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Archive for the ‘Social media’ Category

Every year I have a little flirtation with New Year’s resolutions. Some years I hedge my bets by calling them commitments–for some reason, this takes the power out of them, but they’re still resolutions that I generally blow off in a couple of weeks.

Topping off my list is the perennial promise to lose ten pounds. Do I keep this? Are you kidding? That’s why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions!

This year, I’m trying to make resolutions that I know I can keep. These are things that I’ve been thinking about, things that I know I am motivated to achieve:

1. Include Calls to Action on my communications. If you want something, don’t be afraid to ask for it!

2. Launch my new website. I’m making this in WordPress so that I can upload new marketing tips, archive my newsletters and link to my blogs. Sorry. Just like groceries, your website has a shelf life.

3. Follow up with potential clients on a regular basis. There really is something called a sales cycle and a quarterly call keeps you in mind. Ask potential clients when would be a good time to call back.

4. Write more, publish more and get the most out of everything I produce. I repurpose my blog posts to my newsletters and extract excerpts to social media. But there’s more: I want to start publishing these articles to ezines such as articlesbase, articlepool, tumblr, posturous, articlesnare.

Finding as many outlets as possible for your writing contributes to your SEO–get your name and your keywords out there. Ask your colleagues and clients about guest-blogging gigs–they’d probably be relieved to have someone fill a column from time to time!

5. Sex up my subject lines. Time to get creative here–and this goes for myself as well as for my clients. It really doesn’t matter how earnest or well-intentioned your message. If you don’t catch someone’s immediate attention, he/she is not going to read further.

So here I am with five resolutions. Can I keep these? This year I can because I’ve already begun embracing these business goals for 2013. If there’s anything scarier than resolutions for me, it’s goals. What a year this promises to be . . .

Ask me about capturing your clients’ attention with smart, strategic writing. It’s what we do at Top of Mind Marketing.

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1. Fill out the Profile sections on social media applications. When creating your Facebook page, Linkedin account or Twitter page, fill out all of the fields in the About/Profile sections. Make these as comprehensive as possible, using your keywords to talk about your products/services.

2. Write wallposts ahead of time so you’ll have these already prepared and you won’t have to think about what to post.

3. Create an image archive–this is a visual medium and viewers have very short attention spans.

4. Be on the lookout for articles that are relevant for your audience so you can link to these from your social media sites–this positions you as an industry expert, staying on top of what’s going on in your field. Share quotes and excerpts.

5. When people comment on your posts, respond to these comments. This activity helps keep your posts at the top of your timeline–and visible.

6. Start blogging. Use WordPress or other blogging platforms to build your blog–they’re free and easy to use. Blogging is a commitment, and you should be posting a blog at least once/week. Make sure that you’re publishing your blog to your social media sites for additional exposure and that there’s a link on your website. Repurpose your blog posts to your newsletters and excerpts to social media.

7. Use a dashboard application–ping.fm, HootSuite, etc. This will allow you to publish your posts to all of your social media sites at once. It will also allow you to schedule your social media posts ahead of time–a great tool if you’re busy going to be on vacation. Dashboard tools allow you to attach links and images and publish to Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and Google+.

8. Implementing new processes: When you add new contacts to your contact management system, log in to your social media applications and ask them to become Facebook friends and to Like your Facebook page, Connect with them on Linked in and ask them to Follow you on Twitter. Do the same with them, because communication works both ways.

9. Integrate. Make sure that your website and newsletter have links to your social media sites and that you are publishing your newsletter to them.

10. Read the Help menus–you will be amazed what you will learn!

Still need help and/or running out of time? Let us help you. It’s what we do at Top of Mind Marketing.

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Okay. Admit it. How many times have you sat through movies that you love? We all have our fav’s–if it’s really good, it’s worth seeing again, right?

Think how comforting it is to veg out on the couch and know exactly what’s going to happen. Watching your favorite actors and repeating the dialog along with them. I’m a sucker for The Godfather, and I love The Italian Job and Jerry Maguire, which frequently show up on the rerun channels. I’ve sobbed through A Love Affair to Remember more times than I care to account for. The bottom line is that if it’s worth watching, it’s worth watching again.

In the same way, if you have a great blog post, a brilliant newsletter article or a particularly thoughtful social media post, give yourself a break and revisit, repurpose, revamp, rehab or reuse them. Review what you’ve created through the last year or so that’s worth reposting.

If you like it, if it’s still timely, chances are your readers will like it as well, and no one’s going to suspect that it’s a retread. When reposting, I often embellish a bit, add an example and perk it up with a new graphic to provide a facelift.

Ask me about other ways to make the most of your marketing dollars–which is also about your time, which I suspect is in short supply, especially this time of year. Top of Mind Marketing.

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I’m reading a mostly excellent book on social media–it’s pragmatic and has some good case studies. But one thing has me howling. I’m at the chapter where they talk about how to involve your team. There are sections on–get this: engaging in a meaningful way, having an open dialog, ongoing training, maintaining brand standards. They go on to talk about etiquette and choosing the right employees to be on your social media team. Get a grip!

I don’t know about you, but most of my colleagues and clients are severely limited in terms of employee participation in their mostly nonexistent social media programs. The reality is that if they don’t do this, it won’t get done. Creating and maintaining a social media presence is just another line item in their already overflowing to-do list. There really isn’t any delegating going on–no training or discussion of best practices.

As someone who manages social media for my clients, I see a lot of this. Business owners are just overwhelmed with the challenges of running a business in a doing-more-with-less-climate. They don’t have time to figure out how to use social media but know they can no longer ignore it.

That’s where I come in. I design social media packages for businesses. I develop comprehensive profiles, create Facebook covers/banners, develop wallposts, create an image archive and identify articles to which to link that show that you’re staying on top of industry trends. Just as important, I am aggressive about building an online community. I want people to read what you have to say, comment on it and refer it to their colleagues. This is the power of social media.

Ask me about how I work with companies to manage and grow their social media presences.

jpeischel@top-mindmarketing.com , Top of Mind Marketing

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I am managing social media for a growing list of clients, which means that I’ve also got a growing list of separate logins and passwords for Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter for each client–rarely does a client synch login information. I log in, upload a post, an image and often link to an article that positions the client as a brilliant industry thought leader. It used to be that I looked at this as a leisurely morning activity and a great way to kick off my day. Lately, it has become extremely time consuming, and I knew that I needed to find a better way to do this.

A bit of a purist, I held off on using dashboard tools because I did not like the way that a post showed that it had been published by whatever tool was being used. I have totally gotten over this because I am loving the way automation has simplified my life. I tried out a few applications, including SplashCube, which does a great job with lead generation with Twitter, but it’s $200/month, and it doesn’t support images, which makes it unrealistic for me. This is a visual medium, for crying out loud, and images are critical to attracting readers to posts.

I settled on HootSuite, and once I figured out how to make each client a team in my HootSuite fiefdom, I am thrilled with the way it has created efficiencies for me. I now have one login rather than 15. I open it in the morning, upload my posts and leave it open all day to stay on top of the activity on my clients’ sites. I like the spontaneity that HootSuite provides, allowing me to maintain a dialog, asking question and making comments throughout the day, which is critical to creating an online community.

Just one question remains: What took me so long?

Ask me about using HootSuite for your digital media program, Top of Mind Marketing

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I met with a new client yesterday and I asked her what they’re doing to market themselves. They’re two women attorneys who’ve been in business for ten years, and they’ve successfully weathered several economies. They belong to several legal organizations and sit on a few BODs. They’d do more networking, but frankly, both have two small children under 4, and they’re stretched pretty thin. Also, let’s not forget (ladies) that women are always the primary caregivers.

They have an intake form on their website, which generates a fair number of inquiries, but only a few of these turn out to be valid clients.

This brings me to my own realization. I have a fair number of 5-star ratings on Yelp, and over the last few months I have received quite a few calls from potential clients. I call these people back, discuss their requirements, prepare a proposal and schedule follow-up call to discuss their projects.

All of these efforts have been a waste of time because none of these people has been ready to spend any money on marketing. They all have unrealistic expectations about the time it takes to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy, create a newsletter, a blog or website. One person wanted me to develop and execute a very labor-intensive social media campaign, assuming that he could pay me once his business got off the ground. Is he crazy?

Another thing these people have in common–none of them understands that networking and word of mouth are the most important ways to build a business. Every single one of these people expected a website, blog, newsletter or social media to bring clients storming through his/her doors.

Get a grip. Successful business owners know that networking and word of mouth are essential to business growth. Most of all, it takes considerable time and effort to develop and nurture the relationships that generate new business. Savvy business owners know that we don’t have choices about how we market ourselves–we have to be doing it all.

Ask me about how to make the most of your marketing dollars–it’s what we do at Top of Mind Marketing!

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I’m now managing social media accounts for a growing number of clients. That means logging in to each client’s accounts and coming up with something clever to say.

I also research what’s going on in their industries and link to articles to show how brilliant they are. I identify and upload images because people have short attention spans and this is a visual medium.

Even more important, there’s the herculean task of growing their online communities so everyone will understand just how brilliant my clients are and seek them out to do business with them.

This is what I do for my social media clients, and it’s taking an increasingly bigger chunk of my time; and I’m trying to find an application to automate this effort.

The problem? There are lots of apps out there, and each has strengths, limitations and a range of price points.

I’m spending a lot of time trying to figure these out. Some have serious deficiencies–Splashcube, an app that does a great job with Twitter lead generation, doesn’t support images–this won’t work for me. I’m also spending an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to set up accounts for all of my clients within these apps. Endless trouble tickets and emails with little resolution are making me want to go back to doing it the old-fashioned way, but I know that I’ve got to find a way to work smarter.

My beef? Why can’t those brilliant minds down in Silicon Valley figure out what we need and just make it happen? How hard can this be?

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