5 Tips To Make Social Media Work For Your Business

It’s late and I have so much work to do. Nights like this I am glad that I have taken a preemptive strike at preparation and scheduling (that and meditation). Procrastination is the Bain of managing social media. If you do not have a plan set in place you begin to get sucked into a whirlwind of inconsistent posting, missed relationship opportunity and misrepresentation. In todays ADHD-prone, over-stimulated, digital world it is easy, SO EASY, to get lost in the sea of random information.

Just think, if you saw a message that you enjoyed reading on Google+ and decided to follow that person/brand, then never heard from them again – would you remember them? I will bet you 1,000 +1’s that you wouldn’t (bonus points already if you know what +1 means). You could have would-be ‘followers’ that see your content and want to like it on Google+ or Twitter, but they see a post once every week, or even less.

These are missed opportunities and maybe even lost revenue. It’s extremely important that you set yourself some simple guidelines to ensure that you stay on track with your social media efforts.

#1 | Make a calendar

This is the ‘Duct tape’ of Good Monster’s social media strategy. Whether for our own business, or our clients, without a calendar, our team of “social-whiz-kids” would be lost at sea. Our week starts out with a comprehensive look at all of the tweets, LinkedIn posts, YouTube videos and the hundred other social tasks that need to be completed. From there, tasks are delegated and away we go to conquer digital conversation.

#2 | Don’t overreach

Your business NEEDS to have an online presence, but it (probably) doesn’t need to be everywhere to be successful and profitable. Don’t waste your time with a social strategy that doesn’t look promising. If you are a construction equipment dealer, don’t spend 60% of your time pinning images of a Caterpillar Backhoe to Pinterest – it just doesn’t make sense, or cents. Spend your valuable time in the areas that will pay off. For instance you could use LinkedIn to conjure up business with an excavating company CEO. Or maybe use Twitter to start a conversation with the @CaterpillarInc brand and build a relationship with the people that make your sales goals achievable. Time is precious – use it wisely.

#3 | Schedule time to engage

Social media success won’t happen just by having a Facebook account; you have to put in the time and effort to start a conversation. Consistency is the key to a successful social media strategy. In order to be consistent you have to schedule real, working time engaging people online. Seriously, put it right into your daily calendar to “post on LinkedIn”or maybe “respond to Tweets”. You will save time by scheduling time, and most importantly, you will maintain consistency.

#4 | Study, research and evaluate

Research is an often-overlooked part of a social media campaign. Knowing what works is integral part of a successful social media campaign. After all, would you develop a product without knowing whether it works? Companies spend hundreds of hours in R&D to make sure what they are selling is relevant and serves a purpose. The same should go for a marketing campaign. Otherwise, it could be a huge waste of time – and as we know, time is money.

#5 | Have Fun!

The best part of social media is that you get to connect with the people that power your success. Partners, industry leaders, customers and potential customers are all out there, waiting to talk to you and learn from you. You know that feeling you get when you make a big sale? Well, that could very well start with a tweet or a picture posted on Instagram. Have fun with social media, people will notice and it will be easier to grow and develop your online presence.

Just like having a business plan is essential to growing a business (at some level or another), or having a plan is important to reach your health and fitness goals – having a plan to conquer your industry via social engagement is essential.

5 Ways to Build Brand Power With YouTube

YouTube is one of the most powerful digital platforms for brands – engaging potential customers and showing people what your business has to offer them.  Not only will it allow people to see what you have to offer, but search engines will also rank videos that are relevant to people’s search terms. This gives you a huge opportunity to target your potential customers.

This works especially well for local businesses. A YouTube channel with regular, well produced, well titled and relevant content will get that business great placement within local search engine results.

While the concept is easy, creating the content and producing the video might not be. Producing the right YouTube content depends on a few things:

  1. Do you have an exciting, engaging personality that will make people want to watch you speak?
  2. Does your business have interesting products or services that can help make your viewers life easier?
  3. Can you create entertaining content that has a purpose?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are ready to start publishing YouTube content.

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#1 | Start a web-show

Are you a plumber looking to show people you know your s%*t (pun intended)? Then maybe you bring a camera into some of your jobs on a weekly basis to show them how you work your magic to stop a leak or unclog a backed-up pipe.  If you do this once a week you can create a stream of content on a variety of topics that help people avoid or overcome plumbing issues. If your videos have useful relevant information, people will look at you as an “expert” opinion and most likely come back to you if they have another plumbing issue.

#2 | Develop your keywords

You can create all the YouTube videos in the world but if no one can find them, no one will watch them. It is extremely hard to create a video that is organically viral on it’s own (after all that’s why companies hire marketing firms and production houses). You can however, make sure that Google, Yahoo and Bing can grab your videos and plop them into their search results by putting relevant keywords into the title, description and tags.

#3 | Keep them entertained

In all of our experience scripting, directing, filming and marketing videos whether on TV or the internet, we have found that most of the time people just don’t really want to watch anything that doesn’t impress them at least a little bit. Even if you are filming a video about plumbing, if you are boring, you will lose them quickly. Think about the TV personality Mike Rowe, from ‘Dirty Jobs’ – he takes jobs that people typically would not be interested in and highlights some of the more extraordinary aspects of them while whipping out witty one-liners to keep people engaged. He adds humor and education to a normally dry topic.

#4 | Stay small, they like it

Many small companies are consumed with trying to seem larger than they really are – well this is actually counter productive. As Gary Vaynerchuk explained in his book ‘The Thank You Economy’, today’s consumers are interested in being treated as an individual, not a statistic. They want to be loved, wooed and cuddled into buying something. Touch their heart, and they won’t have a problem spending their money with you. This goes for your videos too. When creating content, talk to the person watching your video like you are talking to them on a personal level. This will pull them into your video and engage them on a level that giant companies pay millions of dollars to do.

#5 | Include a call to action

Literally. Ask your viewers to do something. Ask them to subscribe to your YouTube channel, “like” your Facebook page or add their comments below your video. A call to action is a great tool to ask your viewers to do something for you. But a rule of thumb, what ever you ask them to do has to be an easy task; otherwise they will lose interest quickly.

So to recap, YouTube content should be on every businesses marketing “To Do” list. It’s an extremely effective way to show your potential customers that you are interesting, you care and you have something that will improve their lives.

1 Simple Trick You’re Not Doing to Get Business from LinkedIn

linkedin_slide2_copy1-300x300I’ve been working with LinkedIn quite a bit lately for myself and for some of our clients – and its glaringly obvious to me that it beats out the other major social media networks as the best digital space to make real tangible business “friendships”.

The most valuable offering is that 100% of the members are there for one main reason – to develop business. On some level or another everybody on LinkedIn is trying to make business connections, whether it may be getting their first job out of college, or finding new customers. LinkedIn provides every business professional a virtually unlimited access to thousands, sometimes millions, of people related to their industry.

I want you to do a little mental experiment, to get you up to speed on the value of LinkedIn:

Think of all the networking events you attend on a yearly basis – how much time, effort and money do you spend on them? Now think of how often you post your professional thoughts and interact with other professionals on LinkedIn – how much time, effort and money do you spend there? (Oh wait, it’s free!)

Now you might be thinking, “Well that’s all well and good, but making a virtual connection with someone on LinkedIn doesn’t hold the same value as making a face-to-face connection with someone.” If this is the case, then you haven’t yet realized the true potential of LinkedIn. Let me show you a few examples.

Our most recent client was someone who reached out to me via LinkedIn and asked me to call her regarding her small businesses digital visibility (or lack there of). We set up a meeting in person and “BOOM” sparks flew. Well it wasn’t that romantic, but we made the connection none-the-less – and it resulted in a business deal.

Several months ago I received a message from an organization that was holding a seminar on creative marketing, they wanted me to speak on their panel of industry experts. At the seminar I met the gentleman with whom I am currently doing a small tour of branding and sales communication workshops. During this seminar I also met a [current] client who hired my company to increase her digital brand through a weekly YouTube show and several TV and online commercials.

So you see what I am getting at. LinkedIn won’t do the work for you; in fact it won’t even work if you just post random tidbits related to your industry. You must harness the power of the ‘connection’ and actively develop relationships on- and off-line.

Your task for the today is to log onto your LinkedIn account and identify 3 people that you think you could develop a mutually valuable relationship with. Message them and say something like:

“I admire your expertise in [blank industry], I have a few ideas on how we can help each other grow professionally. Can I take you out to lunch to further discuss?”

The ever-growing tree of business starts with a seed – and you just planted one with a simple, two-sentence message. You have just peaked their interest that you might be able to help them, and you opened up the door for a giant world of opportunity.

So what are you waiting for! Getting ‘connecting’!

Cheers,

John Timmerman