Monthly Archives: June 2015

12 Fresh Social Media Post Ideas

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social media postsHappy Social Media Day! In honor of this fun holiday, we’re answering one of the most common questions we hear, “What should I put on my social media page?” We’ve given some guidance on the subject before, by recommending you use two R’s to guide your social media work (and no the two R’s are not rant and rave) and a few ideas for social media posts. Today, we’re getting “down and gritty,” and more specific, with 10 fresh ideas for social media posts:

  1. Tie your subject for your post into a “holiday.” Who doesn’t love National Donut Day, Social Media Day or National Hug Your Cat Day?
  2. Post pictures of the people behind your business, at work. Give your customers a peak behind the scenes, and tie faces to your business. Make sure your photos match the tone of your business, and choose who you profile strategically.
  3. Make your audience feel like they are getting the “inside scoop.” Tell your audience something they might not know about your product, business or a generic industry stat.
  4. Share community involvement. If you’re a local business, show that you are part of the community around you by showing your involvement in local activities like festivals, trick-or-treat, etc.
  5. Make your product a contest. Ask your customers if they know the answer to a multiple choice question or an open-ended question. Try to make it fun and industry-specific.
  6. Video. The video could be of a service you do, or something you do for the community, or of your company dog having fun. Try to ask yourself what your audience can get out of the video. How does this fit in to my marketing plan?
  7. Give your business a “Where’s Waldo?” social media effect. If your workers are on the go, put up a random photo and ask your audience to guess where they are, or just to show you can go anywhere to help your customers.
  8. Show you have a history. Yes, Throwback Thursday is one of the oldest phenomena in social media. But it’s also a neat way to show how you started out, and how far you’ve come. An old photo also matches your business to a face, even if it’s the face of a founder.
  9. ‘Fill-in-the-blank’ or ‘caption this’ photos. It doesn’t matter what kind of photo it is—silly, mysterious or serious—give your audience input into the photos you post.
  10. Photos, photos and more photos. Statistics have repeatedly shown that social media posts with visual content get more engagement. If you’re posting on Pinterest and Instagram, photos are NOT optional. They are a must to get engagement. Don’t be afraid to share photos from other pages as well, as long as they are relevant to your business.
  11. Mix it up. Don’t let your social media page get stale! Use a variety of different kinds of posts and media to get your audience’s attention and keep it.
  12. Outsource if needed. We’ve said it before, and we stand by it: there is no shame or blame in outsourcing. If you want to get results from your social media page, you need relevant and regular posts on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest profile or page. Contact experts that know the social media platforms and can give you the regular and relevant posts that relate to your business. You’ll need to give input, as we outlined in our post about outsourcing your marketing do’s and don’ts, but the end result is worth the effort.

Do’s and Don’ts of Twitter

social media marketing TwitterYou wouldn’t jump into a pool without learning to swim, would you? Use the same strategy with Twitter for your business: don’t jump into this unique social media site without learning the do’s and don’ts of Twitter. Twitter can give a business a huge competitive edge, but if you don’t learn to “swim” on Twitter, all you’re going to do is sink—publicly and embarrassingly without reaching the goal you set out to achieve.

Do have a goal for your Twitter account. Is your goal to establish your business on Twitter as a subject matter expert? Are you using Twitter to interact with your customers?

Don’t leave your Twitter profile picture as the annoying egg. You’re missing out on a huge opportunity to establish your brand by not changing your Twitter profile and header photo. Create a bio unique to your business that tells your followers who you are and what to expect—all in 160 characters.

Do use hashtags. Find a #hashtag topic that fits your tweets to extend the reach of your tweets. You can find these hashtags by clicking on the hashtag in other tweets and seeing a list of tweets with that hashtag, or by typing in a #hashtag in the search box.

Don’t over use hashtags. There is a limit to the amount of hashtags that are effective. Plus, you look like a Twitter dork using a million hashtags.

Do tweet often, and tweet valuable content. How often you tweet is up to you. You can tweet as much as you like, but don’t tweet junk. You won’t achieve your social media goals with worthless (to your followers) tweets.

Don’t tweet ONLY about you. The 80/20 rule is a general guide to use when setting your tweeting schedule. Schedule 20% promotional tweets and 80% tweets that bring value to your customers.

Do remember that Twitter is its own animal with its own set of rules and followers. Linking your Facebook account to your Twitter account is a huge social media faux paux. Your followers can tell what you’ve done, and you won’t achieve the goal you joined Twitter for in the first place. Each social media platform has its own atmosphere, so customize your message for each platform.

Don’t send an automated message every time someone follows you. We’re begging you: please don’t send us an automated DM (direct message). Everyone can tell it’s automated, and it makes you look fake.

Do share content from other Twitter accounts and interact with other Twitter accounts. Twitter is about sharing, so SHARE and respond. Retweet tweets with valuable content (articles) that answer your customers’ questions, bring humor to your audience (if appropriate) and sheds light on industry trends and news. If you see a tweet with a @yourTwitterhandle in your notifications, it means someone is talking to you. Respond appropriately.

Don’t mix personal and business accounts. If you are a CEO of your company, this is complicated. But if the Twitter account is for your business, stick to business and industry information, along with photos of you and your employees on the job. Don’t flood your business account with a stream of tweets reflecting your personal views.

Do respond to negative reviews. This do comes with a don’t: don’t ignore negative reviews and comments. Instead, respond to your angry customer diplomatically by using these simple steps. Remember, everyone’s watching how you respond. This is your chance to show your excellent customer service skills.

Don’t abandon your Twitter account because you don’t have time. Social media may have a dark side, but is also a valuable communication tool full of opportunity. Twitter shows your business is available to your customers, knowledgeable about your products, services and industry and concerned about your customers, community and vendors. If you don’t have time to take advantage of social media, contact the marketing experts to manage your Twitter account, and produce content that you can share on social media.

Social Media 102: Twitter Basics for Business

twitter social media“Twitter doesn’t make any sense!” “It’s just a random group of words!” “I can’t make any sense of the twits!” We’ve heard it all from skeptics, including the most common, “Is anyone even on Twitter?” The answer is yes, with more than 300 million Twitter users log on every month to converse about everything from news to marketing to well, everything. To be sure, Twitter has evolved to a social media platform in its own right with its own identity—and advantages for businesses looking to engage with other twits, tweeps and all the other nicknames given to people who enjoy the 140-character conversations. Other advantages of using Twitter include:

  • Give your business a voice. Use Twitter as a chance to communicate and build relationships with your audience (make sure you know who that is) with a voice unique to your business. If appropriate, don’t be afraid to use humor and fun to engage with your audience.
  • Real-time engagement. Unlike other social media platforms, your tweets are seen by all your followers in real-time. There are no algorithms that impacts who sees your posts—and who doesn’t.
  • Establish your business as a subject matter expert. Twitter gives your brand the opportunity to show that you have expertise in your industry and to build trust with potential customers.
  • Provide quality customer service. Remember, Twitter is real-time. That means you can get positive and negative feedback from your customers. Don’t delete the negative comments; use the interaction as a chance to show that you listen to your customers, can provide quality customer service and are responsive to all feedback. With the negative also comes the positive feedback; monitor and record these comments to use as future testimonials. Oh, and don’t forget to say thank you to your loyal customers for taking the time to engage.

Because of Twitter’s uniqueness, it’s not unusual to feel intimidated and lost in the ocean of information. Ready for a Twitter breakthrough? Use this list of the must-know terms of Twitter, and some guidelines as you learn this micro-blogging site.

Twitter tweetTweets. A tweet is 140 characters (max!) of thoughts: silly thoughts, fun words, valuable information, teasers. Your tweets are about your business, your industry, your community and your passions. You can also attach a photo to your tweet, so know optimal sizes for your Twitter images. Tweets with links have been shown to get more favorites and retweets (see below) than tweets without. One note: it doesn’t matter the size of your link, as all links over 22 characters are counted as 22 characters. If you want to create a link that is smaller, use a link shortner which can be found with a simple search on Google, Yahoo or Bing.

Feed. A feed is a real-time list of tweets from accounts you have chosen to follow.

Hashtags. What was once known only as the pound sign has now become the source of useful and snarky additions to tweets. Hashtags are usually at the end of a tweet, though they can be in any part of your tweet. Hashtags can be used as a label that tells you the category or theme of a tweet. Businesses have also had great success in using hashtags as part of an event, such as a business conference or community outreach event and as part of fun campaigns to increase engagement with their customers and create a sense of community. Hashtags can also work in reverse, and are a great way to find tweets on a common subject, or all the tweets about a recent event.

Retweets. Retweets are your way to share other users’ tweets. Twitter recently added a feature that allows you to retweet and add a short comment, but you can retweet without. Remember that a retweet is an association with your brand, so make sure you click on links and know what you’re sharing before you hit the retweet symbol. You’re tweets are a reflection of your brand; be careful to stay on topic and when tweeting about sensitive issues. Treat your retweets the same way you would your dinner party conversation.

Favorites. A favorite shows that you like the user’s tweet. To find out how many retweets and favorites a tweet has, just look under the tweet. The star indicates number of favorites, and the rectangle is the symbol for retweets.

Direct messages. Direct messages are private messages sent between two users on Twitter. DM’s, as they are commonly referred to, are found under messages in the upper left corner.

Followers. Followers are the accounts that want to see what you have to say. These accounts see your tweets in their feed, and are most likely to engage with you.

Following. Following are the accounts that you want to see tweets from. These accounts show up in your feed, and can be sorted in lists if you want to organize them.

Twitter chats. Twitter chats are a group of users that converse about a certain topic. You can follow a twitter chat by typing in the hashtag associated with the twitter chat in the search box.

Don’t feel like you have time for this unique social media platform and mastering the art of the tweet? Trust your business Twitter account to experts who can build and grow your presence with your guidance. Use these do’s and don’ts of outsourcing, and be prepared to create a plan that takes advantage of all the opportunities that come with Twitter.