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The Most Important Thing You Should Be Doing On Social Media

The Most Important Thing You Should Be Doing On Social Media

The Most Important Thing You Should Be Doing On Social Media

Being consistent and posting engaging content is important, but if you’re not interacting with people on social media, your efforts aren’t worth it.

by MATT STOKES | APRIL 13, 2018

Most businesses are investing in social media marketing, and they’re not containing their efforts to Facebook and Twitter, but also venturing into Instagram and, increasingly, Pinterest.

A presence on social media is crucial to your business’s success. By regularly posting content, you’re at least letting people know that you’re still around. Even better, by putting out engaging content, you’re helping interested people get to better know your brand and humanizing your company.

But if you’re not interacting with other people on social media, you’re doing it wrong. A great social media post without interaction is like a tree falling in the middle of a sub-Arctic temperate coniferous forest. Which is to say: No one’s going to notice it.

Why you need to interact on social media

Simply put, the more people you interact with, the more your social web will expand.

A Tweet or Facebook post that you publish will be seen, at most, by people who already follow you. But by drawing in another person, there’s a chance that every person connected to that account will see your post. That second person can in turn draw in more people, and the reach grows very quickly.

How you can interact on social media

It may seem anathema to automatically send a “Thank you for following” message to anybody who follows your company’s social media account, but is this any different from sending an automated email? It is not, and it will seem more personal to the recipient.

Every time somebody new follows you, you should realize an opportunity to connect with that person. Whether it’s a simple “thank you” or a personalized message that includes a discount code, a giveaway, or a promotional item, you can try to make them feel special. Even if they don’t respond or never even read your message, they will at least know that you bothered with the effort.

Another way to interact with people online is to search out posts that are relevant to your business and promote them, either by “Liking” or even re-Tweeting or re-posting them. Doing this will definitely get the attention of the original poster, who might become curious and take a few seconds to check out your brand’s social media account (Make sure you have your best content front and center for occasions like this.).

Better still is to answer questions people have about something related to your business. Social networks have search functions you can narrow geographically—so if, for example, you are a dentist’s office, you can search for people in your zip code who are talking about dental hygiene. If somebody asks how often they should get their teeth cleaned, you can respond with a link to a video or brochure that you have available for free that answers their question. Or, better yet, answer their question directly, without making a sales pitch. The goodwill you generate by helping people out will eventually circle back and reward you.

 

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Researching keywords using Google is easy… and free

Researching keywords using Google is easy… and free

Researching keywords using Google is easy… and free.

Google AdWords has a free tool called Keyword Planner that you should always keep in mind when marketing online.

by MATT STOKES | APRIL 6, 2018

You’ve probably heard of Searach Engine Optimization (SEO)—it’s the practice of putting words and descriptions onto your website that attract the search engines and ultimately help your site rise in search result rankings. But almost every marketing effort you make online can be optimized, including YouTube videos, podcasts, and even social media posts.

A great way to come up with ideas for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn posts for your business is to preemptively answer a question. It’s easy to find out what people are asking and how they’re asking it by using Keyword Planner, Google’s free keyword research tool. If you have a Gmail account, you can access Keyword Planner at this address: https://adwords.google.com/um/Welcome/Home#oa 

How to use Keyword Planner to see what questions people are asking

Once you’ve signed into your AdWords (Gmail) account, you’ll be taken to the AdWords Dashboard. If you’ve been using AdWords for other purposes (such as paid Google ads), you’ll see your activity on your Dashboard. Keyword Planner can be accessed by clicking on your “Tools” icon and then selecting “Keyword Planner.”

You’ll be brought to Keyword Planner, which opens with a simple input field. This is where you’ll research your topic. Type in your topic—let’s go “Missouri divorce” (You’re a Family Law Attorney in Missouri, in our scenario.). Your results will look something like this:

You’ll get tons of results, so you should use some filtering options to get a better idea of what you need. To begin, you might want to adjust the geography of the results:

You can adjust the search results to only show you Missouri, or a particular location within Missouri. Next, you can filter out results that don’t include your subject word, “Divorce.” Click on the “Filter” symbol,

…then select “Keyword text,” choose, “contains,” and type “divorce.” That way, you filter out results such as “legal separation in missouri.”

If you sort these results by “Avg. monthly searches,” you’ll get your most important metric: popularity. The first result is just the word “divorce,” but the second is “divorce papers,” which is an interesting phrase. This is a phrase used more in the non-legal world than the legal world, so perhaps it’s a good idea to write a blog post explaining what is meant by “divorce papers,” or to do a simple social media post along the lines of, “What are divorce papers? They include a…”

This is the mere tip of the iceberg for what Keyword Planner can do, but it’s a great way to brainstorm about ways to connect people online with your business.

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5 Scary Ways Your Neglected Website Could Hurt Your Business

5 Scary Ways Your Neglected Website Could Hurt Your Business

5 Scary Ways Your Neglected Website Could Hurt Your Business

A neglected or ignored website can do more harm than good if it features out of date information or software.

by LACI ROTH | MARCH 28, 2018

A few years back you invested a lot of time and money into building a great website. Your job is done… You were able to just set it and forget it… right?

Wrong! A neglected website can do more harm than good to your brand. Here are five ways the website you’re ignoring could be hurting you.

Your website has a news section with old—or little—news

Using dates (months and years) on your posts is a great idea… if you plan to update your website content monthly. But if not, you should try substituting dates with text that is more general. This is a good approach for text that will sit there for a while.

It is a bad look to have a news/updates/announcement page or widget with very few things or only old things. You’re better off not including this feature at all. What does it say to a potential client or customer that you have a “news” page but the most recent news story is three years old? 

Your website contains outdated technology

Does your website have Adobe Flash or a now-defunct identity verification app? Chances are this is not only slowing down your website but could render it completely unusable for many users, and too cumbersome for others to want to deal with.

Your design looks dated

Design trends on the internet move very fast, which is obviously a pain to keep up with. This doesn’t mean that you should constantly chase the trends and overhaul the design of your site, but it does mean that you should be cognizant of how your site appears to the average internet user.

Do you have a homepage slider that’s making people motion sick? Sometimes more is just more, and is not adding any actual value. Sliders are no longer cutting edge—at the very least, having one doesn’t make your site look fresh if the slider isn’t sleek and purposeful. Consider instead using one hero image instead of a slider. If you are set on using a slider, keep it to three or four slides at the most—just make sure they are animated in a way that isn’t overcomplicated (A simple fade is best.).

Malfunctioning software

Websites often use themes and plugins built by third parties. These apps are periodically improved by the developer, but the webmaster is responsible for implementing the update for her website. Not regularly updating third-party apps—and then checking to make sure the website continues to work with the updates—is the number-one way sites become infected with malware or are hacked.

Poor search performance

A website that never gets updated is like a store with a burn-out light-up sign whose owners never bother to repair it. It seems vacant, and customers will likely ignore it. If your website hasn’t been updated in forever, the search engine crawlers will not help, as they are attracted to websites that are frequently updated. This means your site will move farther and farther down the search results and your business will suffer. 

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The Psychology of Why “Less Is More”

The Psychology of Why “Less Is More”

The Psychology of Why “Less Is More”

Even if your audience likes what you’re saying, when you give them too much information to process, they subconsciously lower their opinion of you. This applies not just to marketing but to all our interactions in life.

by MATT STOKES | MARCH 21, 2018

“Less is more” is repeated so often in discussions of marketing that it’s easy to ignore and dismiss as an empty cliché. But clichés often become clichés for a reason, and when you seriously consider whether less is more, you ask a fascinating question.

 

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Disney & Marvel showed how to get employees involved in a social media campaign

Disney & Marvel showed how to get employees involved in a social media campaign

Disney and Marvel showed how well employees’ social media can be used in marketing campaigns.

The studio turned a routine announcement into a social media event… and we can actually learn a lot from their example.

by MATT STOKES | MARCH 14, 2018

This is an entry in an ongoing series of looks at successful modern marketing campaigns. 

Even though my business makes money helping other businesses with their marketing efforts, I don’t mind saying that you don’t need me for your most important marketing campaign. The most successful form of marketing is you doing what you already do the best you can. That means that your best resource can often be the people who work with and for your business.

That being the case, why not utilize their talents when it comes to social media? Chances are, you have at least a few employees with robust social networks, and these networks can be enlisted to spread awareness of your marketing campaigns.

We saw a terrific execution of this strategy recently when Disney and Marvel announced that they would be moving the North American release date of Avengers: Infinity War (one of the year’s most anticipated movies) up one week. While movie studios carefully select release dates (often years in advance), the announcement that in a few months a film will come out seven days sooner than initially planned is not dramatic news. To turn the news into something people were excited to learn about, the studio used the movie’s biggest star, Robert Downey, Jr., as part of a charming social media exchange.

This handful of Tweets exchanged between Marvel Studio’s Twitter account and Downey took only a few minutes and a little coordination, but it got far more attention than a simple press release announcing the date change. Entertainment websites and blogs all around the world picked up the thread and wrote news stories about it, embedding the Tweets and getting exposure far beyond the already substantial following both accounts had.

Does this have anything to do with your business? You likely don’t employ Robert Downey, Jr., but you probably do have employees who are skilled at social media and have healthy followings. Enlisting them to help in your company’s social strategy is a great way to get more attention and engagement.

Even routine social media posts can be livened up if the employee initiates the post on her own account. For example, say your company hosts an event and you want to share pictures taken at the event. You could upload the pictures and share them, or you could have your employee post to Facebook that she had a great time at the event and can’t wait to see pictures, and you can respond to that with a picture or two. Take time, allow comments and exchanges with your own followers and your employee’s friends, and you’ll have a series of posts that receive far more responses and engagement than if you’d gone the more straightforward route.

That’s a very simple example, but there are countless ways you can implement this method. Showing that your employees love the company they work for enough to interact with it on social media will also be great for your brand, and it will make your company seem more approachable and accessible. And the best part is you already have the tools to do this in house.

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You—yes, you—should write a book.

You—yes, you—should write a book.

You—yes, you—should write a book.

How anyone can use a book to build their brand.

by MATT STOKES | MARCH 5, 2018

Do you need to write a book to promote your business?

The answer is not always going to be yes, but books are becoming increasingly useful as a marketing tool to show off your expertise and explain what you do in a more sophisticated setting.

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