How to harness the Power Of The Big 6 Social Media Platforms

As the marketing power of social media grows, it no longer makes sense to treat it by observing from the sidelines. In less than a decade, social media, in many ways, seems to have “taken over the world.” This statement is not exaggerated. As one of the largest social networking sites in the social media universe, Facebook boasted more than 750 million people actively using its service. After all, if Facebook users constituted a country, it would be the world’s third largest and will soon grow twice as large as the population of the United States. We know that both B2C and B2B businesses use social media as part of their marketing strategy. Companies certainly know what social media is and its ability to amplify word-of-mouth effects.
engagement

Yet the vast majority of executives have no idea how to harness social media’s power. Companies diligently establish Twitter feeds and branded Facebook pages, but few have a deep understanding of exactly how social media interacts with consumers to expand product and brand recognition, drive sales and profitability, and engender loyalty.

Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. Myspace. Google Plus. LinkedIn. YouTube. Vine. Foursquare. Tumblr. and much more. There are more than 400 unique social networking sites currently active across the globe, hosting trillions of conversations and billions of gigabytes of data. Over the past few years, small businesses have begun to harness the power of these networks to talk about their brand, engage customers, drive leads and even ramp up sales. But there are a few hard-and-fast rules that business owners should adhere to if they want to avoid going from social hero to hapless zero.

engagement
Social media is here to stay when it comes to marketing. Most businesses use it for brand exposure and increasing website traffic. Often overlooked is the power of social media for lead generation. Some businesses get it and others don’t.

What you need to know to make it work for you.

The key word describing the difference between Social Media and conventional communications is
engagement. The premise of Social Media is a dynamic, interactive conversation between you, and your customers. This interactivity is at the core of both the benefits and the risks of Social Media. There is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution to implementing a successful Social Media strategy. As such, this article focuses on providing executives with ideas, challenges, and guidelines on how to use Social Media to advance the mission of their organization. No matter what industry your business is in, social media can enhance your sales, marketing and public relations efforts.

    The 5 Levels of Social Media Engagement

  • OBSERVING
  • Level 1: Observing – watching the conversation from a far & simply “lurking” to decide if it’s interesting/valuable enough to join.

  • FOLLOWING
  • Level 2: Following – following the brand in some way, i.e. following on Twitter or Liking on Facebook.

  • ENDORCING
  • Level 4: Endorsing – actively sharing your content with others, i.e. retweeting, sharing via Facebook, etc.

  • ENGAGING
  • Level 3: Engaging – interacting in a limited fashion, such as clicking through to read your content, viewing a video, or Liking a wall post.

  • CONTRIBUTING
  • Level 5: Contributing – actively participating in the conversation and interacting with your brand, i.e. tweeting to your brand, posting on your Facebook wall, or commenting on a blog post.

engagementWhat social media engagement represents is a two-way dialogue between brands and customers. The primary rule of engagement is: If you want to increase engagement, be engaged. Like most people, social media users don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Start by giving before you expect to receive.
The rapid evolution of digital, mobile and social technologies has propelled the financial industry into an era of transformative agility and adaptability.
Consumers expect highly personalized products and services, delivered in real time. Instant gratification means no more waiting in long lines, no more trudging through shopping malls, no more cash purchases. Even tangible goods are fading into services delivered thru social platforms.
Peter Drucker was right when he said, “The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer”. This is the goal of every business: to create and keep customers. This principle survives Digital. Digital helps you keep this focus by giving you more ways to know your customer better.
Digital is second nature to Millennials and plays a significant part in their lives. They believe new technology makes life easier and brings people closer together. Millennials are mobile. They are hyper-connected and always on. Based on their love of all things Digital, Millennials are introducing a whole new value system to the marketplace.

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How to Write an Great Article for Social Media

Social Media Sharing
While there’s no single formula for writing an article that will resonate with your social media audience, here’s some guidelines that increase your chances for success.
The term ‘Social Media’ is a pretty popular concept these days. Cutting across the barriers or geography, culture, creed and language this concept has gripped the entire society spanning across the entire planet. Social media can be described as the gift of the latest technology that facilitates human interaction around the world! Technology has always – since the onset of human civilization – provided man with a distinct edge, which in turn marked the difference between man and other living beings on earth.
While digging through my bookmarks and starred articles, I noticed a growing list of awesome stories and helpful links. If I threw them all together, it’d make for quite the collection!
social media
I’d love to share with you what I’ve got so far, and it’d be awesome if you’d consider adding any personal favorites in the comments. Here is some I’ve bookmarked as my must-read guidelines on social media articles and content marketing resources.

Sure, you’re on Facebook. Twitter, too. Maybe you have a blog. You put a lot a lot of work into keeping them fresh and updated with pertinent, interesting posts. But aside from the few comments you get now and again, how do you know if anyone is listening to what you have to say?

You think hard about your social media strategy, posting interesting links relevant to your mission, working to expand your network and engage your constituents and create a solid, online reputation for your organization. You want to monitor your efforts and measure your results. Knowing whether your efforts are paying off can help you adapt your posting strategy to better meet your goals.

Monitoring your social media activities means listening to what people are saying to you, about you, and in your area of interest. Measuring them means counting, calculating and quantifying those activities into useful metrics that will inform your actions. These are separate and distinct practices that rely on each other to succeed. Finding the right tools to meet your needs in this area can save long hours of work.

When it comes to the big three of social media—Facebook, Twitter and —this can be done for no cost whatsoever, or for a significant investment. It all depends on what you want to track and measure. Every day, more and more tools join a substantial number of choices already on the marketplace.

I’ve been on social media for about a decade. Now it’s time to do some reflecting

  1. 300 to 3000 Words of Text.

Yes, the words in this text should contain a modicum of keywords you’re shooting for, but my advice is not to obsess about keyword density or even word count. Google, especially post-Hummingbird, is a lot smarter now than it was a few years ago about identifying article themes based on elements not directly related to keywords. As far as word count goes, it’s far better to a punchy 300-word article than a 2500-word article filled with lazy words and editorial fluff. (Google to my knowledge has no plans for a “content fluff” penalty yet but my hope is they’re working on it).

Also, remember that on social media the first words – and only the first few – will be excerpted in the text field surrounding the thumbnail image used when you add your post to a social media service. Make your point (or ask your question) in the first 25 words: this string of text will function as your “teaser” and must be as arresting as possible.

  1. At Least One Large (at Least 800 x 600) Image.

Social media thrives on visuals; without images, blog posts have no traction at all. You should have at least one great, compelling image on each post you publish, preferably two or three, because this gives your social media team a choice of more than one image to promote when listing the URL on Facebook and LinkedIn.
perfectpost-infographic
It’s clear to me that images are the often the weakest element on most blog articles. Using cheaply licensed images is always a mistake because doing so broadcasts the subtle message “everything on this page is a commodity.” A strong, unique image, however, can add credibility to the message in your text.

Make sure that this image renders well as a social media thumbnail image, because that’s the way most people will see it in their content streams. Factor in image search and/or production time into your blog production schedule. In some cases, finding an appropriate image can take almost as much editorial time and effort as generating the copy.

Conventions for image display in blog articles have changed in the past couple of years. Small right- or left-aligned images that looked OK in 2008 look archaic today. Perhaps because of the influence of mobile and/or tablets, full-width images mark your post as “modern.” It’s best to plan for any images you select for your blog post to be at least 800 x 600 in size.

  1. Links.

When I read a blog article that lacks a single link (other than the one in the author box), I feel cheated. Sprinkling a few hyperlinks strategically through your text conveys emphasis to your reader, as well as supplying textual context. These can be used to guide your reader’s eye to your main point.

Links aren’t simply decoration, of course. Well-chosen links function both as footnotes (keeping the exposition off-site and reducing your word count and “fluff”), and as visual signs that show you’ve done your research.

From a social media perspective, links are absolutely crucial because your social media team’s first post-publication job is to aggressively promote to those sources linked to in your article that a new article with this link is live. As I explain more fully in my ClickZ post about my Yearbook approach to content marketing, there’s no better way to increase the chance of social pickup than to reach out – on a one-to-one basis – to those whose work is being referred to in every article you post.

Try my approach out on your next blog post. The results may surprise you. Remember, it’s not enough to write great text, create great images, and include well-curated hyperlinks. You, your social media team, or your agency, still has to get “into the trenches” and perform personal outreach to motivate folks to share it. This job is the “marketing” component in “content marketing,” without it, content will never find the audience it deserves. In many industry categories, it’s a challenge to find the emotional triggers that stimulate sharing behavior. People share because it reflects well on them. They are trying to impress their followers or in some cases they are trying to impress (or get the attention of) the person who created the content (you).

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What Makes Up the Characteristics of Good Writing?

There are many characteristics of good writing, no matter what type, and in this article, you will learn some of the elements of good writing. By offering you some strategies for making your writing more effective, helping you to write with accuracy and clarity.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD WRITING

    Knowing the characteristics of good writing is important if you need to explain a variety of topics. Use KISS

  • Keep it clear – it avoids unnecessary detail;
  • Impartial – it avoids making assumptions (Everyone knows that …) and unproven statements (It can never be proved that …). It presents how and where data were collected and supports its conclusions with evidence;
  • Simple – it uses direct language, avoiding vague or complicated sentences. Technical terms and jargon are used only when they are necessary for accuracy;
  • Structured logically – ideas and processes are expressed in a logical order. The text is divided into sections with clear headings;

Developing good writing!

To reflect the characteristics of good writing in your own work, you need to think about the way that you write and the language that you use. A good author will have given consideration to the following choices in writing, making decisions that improve the effectiveness of the writing.

Choosing the words

To make your writing clear, accurate and concise you should consider carefully the words that you use, and the ways in which you use them.

Technical terms

In most scientific writing you will need to use some scientific or technical terms in order to be clear and unambiguous. However, use such terms only when you need to do so and do not try to impress the reader by using unnecessary technical jargon or lengthy words.

Abbreviations

Abbreviations can be a very useful way of saving time and avoiding repetition, but they can be confusing and might not be understood by everyone. Use standard abbreviations where these exist, and reduce your use of abbreviations to an absolute minimum; they are rarely essential.

Choosing a ‘voice’

Scientific writers have a tendency to use passive rather than active expressions; stating that a was affected by b uses the passive voice while stating that b did something to a uses the active voice. The following example shows a sentence written in both the passive and active voices.

  • passive
  • The experiment was designed by the research officer

  • active
  • The research officer designed the experiment

    The passive voice is particularly useful when you wish your writing to be formal and depersonalised:

  • passive
  • It was agreed that the experiment should be…

  • active
  • We agreed that the experiment should be…

    information about the agent is obvious or unimportant:

  • passive
  • Extra solvent was added to the flask

  • active
  • The technician added extra solvent to the flask;

    you do not know the identity of the agent:

  • passive
  • The water pipe was broken in three places

  • active
  • Something/someone had broken the water pipe in three places

    However, the use of the passive voice can lead to clumsy and overcomplicated sentences.

  • passive
  • Difficulty was experienced in obtaining the product in a high state of purity

    is rather convoluted way of saying

  • active
  • The product was difficult to purify

    which is a much clearer and more straightforward statement.

    In general, the active voice is clearer, more direct and easier to read, but the passive voice can be more appropriate in particular circumstances. What is most important is for you to be aware of how you are writing, and how the voice that you choose affects the tone and the meaning of your words.

Personal or impersonal?

Writers often try to avoid the use of personal expressions or statements in order to make their writing seem more impartial and formal. The following sentence has been written with both personal and impersonal expressions to highlight the contrast between the two writing styles.

  • impersonal
  • The explanation for this phenomenon may be found in…

  • personal
  • We/I believe that the explanation for this phenomenon may be found in…

    However, used indiscriminately, writing impersonally can result in clumsy statements through an excessive use of the passive voice. This can lead to ambiguity or inaccuracy in your written work, for example:

  • impersonal & passive
  • It was decided that the temperature should be raised gives no information about the identity of the people who made the decision.

  • personal & active
  • We decided that the temperature should be raised avoids ambiguity and makes the sentence sound more direct, but uses the personal and rather informal we.

  • impersonal & active
  • The research team decided that the temperature should be raised is clear and direct.

    Think carefully about your use of impersonal and personal expressions, taking care to ensure that your writing is always clear and unambiguous.

    Using tenses

    Scientific writing frequently uses the past tense, particularly when the main focus of the writing is to describe experiments or observations that took place prior to the time of writing, for example:

    • The data were analysed.
    • The solution was decanted.
    • The temperature was recorded.

    However, the past tense may not be appropriate for everything that you write and sometimes you will need to combine different tenses in the same piece of writing. For example, the use of different tenses can help to clarify what happened or what you did in the past (past tense), what you conclude (present tense) and what will be an issue for the future (future tense). The following sentences show how different tenses can be used to achieve clarity in your written work.

    Sentence length

    Sentences that are too short and poorly connected can be irritating to read. Conversely, sentences that are too long and rambling are difficult to follow and are likely to be confusing. Use a sentence length that allows your thoughts to flow clearly. As a general rule there should be no more than 20-25 words in any one sentence. You may be able to reduce your sentence length by:

    • cutting out unnecessary words
    • like might replace along the lines of

      now may be just as appropriate as at the present time

      we can now turn our attention to could perhaps be cut out entirely;

    • dividing complex sentences into separate phrases or sentences.
    • If a breakdown occurs it is important that alternative supplies are available and the way that this is done is for the power stations to be linked through the high voltage transmission lines so that all of them contribute to the total supply of energy and an unexpectedly large demand can be handled.

    • can be re-written thus:

    If a breakdown occurs it is important that alternative supplies are available; this is done by linking power stations through the high voltage transmission lines. All of them thus contribute to the total supply of energy and an unexpectedly large demand can be handled.

    The experiment was carried out in a sterile environment (past tense for a statement of what happened). It is particularly important to avoid contamination (present tense for a statement that is a general ‘truth’). It will be necessary to ensure that the same conditions are replicated in future experiments (future tense for a recommendation for the future).

    An appropriate use of past, present and future tenses can contribute to a clear and unambiguous writing style.

      I like to use a shortcut code I made up when writing. Keep it SIMPLE.

    • Substantive process (the steps of the writing process, such as taking notes to use while
      writing or creating a story map to plan it out)
    • Irrrelevant information (information offered by the authors that didn’t relate to the
      questions; unsurprisingly, this was found to have no impact on their writing skill)
    • Motivation (the role of effort in strong writing and ways to maintain effort in the face of
      challenges)
    • Production processes (the mechanics of good writing, such as writing neatly and spelling
      words correctly)
    • Learn to enjoy the tidying process. I don’t like to write (I like to have written). But I love to rewrite. I especially like to
      cut: to press the DELETE key and see an unnecessary word or phrase or sentence vanish into the electricity.
    • Engage your reader. (Continue to build.) Every paragraph should amplify the one that preceded it. Give more thought to adding solid detail and
      less to entertaining the reader. But take special care with the last sentence of each paragraph—it’s the crucial springboard to the next paragraph. Try to give that sentence an extra twist of humor or surprise, like the periodic “snapper” in the routine of a standup comic. Make the reader smile and you’ve got him for at least one more paragraph.

    Summary

    Writing well requires as much care and thought as the experiments or research that are written about. This study article has defined a number of characteristics of good writing, and has highlighted some of the key choices that authors must make if they are to write with accuracy and clarity. I hope you find it useful and enjoyed reading it.

Meaningful Content Various Ways To Create It

The online world is a prominent source of both influence and information for consumers today, and a majority of your customers will jump on the web to search social media site for information and assistance. It is a “noisy” world on the internet. Write powerful headlines and provide meaningful content that inspires a prospect to read more.
You can be that “go-to” source for relevant information and achieve these goals by putting several practices into play.

Meaningful Content Various Ways To Create It

If you desire to create meaningful content which is sought-after and, indeed have a more meaningful back-and-forth conversation with your readers.
With all the various types of content, you could potentially create, let’s quickly review why content is so important for your web presence.
Online reviews from satisfied customers, the frequency and quality of your posts and the value of the content you share will all help a prospective client form a positive impression of you. These habits help you gain the trust of potential clients and build a stronger, longer lasting relationship.
Here are my top tips to help you create meaningful content that gets results, and makes a difference to the lives of your customers.
We all create and quickly look for information, and in a snap of a second, we decide whether it is interesting or not. But who reads what we write? If you run a social business or sharing economy enterprise you might be scratching your head right now, pondering why is it that no one is reading what you write.
Social media and blogging can be a waste of time or the cornerstone of success.
Because we are in the midst of a meaningful content movement. From both the creative and technological side, modern media is undergoing a paradigm shift away from vapidity and towards to deeper meaning. This fundamental shift is no more apparent than on the Internet.

Cutting Through The Clutter

content9

      Content may be king, but without Context – no one will pay attention.

Value your Content

  • Be brief, be brilliant, and be gone.
    Social media users don’t have the time or the attention span to listen to a long-winded version of your story. We suffer from the need to tell our audience everything, instead of what really matters. So find out what’s important to your audience and just say it. Avoid overwhelming them with too much content.
  • Avoid Confusing Your Audience.Understand the Role of ContentContent can play an important role in attracting and engaging prospective clients, if your topics are meaningful to them and delivered consistently.
    Using industry knowledge to generate a following and grow your community is invaluable. But it can also be a curse in social media. Industry terms, jargon, and acronyms become second nature to you, but they clutter your content. Think strategically about how to present your knowledge, but create it with your general audience in mind. Remember, they have to grasp whatever it is you’re saying. Try not to assume that everyone knows as much about the topic as you do. Too much information can be a curse on social media if your audience can’t understand or relate to your content.
  • Mix up your Content
    When we think about the social content we think of tactics: blog posts, images, podcasts, webinars, ebooks, whitepapers, infographics and others. An important aspect of these platforms is storytelling. In order to create meaningful content for your audience, it must strike an emotional cord. So put the notion of sell, sell, sell aside in exchange for tell, tell, tell. Social media is a fantastic place to tell your organization’s story and build loyalty around your brand. Next time you draft a piece of content thinks about how it relates to your brand’s story and find a way to distinguish yourself as unique. In a landscape where meaningful content is few and far between, the details matter. Be brief, know your audience, and tell your organization’s story. That is how you can create meaningful content.


In today’s technology-driven world, companies are under more pressure than ever to create meaningful and engaging tech-savvy content to boost their bottom lines.
Your goal here is to connect your business to the customer’s interests through content topics and ideas. Remember that we’re looking for qualified leads from visitors you expect to convert when they arrive.
Once your audience is well outlined, brainstorm content ideas with the appropriate teams in your organization. Your marketing and managerial teams will likely be in attendance for this meeting, but an often-overlooked yet crucial inclusion for this step is your Sales team.
They are the direct point of contact with your customers, on the ‘front lines’ so to speak. Your sales crew can most likely contribute valuable information about what works, what doesn’t, the types of problems and questions your customers have and much more.
With your brainstorming board assembled, collaborate to collect a sizable handful of content ideas. Create a list of content types (such blog articles, whitepapers, infographics, etc.) that fit best with your business, as well as a list of specific topics. The bigger your pool of topics and ideas, the longer you can run the campaign before reconvening.

4 Step Process to Meaningful Content.

      • Powerful Headlines.
        It is a “noisy” world on the internet. Write powerful headlines and provide meaningful content that inspires a prospect to read more.
      • Using Analytics to Create Better ContentWhat do you think of when you think of Google Analytics? Usually, it’s search engine optimization. It offers a wealth of information that can boost your content marketing campaign for free. Make it a daily habit. Check in every day to see your top pages, or even better, set up Google Analytics to receive a daily email with the report. Many of us use analytics to measure the activity that has taken place on our website, but analytics can help you better plan that content as well.
      • Relevant and Interesting.Relavent content adds value to the conversation, positions the brand as a trusted advisor, and is authentic and believable. More often than not, there’s something you can create to supplement the existing content out there on the internet. The online content should be relevant to your target audience of prospects and clients. As you write, keep your ideal client in mind. Address common questions or concerns you talk about with your clients. Although it’s good to write about current events, you should also make sure to write content based around timeless topics regularly as well, as they continue to be useful to readers long after you produce them.
      • Engaging Content and What it Means.Do you want to develop engaging content? Before you can do so, you need to understand what engaging means. Content comes in all shapes, sizes, and topics. The best content is interesting, informative and awe inspiring. A blog post or article must address a need or a problem/pain point in order to be useful for prospects and clients. You have the opportunity to create local, personalized content based on the geographic locations of your visitors.

What problem(s) is this region facing? How can your content answer their questions, which may be specific for your location? Writing and sharing content online that is Powerful, Useful, Relevant and Engaging (P.U.R.E.) is the best way to build your personal brand and successfully grow your business.
Your online content needs to engage your target audience and call them to act (i.e. contact you to request more information or an appointment).

 

How to Make Money Writing for Social Media

How to Make Money with Social Media

How to Make Money with Social Media:

A complete Guide on Using New and Emerging Media to Grow Your Business.
Becoming aware of the emerging writing niche while getting paid by companies to write on social-media platforms is just one of the benefits you’ll gain from this article.
As a writer, you are probably already using social media to promote your published work or you should be!
Lots of writers use social media; There are hundreds of social media platforms, which means there are many options beyond Google, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube just to name a few.
This astute merchandising guide brings together both practical strategies and proven execution techniques for driving maximum value from social media marketing.
I thought I would address a mistake that I see SO many companies making with their social media strategies: ONLY selling their products and achievements on social media. The 80/20 Rule: Sell your product/services/achievements 20% of the time, but the other 80% should be free original, valuable or entertaining content. Companies that are not creating original, fun and entertaining content are really missing the mark on social media.

Effective social-media marketing helps build successful businesses.

If you’re in charge of social media management for your company, it’s time to up your game in 2016. It requires more than the random postings about your great sale, latest product or a shameless plug in the local paper.
Social media marketing is easily a full-time job, and for good reason. You already know about our main mission to provide our readers with advice on social media.
We’ve written how-to guides, shared different templates, and have created many lists to cover important topics in social media marketing. However, we know that for people in charge of social media management, especially in small businesses, don’t always have much time to browse through an extensive blog archive. To give you a hand, we’ve compiled this guide of social media marketing tips that will help you to optimize your social media strategy in 2016 and beyond.
These social media tricks are not complicated and can help you enhance your business’s social media presence, improve your engagement rate, and help you reach new customers.
These social media tips are not complicated and can help you enhance your business’s social media presence, improve your engagement rate, and help you reach new customers.
hashtags

    How can this list help your business:

  • By looking at the popular topics of conversation, you can create content and start conversations based on the information people currently desire.
  • Twitter searches are a great way to find information that may be difficult to come across using a search engine. After all, crowdsourcing information can often provide more authentic answers than sponsored or SEO-laden content. So if you’re looking for some competitive insight, campaign ideas, holiday deals or just some inspiration, look at the conversation around these hashtags.

What does social media success look like?

It’s not about quantity of fans, followers or likes. It’s about making a measurable impact on your business’ bottom line, and you can’t do that through social media without first creating a connection with your audience.
To help guide you on the quest to social media marketing victory, we rounded up the advice of some experts on how businesses can spark and grow relationships with the people in their social sphere.
1. Choose the right platform Take some time to see which platforms are best for your business and limit them to five max. No full-time employee has time to manage anything more, and you may find you’re a better fit for an underdog platform than Google.
2. Use analytics There are also hundreds of tools to analyze your social media campaign success and failures. Use them. Many are free and part of the site itself, while others provide a third-party analysis. Don’t just collect reports; read them, translate them and turn them into action.
3. Post timely Know the best days and times to post for your industry and demographics. For many businesses, this is Monday through Friday at around 10am and 4pm. However, this will vary depending on who you’re targeting. Do your research.
4. Build a relationship Don’t just preach at your audience, but engage them, get them involved and always promptly reply to outreach. Social media isn’t a soapbox, but a tool for engagement. It’s a two-way street.
5. Use images People are becoming more attracted to images such as infographics or easily digestible videos like those on Vine. Make use of color, but don’t overdo it. If you make a video, make sure it’s professional and high quality.
6. Make social media special Offer truly desirable things like discounts and giveaways solely to people who follow you on social media. They should be getting something out of being your fan or liking your page.
7. Only bite off as much as you can chew It’s all about quality, not quantity, and there’s no point joining every site that pops up just to spread yourself too thin. Choose your best social media matches and give them the attention they deserve.
8. Don’t treat it like a personal site Just because you have 1,000 Facebook friends on your personal site and they always like your inspirational posts doesn’t mean you’ll succeed as a business poster. These are two entirely different arenas, so respect the difference.
9. Hire a social media manager In an ideal world, you’ll make room in the budget to hire an experienced social media manager full-time. They can work magic and in a fraction of the time anyone else can. It’s a real job (and deserves a real salary).
10. Know when to call it quits If you’re just not performing well on a particular site no matter who’s to blame, know when to end it. Just like any other bad relationship, nobody is benefiting from dragging it out. Fix it or quit it, but make a choice.
11. Build business alliances Figure out other businesses that complement yours but aren’t direct competitors and show them some love on social media. You’re all in this together, and you never know when you could use an ally.
12. Don’t entertain the trolls
Once your social media following gets big enough, you’ll have a few trolls and baiters. Handle them professionally, and know when to publicly respond, when to let it go, and when to delete their comments. Each action has a time and place.
13. Don’t sync your phone If you’re still the one overseeing social media for the business, it can easily turn into a 24/7 project. Don’t let it. Don’t sync your business social media sites to your phone, unless it’s a business-only phone that’s turned off at a certain hour. Taking work home with you is never healthy.
14. Don’t use it as a sales platform It’s pretty obvious why a business is on social media: To improve sales, whether directly or through building customer relationships (which will hopefully lead to more sales). However, this isn’t a direct sales platform so don’t treat it that way. Instead, foster relationships and provide information or entertainment for free.
15. Flesh out your profile Fill out every possible corner of your profile, whether it’s the brief requirements of Google+ or the massive ones of MySpace. This is where your business’ personality is developed and it’s important for brand reputation and management.
16. Build social media into your business plan Whether you’re a startup or a solid corporation, you should still have a business plan in place for growth. Implement social media into it and set goals for different time periods. This is how you’ll see if social media is worth it for you.
17. Make fans want to see your posts
This seemingly simple advice is the toughest. What would you want to see as a fan or friend? Find “sticky” posts that have viral potential and people want to share.
18. Make it easy to share Along with number 17, make it as easy to share your posts as possible. Link them to a landing page on your website, another social media site (Facebook and YouTube play together nicely) or your blog. If it’s easy for someone to just click and share, they’re more likely to do so.
19. Strike a personal/professional balance You don’t want to get too personal, but you don’t want to seem stiffly professional either. This is a precarious balance to strike, but when done well, makes fans think they “know you” in the right way. Don’t let emotions get the best of you and save that for your personal site. Remember The 80/20 Rule
20. Grammar matters Check, double check, and have someone else check each and every things you put on social media. An embarrassing typo can cause a world of hurt and is easily avoidable. Have you ever left the “L” out of “public service?” Some guffaws are just too easy.

Begin with the end in mind

21. “I don’t care if you’re big or small. B2B or B2C. New or old. Enthusiastic or suspicious. You need to know how and why you’re getting involved with social media so that you can rightsize your resources, relationships, and expectations. A social media strategy allows your company to focus on being social, without worrying as much about doing social media and the tactic du jour. It provides guidance (and math) that help you make better and more effective decisions in the social universe.”
22. “How do you want to use social media to help your business? What goals do you want to achieve?Make your goals as concrete, measurable and achievable as possible. For example, if you currently get five new leads a month, setting a goal to get 100 new leads in the next 12 months is more realistic than setting a goal to get 5,000 new leads.”
23. “Before you hop on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or Instagram – get hyper-focused on your audience. Who is your target market? Understand their area of expertise, what they’re talking about online and how you’ll use content to make a connection. You’ll also want to do an online audit of your competition to see how (or if) they’ve reached your target audience and where opportunities still lie. The key here is to cater your content to the specific needs of your audience. Stop trying to be everything to everyone.”

Tell an interesting story

24. “Don’t be a brand that only talks about itself. You know the ones. They spend far too much time being promotional as opposed to social. No one is saying you can’t toot your own horn on Twitter, Facebook, and the like. I am saying, though, that one of the best ways to attract new fans, followers, and business in general is to be known for helping others in as many ways as possible. Your turn will come.”
25. “People want to engage with interesting stories and brands, and they want to find topics and companies that they can relate or aspire to. It’s important that your social media content and conversations are true to your personality, your brand, your customers and your business.”
26. “Instead of blending in with your competitors by slightly repurposing the same old topics that you all have written about recently, come up with your own topics that offer your unique take on situations. Show your audience that you’ve got something valuable to offer and you’ll see your audience come back again and again.”
27. “Your prospective clients know where to go to find your product catalogs and deals. They often look to social media to provide them with very different types of material. Rather than rehashing the same exact information from your website or store, why not take the opportunity to have conversations instead? Look for users who are a part of your target demographics and connect with them. For example, a home automation company might seek out users hoping to find ways to control their appliances from their smartphones. Use short interest keywords to discover these prospective contacts and post information that can enrich their lives.”
28. “Be transparent. You don’t have to give away all of your business secrets. Take customers on a behind-the-scenes tour, actively solicit feedback, and introduce employees.”
29. “Social media shouldn’t be used as a stopgap; it’s an opportunity to engage with your customer right then and there. Equip your social media person with the tools and knowledge to respond directly, or let them find out the answer if they don’t know and communicate it with confidence.”
30. “Engagement goes beyond addressing customer concerns. The real power is in building relationships with both customers and advocates. By monitoring topics relevant to your business, you’ll discover opportunities to engage with potential clients and advocates.You can start by simply complimenting someone for an article they published, or sharing some of their content with your audience. Sometimes just offering to help with a challenge someone is having can be the start of a great relationship.”

How To Make Your Content Valuable Enough To Be Unique

Why unique content gets you found.

It’s never too late to start worrying about creating unique content. It places your brand at the top of the social media market as a thought leader – someone people trust and admire. Unique content helps you push the boundaries. It challenges the status quo and inspires your team to become better at creating your own unique content.

Unique, unique, unique; can’t be said enough.

To help you get started we take you through each step required to build a meaningful audience that adds value to your business.

For those of us who are content creators, nothing swallows valuable time as achieving the main goal of grabbing attention long enough to make them interested. If your content kicks off with something that has color, drama, and a unique content approach, then they are more likely to stick around. Also, more appealing images are likely to make your content more sharable. The trick is how to accomplish this with consistent results.

How Unique Does Content Need to Be to Perform Well?

Consistent, unique content such as articles, blog posts and infographics drives traffic and increases customer conversions, but without an integrated content management system (CMS) in which to easily post unique content causes many businesses to struggle to stay up-to-date. A CMS streamlines the process of publishing and updating content because it doesn’t require any knowledge of programming to operate.

What’s the meaning of unique content?

Writering bloggers know images can have a huge impact on how readers perceive their posts and sometimes, it helps to start with the image, and build the rest of the content around that.

What do you mean by saying “unique Content”?

People always say that you have to write unique content if you want to have chances for SEO or generally speaking chances to succceed in internet marketing. But when you say “unique” content do you mean to write something with your own words that already exist or to write something that nobody has ever written for? If the answer is the second one then an average person will miserably fail to make money online because there are a ton of information in every field. It’s practically impossible to write something that no-one has written before. Even if you write content off-the-wall you’ll almost certainly have been influenced by what you’ve read and therefore will repeat phrases and so on. However, when marketers talk about ‘unique content’ they normally mean content that isn’t curated from somewhere else, even if it’s spun. For SEO you could broaden that further and say that anything that passes the Copyscape test is ‘unique content’ in that it isn’t identifiable as a copy elsewhere on the ‘net. But that is stretching the definition somewhat!

unique content

Unique Written Content + Relevant Image = Good

You’ve perhaps heard of visual content? The term seems to be everywhere these days. We come across it all the time as we’re curating content, and it seems that social media strategies now consider visuals as required elements. Sixty-three percent of social media is made up of images. That means nearly two-thirds of the updates you see on social media are visual content.Content with relevant images gets 94 percent more views than content without.This oft-cited visual content stat is evidence that visuals have been vital to online success for some time. Ninety-four percent equates to almost double the views, and the boost is noticed across all topics and categories. Find out why you need unique images for your content, and how to create them. You might be wondering, since I mentioned that there are many sources of ready to use images already available, why you would want to spend the time creating your own. Here are just a few good reasons.

  • Stock photos are generic and widely used. Anyone can buy and use a stock photo for less than a dollar, which means many images appear on the Internet hundreds, or even thousands of times. If you’re goal is to create unique content, why top it off with a generic image?
  • Creative Commons image use can backfire. Many Creative Commons images are licensed specifically for non-commercial use. Non-commercial is open to interpretation by the owner of the image, therefore, if you use their image on a blog owned by a business or a blog that generates revenue, it may be considered commercial usage.
  • People are more like to share images they’ve never seen. People who love sharing images on sites like Pinterest are more likely to share yours if it’s something they’ve never seen before that is either useful or simply visually appealing.

Here are just a few good reasons.

  • Images for your blog posts are important for many reasons.
  • They illustrate important points to your readers, make social shares of your posts stand out in the newsfeed, break up text to make the content easier to read, and encourage people to share your post for no other reason than they like the main image.

While there are many sources of ready to use images available, you should consider creating unique images on your own. Captions can help you turn almost any image into one that is relevant to the piece of content you are writing.

Far too many companies are trying to produce content that would go viral, have a huge impact, will rank the website higher and will convince the target audience to buy a product or to sign up for a service. Accordingly, content writers are being bombarded with keywords and they are trying to accommodate those keywords adhering to a certain density, all the while trying to ensure that there is some helpful information and some literal sense in the piece.

It is time for companies to be pragmatic and they should understand what a piece of content is meant to achieve. One article is not going to change the fortune of a company. One article cannot impress the entire target audience. One article is not going to make your website rank first on search engine result pages. Content is supposed to connect and that is all a company and writers must focus on.

  • Have a Reason
    Let us not think of content marketing strategies for a moment. Let us focus on any one piece of content, say an article. The first question one should ask is: why is the article being penned? What is the primary purpose of the article? It cannot be just another droplet in the ocean. It cannot be clueless. It cannot be mundane or bland. The article needs to have a purpose. That purpose could be solving a problem, letting people know of a certain development, notifying readers of a certain accomplishment or just a factual guide. The purpose could be anything else, as long as it is relevant and helpful. The article must then be written with the aim of catering to that purpose. Having keywords and all the optimization requirements come later.
  • Connect With the Individual

    When a company publishes some content, it is not going to be read out loud at Times Square, it will not be read by a group of people at a social gathering and the article will certainly not find a place in academic or professional curriculum. The article will be read by one individual who would possibly be alone at the time. Connecting at an individual or personal level is the key to have an impact.

  • Captivate the Audience

    An article should have a captivating headline, the layout should be professional, the wording must be suitable for the target audience, it should be readable and interesting and there should be a relevant start, middle and end. Without these attributes, just having keywords would not guarantee anything.

3 Content Marketing Assets Every Salesperson Should Keep in Their Back Pocket for 2016

Technology research firm, Gartner, Inc. defines content marketing as the process and practice of creating, curating and cultivating text, video, images, graphics, e-books, white papers and other content assets that are distributed through content management systems, media platforms, and the social graph. The very definition proves there are a wide variety of content assets available for use today.

Given the change in the way today’s buyers research and purchase products and services, the content marketing methodology enables salespeople to leverage the power of content and further reduce the painful process of cold prospecting to generate new leads.

In fact, according to Hubspot, a marketing software platform, these methods generate 3 times as many leads vs traditional outbound marketing.

Depending on which stage of the buying cycle prospects are in, salespeople are wise to have three specific content assets readily available.1. Use blog content for information seekers.Buyers who are in the awareness stage of the buying cycle are looking for solutions to a problem they have or perhaps an opportunity exists of which they can take advantage. Blog content that is both relevant and delivered in the right context increases lead generation and conversion rates significantly.

unique content

Here are a few key stats:

  • Among business that blog only once a month, 57 percent acquired a customer as a result
  • Companies that increased blog frequency from 3-5 times per month to just 6-8 times per month nearly doubled their leads
    of businesses that blog daily, 82 percent reported gaining a customer through their blog

1. Blogging is a proven content asset that works 24/7 to pull in leads who are searching for specific answers to problems they’re experiencing. A recent Demand Gen report states that about two-thirds (67%) [of buyers] rely more on content to research and make purchasing decisions.

2. Salespeople that produce content or leverage existing content assets are better positioned to engage buyers earlier in the buying process. This early access will help you get a better understanding of their problems and offer specific solutions.

For those prospective buyers looking for answers, keep a few links to helpful blog content handy and available to share.

3. Keep an inventory of videos to educate and explain.Leveraging video assets can be a great way to provide educational information to buyers. While video can be useful at any stage of the buying cycle, it is extremely effective for buyers in the consideration stage of their purchase. These buyers have identified their problem and are researching methods to solve it.

Some interesting stats on video consumption provided by Forbes:

  • 78% of consumers watch online video every week
  • 75% of business executives watch work-related videos, at least weekly
  • 59% of senior executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic on the same page, they prefer to watch the video

There are a few types of video that work well for salespeople. These include explanatory videos, especially if your product requires educating the end-user. Q&A videos are useful to buyers who are considering your solution, yet have questions. Start with your most frequently asked questions first. Email videos are a great way to increase email open rates and also provide valuable content to prospects in a unique way.

The goal is to be prepared to offer up a video for prospects looking for a reason to choose you.

4. Offer case studies as endorsements.Buyers who are in the decision stage of their journey have usually narrowed down their options to a few key solution providers and are looking to make a final decision. There are several content types that salespeople could use at this stage, but case studies help influence buyers by showing how your product or service has previously solved a similar problem.

Done properly, case studies should identify customers who have successfully used your product or service. These are customers who have approved the use of their brand in your collateral; thereby providing an endorsement of your solution.

It’s a given that case studies should be made available through your website. In addition, case studies in .pdf format should be readily available for a salesperson to deliver to a potential buyer at a moments notice.

Content marketing enables salespeople to generate more leads, by meeting buyers at their immediate point of need. As a salesperson, if you haven’t adopted content marketing yet, there’s no better time than 2016.

Use these assets and abandon the frustrating, cold prospecting methods of years past. Keep a few blog posts, videos, and case studies in your back pocket and improve your sales for 2016. What content assets do you recommend for salespeople?