I purposely ventured a bit outside the norm so this article won’t be the umpteenth one you’ve read on this topic with the same five tips. These can be applied to business or personal sites.
1. Before you post anywhere, ask yourself: Is is kind? Is it true? Is it fair? If it isn’t, don’t post it. How many of us have learned this lesson the hard way? This doesn’t mean that you can’t issue a friendly challenge or provoke an interesting conver-sation, but there are do’s and don’ts for doing so.
2. Don’t be afraid to promote your business offerings. A lot of Social Media Marketing “experts” will tell you not to sell using social. Nonsense. Just inform first and don’t make every post a sales pitch. Creativity and conveying benefits are key to effective social media marketing.
3. Don’t link Twitter and Facebook together so updates from one feed go to the other’s news feed. Nothing is more annoying than tweets that are obviously status updates from Facebook – with the possible exception of hashtag filled tweets fed to Facebook from Twitter. (Yes, Facebook reportedly will have functional hashtags soon, but we’re not there yet). Treat each medium as important enough to merit its own language and use. Assuming you’ve done the homework to determine where you should be and why, each one is important to your goals. You can duplicate some content, but each medium should have its own distinct voice.
4. Don’t ignore Google+. There are now over 500 million people there. Some of them are people you want to reach. There are numerous articles written that say otherwise; don’t believe them. Google holds critical keys to good SEO, and you don’t want to miss the SEO benefits of being present and regularly posting good content on Google+.
5. Make your social media meaningful. This is especially important if you are dealing with a serious topic. Just remember that even serious topics can have occasional, carefully crafted levity. Think of things that are important to your customers. One example is topics from conversations that you have had with them. Provide great info on those in varying ways; blogs are great for this purpose.
Now, I want to hear from you: Can you share ONE social media tip that has helped you?
Liz DeLoach is the One Woman Dynamo that is Social Strategies. When she’s not strategizing for her clients she is wife, mom of two teens, (Help!) and Group Fitness Coach. Connect with her on Twitter @lizdeloach
I want you, and your business, to succeed in your social marketing efforts. One of the quickest ways to sabotage your chances of that is by trying to do too much. Please, don’t drink the “You have to be on every site to be successful” Social Media Marketing Kool-Aid. You don’t.
In fact, if you are just starting out and managing your own sites, I will tell you right now NOT to reflexively join every big network. Some steps: Figure out first what you want and need to accomplish. Do your homework on businesses like yours to see which sites offer the greatest chance for success and have proven so for your competitors. Find out where your customers and prospects spend their time online and what they do there, pick one or two that make sense, and focus on them. If one is all you can do to start, choose the best one and give it consistent effort. If you find you need help, hire a professional to guide you.
Here’s another piece of advice I’ve not seen elsewhere that I have found applicable to my consult clients: Consider your personality and that of your business, and the communication style that fits both to spread your message. If you love to write, for example, a blog is a great alternative, coupled with perhaps a Facebook Page or Twitter to direct traffic to it. If you’re a Creative in a design field, Pinterest is a great way to go and offers the benefit of being the best for driving high quality, ready-to-buy customers back to your website. If you are comfortable in front of a camera, a YouTube Channel with quick info minute “Vlogs” is a great tool. Most smart phones can be used to upload videos directly to YouTube, making this a great tool that’s fast and easy.
Which social media sites have worked best for your business? How have you made that happen?
Liz DeLoach is the One Woman Dynamo that is Social Strategies. When she’s not helping her clients she is wife, mom of two teens, (Help!) and Group Fitness Coach. Connect with her on Twitter @lizdeloach.]]>
Before I delve into why I entitled this post as I did, a few general points on responding to posts online:
On review sites, where possible and appropriate, refer to your business by name. This is good for search purposes and keeps your name top-of-mind. Use positive words to reiterate customer experiences, and thank them for their time.
When people have a really good or bad experience, they won’t hesitate to mention the names of involved parties. In the case of the good, refer specifically to the services and person mentioned in the review; it shows personalization. And remember, each review response should be unique.
On Facebook or Google Plus, a ‘Like’ or +1 of a positive comment is an acceptable response if you are pressed for time. This is particularly true if your presence has an extremely large following and gets many comments. For Twitter, a quick RT and “Thank you” is a great way to acknowledge compliments.
As for when to wait to respond to a negative complaint: When there are several employees involved in a transaction, take some time to gather all available information to determine what happened, and then formulate just the right response. It’s better to say the right or best thing once, even if it’s a few days after the fact, than the wrong thing too soon. I’ve seen customers return and modify their comments to reflect offline resolution, as well as remove comments made in anger that may not have been entirely fair to the business in the first place.
Usually, the best scenario is to address the details of an online complaint offline. That said, there can be great value in having a constructive dialogue which shows the nature of a complaint and how you resolved it.
What has been your biggest comment challenge? How did you address it?
Liz DeLoach is the One Woman Dynamo that is Social Strategies. When she’s not helping her clients she is wife, mom of two teens, (Help!) and Group Fitness Coach.
There. Didn’t that make you feel better? More confident?
I write this post today to address a different kind of posture: The one you exude with your business and clients. I am often surprised at how we women, especially, seem to be very prone to devaluing ourselves in the marketplace. We’re not resolute enough to expect and charge what we are worth because we’re willing to sacrifice that to get clients. At times, we may even hesitate to assert our expertise. Case in point: We propose to a client, they say our price is too high, and rather than ask a thought provoking question such as “Compared to what?” we capitulate and counter with a lower price. Another example: A client requests a task that falls within our service set, but we feel it is not in their best interest. We do it anyway because they want it and we want to please them. Ever find yourself doing either of these things?
If I accomplish nothing else in this post, I want to convince you of two things: First, don’t ever hesitate to charge, what your careful research has determined, is your worth. Your successful competitors do, because they’ve demonstrated value to clients who are willing and able to pay them. Those clients are out there, even in the current economy. Your challenge is to identify the market that can and will pay for your services, and pursue those clients only. And, at the risk of getting pummeled, I implore you to wipe the phrase “I help clients….” out of your vocabulary and marketing materials. I promise, it’s too vague and you’ll give too much away thinking that way. Your mindset must be that you provide, for a competitive fee, a highly valued and well defined service which your clients need and want that’s worth their money. Period. Help your friends move if you must, but don’t just “help” your clients. Got it?
The second thing you must do is assert your expertise with your clients. Always. You are the expert in the services they have entrusted you to provide, or they’d do it themselves. This does not mean posing as a know-it-all, not listening to their ideas and desires, or being unwilling to admit when you’ve made a mistake or don’t have all the answers. It means having the integrity to say “No” when needed, or formulating an alternate approach. It means articulating clearly and convincingly why and how they can, and should, trust that you are acting in their best interest. In fact, I believe if you determine that a client does not trust you to do what’s best for them – especially in the face of a crisis – you should probably sever the relationship.
So, what do you think? Have you fallen into the either of the traps I’ve mentioned? What did you learn? How is your posture?
If you have any connection to our Bridge Run, you no doubt heard about the delayed start of the race this year. While unfortunate, this iconic Charleston event has gone off without a hitch since inception in 1978. Correct me if I am wrong, but this is the first year I know of that there has ever been a significant problem. That’s an awesome track record considering how large it has become, and the meticulous planning and execution that must be in place for everything to coalesce so well year after year. I think we can trust the fine people who make the event happen to determine exactly what occurred, and take steps to prevent a repeat.
My first beef is with the apology letter. I know they’re worried about decreased participation in future races, but it was too long and a bit pompous. It also included what seemed like a slap at all the news and social media outlets reporting on what caused the delay by saying that these reports were “all speculation and rumor.” Really? They didn’t need to go there. A lot of people were helping them get the word out with information present at the time. The main thing being reported that I saw was that there were delays in transporting people to the starting line – something the letter itself confirms as true. No explanation was offered beyond that – just a promise to figure it out to help ensure it would not happen again. Fair enough, but I think it would make more sense to wait until there is a complete explanation and offer it along with a brief apology – all at one time and one time only.
Now for my discovery: It would appear that the Bridge Run has disabled their Facebook Page and made both it and their Twitter presences harder to find by disabling the links to them from their website. Do a Facebook search and click the website links, and you’ll see what I mean. These links now direct you to their YouTube channel. I know they worked correctly prior to the race, as I used them. Making the sites hard to find means less complaints to deal with, and handling that would be quite a task. But, it also makes it much harder to offer online support there as well. I actually discovered this when I tried to go to the Facebook Page to say something along the lines of: “It’s OK, we’re all human. After 34 great races and one misstep, we know you’ll address whatever went wrong.”
I understand that big mistakes happen and that the fallout can be tough to handle. I understand the desire to apologize and make amends. I don’t understand PR which includes a letter that apologizes on the one hand and accuses on the other. I don’t understand making it harder for the very people you’ve apologized to to find and communicate with you on your own social sites afterwards, except for the obvious reason of not wanting to deal with it. But they should be willing to deal with it as a consequence for the inconvenience caused to so many, shouldn’t they?
I’m really hoping someone from the Bridge Run will hear about my little post today, and care enough to respond right here, as well as have the wisdom and courage to restore former access to their social presences.
What do you think of their response to this situation?.]]>