance to undo a bad impression you’ve made through social media. That’s why it’s so important to get it right the first time. .

Style

You should use an informal, but professional style when writing online. You don’t want the sentence structure to be extremely formal because it will alienate readers. It’s fine to use first and second person terms like “you” and “I”. You can do this and still maintain a professional tone. You want to avoid social media traps that make you sound unprofessional.

  1. The first is using common but inaccurate word spelling. Don’t make words plural using a “z” instead of an “s”. You’ve probably seen text like “good eatz” or “winterz new style!” These spellings might be common on social media but they’re not business-like and you should avoid them.
  2. Another common trap is “capslacking”. This means that the writer doesn’t properly capitalize words in a sentence. It’s a sloppy habit that reflects poorly on the writer.

Confusing terms

Be careful to avoid abbreviations and insider terms. If you use an abbreviation, make sure it is a commonly understood one that the average reader will understand. Don’t use terms that are exclusive to your industry. They may confuse new readers. If you must use an industry term, take the time to explain it. This will minimize frustration for the reader. Some writers include glossaries when they need to use a lot of industry terms. It’s easy to create hyperlinks to definitions in blogging engines like WordPress. This simplifies things for the reader. Don’t talk over the reader’s head. It won’t impress anyone and it will turn readers off. Social media is a way to connect with your readers through easy to understand material.

Grammar guidance

There are a wide variety of grammar sites that can give you guidance on good grammar. It’s a good idea to ask a colleague to read through anything you’ve written. Often, when you’ve worked hard writing something, you don’t notice errors because you’ve read the text so many times. A second pair of eyes will help you spot errors. You can also hire editors on a per-project basis at a low cost. Even professional writers need editing support on a regular basis.

Breaking up text

You can make text easier to read by breaking it up with subheadings or bullet points, like what we’re doing in this article. You can often prepare a post ahead of time by outlining some bullet points and then filling in text on each point. It will be easy to pick out subheadings and keep yourself organized if you outline a post ahead of time. Bullet points are popular on social media because they are easy and quick to read. Subheadings are also popular because readers can scan the heading and decide what parts of the text they want to read.

Simplicity is key

Keep in mind that well-written text is important because it is easy to read. Good writing simplifies material and helps readers gather information quickly. People often turn to social media to help them understand complex topics. Try dividing information into easy to read capsules, such as simple steps and easy categories. You can also do question and answer formats in your blog post. These work well if customers have common questions about your business or related issues. Think about common questions and concerns that your customers have and address them in your blog. If you can simplify issues and information for people through social media, they will come to rely on you in the future.

How can you tell if your text is easy to read? Try reading it out loud to yourself. If it’s difficult or awkward out loud, readers will have problems with it as well. Have someone outside your company read it quickly and ask them a few questions to make all the information is clear to the reader. Always ask someone who is willing to give an honest opinion. Remember, you can’t undo a first impression so you should edit your work carefully.

If you write interesting posts that are relevant to readers, your blog will boost the traffic to your website. Try to provide them with information they can’t find anywhere else. Explain complex information to them in simple terms. Consolidate a difficult process into simple-to-follow steps. Help them find additional information. Following these simple steps will help you get results with your social media efforts.

The Challenges of Today’s Social Media Manager

google +Social media managers have their work cut out for them. Whether you are working on your business image or a new brand, you need to be constantly penetrating niche markets, especially new ones as they appear. Let’s look at some of the challenges you might find yourself facing.

Content Asset Management

What many don’t realize is that all of your content are assets. If you were a financial manager, you would be carefully managing all of your financial assets. It’s the same when you are a social media manage, you should be carefully managing all of your content. Did you know that content can become very profitable? This can happen fast and for no obvious reason. If this happens to you, hopefully you have a content asset management strategy already in place so that you can boost your sales.

For example, you posted a blog almost 5 years ago, then today it ranks on page 1 of Google. Suddenly you receive tons of traffic from this old post. It would be a mistake to ignore what was going on and instead continue to focus on your new posts. It would be wise to see if you could figure out why suddenly this content is so hot and then turn that into an opportunity to make money.

Content Integrity

Social media managers have a tendency to copy the style, format, and tone that everyone else is using. To make sure your content is in line with your social media goals, and to ensure you maintain your integrity, you should develop your own set of parameters for the formating, spacing, tone, style, etc. that will apply to your social media. For example, you could use your own unique style on Twitter and Facebook to get more followers.

Good Enough Syndrome

One of the main challenges social media managers face is ‘what’s good enough?’ A common mistake is to think that if something sort of works, then it’s a win, and it’s good enough. This actually is wrong! Social media needs to go above and beyond. You need to pay close attention to detail. Average work isn’t acceptable.

Social media managers have their work cut out for them in what is still really much like the ‘wild west’ where the rules aren’t clear, especially for business owners. Another option you have is simply to hand this task over to a marketing company that ensures you get the most out of your social media.