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Posts Tagged ‘images’

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’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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It’s a feeding frenzy. We blog, crank out newsletters, try to keep our websites current and our social media sites updated with snappy new content because that’s whey “they” tell us we should be doing. But remember the old thing about if a tree falls in the woods? If no one reads it, why bother–especially since all you really want to do is go to bed before midnight and get some sleep so you can start all over again the next day.

Increase your chance of being read–sex it up!

Having something to say is important, but frankly, that’s not enough. You’ve got to sex this up. Use a catchy subject line to grab people’s attention. Include images–these are visual media. Think of something funny, be a little outrageous. Tell a story or use a case study–infinitely more powerful than just telling people what you can do. Give an example of how you helped one of your clients increase sales and grow his/her business.

Finally, don’t be afraid to share an opinion. One of my pals told me something a long time ago which I have always remembered. Don’t be afraid to share an opinion. Those who like you will like you even more. Those who don’t probably won’t like you any less, and that’s not going to change.

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In case you’ve just emerged from Sleepy Hollow, you know that we live in a visual world. New delivery channels mean that we’re being inundated with content, and the competition for readers’ attention is fierce. You need to be smart, clever, funny, timely and thoughtful. You also need to include pictures.

I have a running joke with one of my pals. It takes me twice as long to read the paper (I’m a dinosaur–I love newspapers.) because I read the articles, and he just looks at the pictures.

Facebook’s new timeline places a heavy emphasis on images. The Cover, or banner, blurs the distinction between a website and social media. It’s an important branding component, with the ability to include a logo, tagline and images.

What I really like about the Cover is that it’s easy to swap out and update it–you can change it as your business evolves–which it will. If it doesn’t, there’s something wrong.

According to an internal Facebook study, posts that include a photo album or picture can generate 2x more engagement than other types of posts. More than 250M photos are uploaded every day on FB.

And the current darling? That would be Pinterest, the online bulletin board that is getting so much attention. Something you may not know? It’s still in beta, and it’s already making money. The demographics are compelling: 83% of Pinterest users are females 18-34; they are in the fashion, design or home décor businesses. If this is your demographic, this is a great place to be.

None of us knows what social media is going to look like five years from now, but you can bet that it will include images and video. I want to think that images are not replacing well-written content; rather, they are enhancing it. I recommend including an image in your social media posts at least once/week.

Don’t believe me? Add images to your posts for a few days and see your responses soar. It’s not a coincidence.

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I was reading a report recently that listed 64 things to do to keep your Facebook presence lively and fresh. Sigh. Sometimes, it’s hard to be clever, funny and dispense little pearls of wisdom in a few sentences–no wonder people can’t keep up. This, along with FB’s constant changes to its interface, the fact that the FB help menu sucks, trying to figure out the recent rollout of Timeline, a news-driven interface where users can edit the content they want to receive, and it becomes a bit overwhelming.

I was reading a report that had 64 tips for upgrading the quality of your posts. Some of these are good; others ridiculous. Some, happily, are things I’m already doing, so I see these as best practices. These are some things that I think are worth doing, ways to make it easier to manage your social media and make it more meaningful.

  1. Create a week’s worth of wallposts/messaging at a time. In this way, you will be able to upload a message every day or so without thinking about it. You know how that goes–the phone rings and you’re off and running and forgot about social media until you are ready to go home. Doing this ahead of time makes it easier to incorporate it into your daily routine.
  2. Ask questions. I’m experimenting with this now. So far, the response is a big fat zero, but I’m not giving up, and I like this concept a lot–you’re soliciting a response and people love to think of themselves as authorities.
  3. Upload images. This is especially important if you’re a business with a portfolio. Designers, architects, those in food-related industries or galleries. Anyone with good pictures will find a happy home on Facebook.
  4. Link to articles or other sites. This is especially important if yours is an industry where there are lots of good articles–a spa could link to endless articles about taking care of baby-boomer skin; architects can link to new design trends or award-winning designs. Besides making you look like you know what’s going on, people like to have something to click on.
  5. Publish your blog and newsletter to social media sites. I do this and always get a few good responses. Just paste the link to your blog and newsletter into the message field and it will create a little thumbnail and upload.

Give these a try–they’re easy to incorporate. I will share more in my next post.

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