The Power of Planning

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Planning is obviously important when it comes to how your business operates – and it applies to social media. You probably know what message you want to send, but the execution is a little more complex.

Here are some quick tips to help guide you when planning out your social media. Take these into account before the day you want to post and it will make your life so much easier.

  • Plan to post your message to all of your social media platforms.
    Doing so will help you go up in Search Engine rankings, as well as keeping any of your followers on different platforms from missing the memo. You might not have the same followers on each platform, so if you want everyone to hear your message, say it – everywhere! But when you do, make sure you…
  • Plan to tweak your message for each platform.
    I cannot emphasize this enough – all social media platforms are NOT the same. They are very different animals. If you’re wanting to get the word out about a charity your company is volunteering for, you will need to construct the status update for Facebook different than the tweet for Twitter. For example, you might post on Facebook, “We really enjoyed helping out with this charity this week. Thanks to everyone who came out to help!” with a picture from the festivities, whereas on Twitter you would say “Had a great time with this charity today and can’t wait to help out again! #service”. Both allow people to chime in with a response, but the Twitter one is more casual.
  • Plan to schedule posts.
    First off, decide when and how often you want to post. Then, map out a schedule on a calendar for each social media platform. You can either set reminders for yourself to post at a certain time, or use a scheduling tool – like Hootsuite – to make sure the posts go out on time. Also, keep in mind that a post at 12 at night is not likely to spark much conversation – you’ll want to thoughtfully research and consider the time of day you post.

These suggestions will save you time and money in the long run. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us and we will set something up to meet with you.

Reassessing Your Social Media Plan

Social media trends are constantly changing, so it is a wise idea to look at your social media plan every so often to see if you are keeping up with the trends. If you don’t try to capitalize on current trends, your reach may not be as vast as it could be. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you’re reassessing your social media plan:

Q: Are there any new forms of social media that have popped up in the last 6 months?

A: Probably, but it would seem the real question is: “are they useful?” MySpace, for example, recently tried to reinvent itself. We’ll see if that helps them long term, but it’s an example of a new social media platform in the market. If it looks like your business could benefit from being active on a new platform, you might want to add coverage for that platform into your current social media plan.

Q: Is your current activity generating anything (i.e. comments, likes, retweets, etc.)?

A: If it’s not, you need to focus more energy into the activity that is. If so, try increasing the amount of content you post a little bit, and see if you have the same results. If I’m posting links 5 times a week to Facebook with no feedback, then I should spend more time on Twitter (if that’s getting more of a response).

Q: Is there any research on the social media industry right now that I could look at to tailor to my needs?

A: The answer, is of course, yes. Look at different blogs and see what you find. Social Media, as a discipline, is always changing. Look at the information you can find and make sure you tailor your plan to work with it. For example, there are some times where it’s better to post on Facebook than others; however, when Facebook grew a lot, they changed because companies started blocking Facebook at work.

Any questions? Ask and we’ll answer in the comments below.

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Ice Cream Social Tips and Tricks

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Does your marketing need a boost? We suggest that you “eat more ice cream.” That is, learn to break up the routine of daily work and meetings to strengthen relationships with your contacts. A prominent example of how we apply the “eat more ice cream” philosophy at LJF Marketing is the way we try to schedule ice cream appointments to keep the mood light, refreshing and interesting, as opposed to the predictable coffee date.

Now, it’s very possible that you might think social media can’t relate to your business. Planning events and meetings is one of the most useful things you can do with it, but don’t take my word for it… click here to learn what’s in it for you when you take advantage of social media’s full potential.

So, how does this relate to social media? Well, Facebook makes it easy to host an event or meeting, big or small. Hosting an event showcasing your business’s personality is the perfect remedy to a drab business day… perhaps you can have an ice cream social of your own with these tips!

First, you need to create an event. Have your info ready for what you would like to name the event, the details of the event, the location and the date and time.

  • On your social media page, go up to the top right corner, to “Edit Page”. On the drop down menu, click “Update Public Info”.
  • Now, notice the sidebar on the left. Click on “Apps”.
  • On the Apps section, you’ll see the “Events” app. Before creating the event, make sure to adjust your visibility settings under “Edit Settings”; if you don’t want the event to be visible on your timeline, this is where you change that setting. After you’re satisfied with the settings, click “Go to App” to set up your event.
  • With your information handy, simply fill in the blanks. Note that all events for your company’s Facebook page will be public, even though you may edit your events settings so that they don’t show up on your timeline.
  • If you’d like, you can choose to allow only administrators to post updates to the event. If the goal is to generate a lot of buzz about it, I do not recommend this setting; if it is a business event, consider this option to avoid spam or unnecessary comments.
  • After you have filled out all the information, click “create”, and your event is born!

To invite people to the event, simply copy the URL of the event’s page, and send to your colleagues via email. This will do two things: show your colleagues the event page so that they can state if they are attending, and encourage people that don’t already like your Facebook page to like it.

If you’ll look up in the right hand corner (after you’ve created the event) you can now edit settings. Here are some functions to take note of.

  • Posts, pictures, or shares – these function similarly to when they are on your general timeline; they show up in the newsfeeds of your attendees. You can share it with other organizations and pages.
  • Event Photo – add either your logo or a photo related to the event.
  • “Repeat event” – This feature makes the Events feature of Facebook a useful scheduling tool. If you have a standing meeting every week, then it will probably save you a lot of pain to use this. It also gives you the opportunity to communicate on a project with an expiration date without creating a group. You can repeat the event by clicking on the settings symbol in the right corner.
  • “Export event” – Useful if you have a calendar linked to your phone, work computer, or home computer.
  • “Promote event” – As a part of Facebook’s advertising features, you can promote your event as an advertisement. This is useful if it’s a public event and you are trying to get as many people in the doors as possible.

We hope this will help you plan your next event easily. When you know how to use the events feature the right way, your Facebook approach is just one less detail to worry about.

Even if you don’t think social media will help your business, contact us to find smart, innovative ideas that are the perfect fit. You can find our information at LJFMarketing.com.

The Art of the (virtual) Elevator Speech

An elevator speech at networking events is a key part of managing your message and spreading it to others. While this concept is no less important in the realm of social media, may seem difficult to translate it to such a platform. We’re here to answer your questions to make the process seamless.

 

Q: Where do I put my elevator speech?

  • A: The “About” section

On Twitter, this would be your profile. The About section may be found in different places on each profile (on LinkedIn, it’s under the “Home” section), but it’s typically the first thing potential customers look for.

  • Make sure your about section is visible to everyone. You can change this in your privacy settings. That way, people that don’t already like your page can get the information from a general search.

Q: What needs to be in it?

  • A: What your business does
  • Who it serves
  • How it serves
  • Why it serves
  • Note: This content is different from a sales pitch. You haven’t won that key meeting yet, so this is an opportunity to get someone interested in hearing your pitch.

Q: How long does it need to be?

  • A: Relatively short (I recommend 6-7 sentences)
    Sum up the previous 3 questions succinctly and with a concrete example or two. These sentences can be divided into short paragraphs for emphasis, if that’s your writing style. Similar to resume writing, you must get the point across quickly because you don’t have a lot of time to impress the reader. Give them enough to get them interested, but don’t waste time and energy giving everything away; peak their interest and they will come to you.

Q: How do I end it?

  • A: Tell the reader to contact your company today for more information, or lead them to your website.
  • Note: Make sure you leave all contact information. If someone has read this far, you would normally give them your business card; this essentially emulates that act.

 

Pressed for time? LJF Marketing does all of this in house, so contact us for more information. Until then, we hope this helps!

Social Media Demographics: Who’s Using Which Sites?

In our last post, we challenged you to use demographics to target your market on social media. If you’re still puzzled on where to find general statistics to see where to use your social media sites, look no further – we’ve found the missing piece. Here is an infographic on the market segmentation of different social media websites.

Social Media Demographics: Who’s Using Which Sites?
Source: Flowtown – Social Media Marketing Application

Now that you have a way to figure out and understand your market, stay tuned for more tips on how to actually implement a strategy.

How to Use Social Media to Target Your Market

“Target your market” is a topic discussed quite often… but many business owners still do not understand what that actually means. To level the playing field, targeting your market is crucial to your business’ ability to turn interactions into profits.

Here are some examples of common misconceptions of what qualifies as a target market:
“Everyone who will buy my product”
“Men”
“Women”
“Soccer moms”

The problem with all of these perceived “target markets” is that they aren’t specific enough; you can’t target everyone. The gist of targeting is to be intentional with your efforts and understand where those efforts are being effective. Realistically, not everyone is going to want your product or service, so you are wasting time and money trying to cater to everyone.

Please note that just because someone is interested in your product or service and is outside of your target market doesn’t mean they can’t buy your product – it just means they are a statistical outlier, which is completely normal. Don’t let yourself falter from hitting the target because you fear alienating potential customers.

Now that we have a firm foundation on what not to do, we can discuss how to target your market by researching the market you already have. It’s surprisingly simple to do with fee tools like Facebook and Twitter.
Look at your customers’ interests.

  • Do most of your customers share a common interest and live in your area? That’s probably a good indication that you should try advertising to them. You’ll be likely to get more customers because people with those interests already like you. Look at your “likes” and “followers” – you can tell a lot from them about the support you have.

Look at demographics.

  • Predominant gender, age, socioeconomic status, cultural background, etc. can also tell you a lot about your customers. It allows you to see what may be important to them, since cultural backgrounds likely influence the person they are today. Look at these things to cater to what your current clients’ convictions are, and which will likely catch the attention of their friends through word of mouth.
  • For example: if you sell artisanal salad dressing, you might notice that most of your biggest fans are “foodies”. After doing some market research, you could probably tell that many foodies crave exceptional taste and often look for healthy as possible products, so if there are foodies that love your flavors, they may also love the fact that they can stay healthy using the product on a salad and as a marinade. Since one product satisfies both the need for health and the need for taste, sharing recipes that demonstrate these characteristics add an increased value to the brand and satisfy the demographic.

While these things may seem simple, they are effective, and free!

Are there any tips you have for finding the most loyal customers?

Source:
Inc.com