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.

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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.

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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 The fabric and manufacturing were very nice, but the outfits looked outdated.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!

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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.

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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!

What Happened to Quality versus Quantity on Social Media?

What Happened to Quality versus Quantity on Social Media?

What Happened to Quality versus Quantity on Social Media?

Whatever happened to good quality social media posts? In the beginning, there was the Facebook, and it was good. Reach was fantastic, everything was free, and everything got good reach. You could post a picture of an old rotten lemon, and your friends would make a million comments. “Great rotten lemon!” they’d say. “Where’d you get that lemon? I want one!” “That lemon reminds me of the ones my grandma used to grow!” And so on. An out-of-focus picture of a dirty sock might do even better.

The Good Old Days

Those were the good ol’ days. The Internet seemed smaller and quieter. Now lemons have to be ripe, and if you make lemonade, you even have to know how the best recipe for ice cubes. P.S. read the comments, but then come back here!

Suddenly, everything changed.

Suddenly, everything changed.

Suddenly, Everything Changed

Now that out-of-focus dirty sock picture and the image of the rotten lemon don’t get such great reach, do they? Nope! Suddenly, socks have to be woven using gold thread, and the gold has to be mined in ecologically and socially responsible ways. And the picture even has to be in focus! What is this world coming to?

Et Tu, Branding?

Et Tu, Branding?

Et Tu, Branding?

Not only does the sock have to be gold, but it has to matter to your audience now, too. Holy target audience, Batman! The person in the center of that elusive bulls eye has to care about golden socks! By the way, here’s an article about rebranding for startups that you might like.

Is Quality An Issue?

Is Quality An Issue?

Is Quality An Issue?

When someone wants you, as a social media manager, to do something that’s clearly unrealistic (like posting a picture that will bring in 10,000 followers in one week), you might say “Is quality an issue? Do these followers need to be real people?” Because if they don’t, then you could just plunk down $20!

But heck, now that quality does seem to be an issue, everything has to be on point! That is, you can’t just post more. The stuff you post needs to be even better. So if you’re on Twitter, for example, then you must focus on awesome quality if you want to get the best followers.

Better Images

Better Images

Better Images

Yes, you’re going to need better images that actually connect back to your text and pictures that are in focus. Also, the text has to make sense and be grammatically correct. And you can no longer steal images! Sheesh!

Lemons & Glitter

Lemons & Glitter

 

 

How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

How Much Confidential Info Do You Share On Social Media?

Recently, I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing happen. When you work in the social media realm, people expect certain things. They expect you to share. And yet, although some of my best friends knew about the terrible event, I did not share it widely.

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Connection Does Not Always Equal Friendship

Being “friends” on Facebook does not mean that someone is truly friends, despite the saying that a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met. If you are squinting at someone’s image, wondering where you met them (or if you met them at all), maybe it’s time to cut them loose if Facebook is your “safe place.”

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Being a Private Person

Are you a private person? Now, I’m not necessarily talking about being an introvert because that’s different. But are you private in your communications online? Would you be ready to share something and then have a relative stranger come up and say “oh, hey, I heard that you fell off the roof while on vacation!” If not, then you might consider not sharing that tidbit, although it’s easy to forget that 100s or 1000s of people could potentially see what you post.

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How to Decide What to Share

Here are a few questions you could ask yourself before you share something:

  • Will this hurt me later?
  • Will this expose a friend?
  • Will sharing this get back to the person I’m sharing about?
  • Could this have any negative impacts?

And here are 9 things you should never share on Facebook, from Post Planner.

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Where to Share

Certain people have places that are more private than others on social media. For instance, I consider Twitter to be the most filled with strangers of all of my platforms. Yours could be Facebook. Or LinkedIn. At any rate, there’s a hierarchy of places for all of us. I might share something in a closed Facebook group before I share it on Twitter.

Some would say that you could share more safely on Twitter, since it doesn’t ask you to share your own or your friends’ information as much. See Facebook vs Twittter: Privacy Issues.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Social Sharing

There are many good aspects of sharing. For instance, you could share a picture that you want all your friends to see. It beats emailing it to everyone! And you can create an album on Facebook or a secret board on Pinterest for those images. By the way, here are Ten Ways to Be Social, from the archive.

The Bad and the Ugly

There are also many, many ways to fail on social media. For instance:

What’s Something You’d Never Share?

I promise not to tell! Leave me a comment. Thank you.

Ten Simple Ways to Choose the Best Social Media Platform

 

Ten Simple Ways to Choose the Best Social Media Platform

Ten Simple Ways to Choose the Best Social Media Platform

There are so many social networks these days. If you’re new to social media, or you’re a startup and you’ve been busy with other things, how do you choose the best one? Here are some ways you can get through the maze of choices you have.

Pick from the Most Popular Networks

Pick from the Most Popular Networks

Pick from the Most Popular Networks

Don’t go with that social network your cousin started as his senior class project. There are only 14 users, and besides, there are still a boatload of bugs! Choose from the most popular ones:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
Where's the Competition?

Where’s the Competition?

Where’s the Competition?

Check with other brands like yours. If you sell makeup, you probably want to be on Instagram and Pinterest because they are good for visual  brands. Additionally, Pinterest’s audience is largely female. If you sell real estate, Facebook and Twitter might be better choices for you. Again, see what your competition is doing.

Is Your Demographic There?

Is Your Demographic There?

Is Your Demographic There?

Please don’t say your product or service is “for everyone.” The narrower your audience, the easier it is to choose a social media platform. If you don’t know, Pew has a terrific explanation of the Demographics of Social Media Users. For instance, many CEOs are on LinkedIn, but not on Twitter. So if CEOs are part of your demographic, you’d be better off on LinkedIn.

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Choose the One You Like Best

You’re more likely to post frequently if you choose the place you like to go. I’m a firm believer that if you really learn to use a platform, you can get tons of traffic there. My brother, who had a plumbing service, had tremendous success with Yelp, for instance. Since it’s locally based, having good reviews on Yelp can be valuable to a local business like a plumber or electrician.

Pay Attention to Where the Action is!

Even if you really like the platform, if people post and run, that’s probably not a good option for you. For instance, Google Plus doesn’t seem to attract and hold people’s attention for very long. If you must be on a platform without much action, monitor your efforts and see if it’s worthwhile. Use your analytics to check out what’s working and what’s not. Here are analytics for Twitter, in case you’re wondering.

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Realize That Social Media Isn’t Free

Sure, signing up is free. But will you be available to post? How much time can you give it? If you can’t give it the time it deserves, hire someone to do it for you! Ahem. I might know of someone! And should you do your own social media? I don’t think so!

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Get a Reality Check

Hire a social media manager for an hour or two to brainstorm your proposed choice. That might be the boost you need to get started. And you’ll feel that you’re on the right track if you do. Otherwise, have someone take it over for you, after you’ve worked out a strategy together. By the way, here are ten worst ways to hire a social media manager!

Check That Your Name is Available

You want a similar name across platforms. You may need to change the name you use slightly across platforms, but make sure that you use a recognizable logo on each.

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Set up Social Accounts

Even if you don’t use an account, grab the name so you can use it later. I call that squatting. Later, when you’re ready to start using it, it’ll already be there for you. If you don’t grab the account, someone else might nab it!

Be Successful with One First

You don’t have to start all your social media platforms at the same time! Get one ball in the air before you start juggling with three. And you might not need or want a second ball, depending upon your success! Startups in particular can do a staggered start.

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How Did You Choose to Get Started?

Leave me a comment and let me know! Thank you.

 

 

 

The Best Way to Quick Success? Follow the Fun!

The Best Way to Quick Success? Follow the Fun!

The Best Way to Quick Success? Follow the Fun!

We’ve all had the experience of being at an amusement park, wondering which ride to try next. The carousel? No–that’s for little kids. The Zipper? No, that one always smells funky (and when you see it, you know why!). Ah, but there’s always one ride where people are screaming and laughing their heads off! That’s the one you want!

The Roller Coaster

My favorite ride always seems to be the roller coaster. Even though it’s also the scariest ride and is over fast, it is, hands down, the most fun. The Giant Dipper at Santa Cruz Boardwalk is a wooden one, and the creakiness of the ride makes it scarier, for some reason. You feel like you could be thrown off at any moment and attacked by seagulls.

Post with Fun in Mind

My brother always went for the fun in life. He ran after it, and created fun wherever he went. That’s how you should think about posting on social media, too. Make it fun for everyone. People will want to stay, talk, and share if you make it fun.

Hashtags Make it Fun

One reason, in my humble opinion, that Instagram has become so popular is not only because it’s simple, but because it’s fun. Part of that fun is the way that people use hashtags. By the way, if you haven’t read about how to engage on Instagram, you might want to check it out. You can use hashtags in other places such as Twitter, too, but the over-the-top way people use them on Instagram? Priceless!

Memes and .Gifs

Yes, as a business you’re not “supposed to” use memes and gifs. But if they get people talking, why not? If you’re on Twitter, you can easily attach a .gif and send it to a bunch of friends. Again, it’s simply and silly. These days, silly has become an endangered species on social media.

Post with no Outcome

Sometimes it’s ok to post without expecting anything. You might want to share a favorite Netflix show, for instance. By the way, have you seen the Netflix original series Abstract: The Art of Design? Really fantastic! But I digress. Sure, you’re always supposed to have a Call to Action (“CTA”), but maybe your goal is just to connect with people.

What Tricks Do You Have for Making Your Posts More Fun?

Let me know in the comments! And thank you.

Social Media with No Safety Net: Being Unafraid to Fail

Social Media with No Safety Net: Being Unafraid to Fail

Social Media with No Safety Net: Being Unafraid to Fail

Old Familiar Ways

So many people use the all-familiar pattern of headline, link, and hashtag on their social media posts. But what about the age-old art of conversation? Wouldn’t it be more fun to just talk to people for a change? The good news is that you can! The bad news is that it will take more work.

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Being Unafraid to Engage

In case you don’t know how to get started, you could always read my post with multiple parts on How to Engage on Social Media: the Complete Guide. There are sections for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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The Lost Art of Hello!

The important thing is to get out there and say hello! As in something along the lines of:

  • “Hello, I like your profile picture!”
  • “Hello, what’s the weather like where you are?”
  • “Hello, how are you today?”

If the person doesn’t answer back, maybe they’re not used to people engaging, or maybe (shudder) they’re a robot.

Failure to Try

There are so many quotes on failure, but here is one of my favorites:

“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling

If that doesn’t ring your chimes, here are 30 Powerful Quotes on Failure–you’re sure to find one you like.

But I digress.

Begin Chatting

There are several ways to begin talking. Set yourself a modest goal. Say hello to 3 people a day. You might notice others having conversations–you could always step into a conversation that others are having. “Excuse me, but I couldn’t help overhearing…” you might begin. Would that be difficult? No, I didn’t think so!

Get an Introduction

If there’s someone you’d really like to get to know, you could use the old-fashioned idea of an introduction. This works very well on LinkedIn, as outlined in 4 Great Ways to Break the Ice on Social Media.

Blog Comments

If you really, really want to get to know someone, read their blog and comment! Quite often they will answer you and reciprocate. Leave me a comment and see what happens! And thank you.

How to Engage on Social Media: LinkedIn

How to Engage on Social Media: LinkedIn

How to Engage on Social Media: LinkedIn

This is part five of How to Engage on Social Media: The Complete Guide. The other parts are here:

Why LinkedIn?

A quarter of online adults use LinkedIn, a proportion that is unchanged from the 28% of online adults who did so in September 2014, according to the Pew Research Center. With over 3 million using company pages, having a solid presence there makes sense. With its focus on business, is it any wonder that LinkedIn has the most mature users, with the highest net worth?

LinkedIn Basics

If you need some basics for how to use LinkedIn, you might want to read:

Business to Business

For B2B companies, LinkedIn is a giant. Take a look at this infographic from Social Media Today on Why LinkedIn Matters. If you want a more active presence on LinkedIn, it’s a great article. I particularly like the part about what platforms LinkedIn users don’t use. 83% don’t use Pinterest. So if you’re doing B2B, you want to be on LinkedIn, and probably not so much on Pinterest. After all, 94% of B2B marketers distribute content on LinkedIn, with many of them making purchasing decisions on LinkedIn.

Not Just for Job Seekers

LinkedIn has had to overcome its reputation as merely a place for job seekers, and those looking for gigs. To do that, it has begun to offer users the ability to publish. Bloggers who share on LinkedIn receive over four times as many leads to their home page than publishing on Facebook or Twitter! If you use stats to make decisions, that should be pretty convincing.

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The Sleeping Giant

LinkedIn is like the shy guest at the party whom you later discover is the CEO of a major corporation. She may not want to talk to anyone, so if you decide to engage with her, you’ll be doing both of you a great favor.

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How to Engage

There are many ways to engage on LinkedIn. Here are four:

  • Give recommendations. Be generous and reach out to people first! Don’t wait to receive and then react. Like other forms of social media, your generosity will be rewarded.
  • Write testimonials (to those you’ve done business with). Say what you liked about the business.
  • Comment on others’ posts. Start a discussion on an article or post and see where it leads, like you would on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Share others’ posts. Once you comment on an article, share it. Don’t forget to tag that person so they’ll realize you’ve shared!
  • Offer introductions. This is my favorite part of social media. Connecting people you know to others you know. Like you’d do in person, you can say something like “Sharon, do you know Ellie? I think you two have a lot in common!” or words to that effect.

Groups

Groups can be a great way to start a conversation since by being in a group you already have something in common with everyone else in that group. So you might be in U.C. Berkeley’s alumni group, where you can ask people where they’re working now, or what project they’re excited about. Or a group for marketers where you can post or answer questions for those in your area.

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Company Pages

Company pages are a way to brand your company, share the pain points of your audience, and offer unique ways to fix your potential clients’ problems. Speak directly to your ideal client when you’re on LinkedIn and offer solutions. Social Media Examiner has an excellent article on ways to improve your company page, by the way. I couldn’t say it any better.

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Are You Linked In?

How do you use LinkedIn? Or would you like to start using LinkedIn? Leave me a comment! And thank you.

 

How to Engage on Social Media: Pinterest

How to Engage on Social Media: Pinterest

How to Engage on Social Media: Pinterest

This blog post is part of my series on how how to How to Engage on Social Media: The Complete Guide. You might want to see the previous two parts:

More parts will be added on a weekly basis.

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Pinterest a Rising Star

Pinterest is a rising star, and like certain other social media platforms, underutilized. If your audience includes women, then you need to be on Pinterest! Some 31% of adult Internet users use Pinterest, according to the Pew Research Center.

Can You Be Social on Pinterest?

The people at Pinterest claim that Pinterest is not a social media platform. In some ways, they’re right. But it is still possible to engage, to share, to comment, and to like posts. There is no live video (yet!), but that could be on its way. I’d definitely agree with Justin Horvath that Pinterest is Social Media’s Best Kept Secret.

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Social Discovery

Pinterest is certainly a place for discovery. Say for instance you need a pair of shoes. But that’s all you know. Would you go to Google and search for shoes? No! Instead go to Pinterest, because you’ll automagically get visual search cues to guide you: green shoes, camo sneakers, velvety green heels, and more.

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How to Engage?

When you’re tooling around Pinterest, like and comment on people’s pins (I know they’re supposed to be called saves, but pins sounds so much better.)  Make sure that you tag the person whose post you’re commenting on! Hover over the person’s name and get their handle. For instance, mine is @YourSoMeWorks. Now, make sure to say something a little out of the ordinary. Put a little thought into it.

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Use Direct Messaging Sparingly

If you already know someone, use direct messaging. Or if it’s really important. Otherwise, direct messaging can seem spammy, like a direct message on Twitter when you don’t even know someone. It’s a good way to get unfollowed!

Send Pins and Boards

If you see something that a friend would like, by all means send it their way! Pinterest explains how to send either a pin or a board in a short post. You can engage with people that way as well.

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Group Boards

Another way to engage on Pinterest is to either join or have your own group board. Engage with the other pinners on the group board, making sure to tag them when you do.

Are You Engaging on Pinterest?

Why or why not? Leave me a comment and I promise to write you back! And thank you!

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