Posted by: FDMC | August 24, 2016

Content Writing Or Blogging For Your Business

You probably already know why your business should have a blog. Most small businesses do not and the answer I get the most is “I don’t have time for that!” You do  know you’ll increase traffic to your website, (if you don’t have a website, shame on you and give us a call)  blogging will also help build authority, provide useful information, and engage with your customers. You might even provide the information they need to make a buying decision. Unfortunately, most blogs get very little traffic and it is not that they can’t it is because the way most people write them.  Here are some tips to better blogging.

Who do you think you’re talking to?

Depending on what you sell or service you offer, your customers or clients might be a wildly diverse group of people and you might need a different approach for each type of person. So you might need to develop a number of writing styles to fit who you are trying to reach.

Bring your style of writing to life. Basic demographics are fine, but you really need to know what your customers care about. When you know what they care about and what their pain points are, you can create blog posts they will be really interested in.

Way too many businesses confuse dry, old-school articles with blog posts. Blog posts are a whole different animal. They are lively, often opinionated, casual, colloquial, and sometimes funny. In other words, they are chock-full of personality. Make it so. Just make sure to understand the difference between “controversial” and “abrasive” before taking any hot-button political stands. You also need to be ready to respond to your client base if they have questions or have their own idea or opinion about what you are talking about.  Don’t be holier than thou.  Respect your customers or clients and respond!

 Make a plan

I see two mistakes consistently made in content plans. Some businesses don’t have one, and their websites are like employee diaries. Have fresh content on your websites.  I have actually found websites with old business addresses that the business was at a year ago.  They moved and never updated their website.  Websites are also not Facebook fan pages.  Don’t post personal things about you or your staff there.  Nobody cares. They are there for information about your business, not your dog being in heat.

Mistake two is having too rigid a plan. Some larger corporate blogs follow a theme, and offer a lot of posts about one or two topics. This is a fine idea if you’re building a wheel-a central landing page that links out to a bunch of posts covering different aspects of one subject. But it’s pretty restrictive for small businesses to do this.  Be open and creative and if you run out of ideas then start blogging on related topics relevant to your business. If you sell shoes, talk about how shoes made overseas might influence prices as a topic.

 Branding

customers are looking beyond products to see what kind of company you really are. Millennials, especially, want to know how you treat employees, what causes you support, and whether you’re worthy of their hard-earned money. And since there are now millions of millennials now, every business needs to care about what they want.

Millennials are connected socially, interact heavily with brands, are not impressed with advertising, and read blogs before making buying decisions. They place very high values on trust and accountability.

More than ever before, businesses have to think beyond selling their products and build a brand reputation. Your blog is the perfect place to start, hand in hand with social media.

That means revealing your mission, your future plans, and your inner workings. It means telling customers about your people, and showcasing your customers’ stories. Get personal. Ask for input and then implement it. Treat customers like part of the team.  You must interact or have that option there to do so and respond back.  Let them know there is someone behind the keyboard they can talk to.

  Pain Point Finding

Why do customers buy your product? What need are they answering? How can your product fix their problem or make their lives better in some way?

Answer those questions in your blog. That’s what will draw people to your blog.

 Promote 

The initial success of your blog does not depend on the quality of your posts. Quality is what brings people back. You need to build your blog!

Attracting your first group of readers is the hardest…so don’t start cold. You may not know it, but you have influences  such as  vendors, for example. People you do business with, your customer list, and even businesses physically near you. Your local radio and television stations might even help out.

Plan a big post for a local or online event you can leverage for publicity. Sponsor or present at an event and live-blog as it’s happening. This is a whole different topic which I will cover at another time.  Video blogging is hot right now but I degrees.  Host a giveaway or raffle. Do something big that fits your business and blog about it. Then keep blogging.  Once you have done one or two, they become a standard part of your work plan.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media

www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Whether you are a small business owner, a startup or a large operation, marketing has become an essential and integral part of everyday business functions that needs to be diligently pursued. A sustainable business requires multiple marketing techniques in today’s fast paced world filled with interested people with very short attention spans.

Not every business, especially a small one, can afford to spend generously on marketing. Still, there are quite a few techniques that do not require large budgets, but can still be effective if done well and with complete conviction.

Here are five  marketing tips that a small business owner can employ to spread the word about the business and achieve customer engagement without burning a hole in your pocket:

Instructional videos:

Thanks to YouTube, small business owners can easily upload videos about their products. However, merely putting up lengthy promotional videos won’t draw viewers and potential customers. Audio-visual marketing experts advise creating content that includes your product and its uses, instead of showcasing what your products can do.

While anyone with a digital video camera or a smartphone can create and upload videos, it will certainly be helpful to create video content that appears professional. What majority of small business owners often neglect is the description below the video, which can also serve as free advertising space. Instead of merely cramming in links to your product page, a professionally created content at the bottom of the video can prove to be a great SEO tool as well. Contact us here at FDMC and we can help.

Create and publish textual content:

While videos are a great audio-visual tool to promote your business, the written word still rules the digital world. While you can create content yourself, it is not about mere creation, but about crafting the words and placing them in all the appropriate places so that potential customers are drawn to your website.

Creating  content that’s tailored to suit your business and products is not only essential but it  also helps generate a lot of interlinking digital chains that ensure the content stays evergreen in the online domain. If you think you just don’t have the time to write content for your blog or website, consider hiring a professional content writer.

Use Social Media platforms:

In today’s world, it is imperative to generously include the social media platforms to market your business. However, many businesses focus merely on pushing content and often neglect to listen to what their readers are saying. While many, who visit the pages created by you, won’t offer much, there will be tons of important insights shared by your audience. Merely incorporating the advice isn’t enough. Businesses have to acknowledge the contribution and in certain cases, even reward them.

With a multitude of social media platforms like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, it might not be a bad decision to just focus on a few to get your feet on the ground in social media.  Digital platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat or Vine for mobility users is also worth considering if you have a younger target audience.

Go to the customer:

While engaging your potential customers on a digital platform is a must, it is equally important to step out and physically interact with them if your product so demands. By attending events that are created with a special niche, you get to meet people who are already interested in the product but aren’t aware of your company.

In case an event doesn’t exist for your product, attending the one that’s slightly oblique could also work wonders. If there’s none, you can also create your own. While you can certainly start small, other businesses can take it further in the near future.

Do something good for the society by working with non profits:

While employing these techniques diligently should boost customer awareness and engagement, it would be wise to participate in some charity or philanthropic organization. While it doesn’t cost much, such venues offer tremendous exposure.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media

http://www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | August 10, 2016

Using Video For Your Business!

In the rapidly evolving landscape of marketing, businesses are constantly required to come up with improved ways to promote themselves and attract valuable leads. The rising customer expectations have led businesses to develop new strategies to meet and exceed the demands. Video Marketing has become on of these latest trends that FDMC loves to assist our customers with.

There is hardly any doubt about the fact that video-driven platforms are well-received by today’s generation. In fact, Snapchat has overtaken Twitter with a user base of more than 150 million every day compared to the 136 million daily users of Twitter.

Let’s take a look at why video should be part of your digital marketing strategy.

Increased Comprehension and Engagement

Did you know that the attention span of an average human being is eight seconds? This means that you only have a short window to attract the attention of your customers and engage them in what you have to say. Blocks of text will hardly serve the purpose. This is where videos become relevant.The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. This is because videos appeal to several senses. As a result, this allows viewers to better comprehend the message than text.

Enhanced SEO 

Since a video can garner massive engagement, major search engines places a lot of importance on video content. This is because it is easier to watch a three minute video explaining a product instead of reading through text. This means that including video content in your marketing strategies will automatically give you a better chance of ranking well in search results. A better rank translates into greater possibilities of getting noticed.

Greater Reach to Millions of Potential Viewers

There are numerous video distribution sites that allow you to upload the videos you create. The popular sites have a large user count. For example, YouTube has more than 1 billion monthly active users. This escalates your chances of reaching out to thousands of users every day. FDMC is a Certified YouTube Partner. Additionally, videos can be shared on various social media platforms easily. With 2.1 billion active social media users, promoting your videos on these platforms will increase the chances of exposure exponentially. When people find your video interesting, they are highly likely to share it, which means more reach. Additionally, with the increased usage of smartphones, people want information fast. A quick video explaining the functions of the product that they wish to purchase may be just what they are looking for.

Greater Trust

The usage of videos puts a face to the brand. It reveals more about your brand than a logo and a manual by encouraging interactions. A video demonstration alleviates customer doubts and answers their queries. A video not only depicts what you do but also why you do it. This enhances transparency and builds trust.

Better Customer Retention

Since videos can convey your message in a more effective and succinct way, customers are quite likely to watch these. This means they will be staying on your page for at least as long as the video lasts. With an effective call-to-action at the end, you can easily direct the viewers to the webpages containing your products and or services. Additionally, heightened comprehension will enable viewers to remember what they see. Therefore, this is one of the best ways to retain customers.

Increased Conversion Rates

As your videos start gathering a large audience, the right marketing strategies will start generating leads and fuel conversion rates. With proper investment, your sales or your services you offer will increase!

Ease of Production

With technological innovation, video production has become more of a streamlined process. It does not require a lot of equipment and an entire project can be completed in a day or a week depending on the nature of the production. FDMC specializes in DSLR video production which allows us to shoot videos for your business at a lower cost. Did you know that as many as 55 percent of small and medium business owners say that video marketing is a must? Videos are powerful tools that drive engagement. They are a great way to promote your business, tell your story, increase engagement, and finally personalize your brand!

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media

www.floridadudemarkeingconcepts.com

 

Posted by: FDMC | August 3, 2016

Getting The Most Out Of Your YouTube Videos

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With more than a billion users, and billions of daily video views, gaining user attention on YouTube may seem a daunting prospect. 

However, the sheer size of the audience (a third of all web users) means that the rewards are there.  As a certified Partner, allow me to offer some tips to help you get the most of your YouTube videos.

Invisible ranking signals

  • Video file name.This is used when attempting to categorize the content, so be sure to label it using target keywords.
  • View density.We can all see how many views videos attract over time but view density matters to YouTube. If your video receives a lot of views in a short space of time, it’s more likely to be pushed up the rankings.
  • MetaTags. YouTube’s spiders rely on tags to interpret a video’s content. This is thought to be a big factor in determining the positions a video is able to achieve in YouTube. When you upload a video to YouTube you can tag it with your keywords. 6-8 tags are thought to be the ideal amount. Look at the most popular/top tags on YouTube for your topics, and learn from them.
  • Watch time.YouTube used to use view counts and comment volumes as factors in watch time but this has all changed a few years ago. as the previous factors could be “gamed” relatively easily.
  • Flags / reports.These are negative factors which could harm your video’s visibility.

Visible ranking signals

  • The maximum character limit is 100 characters. Use them well, place keywords towards the front of the title. Titles need to be descriptive and compelling. The video should also deliver on the headline. If you over-promise, people won’t spend time with the videos and they may not share the videos either which helps with those buzz words we all love to hear.  “It went viral!”
  • There are 5,000 characters to play with here, but only the first (roughly) 150 will be visible to people when they land on your page, so these have to work well. This is also an opportunity to add a link back to your site or landing page.
  • YouTube subtitles, closed captions and transcripts. These make the videos available to a wider or even global audience.
  • HD videos. HD quality videos are preferred to lower picture quality ones, though this does not mean that lower quality homemade videos don’t work at all.
  • In-video annotations/YouTube cards. Annotations allow you to add ltexts that are linked to a video; including notes, calls to action, and links to related video assets. This serves to build greater authority and encourages CTR, views and shares. YouTube developed ‘annotations’ in 2015 to include ‘Cards‘ which are better looking version of annotations. The big difference is they work better across screens, and especially on mobile.
  • Thumbnails. Not a ranking factor, but a well-chosen thumbnail should help to improve click through rates and increase views. The ideal size = 640 x 360 pixels minimum, 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Likes and dislikes.These provide an indication of the engagement around a video.
  • View counts. Again, not as influential a factor as in the past, but still an important indication of popularity.

YouTube channel factors

A distinct YouTube channel can help give brands (or anyone) a longer term and more effective YouTube presence. There are some useful tips on this from YouTube.

  • Focus on content. Content needs to match the brand and give customers a clear indication of what to expect from your channel.
  • Keep it simple. Branding should communicate the message behind your channels, so make sure videos, channel trailers etc align with this.
  • Make it easy to find. Your branding should help people to find your videos and channel. This means consistent titles, tagging, descriptions and themes.
  • Channel views.As with video views, the channel stats will contribute towards your rankings.
  • Vanity URLs.Not a ranking factor, but something that should help improve other ranking signals by making your channel more easily found.
Posted by: FDMC | July 27, 2016

Snapchat or Facebook. Which One For Your Business?

snapfb

Snapchat is  rolling as the hot app and Facebook is taking a serious look at its competitor so it can shore  up many of its most successful features.

At the same time, Snapchat is moving away from ephemeral content and beginning to engage in a stronger battle against the most popular social network in the world than we first thought. Will there be a clear winner?

 Audience 

We may not have all the stats to compare side by side the audience for both platforms, but Facebook is #1 with its 1.65 billion monthly active users. There’s no social platform yet that can beat this number, while Snapchat says it has 100 million daily users but no hard facts to back those numbers up.

Youth appeal

Snapchat got popular for its impressive appeal to the younger audience, starting as a fun and instant form of communication among teenagers. Although it has evolved since then, it is still popular to the audience aged 13-24, as it forms 60% of its audience. Snapchat states that it  reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year olds here in the US on any given day. Facebook may be the most popular network but it’s appeal to the younger audience has given away to mid millennials and the over 40 generation. Teens early 20 somethings don’t want nothing to do with those stats as they like their own “space” in the world of social media. There has been a 46% growth of new Facebook profiles from 2012 to 2015 for the ages of 45-54, while a decline of 25% has been noted at the same period for the new Facebook profiles of people aged 13-17 in the U. S. Young people face a new reality when family members join Facebook. They head to new platforms to freely express themselves. They don’t abandon Facebook they just don’t share content on it as much.  They use Instagram and Snapchat for those outlets.

Ephemerality

This is probably the most obvious popular feature for Snapchat. The power to make its users check content with high frequency on it’s platform before the content disappears. Snaps last for just 24 hours, which means that FOMO (fear of missing out) can become more intense, especially once you start adding more friends.Facebook seems to be fascinated lately with the idea of ephemeral content and that’s why it announced the launch of secret conversations on Messenger, a feature that will introduce encrypted messages with a timer to control the when they will be visible to the recipient.

 Engagement

Snapchat has managed to create impressive engagement with ephemeral content, but it’s still not easy to beat Facebook, which has turned into a daily routine for a great number of its users.  Adults spend about 23 minutes a day on Facebook according to most stats. Snapchat has observed that 54% of its its users engage with the app daily, while the average iOS user spends  an average of 18 minutes on Snapchat during the day, which means that there is an indication that the battle of engagement will become even more competitive soon.

Authenticity

You don’t have to like (or even understand) Snapchat to admit that it brought a new type of content to social media, with its explosive growth being attributed to the combination of ephemerality, creativity, simplicity and visual content.The idea of vertical video has proven to be successful (and effective for brands), while filters turned out to be a fresh use of branded promotion.It wouldn’t be fair to omit Facebook’s own authenticity back when it started, but as it’s heading to a more mature status, we’ll give this round to Snapchat and its attempt to beat the odds of success at a surprisingly fast rate.

For The Fun Of It

Snapchat is fun. No question about it.  Facebook as it is today really is not meant to be fun but more of an informative platform.  This is why teens and young people have left it.  They want fun because they have not grown up. They want to be entertained and they want excitement.  While Facebook in its infancy was cool to be on it has evolved into a communication tool that the older generation has embraced.  Facebook however has established itself and we know it will be around a long time.  The verdict on Snapchat is still out as it is still a relative “fad” platform but growing. Snapchat is trying hard to be taken seriously, as it is still known as the platform that may turn you into a dog, or swap your face with Leonardo DiCaprio. Lenses have turned out to be very popular for Snapchat and their constant update creates a habit of trying out the new ones, again, for the sake of (useless) fun.However, this changed when brands joined the game of sponsored lenses, which made them more interesting from a business perspective.For example, Gatorade created a sponsored lens during Super Bowl and it led to 60 million plays in total, 165 million views and an increase of 8 points in purchase intent.

 Branded content

Facebook Pages have formed the idea of branded content in social media and they have been imitated by many platforms. It’s an organized way to distribute content by encouraging users to stay up-to-date with a brand’s news, while Facebook offers several tools to boost this experience.On the other hand, Snapchat wanted to revolutionize the idea of branded content, by encouraging a new format of visual content which focuses on the engagement with the user, ensuring that the reach is not missed through a customized feed that hides the content you’ve liked.This doesn’t mean that all brands are ready yet to experiment with Snapchat and this may be attributed to the lack of options regarding the distribution and the measurement of the content, which is certainly something that we’d love to see in the future.Both platforms have their advantages and their disadvantages when it comes to branded content, but Facebook is certainly a winner, mainly due to its established status, the flexibility and its insights.

Video

This is probably the biggest battle between Facebook and Snapchat and it’s also the most interesting one. Both try hard to succeed in this field, as this may be the battle that will crown the ultimate winner.Video content is on the rise and it’s not expected to stop anytime soon, and both Facebook and Snapchat have their own advantages and disadvantages on its creation and distribution.What’s more, Facebook has launched the idea of Facebook 360 videos, in an attempt to succeed with another popular trend. Snapcat  is definitely ambitious enough to compete with Facebook’s plans with video content, This sign of explosive growth cannot stay unnoticed and that’s why there is an attempt to keep up with its fast growth by offering more features and options for brands that join the platform.

Instant communication

Snapchat started as a fun platform of instant communication between teenagers and that’s how it became popular with its ephemeral content, its simplicity and its mysterious appeal.Facebook started as a platform that connected people all over the world, although the concept of communication changed over the years. The launch of Messenger was a great move for Facebook. That brought the best features of Facebook and it’s apps into one platform. which now boasts over 1 billion users.Both Snapchat and Facebook have benefited from their appealing instant communication in their own way, the first by creating a strong engagement rate which helped it grow, the second by expanding its features to interesting paths that we keep exploring.

Chatbots 

Instant communication in terms of business opportunities is already changing on Facebook Messenger with the introduction of chatbots, the pre-programmed messages that allow users to stay informed from their favorite brands and pages regarding a new release, a sale, or an event.This could be the big step for Messenger in e-commerce and further business opportunities, and as there are more than 11,000 bots in Messenger, we are expecting great things from this feature.

Advertising

This is an unfair battle, as Facebook is already established in advertising, offering numerous options for brands to promote their products. There has been a 50% increase in Facebook’s active advertisers in a year.Mobile advertising has turned out to be extremely effective, as it accounted for 79% of the company’s revenue of Q1 2016.From a brand’s perspective, Facebook’s advertising tools can help an ad reach the right audience, while the introduction of Canvas led to more creative formats that may be more appealing to users.On the other hand, Snapchat is yet at an early stage of its advertising growth, but early reports from Snapchat on it’s ROI is very impressive. It has noted that its Snap Ads have a 5x higher CTR compared to other platforms.

Summary

The fact that Snapchat managed to become a serious competitor for Facebook in certain areas in just a couple of years is an indication that we cannot ignore its potential, as its growth is expected to continue. Snapchat is expected to surpass Twitter and Pinterest in  users this year, reaching 58.6 million users with a growth of 27.2%, while it will keep building its audience until 2020 to further close its gaps with Facebook.Even if it’s not enough to ever beat Facebook, it is still impressive to monitor its success to go up against Facebook.

Roy

www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | July 20, 2016

Doing Videos With Instagram

Digital video is more popular than ever and small businesses are jumping on the bandwagon.  Doing videos for mobile apps such as Instagram is a marketers goldmine. The problem is many small business owners believe it is too costly or they just do not understand how to go about making their videos.  Here are some good tips to keep in mind when making digital videos, especially for Instagram.

Step 1: What is Your goal in making your video?

Before shooting your video, ask yourself what your goal is. What do you hope to achieve with this particular Instagram video?

Making an unedited video using your smartphone camera many times is all you need to do.  Just remember to capture your idea and keep it professional.  Always remember the time limits of videos on Instagram. Typically 60 seconds.

Start by outlining what it is you want to achieve, like getting the views you want. This is done by getting people to share your video and using hashtags.

Choose a goal that is achievable for your brand. If you’re just getting started on Instagram and only have a handful of followers, don’t expect 1,000 views on your first go-round.  Going forward, keep a time frame to post future videos so you can gain an audience.  Stick to that calendar!

Step 2:  Light your shoot.

You don’t need to own a top-of-the-line lighting kit to make people look great on camera. There are, however, some basic lighting tips that you can’t afford to live without. This advice works particularly well if you’re shooting a talking-head style video with a backdrop and a subject that’s standing in one place.

  • Avoid shooting video under overhead lighting.  This type of lighting creates “raccoon type eye” shadowing, which doesn’t make anyone look great. Have your subject move around until you find the sweet spot.
  • Use natural light. Does your office have a lot of big windows? Is the sunshine just pouring in every day? Stand near a window for the shot, but remember to always keep the light in front of you, not behind you.
  • Get creative with your available light sources. If your subject is looking a little harsh with your current light setup, create softer light by bouncing a light source off a reflector, like a piece of white poster board. Block out unwanted light in your space by covering your windows with some black plastic and save some cash. If your budget allows for it, spring for blackout roller shades.

Step 3: Shoot your footage.

When it comes to shooting your footage, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. Try to incorporate these best practices into the Instagram videos you make and you’ll be on your way to success.

  • Mix up your shots. Just like with any video, you’ll want to mix up your shots in order to capture your viewer’s attention. Grab your phone and record a number of short clips that help tell your story. If your video is longer than just a few seconds, change up your shots so your viewers aren’t just staring at the same talking head for a minute and a half.
  • Show, don’t tell.  For Instagram videos  the platform itself is a visual one, so play it up. Show them what your product actually looks like.  Don’t talk into the camera like a selfie.  Nobody cares about your face.  They want to see what your product or service is.
  • Use your judgment.  If you’re shooting a  company culture video, you should feel free to take some liberties with steadying your shot. Walk around with your phone and capture the best shots without worrying about stabilization. However, if you do plan to shoot talking-head videos, interviews, consider a tripod.  There are tripods available for smartphones.
  • Be selective.  Remember that you only have 1 minute to share your story, so save your long-form content for your site. Company culture posts tend to perform well on this platform because they fit in with the types of content other people are already sharing. Plan ahead around events and functions – if you know there’s always a company-wide outing during the summer, add shooting an Instagram video into your editorial calendar for that month. Not everything is video-worthy, but if you can come up with a fun, creative angle for what you’re promoting, video can help get the job done!

 

Step 4: Edit.

Now that you have all your footage together, it’s time for the edit. Editing videos within the Instagram app itself isn’t the most seamless experience, so if you’re stitching footage together or going for anything other than just a quick trim, you should edit the footage in a third-party app. Here are some apps we’ve found particularly useful:

  • Splice (Free) | iOS. This app was made by GoPro, so you know it’s legit. Splice has a five-star rating and comes equip with cool features such text overlay, video splicing, and narration, music, and sound effect functionality.
  • Magisto (Free) | iOS & Android. Magisto is a simple yet powerful editor that makes it really easy to create professional videos. Choose music, customize the theme, and splice shots until you’ve created the perfect mix.

Remember: Instagram is all about keeping things lighthearted and fun, so don’t over think it and remember your time limitations.  As you get more experienced, you can start adding various effects to your videos such as wipes, dissolves, slo-mo and other fun things.  If you are still shy about doing digital video, you can always hire a professional but as that famous line goes..”You Can Do It!”

-Roy

www.floridadudemarketingconcets.com

Posted by: FDMC | July 13, 2016

Getting Your Social Up In 4 Easy Steps!

We work with a lot of people talking about social media. I’ve had conversations with people who are leveraging their accounts to build their own businesses, some  who are beginning to see the benefits of signing up for Periscope, Snapchat, or Instagram using these tools to build their personal brand.  No matter what you do with social media, 3 things still apply about this crazy technology and its effect on people.

  • They continue to be surprised by how quickly everything keeps changing.
  • They like how it helps them to connect with people and help them grow their personal brand or business.
  • Despite all the advice out there, they still don’t feel like they’re any good at it.

If this is how you feel, here’s what I want you to understand: There is no one way to be good at social media. The strategies, tactics, and platforms that’re going to make a job seeker in the food industry well versed in social media won’t necessarily be the same strategies, tactics, and platforms that make a marketing manager in the financial industry excel and stand out.

But, even though there’s no one-size fits all way of using the platforms, there are best practices and steps you can take—no matter why you’re online—that’ll make you a better at it.

Here are some tips that I think might help your or your social strategy work better:

1. Understand Your Posting Style and Stick to It

If you want to be a confident, savvy social-media user, you have to decide what you want to be known for on social media. How do you want to position yourself or your brand?

For example, do you want to be a go-to expert on a topic? Do you want to create a Facebook page with funny videos everyone watches while they eat lunch? Do you want to offer no-holds-barred commentary on current events?

I know this might sound warm and fuzzy, but it’s actually an important marketing tactic. If you pretend to be an expert on a subject you know nothing about, people are going to catch on—and disconnect—very quickly.

Once you decide what you want to be known for—in other words, what you want your community to come to you looking for—all you need to do is serve up that content consistently.

2. Keep a Running List of Videos, Articles, and More 

Having content is to share content. Share content you think the people you’re trying to connect with will find interesting, insightful, and thoughtful. Ideally, it’s also content that speaks to you.

The easiest way to post great content (and to post it regularly!) is to keep a running list of the content you come across on a daily basis that you think your audience will enjoy. Then, whether you decide to create content monthly, weekly, or daily, you have a big meaty document to pull from, rather than trying to come up with content on the spot.

3. Respond to Everything

If you browse the internet for social media tips, you’ll find a ton of articles about how to create content and how to publish that content.

When you think about the real reason we choose to be on these platforms—to connect with people—it’s crazy that we spend so much time and energy trying to get people interested in us or our businesses (by creating and publishing great content) and not spend time actually solidifying the connection we just worked so hard to make.

Creating and publishing awesome content doesn’t make you good at social media—it makes you good at creating and publishing great content. To be good at it, you need to foster and nurture the connections you derive from your online presence.

So, if someone comments on a photo, answer him. If someone tweets an article you wrote, thank her. If someone sends you a direct message on LinkedIn, reply back. It’s one of the easiest ways to make your network grow.

4. Watch Your Analytics

If you want to get better at social media, you need to understand who’s engaging with what you post and what’s resonating most with those people so you can continue to serve up content they’ll respond to. The easiest way to do that? Analytics.

Analytics can be a pain but all you really want to know is: What were your top pieces of content in the last month? How much engagement (likes, shares, comments) did top posts receive? Who is interacting with your content most often?

Take some of your best connections and venture off Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Exchange email addresses. Invite an active follower to coffee. Send a handwritten thank you note. Invite a few contacts to your next webinar. That’s when you’ll know your social media game is strong. Going offline is really OK!

Posted by: FDMC | July 6, 2016

Skype For Small Business

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Microsoft recently announced a browser version of Skype aimed at small businesses. The service is called Skype Meetings, and it’s the company’s first web-based product. Skype Meetings will let you video chat with up to 10 people at a time for the first 60 days of use, and then meeting capacity is limited to three people. It also includes some of the more powerful collaboration tools included with Skype for Business, such as screen sharing and PowerPoint integration.

Skype Meetings is very similar to the free version of Skype. Both versions of the software let you video chat with the same number of people and make use of the platform’s messaging capabilities. But Microsoft is clearly marketing this version of Skype as a easy, no-frills way for small companies to set up video calls. Its only real appeal over Skype’s standard version is the ability to work directly in a browser and the addition of the few features it borrows from the business tier of the product.

The goal is to entice small teams to try out Skype and then upgrade to either the video chat app’s more fully featured version or subscribe to an Office 365 business plan that includes Skype. (The company even advertises Office 365 on the Skype Meetings webpage.) As video chatting becomes more and more of a commonplace way to communicate in business, Skype for Business might be worth a look at. I am disappointed at how Microsoft tries to push Office 365 at you but if you can get over the banner ads then take a look at the web version of Skype for Business.  After all it is free.

-Roy

FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC

Posted by: FDMC | June 29, 2016

Are You Marketing For Mobility?

mobile_marketingWhile it may be hard to grasp, especially for the small business owner, putting your advertising dollars now into mobility is a reality one can not escape from.  Last year 30% of advertising dollars spent went into mobile advertising and that rate will  go up this year. (IAB report)

As we spend more time on our smart phones searching for deals, places to eat, movies to see, mobile ads are popping up everywhere. While some businesses it does make sense not to use mobility, most retailers capturing millennials and younger, they would be foolish not to be using mobile advertising.  Items included in these platforms include the standard SMS and email.  What is new to this platform is the use of 10 to 15 second video bursts.  Take a serious look at in-app advertising and see what you could be missing.

-Roy

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC

www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | June 22, 2016

Being Real With Your Social Strategies

Using social media and actually having it work for you has to be a partnership. I put together some simple but important tips to help your business grow and and at the same time, making sure your social platforms all click on the same “page” sort of speak.

Don’t Self Promote. Nobody cares. People are interested in what you have to offer and your brand. While it is important people know who you are and the face and people behind the business, talking about yourself too much can do more harm than good. This leads me to point #2.

Be Authentic. Your brand is your business.  Nothing can show how real you are than to have your staff or other people talk about your brand.  Being real today is more important than ever in interacting with your customers.

Keep your brand consistent across all of your marketing channels.  Do not confuse your customer base by showing something on one platform and something else on another.  If you sell and promote widgets on one social platform and they go to say Pinterest and see tree bark for sale then you lost your customer.  Keep everything equal and your images concise. Keep your colors and branding logos the same as well.

My last point is customer interaction.  Make sure if your customers ask questions, you reply and do so in a timely matter. Ignoring your customer base is a customer you lost and they will tell others you don’t care.  In this real time social world we live in, interaction is so important.  Good luck!

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media

www.floridadudemarkeingconcepts.com

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