I love all social media sites but at present, I am having the most fun on Instagram. One thing that is popular on Instagram is photo a day challenges. March has a very popular and successful challenge hashtag, #marchmeetthemaker This challenge helps small business owners, who make things to tell the story around their brand and products by having a daily prompt. So I thought I would try to run my own challenge, not around Social Media but one of my other passions the beautiful county that I live in, Lincolnshire.
In April I am running the #LoveLincsChallenge to help Lincolnshire people and businesses show off the different aspects of our county. This challenge will be good for local tourism businesses like B & B’s, hotels, self-catering properties, local attractions, and cafes. I am really looking forward to finding out about new places that I haven’t been to in Lincolnshire.
April seemed a good time to do this challenge as it is a time when local attractions either re-open their doors for the season or extend their opening hours. In April, we also hope that there is sunny Spring weather, ideal for taking pictures of our great county.
Share what you love about Lincolnshire on Instagram
Each day there is a prompt or theme which you can see in the image below and I will also share it on my Instagram. I hope the themes are general enough, for as many people as possible to join in. I will run a prize draw for everyone that shares a post every day with the #LoveLincsChallenge hashtag to win a 2-hour online social media session with me worth £100.
I advise you to also use the #Lincolnshire and #VisitLincolnshire hashtags in your posts to get as many people as possible to see your images. If you are a business you could also use #Lincolnshirebusiness. In the description write about the image, as it will help people get to know you. Is it a place you pass every day on the way to work? Or somewhere you used to take your children or grandchildren? Please use your own images rather than reposting other people’s pictures, they can be photos you have taken in the past if that makes it easier.
I will be checking out #LoveLincsChallenge daily to see who has been posting and like some of the posts. Having a look at who else is using the hashtag is a great way to find new local people to follow. If you like the sound of this challenge I would love for you to get involved and please comment on my Instagram post to tell me you are taking part and tag your friends and other businesses who you think might enjoy the challenge. I can’t wait to see what you post.
The Challenge starts on the 1st of April and runs for the whole month.
If you would like to work with me to learn how to use social media to more effectively and efficiently promote your business, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message me on Instagram.
Video is everywhere, there is Facebook Live, Periscope and of course, the main place for video is YouTube.
YouTube is the second largest search engine and it is owned by the largest search engine Google. It is the place people go to search for How to videos, funny cat videos, and videos about their favourite topic. So it makes sense if you feel comfortable talking to camera, to use video as part of your marketing strategy. However, many people spend their precious time creating videos for YouTube but then they don’t get many views, because they don’t optimise their videos for search on YouTube.
The thing is Google and YouTube can only read words, not video or audio so you need to add words to enable Google and YouTube to know what your video is about and then put the words in the right places.
Watch my video below to find out how to get more views on YouTube.
A summary of the tips I share in the video are below:
Use descriptive titles for your videos use keywords that your clients are searching for.
Use the same keywords in the description box below the title, giving more information about what you cover in the video.
Wait until the end of your video for the call to action, as you want people to watch as much of your video as possible.
Make sure your channel has all the links to you on Social Media and your website, you can also add this information to the description box under each video.
There are lots of other things that you can do to help get your videos seen by more people like adding an attention-grabbing custom thumbnail to your videos. Or editing your Facebook Live videos on YouTube to get rid of the talkie bits, where you are saying Hi to people as they join so that your YouTube video just has the quality content that you shared in the Facebook Live. I have also written an article about my 3 top tips for getting more views on YouTube.
If you are serious about getting more people to see your YouTube videos you can work with me for an hour or maybe 2, depending on where you are with YouTube.
What you get from your 1 to 1 session with me
you will have have a YouTube channel to be proud of
you will understand how YouTube works
you will have a strategy & checklist to use for each video you upload
you will be able to go and edit existing videos to get more views on those too
you will get a recording of your session to refer back to
and your videos will be getting more views
I charge £50 per hour and we work 1 to 1 together via Zoom so that I can screen share to show you live how to do things, we will choose one video to optimise during the session. If you are interested in working with me please email me at email@example.com
I have written various posts about Twitter on this blog, therefore I thought it might be useful to link to them all in one post, so that you can find them easily.
My Twitter Basics include:
How to edit your Profile
How to Tweet
How to use lists
How to use Hashtags
How to grow your following
Twitter has significantly less monthly active users than Facebook, 313 million on Twitter versus 1.71 billion on Facebook. However it is still a brilliant tool for business, if you know how it works and how to use it intelligently, to connect with the right people. Twitter can be a very powerful tool in your Social Media Marketing.
Why it is important to complete your Twitter Profile
My first post about Twitter was back in October 2012 and was about why it is important to complete your profile, I have updated this with a YouTube video I did about how to edit your profile, which is the same video below.
How to Tweet
Here is video about How to Tweet
An underused function of Twitter is Lists, so here is my article about how to set up and use Twitter lists Lists are great for organising who you follow and finding interesting content, it is never to soon to start using Twitter lists.
Hashtags on Twitter
Hashtags are important and useful to use on Twitter, however it is important that you know how to use them on Twitter, as it isn’t the same way as they are used on Instagram. In my article on Hashtags I explain what hashtags are and how to use them correctly on Twitter. Read my post about how to use hashtags on Twitter here.
How to build an engaged Following
If you are tweeting great informative and entertaining Tweets you need them to be seen by people and for those people to share your tweets, so you it is important to follow people who are active on tweet and that are chatting and retweeting other people’s tweets. In this article I explain how to build your following but not just by increasing your numbers but by increasing the number of followers that are more likely to interact with you and your tweets. My five top tips for building a following that interact with you
If you want to learn more strategies on how to use Twitter to promote your business then take a look at my 30 days to Twitter Success course or sign up for my newsletter to keep up to date with new developments in Social Media.
Creating your own images for social media helps you stand out from the crowd, yes it takes more time and thought than just searching for a stock image to use, however I guarantee the images you create will get better results than using a stock image, that lots of other businesses may have used.
With so much information being shared on social media using images to catch people’s eye and tell them what they are going to get if they stop to read your post or click to read more is essential.
Here are my top 5 tips for creating images that get you and your business noticed:
1) Make sure the image is relevant to your post
Using an image that doesn’t relate to your post will get the wrong person clicking through, while you ideal clients scroll past because they don’t slow down long enough to read the text.
In the image above, which picture is going to get the right people to read the article? Having the wrong people click through to your website causes a higher bounce rate on your site, as someone clicks the link and then leaves your site quickly because the article isn’t relevant to them.
In the first image I might be trying to stand out by being different and quirky, using the picture of my son’s Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon, hoping that people will get the build connection. However being obvious gets the right people to click through or stop to read your post.
2) Add text to your image
Adding the blog title to an image will tell people what they are going to get if they stop to read your article.
Now with the title text added to these 2 images the Lego Star Wars one is telling people what they get, so the click through rate and bounce rate will both improve.
3) Always add your website and business logo to images
Adding your website address and business logo to images is very important, as it builds brand awareness and if someone shares your image using a screenshot, people that see it will still be able to see your logo and website.
4) Optimise the sizes of your images for different social media sites
A square image will work on Facebook and Instagram, but it won’t look very good on Twitter and for Pinterest you want to create images that are portrait rather than landscape and for a blog post landscape works better than portrait. This is why I use Canva.com to create images, as there are perfectly sized templates for different social media posts and headers.
The above image has been designed to share on Instagram and Facebook.
5) Be consistent with colours and fonts
Being consistent with the colours and fonts you use in your images, will help people relate the image to your business. I use the colours of blue, red and white in my images as these are the colours in my logo. Using lots of different fonts in one image doesn’t look as good as only using 2 or 3 fonts. If you aren’t sure about this have a look at images you like and count how many fonts they use.
There are lots of other details you can go into when creating images but these basics should help you create your own images for social media, quickly and easily. I am not a graphic designer but these 5 tips have helped me create images for social media that people interact with. I create all my own images for social media using a combination of stock images and my own photos taken using my mobile.
Do you create your own images for social media?
If you have found this useful then please share it with your colleagues and friends.
Are you using Social Media Marketing to promote your local business?
Do you have an independent shop or business on a high street of a town or village in the UK?
Do you want more people to come through the door of your shop or restaurant?
Do you have a business that serves local businesses?
Do you want an affordable way to market your business?
Lots of bricks and mortar businesses don’t have a good presence on social media and are missing a great way to get people to know about their business and to buy from them. Whether it is because they think social media is only worth doing if you have a website or maybe they are too busy in their business to get the proper training.
There are many benefits of using social media marketing to promote your business, which I cover in another blog post What is Social Media Marketing? However, here are my top 5 reasons why your local business should be using social media marketing as part of your marketing strategy:
1) Social media helps you get found online
If you haven’t got a website then having good profiles on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will help people find your business, when they search for businesses similar to yours online. If you have a website you can use social media sites to direct traffic back to your website. Also when people search for your business online your social media profiles will appear as well as your website.
2) Use a business Facebook Page as your main online presence
Following on from my first point, if you don’t have a website you can use a Facebook business page to provide information you might have on a website such as contact details, opening times, special events that you are hosting etc. Although I would always advise people to have their own website as that is where you have control of what you want to achieve online.
3) Tell people what products you stock
A well thought out Facebook page with good quality images of the products you sell or services you provide will communicate to prospective clients what you do.
Recently I was going into local businesses doing a leaflet drop and telling business owners about my business. In the village that I was doing the leaflet drop there was a small health food shop, that I often walked past thinking I must pop in there one day, when I have time. When I popped into this health food shop to tell them about my business, I found out that they stocked products I usually bought online, because I hadn’t found any other local Health Food shops that stocked them. If this shop had a Facebook page and had a logo in the window saying they were on Facebook, I would have followed their page and found this out a lot sooner.
4) Keep loyal customers up to date
Facebook and Twitter are great tools for keeping your business in the mind of loyal customers, as long as your content is high quality and relevant to your customers they will love seeing your updates appear in their timeline.
5) Allow loyal customers to recommend you to their friends
One of the biggest advantages of social media is that happy loyal customers can easily tell their friends and family about your great business and products.
Another bonus to using social media marketing for your business is that it is highly likely that your competitors might not be using social media yet.
However, before you set up a Facebook page and Twitter profile for your business, I would advice you to get some quality training from a social media consultant like myself, as training from an expert will help you get quicker results from your social media marketing. Also working with a social media consultant to formulate a social media marketing strategy for your business will help you save time, enable you to measure how well your social media is performing and whether it is getting the results you want for your business.
I also help my clients to think how their clients might search for what their business provides and give ideas on what content those clients might find useful and engage with.
My 5 top tips for building a Twitter following that interact with you
What is the difference between engaged followers on Twitter and followers on Twitter? It can be the difference between being successful and getting results or just having an account on Twitter. Anyone can increase the number of followers they have on Twitter easily (just go and follow other accounts) without paying money for a 1,000 followers, never ever do this as it is a waste of money and can do more harm than good. Engaged users will interact with you either by retweeting your tweets or having a conversation with you, this will get you and your tweets seen by more people. Also if you are seen to be chatting with people on Twitter it is more likely that other people will start conversations with you. So here are my 5 top tips for building an engaged Twitter Following.
1) Complete your Twitter profile
Completing your Twitter profile is very important, so important that I have written a separate blog post all about it, Twitter Basics Part 1 – Profile. Your profile should have a picture that is same as on other social media sites and the written bio which is 160 characters should include keywords that people might search for when looking for your services. A header image that is either relevant to your business or tells people more about your business helps you stand out. You need to give people information so they can easily decide that you are someone interesting to follow or that they already know you.
2) Follow other Twitter users that are active on Twitter
Follow other active Twitter users that you find interesting and that engage with people on Twitter. If you only follow accounts that broadcast on Twitter, it is unlikely that they will see your tweets never mind interact with you.
3) Start a conversation
Rather than just following someone, start a conversation with them either about something they mention in their profile or something that they have tweeted about. For example I might start a conversation with someone, who like me, mentions in their profile they like Dr Who. If the recent Dr Who series is running I might ask what they thought to the latest episode or if not I might ask something more general like who is their favourite Dr. This shows I have read their bio and we have something in common.
4) Get involved in a local networking hour hashtag
Find your local county networking hour hashtag and start chatting to people that are also using the hashtag or find a hashtag that is relevant to your business like #weddinghour and get involved in the conversation. Don’t just tweet promotional tweets about what you do but have conversations with people and retweet relevant tweets. Always check the etiquette for the hashtag, telling people in a tweet that you are new to the networking hour and asking if there is anything you need to know is a good way to start. Then follow people from the networking hour and follow back anyone that follows you.
5) Share great relevant content in your tweets
Sharing great relevant content will get people following you, as we all like to follow people that share great content especially if it is relevant to what we are interested in. Share a mixture of your own content along with retweeting other “expert’s” content and business’s content that you think your followers will be interested in.
What makes you engage with other Twitter users?
If you found this post useful or want to know more about how I get great results with Twitter check out my 30 days to Twitter Success.
LinkedIn is a great social media site for business people, especially if your ideal clients are business owners. Some people think of LinkedIn as just an online CV but it is far more powerful than that, it can be used to connect and have conversations with the decision makers in businesses. I use LinkedIn to connect with people I have met at networking events and stay in contact between networking events. Also if you are an employee it can be a great way to find a new job.
To get LinkedIn to work for your business you need to have a great profile and have all the basics in place, so that when you send connection invitations and people look at your profile they see you as a professional and expert in your field, not someone who is just on LinkedIn. You also need to use LinkedIn in the correct way, LinkedIn isn’t Facebook for business, the content you share on LinkedIn should be high quality and relevant to the field you work in.
Basics of a LinkedIn Profile
This should be a recent professional head and shoulders photograph, not a selfie taken in the bathroom. The photo should be an accurate representation of you now, so that when someone meets you they recognise you. If you can’t afford a professional headshot then ask friends to see if any of them are good at taking pictures or ask at a local college to see if any of the students would be able to help.
My profile with a recent professional head and shoulders picture and a Headline using keywords
The headline is very important and is 110 characters, this should tell people what you do and how you help your clients, owner/director at my business name is not the best use of those 110 characters. Ensure you use keywords that your ideal clients will be searching for when looking for the services you offer.
The summary should expand on what you put in your headline and be used to tell people how you help your clients and what key skills and experience you have. You can add images and video to your profile in the summary section to give more information and break up the text.
In the experience section list relevant positions and jobs starting out with your current business and then following on with previous jobs and companies that you have worked for. Under each position list key skills and achievements for that job, you can add images and video for each job as well.
5) Skills and endorsements
In this area you can list your main skills and your connections can then leave an endorsement for those skills they have experience of. Some people leave endorsements for people in the hope that people will return the favour. Although I think there is more significance in people giving you a recommendation, it still looks good if you have a number of endorsements from people, also by giving endorsements your picture will be seen as an endorsement on the profile of the person you endorsed.
Getting these 5 basic elements of your profile looking good will mean your profile will look professional when people visit it and people should want to connect with you. If you want help developing your LinkedIn profile and creating a strategy to get leads from LinkedIn, please get in touch.
Twitter Lists are a great way to be more strategic on Twitter and have lots of different uses, however most people don’t know about them or how to use them. It is never too early to start using Twitter lists, in fact the sooner you start using lists the better.
On Twitter I try to keep my following/follower ratio as close to 1:1 as I can, when you have been on Twitter for a while and are following lots of accounts, your Twitter feed can become quite cluttered with all the different tweets, so wouldn’t it be good if there was a way to filter that Twitter feed. Well there is and that is where Twitter lists come in.
There are 2 types of lists, public and private:
Public lists can be seen by anyone, when you add an account to a list, that account will get a notification to tell them you have added them to a list and what the list is called. Anyone can also subscribe to your public lists.
Private lists can only be seen by you and when you add an account to a private list, they will not get a notification saying they have been added to a private list.
Lists can be used to organise who you follow so you may have lists for different local areas or subjects or lists of experts that tweet great content. Having a look at other people’s list can help find people to follow either local to you or that have similar interests to you.
How to Create Lists
Click on your Twitter picture next to the blue tweet button and then click lists.
If you click “Member of” you will see the lists that people have added you to. The first 2 lists in the image below are Private lists as they have a padlock next to them.
Now click Create new list. A list can either be public so anyone can see who is on the list or private (it has a padlock next to it)
Give your list a name and decide whether to make the list public or private, then save the list. To add accounts to your list, go to the profile of the account you want to add and click the cog next to the following button, then select Add or remove from lists and choose the list you want to add them to.
If an account has any public lists you will see lists next to likes on their profile. When using lists you can either view the members of a list or the tweets by the people on the list.
It is useful once you have set up your lists, to get in the habit of adding accounts to specific lists when you follow them.
Unfortunately it is not possible to send a Direct Message or Tweet to all the people on a list, although I think this would be a very useful function.
Starting to use Lists on Twitter can help you save time and get more strategic, if you would like to find out how I can help you get better results with Twitter or other Social Media sites please get in touch. Or you might be interested in my 30 days to Twitter Success course which you can find out more about in my Social Media Services section.
When I searched for “What is Social Media Marketing?” in Google the first result I got was this definition from Wikipedia.org, which is a simple description of Social Media Marketing. In this article I will tell you what I think Social Media Marketing is, the benefits of Social Media Marketing for your business, some common mistakes that some businesses make and how to avoid them.
I think this definition is part of the reason why more businesses don’t use social media marketing, as it seems to be saying that it is for businesses that have a website and are based online, I believe all businesses can use social media to increase awareness of their business from small independent shops in villages and towns to large businesses.
Social media marketing should be part of every business’s marketing strategy. Social media should be a part of your marketing whether you have a website or not, and for those businesses that don’t have a website, it is essential to have a good presence on social media so that people can find your business if they search online.
Social media marketing uses various different social media sites to promote your business and services to other businesses, existing clients and prospective customers via two way communication. Social media marketing should not be used to just broadcast your promotional updates, special offers and buy now messages. You need to be sharing quality content and information that is so useful or entertaining to your customers and ideal clients, that they share it on their favourite social media networks recommending your business or products to their friends, family and followers, thereby amplifying your marketing for you.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing
Here are some of the benefits to social media marketing:
You are in control of what content you share and in what format that goes out. For example if you share some marketing content and the results for that content aren’t good, then you can change it and try something different, without having to wait till you can change an advert in a magazine or on the radio.
Social media marketing is one of the most affordable ways to market your business and products, if you learn how it works and how to do it well.
You can use social media marketing even if you don’t have a website. In fact a well thought out Facebook business page can be used to provide some of the information you would have on a website such as opening times, contact details, address, products and services you provide etc.
Social media marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness and connect with other businesses and ideal clients.
Common mistakes businesses make with social media marketing:
They assume that just because their business isn’t on social media that nobody will be talking about their business on social media, big mistake. People could be talking about your business, you just don’t know what they are saying, whether it is good or bad.
Businesses do not have a social media strategy, they don’t know what their goals are or what to measure to see if they are meeting those goals.
Being on the wrong social media site for their business
Being on lots of social media sites but not doing any of them well or strategically
Broadcasting their business message rather than having two way conversations with their followers
Automating everything and not ever being on social media
Sharing mediocre content rather than original top quality content that stands out
Having a social media strategy but not integrating it with the business’s main marketing plan
There are many other mistakes businesses make on social media but most mistakes can be avoided by getting appropriate training and having a social media marketing strategy in place.
If you would like to work with me to create a social media strategy for your business or you would like training on a certain social media site please get in touch via my contacts page.
Up Periscope? Most people will think of a Periscope as the device on a submarine that goes above the sea to enable the crew to see if there are any ships about. Some people may remember making a periscope at school in science when studying how light works.
However Periscope is also a new app which allows you to broadcast live video streaming.
“Periscope – explore the world through someone else’s eyes!”
Periscope went live for iOS in March 2015 and for Android users in May 2015, at the end of August 2015 Periscope had over 13 million users and continues to grow. I have just recently joined Periscope and so far have done 10 scopes, so I am still learning how Periscope works. Initially, I didn’t think that I could use Periscope for my business, however I saw a Periscope by Denise Duffield Thomas that she had put on YouTube and she was talking to the camera and interacting with the viewers. This inspired me to upgrade my phone so that I could use the Periscope app.
Below is a Periscope I recorded and uploaded to YouTube, it is an unedited version, so you can see me interacting with people, going off topic and generally rambling on.
Benefits of Periscope
I did my first scope talking to camera and it was really fun. One of the benefits of Periscope is that when you are talking to camera live, you are being you, without a script and this helps you connect with your viewers. It is a great way to showcase your knowledge and instantly interact with the live viewers. Also because it is live there is less pressure to be perfect, as most people are either scoping when they are out and about or in their office.
One of the main benefits to Periscope is that it is in the now and people can interact with you live, asking you questions and answering questions you ask them. However when doing a live Periscope it can be difficult to interact with people and stay on track with what you are talking about.
You can also show behind the scenes of your business or showcase your products live to your followers.
To broadcast (live video stream) on Periscope you will need a relatively new smart phone, so for Samsung users that is a Samsung 5 or newer, not sure about other smart phones. If you don’t want to upgrade your phone you can watch Periscopes on your laptop, but you’ll only be able to find scopes if someone has tweeted about them. Search #Periscope on Twitter to see some scopes. The basics of how to use Periscope in this article are based on Android rather than iOS operating system.
The home screen shows recent broadcasts by people you follow.
To start your own Scope press the little red camera button at the bottom right of the screen. You will then see the screen below. Make sure you add a good descriptive title that will encourage people to watch your scope. If you are on Twitter click the Twitter icon and share it on Twitter. Then click Start Broadcast.
To start with you will be filming what is in front of your camera or what you are looking at and this will be used as the preview on Periscope so think what that will be, don’t point the camera at the ground. Ensure your camera is in the portrait position rather than landscape. If you want to get the camera to switch to recording you speaking, tap the top right corner of the screen. Don’t wait for people to join the scope before you speak, say hello and thank people who are watching on replay for joining and introduce yourself and what you will be talking about. You can talk for as long as you want on a scope. You will get notifications at the bottom left of the screen when people join and if they type a comment, on the right side of the screen you might see a shower of coloured hearts. Although neither of these will be seen on a replay which has been saved to a phone, as in the YouTube video of my Periscope tips for beginners above.
While you are watching a scope you can interact by giving people hearts by tapping the screen. You will be assigned a different colour each time you log on to to a scope. There are no limits to the number of hearts you can give someone, so be generous. Sometimes if you join a very popular Periscope you might not be able to comment. To comment tap the bottom left hand corner where it says “Say something…”
You can share a live Periscope or a replay by swiping the screen up and clicking share broadcast where you can share on Twitter or to your Periscope followers.
If you haven’t watched a live Periscope here is a screenshot of the hearts and comments on a Periscope by Alex Pettitt, who I recommend you follow on Periscope for great tips.
When watching a replay on Periscope you can still give hearts by tapping the screen but you can’t comment.
After a live Periscope has ended it is available to view on Periscope for 24 hours, then it is unavailable to watch unless you have recorded it to your phone. To save your Periscope broadcasts to your phone on Android go to your profile, by going to the group of people icon (search) and then click the person in the circle at the top right of the screen. Then go to Settings (cog icon) and swipe the Autosave Broadcast at the bottom so it turns blue, now every Periscope you broadcast will be saved to your phone. Make sure to download them to your computer regularly or you might run out of memory on your phone.
You can do a private Periscope and only invite certain people that follow you, although I haven’t done a private scope yet or been invited to one, but this could be used to do a group coaching call or other training for a group of clients.
To find people to follow on Periscope tap the 3 people icon and then at the bottom right click the magnifying glass and type someone’s Twitter username and then when you find them just tap the icon with a person with a + next to their name, see image above. To follow people that are on a Scope swipe the screen up and tap on a user to see their profile and follow them.
If you found this useful please follow me on Periscope & Twitter @SocialMediaLinc and subscribe to my YouTube Channel and share this with your followers.