Why Friendships Are Absolutely the Best ROI Of Social Media

 

Why Friendships Are Absolutely the Best ROI Of Social Media

Why Friendships Are Absolutely the Best ROI Of Social Media

This is something I really can’t say enough: your ROI (Return on Investment) with social media is all the connections you’ll make. Some of those connections deepen and become associates. Some of those deepen and become friendships. Some will lead to business, and some will not. Either way, expect magic from those connections.

WordCamps

WordCamps

WordCamps

When you connect with people online you have something to look forward to, and something to look back upon with fondness. For instance, every year I attend WordCamp Orange County with my best buddy Bridget Willard. We met through Twitter. Here are some of the posts I’ve written about WordCamp Orange County, by the way:

Who you'll meet

Who you’ll meet

Who You’ll Meet

You’ll meet people who are brave, and people who touch you with their writing abilities. You’ll also meet people who make you laugh, and a few who’ll make you cry. My bestie Amy Donohue is one of the bravest ones I’ve ever known. She donated her kidney to a stranger and now she’s one of the most awesome entrepreneurs as her career is skyrocketing! Go follow her on Twitter: @TheFabulousOne

The Future

The Future

The Future

Dyane Harwood, Kittie Walker (@avidmode on Twitter), and Larry Mount (@LazBlazter on Twitter) are people I’ve not met yet. But I’m planning on it! You probably have a few people you really want to meet, too!

Instagram is Next

Instagram is Next

Instagram is Next

So far, I’ve corresponded with lots of people on Instagram, but haven’t met anyone. That’s my next frontier! Maybe do some photography and travel around locally and then post the pictures.

What's Next for You?

What’s Next for You?

What’s Next for You?

Have you met a lot of people through social media? What’s that been like for you? I really do want to know, so leave me a comment!

How to Make Money with Social Media without Losing Your Mind

 

How to Make Money with Social Media without Losing Your Mind

How to Make Money with Social Media without Losing Your Mind

Although social media isn’t magic, it is possible to draw attention to your products and services using social media, especially when your posts are thoughtful and anticipate what your audience wants. By the way, you might like this post: Social Media Isn’t Magic — it Takes Planning and Hard Work.

First of all, you are creating connections and trust with your social media accounts. You are engaging with people regularly (am I right?), answering questions, and blogging.

In case you were wondering, the answer to whether you can make money with social media is a resounding yes!

So here are a few ways to make that happen.

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Create Products

A product doesn’t have to be big or fancy. You don’t have to start with an e-book. You could start with a really good checklist, as my friend Tess Witter says. Or a short guide to whatever you’re an expert in.

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Post Images of Your Crafts

Where you sell can be just as important, if not more so, than how you sell. Selling your crafts on Instagram or Pinterest will probably gain you more sales than Google Plus. But you can also use Twitter and Facebook to drive traffic to your own website or an Etsy site. Here’s an article about getting started on Pinterest that you might like: Pinterest: 10 Quick and Easy Tasks You Can Do Right Now.

Sell Your Services

I don’t recommend giving away your services for free, but how about a friendly “get-to-know-you-better” price to attract a few people? Could be a one-hour introductory rate for a specific period of time.

Videotape What You Do

You may offer a service that no one else does. For instance, perhaps you create videos to showcase others’ businesses. Why not create a video showing what you do? And of course have a call to action at the end. Of course, you may also want to create tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts and a blog post featuring the video. Here’s a post about how to turbocharge your blog post production that you might like, by the way. Your ideal client might be in any of those places on the inter webs! video shoot photo

Long-Tail Keywords for the Win!

If what you do is very specific, a video could attract a really big customer, such as the one my friend Bridget Willard attracted with her video about epoxy and tilt-up construction when she was working for a construction company.

Appeal to Those Who Learn Differently Than You

Most people are visual learners, but what about those who learn best through hearing something? Create a video so people don’t have to read, but can instead listen!

And the most important way to make money?

Create Relationships!

Yes, that’s right. Social media is a long game. You’re probably not going to have a bunch of new friends by next week. But regularly adding value to conversations on social media, being helpful where you can, and answering questions go a long way toward having some relationships. After awhile, you’ll start to see some familiar faces, and you’ll engage more with them.

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Be Generous First

How? You might ask. Share others’ content. Offer helpful links. Listen to other people first. It’s one of those simple but not easy things. There are really no shortcuts.

 

 

Simple Answers to Your Weird Social Media Questions

Simple Answers to Your Weird Social Media Questions

Simple Answers to Your Weird Social Media Questions

As a Social Media Manager, I get a lot of questions through email, direct messages, and Facebook messenger, as well as in person at events. Most business owners want to cut to the chase, so here are some of the strangest requests and my answers.

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Can We Have Coffee So I Can Pick Your Brain?

Let me think about it. Ok, no. But everything on my website is free. In addition, here are 5 Productive Ways to Respond When Someone Wants to Pick Your Brain for Free.

coffee shop photo

Should I buy followers for my social media accounts?

No. And here’s how you can tell: Four Clues Twitter Followers Are Purchased.

Also: if you buy followers your analytics will be seriously off. You don’t want that!

coffee shop photo

Will you train me to do what you do?

I could, but it would take a long time. And be pretty expensive. Again, you can read my blog.

Why Does Marketing Cost So Much?

Because you’re hiring a person who needs to eat and breathe. Also, we need coffee. Lots of coffee.

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Can You Set Up My Website?

No, but I can happily refer you. I really like Blue Steele Solutions, by the way. They’re very experienced, professional, and I’m comfortable referring them.

coffee shop photo

Can I Call Any Time I Have a Question?

It would be better if you batch your questions and save them for a meeting.

Do You Work 24 Hours a Day?

Nope! Most social media managers don’t. Although some larger companies have a big staff and are able to afford 24/7 support. But then you’re probably not going to talk to the same person every time you call.

coffee shop photo

If I Help You, Will You Charge Me Less?

Most of the time, no. And if by “help me,” you mean that you’ll write headlines, that’s probably not a good idea. Although if you have interesting content, that is helpful. My dad used to have a sign on the wall of his garage that said there were two prices. And the price if you helped him was much higher. So there’s that.

coffee shop photo

Got a Question?

Ask me here, and I’ll try to answer it. And thank you!

 

 

Beware Instagram Follow Unfollow Backlash: A New Kind Of Fail

Beware Instagram Follow Unfollow Backlash: A New Kind Of Fail

Beware Instagram Follow Unfollow Backlash: A New Kind Of Fail

Recently a couple of different accounts on Instagram followed me, waited for me to follow back, then unfollowed me. They were both major fails and here’s why.

Here’s another person writing about same issue, from Summer, a blogger: 5 Key Reasons to Stop the Follow/Unfollow Nonsense. She really hits the Instagram nail on the head!

An app for homeowners.

An app for homeowners.

An App for Homeowners

If you have a business that targets homeowners, then you probably want to follow those homeowners on Instagram. So when an app for homeowners followed me, I found their business to be pretty interesting. I followed back. I started reading their posts, and was nearly ready to sign up for their service.

Then they unfollowed me.

Then they unfollowed me.

Then they unfollowed me.

Pretty silly, right? Now maybe the person who did the unfollowing wasn’t the business owner. Could be they hired a social media manager who decided that I wasn’t their target demographic.

However, they just lost a sale!

So don’t do that!

You don’t know how long a sale will take. You can’t predict that it will take two weeks, or two months. If someone is following you back and liking your posts, in my opinion you want to keep that kind of follower.

And to unfollow people to inflate your numbers doesn’t help your bottom line.

 clothing store photo

A Clothing Shop

Here’s a second example. This clothing shop is nearby. I’ve been there many times, and have spent hundreds, if not thousands of dollars there. So when they followed me, I happily followed back. Because I love their clothes!

Then they unfollowed me. Now, here’s the thing. Not only do I not want to go there any more, I don’t want to buy anything from them any more!

And I’ll bet I’m not unusual.

So be very careful when you play the follow-unfollow game. Because you worked hard to gain that customer. So don’t let an idiot of a social media manager lose your customers by pushing a button and trying to gain followers.

The follow-unfollow game can definitely impact your bottom line!

By the way, if you’re looking for a social media manager, here are three articles for you:

Following and Unfollowing on Instagram?

Have you had the follow-unfollow issue on Instagram? How did you deal with it? Leave me a comment! Thank you.

clothing store photo

What Makes Social Media Automation So Popular?

What Makes Social Media Automation So Popular?

What Makes Social Media Automation So Popular?

Either people like automation or they hate it. There’s not very often any in between. I think that automation can be used, but you have to be careful with it. A broadcast-only strategy will not make you social, and of course social is the important part about social media. Engagement is so critical, that I wrote a series about it:

Extinction

If Darwin was still around, he would probably bring up the many species who exist in isolation, and how they were able to survive. However, when other species are introduced to these species living in isolation, the entire game changes.

Let the strong survive.

Let the strong survive.

Let the Strong Survive

We are a social species. We need our friends to help us get to where we want to go, to help us learn, to point out when our favorite shoes are on sale, and so on. We are biologically wired to interact with others, to live with others, and sometimes that even extends to sharing the remote control.

Social Media Automation is Anti-Social

To bring the point back to automation, nobody likes to talk to a recording. And automation without any interaction is like getting a robocall. Nobody likes those. So if you do automate, make sure that you’re also engaging with people regularly.

Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should.

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should.

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Of course it’s easier to automate everything. Send one post across all your platforms without customizing the language. A lot of people do it, but so what? A lot of people send direct messages, too. Most people hate them.

Bots Talking to Bots.

Bots Talking to Bots.

Bots Talking to Bots

If you’re not on social media yourself, how can you expect your potential clients to be there? Don’t you think they can tell if you’ve automated everything? Yes, they can! And they’re not happy about it, either.

How Do You Feel About Automation?

How Do You Feel About Automation?

How Do You Feel About Automation?

Do you love it? Hate it? Or are you somewhere in the middle? Leave me a comment! I’d love to know. And thank you.

 

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.

traffic sunset photo

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.

 business suit photo

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.

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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.

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