Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Spring Cleaning for Your Social Media Presence

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your house, home office, or business location. Whether you’re a freelance writer in Cincinnati or a bicycle shop owner in Poughkeepsie, your small business can benefit from a good spring cleaning of your social media presence. It shouldn’t take much time — and when you’re done, you’ll have bright, shiny social media profiles that are ready to work for your business, make an unforgettable first impression for your brand, and keep you connected with your audience.

So set aside a dedicated day, or an hour a day for about a week, and implement these spring cleaning tips for your social media.

Delete social channels you don’t use (or need)

There is a prevailing idea that when it comes to social media marketing, the more channels, the merrier. Combine this with constant introduction of “the next big thing” in social media, and many small businesses end up signing on to every social channel available in an attempt to increase their potential audience.

The problem is, it’s impossible to keep that many social profiles active and up to date, especially for a small business. You often end up with a trail of half-finished, rarely used pages across the Internet that reflect poorly on your business.

With social media, the most effective marketing plan is to concentrate on the few networks that bring the best results, and to delete the rest. Focusing your efforts on select social channels will give you a stronger brand, and a higher ROI, than diluting your business with multiple, weaker social outlets.

Freshen up your profiles

It’s easy to think that once you create a business profile or “about” page, you’re done with it for good. But your business is always evolving—and social media is evolving even faster. When’s the last time you updated your social profiles?

Now is a great time to review each of your profiles, and make sure they accurately reflect your business as it is today. Look at your business descriptions from a customer’s point of view—do they accurately convey who you are and what you do? Can customers tell from your profiles what kind of value they’ll get when they engage with you on social media?

You should also review your visual assets on social profiles, and consider updating aspects like header and cover images to give your pages a fresh, new look.

Check your links and content information

Just like business profiles, links are not necessarily a set-it-and-forget-it task. The Internet is in a constant state of change, and if something you’ve linked to has vanished, you might have dead links lying around that can annoy your customers and negatively impact your business image.

Take some time to check your website, email signature, and cross-promotional social media links. Prune out links to any social channels you’ve deleted, and replace dead links with correct, working ones. Finally, make sure you double-check your contact information and mail-to links on all your social media pages, especially if your business has moved or you’ve changed email addresses.

Spring cleaning your social media channels is a great way to keep your small business brand fresh and effective online. How will you spruce up your social media for spring?

Using Pinterest to Boost Your Business

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

I’m excited to publish my first guide on Accel.io, a unique online marketplace for Smart Guides. Freelance writers create “actionable, interactive content designed for people who want results and world class processes.”

Accel.io is passionate about delivering better content experiences to readers, helping content producers create more engaging and dynamic content, and creating a strong, symbiotic relationship between these two groups.

I hope you’ll check out (and review) the guide here: How to Market Your Business on Pinterest.

How to Lose a Social Media Follower in 10 Days

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

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In the real world, unless there’s a major betrayal or conflict, friends and colleagues tend to stick around. But in the realm of social media, it’s all too easy to lose followers and fans. Even a minor annoyance can prompt people to click that “Unlike” or “Unfollow” button.

Unless you want to see your follower list dwindle, avoid committing these social media don’ts:

  1. Ignoring your followers. When someone likes and/or interacts with your page, they expect to get something out of it—whether it’s regular updates, responses to their comments, or special offers.
  2. Being too salesy. Your customers came to your page for information, entertainment, and perhaps the occasional special offer, not for a deluge of advertisements.
  3. Posting random or irrelevant content. If someone subscribes to a women’s fashion page, they don’t want to see parenting tips. Serve up content that pertains to the theme and audience of your profile.
  4. Overdoing the quotes. Sure, there are plenty of poignant and catchy quotes out there…but your followers want to hear what YOU have to say, not just regurgitated tidbits from other people.
  5. Sending generic responses. Don’t think you’re fooling anyone with those autoresponders. Social media users can spot a canned message a mile away.
  6. Posting too much. When it comes to social media, quality trumps quantity. Leave them wanting more.
  7. Overdoing the hashtags. Tagging can be a highly effective way to bring exposure to your posts, but don’t let the value of your messages get obscured by too many #s.
  8. Whining. No-one likes a complainer. While you don’t necessarily have to post about puppies and rainbows all the time, too much negativity will quickly alienate followers.
  9. Repeat yourself. If you post the same message again and again, bored followers will run for the hills.
  10. Letting the stream dry up. When it’s time for social media spring cleaning, the first casualties are the pages that remain stagnant for long stretches of time.

By not committing these ten social media sins, you’ll have a much better chance of keeping a firm grasp on your fans and followers.

 

 

Freelance Writers as Social Networkers: The New Trend in Online Writing

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

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As the steady stream of tweets and status updates becomes a virtual monsoon, it’s clear that social networking is here to stay. But what does that mean for freelance writers?

Most of today’s writers use social media to advertise their services and stay connected with clients, other writers, and the online business community. But on the flipside, freelance writers can carve out a whole new niche for themselves by offering social media services to other businesses. Social networking has become a full-time job in and of itself, and opportunities abound for anyone with the right combination of writing, marketing, and online networking savvy.

Think you have what it takes to manage social media accounts, create engaging blog posts, market products, and interact with customers? If so, you may be able to tap into a growing and lucrative new market.

What does it take to start your own social networking business—or, if you’re already a freelance writer, to take advantage of this trend and get hired as a social networker? You’ll need:

  • Facility as a writer and the ability to be clever, witty, and engaging with words
  • The ability to act as a company spokesperson, capturing the voice and style of a variety of businesses and managers
  • An understanding of corporate requirements, marketing strategies, and online PR venues
  • Experience with the biggest and most popular social media tools, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (as well as specialized communities, if you’re targeting certain industries)
  • Top-notch “netiquette”, good judgment, and the ability to interact with (other people’s) customers politely and professionally
  • Proven ability to succeed in blogging and social media, evidenced through your own blog, Facebook pages, and/or Twitter following
  • Effective organizational skills and the ability to manage many social media accounts on a daily basis

Not every writer makes a great marketer, and many marketers can’t write their way out of a paper bag. But for writers who combine the online social networking skills with marketing and business knowledge, landing gigs as a social networking consultant is a great way to get new clients and boost your bottom line—one tweet at a time.