How to Save Time and Money with Social Media

How to Save Time and Money with Social Media

How to Save Time and Money with Social Media

You’ve probably heard the idea that you should focus on your strengths, not try to develop your weaknesses before. If you haven’t, here’s a blog post that I wrote: How to Focus on your wonderful strengths, forget your weaknesses. After all, are you really going to learn all the ins and outs of social media while trying to run your business?

Hire Someone to Help

Hire Someone to Help

Hire Someone to Help

This might seem simplistic, but do you do your own plumbing? Most people would say no, except for those few who might try to unclog a sink, that is. Do you fix your own roof? Again, probably not. Just because social media is free, doesn’t mean your time is free! And by the way, you might like: Finding Your Next Social Media Manager.

Hire Someone to Help

Hire Someone to Help

Work with the Person You Hire

Before you hand over everything a Social Media Manager (“SMM”), give them some information about your business. After all, they don’t know your businesses like you do. Give them some hints. Tell them what kind of content you’d like to post, and why. Tell them who your business clients are, and what their lifestyles are like. Tell them as many details as possible about your best clients. That way your social media manager can find the best places and times to post. Here’s a good list of questions to ask your social media manager. For instance, how have they handled a crisis in the past?

Hold meetings

Hold meetings

Hold Meetings

Have meetings occasionally to go over strategy, and make tweaks. I recommend once a month. Ask your social media manager to explain why certain posts were chosen, and to give some more details. I like to create a short report outlining which posts performed best, and why. Have a meeting agenda, and respect everyone’s time. Inc. Magazine has a good article on how to conduct a virtual meeting. Their advice on asking a specific person a specific question is a valuable tip.

Ask questions

Ask questions

Ask Questions

Ask your SMM if there’s anything else you could be doing. For example, one of my clients is on Facebook. The age of those who follow their Facebook account is steadily going up, while young moms (their primary audience), is going down. So in order to reach a younger female audience, I suggested they post on Pinterest, which is 80% women and perfect for their demographic. Spreading posts across different social media platforms can help a business reach everyone in their demographic. And if they hadn’t asked, they might not know.

What Did I Miss?

What Did I Miss?

What Did I Miss?

Is there some other way you have found that using social media helps you to save money? Please let me know in the comments!

 

Gratitude Strategy: How to Develop One and Why You Need One

 

Gratitude Strategy: How to Develop One and Why You Need One

Gratitude Strategy: How to Develop One and Why You Need One

Gratitude Strategy

The Law of Attraction fascinates me. When I first heard about it, it sounded so, well, dumb for lack of a better word. How could gratitude change anything? How could a positive feeling change someone’s luck or business? And yet, after incorporating gratitude into my personal life and then professional life, it has changed everything.

Just because you don’t know how something works, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

Daily Gratitude

Daily Gratitude

Daily Gratitude

I must admit, I’ve been out of the habit of daily gratitude. I’ve had to restart it. However, it’s easy enough to do! Simply start listing things you’re grateful for. Pick a small number at first, say three. And if you’re a cynic, welcome to the club! In fact, here’s a post I wrote about being a gratitude marketing cynic.

It's Easy to Dwell on the Negative

It’s Easy to Dwell on the Negative

It’s Easy to Dwell on the Negative

It’s easy to focus on the negative: the bad waitress who insulted your mother at the mediocre restaurant. The person who cut you off in traffic. The stupidity of politics. All these things–and many more–can easily weigh you down and make you feel bad.

Three Small Things

Three Small Things

Three Small Things

A practice I really like is very simple: focus on three small things that went right every day. Simply write down the small things that went well in as much detail as possible. Here are more details, from Three Good Things: Practice. It’s like meditation.

Here are three of mine from today:

  • The red-headed woodpecker that showed up at the birdfeeder
  • The ability of the garbage truck driver to back up all the way down our steep hill
  • Robust health
The Savoring Walk

The Savoring Walk

The Savoring Walk

While we’re on the subject of meditation, the savoring walk is a way to notice the things immediately around you and feel gratitude for them. Rather than going to an exotic location (or wishing you were somewhere else), noticing what’s directly in front of you can make you savor those little things you might see every day and overlook.

Thank You, Version 2.0

We’ve all been taught to say thank you. But how do you say thank you? Is it a short text message? I’d like to put forth the idea that a letter is a wonderful way to thank someone, as Val Vesa put forth in a recent chat. And if it’s handwritten? So much the better. By the way, here’s an article about developing some gratitude muscle that you might like.

cross walking photo

Do You Have a Gratitude Strategy?

I would love to hear about it. Really! Leave me a comment and I’ll be very grateful.

Why Social Media Does Not Correspond to Exponential Growth

Why Social Media Does Not Correspond to Exponential Growth

Why Social Media Does Not Correspond to Exponential Growth

Recently, someone mentioned an old Faberge shampoo commercial. It reminded me of what people often believe about social media. In the Faberge ad, Heather Locklear says “I’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on…” When does that ever happen? Answer: Never! Almost never, anyway.

metropolitan photo

Long-Term Strategy

Social media is a long-term strategy; you need to be in it for the long haul. As this article from Inc Magazine, 8 Things You Need to Understand About Social Media, underscores, “There are very few brands that have instant fame and exponential growth on social media, just as there are very few overnight successes in business.” Amen to that.

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The Reality

Here’s a scenario that’s closer to what really happens. Say someone is at a party, drinking. And the subject of your business comes up. At that point, someone might say, “oh, yeah. She did a pretty ok job.” And then, if both people remember what you were talking about, one of the people might write down your website or phone number. Maybe. And that’s if someone was looking specifically for your service or product.

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Social Media Helps

When exposed to your business or brand, people will tend to remember you longer. And if they know you personally, they’ll remember you even more. Social media helps to get your business in front of more people, but it’s not a magic bullet. Speaking of which, you might like Social Media Expectations that Are Full of Baloney.

 traffic sunset photo

Social Media Can’t Help a Rotten Business

If you treat your customers badly, social media can’t fix that. If your product is one that most people don’t want, social media can’t fix that, either. For instance, I once had a client who manufactured clothing. The fabric and manufacturing were very nice, but the outfits looked outdated. Social media can help get people to your website or get more eyes on your product, but it’s not magic!

 traffic sunset photo

Testimonials Help

What people say on social media does help, but it’s not magic. It does remind people that your business exists. Sometimes people just need a little push so that they will buy from you. So if they don’t know that you exist, your sales will suffer. And if you’re looking for a new social media manager, you might want to read: Social Media Manager: 10 Secrets to Care for Yours.

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Influencers Also Help

If you have influential people in your life, hearing them talk about a solid business can help even more. So having one or two people who believe in what you do can really boost your business.

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Follow Those Who Like Your Posts

Here’s a good tip, and way to improve your engagement and maybe up your follower count, too: “like” or follow people who like your posts. It’s pretty simple. That was a good tip from Fast Company’s 6 Social Media Tips That Will Improve Your Marketing.

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On the Other Hand

If you really mistreat people, you can bet others will hear about it on social media! There’s a local grocery store that I’m always hearing about on Facebook. They may not even know that people are talking about them, either. In that case, two people will tell two people, and so on. Unfortunately.

marin sunset photo

 

How to Avoid Devastating Frustrations with Employees

How to avoid devastating frustrations with employees.

How to avoid devastating frustrations with employees.

During the hiring boom in Silicon Valley, I was a hiring manager at a big corporate firm. And the two biggest things the managers said to avoid? Hiring someone lazy or crazy. That was it. If you showed up and weren’t crazy, you’d have the job! By the way, you might like this article: How Diversity Attracts Valuable People to Your Startup.

Just Show Up!

Just Show Up!

Just Show Up!

Where I live now, the same advice might apply (that is, avoiding the crazy and the lazy). I call people to do a little work on the house, and half the time they don’t show up, or they call at the last minute or the following day to say they can’t make it. Are you kidding me? I’d give someone extra credit if they asked some intelligent questions and had done some homework before showing up. Forbes has a good article: Don’t Show Up to a Job Interview Without Doing This.

Showing up is at least half the battle.

Truth in Labeling

Truth in Labeling

Truth in Labeling

People put on clothes and go outside, and look pretty normal. It’s not as if everyone has a label that says I’m crazy. Wouldn’t that be helpful if they did, though? What if you could tell that a contractor wouldn’t show up? Sometimes Yelp reviews help, but not always.

The 90-day trial

The 90-day trial

The 90-Day Trial

Most people can’t fake being sane (if they’re not!) for 90 days. They will have an “incident in the parking lot,” go off on a server in a restaurant, or otherwise show their true colors within three months. Maybe a lot of places do this now. Seems like a pretty good idea!

Temp-to-Perm

Temp-to-Perm

Temp-to-Perm

If you don’t like confrontation, creating a temporary gig is wonderful. If there’s any problem, don’t renew the contract. It’s a once-only deal, and nobody expects anything. Similar to the 90-day trial, but without any expectations. If projects are late or lacking, don’t renew that contract.

Using Interns

Using Interns

Using Interns

Many companies at desirable places now have positions for interns. This seems like a good idea, too, so long as the interns are paid for their work. I’ve never been a big fan of the unpaid positions, which seem like slave labor. You might like this article Unpaid Internships: Unfair and Unethical, from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

interns photo

Ask Around

Before hiring someone, I tend to ask my friends, or loose-knit groups in my area what they think of someone. For instance, there are lots of Facebook groups that cover specific geographic areas. Twitter can be helpful, too, when looking for help. And be sure to ask what someone’s strengths are so that you can focus on those.

Ask Offline

Sometimes, people don’t want to be critical of others, but if you ask what they thought of a specific person off the record, they’ll respond. Or, if you see someone who’s had some work done, you can ask what they thought of the person. For instance, one of my neighbors had a fence constructed recently, so I could simply walk over and ask. Easy peasy. Same goes for someone you might want to hire for a long-term position.

Avoided Any Hiring Mistakes?

Have you done anything special to prevent hiring mistakes? Or have you hired someone who was wonderful? Let me know in the comments! And thank you!

 

How to: Best Upgrades You Need When You Work from Home, Part Two

How to: Best Upgrades You Need When You Work from Home

How to: Best Upgrades You Need When You Work from Home

How’s your home office looking these days? A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the best home office upgrades, but couldn’t finish it because of no light. Ok, it was a couple of months ago, but who’s counting? Here, then, are some real upgrades.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics

So my office isn’t perfect, but it is ergonomically in the Pretty Good arena. There are lots of 90 degree angles, although I’ve had to use a book to keep my legs at the correct angle. I found this article about how to set up an ergonomic workstation helpful.

Printer and Shredder

Printer and Shredder

Printer and Shredder

Now a shredder is something I have had since my days as a professional organizer. At the time, Staples still had a lot of shredders sitting around, and I tested all of them to get the quietest one. Yes, really. Spend a little more to get a quiet one, preferably a cross-cut one.

The printer is nothing fancy: a four-in-one HP printer. Occasionally, I’ll have to stop everything and run to the store to get printer ink. Us entrepreneurs are so lucky that way.

Giant Calendar

Giant Calendar

Giant Calendar

If you do a lot of speaking or have lots of different events for your business, a giant calendar helps remind you of what you’re doing when, and whether you have too much or too little down time. Don’t forget to schedule vacations, too!

Lighting Backdrop for Chats and Video

Lighting Backdrop for Chats and Video

Lighting Backdrop for Chats and Video

Yes, I’ve got special lights for Google Hangouts, especially if they’re recorded! You might as well do the best job you can and try to look as good as possible while doing it. Unless it’s a podcast with no video, that is. In that case, you can hang out in your bathrobe and nobody will care.

 concert photo

Music – Spotify

Having some white noise or quiet music is so important for stress reduction. As an introvert, absolute quiet is good, too. By the way, if you missed this article about introverts, here you go: Six Facts About Introverts and Social Media That Will Impress Your Friends.

 concert photo

What Helps You Work From Home?

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something! Does your dog sleep on your desk, for instance? Do your kids help you with office chores? Let me know in the comments! And thank you.

How to SuperCharge Your Blog Posts On Social Media 10 Easy Ways

 

How to SuperCharge Your Blog Posts On Social Media 10 Easy Ways

How to SuperCharge Your Blog Posts On Social Media 10 Easy Ways

Your company or startup is just getting started on social media. You have 72 followers after three months of pushing hard and daily posting. After a full day’s work, you have no energy to post, let alone think about social media! What to do, what to do? Here are some easy ways to get more mileage out of your posts.

Hashtags

Hashtags

Hashtags

Keep a list of the best ones for your company and add them automagically every time you post. No need to reinvent the wheel. Look at your competitors and see what they’re doing. Here’s a wonderful article about Instagram hashtags: How to Use Instagram Hashtags.

Repost Your Article with a Different Image

Repost Your Article with a Different Image

Repost Your Article with a Different Image

This is particularly easy if your post includes more than one image. Just use the second (or third one). And don’t forget–most people won’t read your wonderful writing, but some will retweet/repost it.

Repost with a New Headline

Repost with a New Headline

Repost with a New Headline

You thought about another headline while you were writing your post, didn’t you? Dig that one out and use it now! By the way, if you need help writing headlines, you might like Headline Writing: Ten Reasons It’s a Pain in the Asterisk*, by moi.

Recycle that Post

Recycle that Post

Recycle that Post

Nobody remembers that you used that post two weeks ago (at least not on Twitter!), so use it again. Try a different time. Early morning will hit the people on the east coast, and late night will bring in readers on the west coast.

Do a Quick Rewrite

Do a Quick Rewrite

Do a Quick Rewrite

If the post is a little older, why not update it and republish it? Surely not everyone can recall that post from 2009! And that includes you! You could also rewrite a blog post so it ranks higher.

Change the Voice

Change the Voice

Change the Voice

You can make that post more casual or more formal to appeal to different readers. Read it aloud and change it accordingly.

Stagger the Times You Post

Stagger the Times You Post

Stagger the Times You Post

Post it on Facebook at 9 a.m., Twitter at noon, LinkedIn at 3 p.m., Instagram at 5 p.m., Pinterest at 7 p.m., etc.

Use a Customized Post for Each Platform

Use a Customized Post for Each Platform

Use a Customized Post for Each Platform

Each social media platform has a different language. Use the language of each platform so your headline catches the most people. Here’s a post about the different social media platforms and languages of each you might like.

Include Friends in the Post

Include Friends in the Post

Include Friends in the Post

If your writing makes you think of a company or person you know, include them when you write your post. Make sure to include a link to their website or one of their posts, too. Everybody needs a few links in and links out.

Tag Your Friend When You Post

Tag Your Friend When You Post

Tag Your Friend When You Post

Tell your friend that you included them in your post. Not all your friends will read your post without your telling them, so go ahead and let them know. Most people will be flattered!

How Do You Keep Posts Alive?

Do you have any tips and tricks? Let me know in the comments! And thank you!

How to Best Work with a Social Media Manager

How to Best Work with a Social Media Manager

How to Best Work with a Social Media Manager

Maximize Your Time

How can you maximize your time so I can do my best work and get you the best return on your social media investment? Here are some ideas for you.

Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

Is your audience young? Do they like sports? Are they in the manufacturing sector? Having a very narrow idea of who your audience is will speed up my work. And please don’t tell me that everyone is your audience! Unless you sell air or water, and even then, what kind of air or water do you sell? And here’s Rebranding for Startups, in case you missed it!

business woman photo

Speak to Your Audience

So if you have a forty-something mom who likes to drink too much coffee, I can taylor posts so that we’re talking to her. And the more specific you can be about who that person is, the better the social engagement will be. I can write blog posts or headlines for social posts. Chris Lema suggests that you understand not just who your audience is, but what their journey is.

Tell Me Your Audience’s Journey

Not everyone will buy from you when they first meet you. Some people will leave, come back, drive you crazy with questions, and so on. Bigger purchases usually require more questions, more visits to your website or social media, and more touch points.

 Engage, Engage, Engage

It’s never simply about posting and going, or scheduling. Getting onto your social accounts every day is important. And guess what? You’re running your company! So while you’re busy running your company, I can be busy running your accounts for you. By the way, here’s an entire series I wrote on engagement. Take a look!

schedule photo

Scheduling

I can schedule ahead of time for you, and if you have your own scheduler, I can use it so you can see what’s coming down the pipeline. Would you like that? Some business owners don’t want anything to do with their social, just a monthly report.

schedule photo

What Does Your Business Stand for?

You may have hobbies or charities that work with your business. For instance, my friend Beth Staub’s business, Adventure Auto Glass, donates to animal organizations when you do business with them. Or you may be a manufacturer who believes that Made in the USA is the way to go.

What Do You Look For?

What traits do you look for in a social media manager? Leave me a comment and thank you!

Convertech, Inc.

Convertech

“Our social media was something that we never had to worry about because we knew that Carol was taking care of it. She did a great job maintaining our social media accounts and finding excellent manufacturing articles to keep our followers interested. We would recommend Your Social Media Works to anyone who wants to have a consistent social media feed that will attract new and entertain existing followers.”

Taylor Furman, Convertech

WordCamp Orange County: Top Ten Reasons You Need to Go

WordCamp Orange County: Top Ten Reasons You Need to Go

WordCamp Orange County: Top Ten Reasons You Need to Go

 

The Pre-Party AKA K2 Racing

Racing with other WordPress fans? Such a fun time!

The Swag

Here are just a few of the lovely items, including the third place for racing with the other tortoises. Overheard: “I wouldn’t want to pass anyone. Someone might get hurt!” And a heartfelt thank you to host Dreamhost for sponsoring WomenWhoWP and this event.

WordCamp Swag

WordCamp Swag

The Friendly Faces

Bridget Willard and I went to our first WordCamp Orange County in 2013! It’s become a ritual for us. You might have a WordCamp buddy, too! If you’d like to read about past Orange County WordCamps, here you go:

The Volunteers

There were way more volunteers than shown in the picture, but here are a few! There were people helping everywhere, with parking, with snacks, with coffee, etc.

More Swag

This year, the swag was beautiful. In particular, I truly appreciated the gorgeous notebooks from Dreamhost!

The Generosity of Chris Lema

Chris Lema gave away his structure for how he blogs. How incredibly generous is that? Go follow him on Twitter and check out his blog!

Reconnecting with Friends

So fun to reconnect with Verious B. Smith III, Yvonne Conway, and so many others!

The Learning

Speaking of which, Yvonne Conway gave us a wonderful session on Cybersecurity, Russian hackers, and you!

The Selfies

Selfie with Bridget Willard and Amy Hall

Selfie with Bridget Willard and Amy Hall

Capturing the Selfie

Jason Tucker caught us! Pretty funny!

What Were Your Highlights?

What was your top reason for going?

Eleven Amazing Ways An Editor Can Make You Fascinating

Eleven Amazing Ways An Editor Can Make You Fascinating

Eleven Amazing Ways An Editor Can Make You Fascinating

Why use an editor at all? Many of you might ask this question every day. After all, there are about a million apps and plug-ins that help you to write. Some of them can even help you dumb down your writing to the 6th grade level so that 12-year-olds can comprehend your words. But is that really your audience? Twelve-year-olds?

Editors Are Old-School, But Then Again, No

Editors Are Old-School, But Then Again, No

Editors Are Old-School, But Then Again, No

After all, isn’t having an editor a bit old-fashioned? Like using an old-school typewriter? Well, no, not really. You see, an editor can make your work flow, especially a great editor who can do a structural edit. A structural edit looks at the big picture–see Robert Doran’s article So What Is a Structural Edit Exactly?

typing photo

Get in the Flow

Speaking of flow, a good editor can help the sentences flow from one paragraph to the next. If the style changes, if the verbs and nouns disagree or even fight each other (a terrible sight!), an editor can help.

typing photo

They Know More Words Than You

Not only that, but they know what parts of speech those words belong in. Sheesh, does that even make sense? I might have to stop and ask an editor!

typing photo

They Are Not Afeared of Semicolons

Or colons. And when to use an ellipses (…). And what an em dash is! Who the heck knows what an em dash is?! Seriously. Who does? By the way, here’s a snazzy article about punctuation, from the Living Oxford Dictionary. (I particularly like their explanation of the Oxford comma.)

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Contrary to Popular Belief, They’re Not Meanies

Now, some people are clearly too sensitive to work with an editor. And I remember back in the day when my words were me. Do you know what I mean? But now they’re just words–doing their own thing. It’s the thoughts behind the words that really matter.

new york street photo

They Are Actually Nice

We all know that mean people suck (a bumpersticker that no editor would ever put on her Honda Civic, by the way), but editors are not people who suck. They are kind 97% of the time. The other 3% of the editors are suffering from psychological damage.

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They Help Your Writing Soar

If you’re a perfectionist, then you are ripe for an editor. Because an editor can make your writing soar. And not in a Red Bull gives you wings kind of way, either.

They Can Remove All the Weird Bits

Everyone has a few things they always do. We all kinda sorta make mistakes that can make our writing less than good. But with the digital equivalent of the red pen, an editor can get rid of those. In other words, a good editor won’t let you embarrass yourself.

new york street photo

Make Your Writing More Concise, Editors Can

If you have the tendency to write like Yoda speaks, as do I sometimes, an editor help you can. By the way, if you don’t have the skill of writing like Yoda, you can use the Yoda Translator.  And you write yourself into a grammatical corner if also assist you an editor can. Did you see what I did there?

Your Writing Might Not Be As Good As You Think It is

Or maybe it is! But only an editor will tell you the truth. By the way, here’s an article about how to write a headline that people will want to click.

new york street photo

Editors Need Love, Too

If you don’t own a mug that says Have You Hugged An Editor Today?, then you might want to think about getting one.

Do You Love Editors?

Tell me about your love in the comments! And thank you!

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