Social Media

Instagram And Your Business

Did you know people can ‘tag’ your business on Instagram and upload pictures about it?

Don’t worry, people, that’s what I’m here for.

Now if you want to use Instagram for your business, here’s a quick guide for creating an account (with screenshots) someone else wrote.

But if you’re sitting there thinking ‘How can I see what people are posting about my business?’ that’s what I’m going to tackle here.

First of all, you need 1) a smartphone and 2) an Instagram account.

Sorry, you just do.

Now let’s assume you have both these things. The easiest way for me to see  my business stuff is to take a photo and upload it tagging my business. (There might be other ways to do this, this is just my way):

1) Take a photo:

takeiphonepictureinstagram

1a) You can pick a filter/crop it a bit:

applyfilterinstagram

2) Add some information in the caption (I tagged Derrick, my man friend, in this case since he transplanted this for me.)

instagramshareimagelocation

3) Click ‘Name this location’ and add yours. (Aside: Instagram pulls in map data from a bunch of different sources like TomTom and Yelp so if you aren’t coming up, get your business datamapped!)

instagramlocationpicked

4) Click ‘Share’ on the bottom.

Once your listing is uploaded, you can click on the writing in blue…

taggedlocationininstagramfeed

And see who else has uploaded photos.

Since my business is tiny, I took screenshots of another business (in this case Side Street Cafe) to let you see some cool stuff:

instagramsidestreet

So don’t assume because you don’t use Instagram that people who come to your business aren’t. (Classic mistake to think everyone is like you… and one I make almost daily.)

Tech Thursday: What Social Media Sites Should I Be Using?

As a business, it’s becoming increasingly crucial to put yourself out there on social media accounts.There are hundreds of social networks… how do you know which one you should spend time on? Basically, be where your customer is!

LinkedIn: The Sleeper Social Network

linkedinMost of the time, when people talk about social media, what they are really talking about is Facebook.

No one has ever asked me to give a LinkedIn seminar and when I talk about building my network using it, I usually get a couple eye rolls.

Here’s the thing though. To me, LinkedIn is that quiet but really nice nerd in your high school class that goes on to found the Fortune 500 company. You kind of wish you would have invested a little effort getting to know him while you sat at the same cafeteria table. And quite honestly, all the nerd wanted is just a little bit of effort (which is a lot more than you can say of your high maintenance friend Facebook, which requires you to post multiple times a day since only 2-3% of people see your posts ever.)

Here’s why I think LinkedIn could be doing more for you if you spent maybe 15 minutes a week updating your profile, sharing links/ideas, and recommending other people you’ve worked with:

1) It got me my biggest contract ever.

On my skills, I listed a familiarity with Joomla among other softwares. I thought no more about it.

A year later, one of my contacts, someone I don’t even know that well, sent me a private message about his organization’s Joomla site. What that short message exchange turned into was a 1.5 year contract that is the biggest I’ve gotten to date. Turns out that, while they were most interested in my marketing background, the fact I could use Joomla is what sealed the deal.

LinkedIn allows you to display your skills to a group of people you already know. Because let’s face it, people like to hire people that they know… but your Facebook friends might not know you can use InDesign or have a job history with medical non-profits. LinkedIn allows you to display these things in a completely non-selly way.

2) Your information is visible and lots of people in the market for someone like you are looking at it.

Here’s a screenshot of a slower week on LinkedIn for me:

linkedin-lurkers

While I’m sure lots more people look at my profile on Twitter in a given week, I bet most of them aren’t looking to actually hire me like the 11 prospects on LinkedIn searching for someone like me this past week.

People spend so much time on their own websites that they don’t understand that people in decision making positions are using LinkedIn to do their research.

Why is this still true of a very old social network. In my opinion, LinkedIn has partly survived as long as it has because it’s never been a trendy place to be. If you want a broken down demographic of LinkedIn compared to other social networks, this giant but useful infographic is for you. (Summary: LinkedIn skews older, higher educated, and higher income than the most popular social networks.)

3) Make it look like you are on top of your game with weekly digests.

While Facebook is cluttered with vacation photos and links to Buzzfeed quizzes, LinkedIn is all work. You get notified if 1) Someone changes job or 2) shares some likely work-related link (most people don’t so if you actually do, you’ll stand out) or 3) wants to connect with you.

My LinkedIn weekly email digest gives me my network at a glance in a way looking at other networks doesn’t do.

Also by actually posting articles, I show up in other peoples’ weekly digests. Several people have emailed me after seeing a blog post or link I shared on LinkedIn. No one does that about what I share on Pinterest, no matter how cool it is.

So if you are at all in the market to be hired for something, whether you are underemployed, self-employed, or the kind of person/firm that gets hired by other businesses, I recommend you spending a bit of time on LinkedIn. It might not be the coolest thing you’ve done this week but when you are sitting on your nerd friend’s private jet six months from now, that won’t matter so much.

Tech Thursday: Doing More With Images On Social Media

We all know images are great for websites like Facebook and Pinterest, but are you using them in the best way possible?

Here are a few tips that will allow you to spend five extra minutes and get much better results from your marketing efforts!

Have No Idea What To Say On Social Media? Read This.

Something about a blinking cursor can give even the most enthusiastic writing types writers block.

This post is unblocking this writers block when you update your social media profiles.

Here’s a couple things to think about:

1) It doesn’t have to be perfect. No one’s going to die if you get it wrong and too many people wait around for perfection.
2) It doesn’t have to be amazing. You only have to be clever for about two sentences, max.

With that in mind, for every client I work with, I come up with a content plan for each social network.

Let’s say I’m… a kitchen remodeling specialist. Here might be my Facebook content plan:

Mondays: Kitchen Remodeling Tip of the Week
Tuesdays: Kitchen of the Week (photo)
Wednesdays: Review of Kitchen product (could be on my blog or elsewhere)
Thursdays: Recipe
Friday: BUY MY CRAP

Here are what some of those posts could look like:

remodeltipfacebookpost

fbpostkitchenoftheweek

Now a couple of things here:

1) I credited the original source for my information in both cases and
2) If I care about tracking what things people like, I use bitly.com links. If I don’t really care whether people click or not (or if it’s something on my own website), I can just throw the link in there. (More on this in a future blog entry!)

I’m not changing the world here. I’ve just given myself something to work with. When I open Facebook and it’s a Thursday, I know I should go find a recipe to share. When it’s Monday, I find a remodeling tip. I’m never ‘stuck’ for what to say. If some day I have something else I’d rather share, it’s alright; I just have this as a framework to approach social media and force myself to be creative and on-topic.

The other thing you’ll notice in my first list is the BUY MY CRAP post, which I am thinking about for Fridays for this fake person.

Most of the time on social media, you won’t be posting your own stuff. You want to be conversational, knowledgeable, interesting, helpful. But occasionally, you should remind people about your business. (And you shy people are particularly bad about asking for the sale).

Now what do I mean by BUY MY CRAP? You could

  • A link to an item someone can buy
  • A link to where they can leave a review
  • A link to subscribe to an email newsletter
  • A flyer for your upcoming sale
  • A link to another social media account
  • A link to make a donation to your cause

You get the idea. You give yourself the space, one day a week to promote or cross promote something your business is doing.

Here are a couple of my BUY MY CRAP posts:

selfpromoteypost1

selfpromoteypost2

The other bonus of having some set things you share? People can start to look forward to them. By the third of fourth week, Thursdays your fans/friends are subconsciously looking for that review post and wondering what it is going to be about. Even if they haven’t consciously picked up on the pattern. That’s why traffic on this site spikes on Tuesdays and Fridays, because that’s when people have come to expect new blog posts.

Now you’re sharing plan is going to be different and depend on the social network as well as what kind of business you have… but you really should make one.

A few other fake sample ones:

Jeweler on Twitter

Monday: Post about a celeb who wore jewelry well recently (link to photo)
Tuesday: Retweet something in the #jewelry hashtag.
Wednesday: Jewelry related quote
Thursday: BUY MY CRAP
Friday: Thank people who have retweeted this week

Coffee Shop on Instagram

Monday: #firstcupofcoffee photo
Tuesday: Customer of the week photo
Wednesday: BUY MY CRAP (In this case since it’s a photo only website, maybe a photo of a pairing idea (food with beverage) that you sell. Maybe all pairings could be under $10 which you could say in every caption.)
Thursday: From around town photo
Friday: Staff at work photo

You get the idea, if you step back from what you are doing and think ‘How can I regularly be creative about this?’ you are ahead of a majority of people on social media.

So hopefully you feel unblocked and see the blinking cursor as something that’ll now take up way less time in your day… and open up a new way to have fun with your online marketing.

How To Get More Popular On Pinterest

doingmoreonpinterestOK so you’ve gone on Pinterest; created compelling boards of content; added ‘Pin it’ buttons to your website;  left comments on popular pins;  followed others;  and otherwise done everything you are supposed to do on Pinterest…

So once you have done that, what ELSE can you do to get more followers? Inspired by my wanting to get to 1,000 Pinterest followers by the end of January, I did some research for you and I. Below are some free tools you might like to take advantage of using if you are beyond the beginner stage of Pinterest:

http://pinwoot.com/

Earn seeds by following people and repinning. You can find these theoretical people to follow by interests (five total preferred interests).

This is kind of a ‘you pin me, I pin you’ sharing system. Within five minutes:

withinfiveminutespinwoot

So, um, yeah. Seems to work.

http://www.picmonkey.com/ and https://shareasimage.com/

Make non-ugly pictures and quotes to go on your pages and blog posts so people actually want to pin them. Because ask yourself truly: Those blog posts and pages on your website that you want people to pin, is there even a cool image on them?

http://www.pinvolve.co/ or http://woobox.com

Sync your Facebook and Pinterest accounts. Like when people are looking at my business page, they can see:

pinvolve

While I’m not a big fan of saying the same thing on every social network, I do think it’s important to have a way to get people back and forth… also I think not taking advantage of Facebook’s over 1 billion users seems a little silly.

http://pinalerts.com/

The Google Alert of Pinterest. Get an email notification when someone pins something from your website(s). You can make these as frequent (as it happens) or infrequent (once a week) as you like.

How does this get you more followers? By responding to the people who help out your website, you can turn them from drive by ‘I liked that one thing’ people into friends who will repin your stuff again and again (hopefully, if you keep being awesome that is).

http://www.tailwindapp.com/

This is a Pinterest analytics system that integrates with Google Analytics. Since it didn’t ask me for my Pinterest login (only my username and then a way I could create an account with) so it seems I could analyze others with this tool too. They give you some stuff free but want to get you hooked so you buy the pro version.

It was interesting for example to find out that my most ‘viral’ board was my humor one, affirming both that I am funny and that I need to step up my game on my other boards.

If you want a much much more detailed breakdown of these and some paid tools too: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2013/09/13/12-awesome-pinterest-tools-to-power-up-your-marketing/

In other words, even if at the beginning of this post you thought you were doing everything on Pinterest, think again my friends! Let me know how using these tools works for you!

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