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6 steps to make social media help your brand

Mark MacDonald

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

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6 steps to make social media help your brand

Social media is a communication tool that will make or break your business’s brand.

Our marketing-cluttered world is demonstrated on social media. Simply open the global Twitter feed, and you’ll see millions of people saying something. In real time, your feed churns so quickly you can’t keep up, and little breaks through.

But certain people’s and brand’s posts are “must reads” since you really enjoy their content. Imagine if your business was a must-read brand! It can be.

Here’s how:

1. Discover your thread

Stop trying to be something to everyone. Think about what your business does extremely well and for whom. How are you a solution to a major concern or a path to a specific goal?

Establish a communication thread with fences to keep every department focused on that thread.

2. Lock down what your thread looks like and talks like

Now, decide what your visual brand looks like. It starts with a professional logo/symbol that’s unique and simple enough to be recognizable as a small social media icon. Establish and lock down 2-3 colors that limit your designs.

Then — a more difficult task — create one voice for your brand thread. List keywords to use (check with Google to see if people are looking for them). Ensure your icons and descriptions are consistent across all your social media profiles and on your website.

3. Limit your words and outlets

Edit all content to the fewest words necessary to get your idea across. Use keywords, hashtags and links to give people more information if they want it.

Don’t try to communicate everywhere; limit the social media feeds to only ones you can do extremely well for your brand. Only have the bandwidth for one? Probably Facebook will work.

4. Create a reasonable schedule

Based on the amount of people who follow you and the kind of people you’re attracting, think about when they’re mostly free (before work, lunch, evenings, etc.), and post at those times.

Don’t overdo it; simply think about (or research) the lifespan of a post. Twitter is short-lived, so you can post a lot. For Facebook, not so much. Be consistent.

5. Entertain near the thread

Stop pushing information, and think about ways to entertain those who follow you. Make sure it’s not mindless entertainment (although occasionally that’s fun); instead build on your thread and get people to understand and expect certain types of posts.

Don’t surprise followers with content; if you jump the fence too many times, people will unsubscribe from your feed. Attempt to entertain 80 percent of the time with 20 percent being marketing or promotions.

6. Build an audience

When a certain type of person sees you’re helping them solve their concerns or giving them hope toward obtaining a goal (and you’re doing it consistently), you’ll gain followers.

People will start to rely on what you have to offer them (your thread). Your visual brand consistency lets them notice you in the cluttered social media world, and your posts will say, “Wait, I have something you must read.”

Just make sure you deliver. All the time. Every time.

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About the Author

Mark MacDonald

Mark MacDonald is a Bible teacher, speaker, best-selling author of “Be Known For Something,” and communication strategist for BeKnownForSomething.com. He empowers churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, and social media. His book is available at BeKnownBook.com and Amazon.com.

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What you missed: The latest updates on each social platform

Emma Fitzpatrick

Monday, October 17, 2016

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What you missed: The latest updates on each social platform

If you have a smartphone, you check Facebook about 14 times a day. But that was back in 2013. Back then, in 2014, we only looked at our phone about 33 times a day.

Now, that number has grown to 46 times a day — a 40 percent increase from just two years ago. Likely, we check Facebook — and other social platforms — much more often than 14 times a day.

With all that constant checking and updating, you’re more likely to miss subtle changes on social platforms. That’s why it’s good to step back occasionally and reassess the landscape.

Are you missing new features that could help your company on social? Scroll to learn the latest about each social network. After all, the better you know the platform, the better you can use it.

Facebook

  • Saw an informative Facebook video you want to share with your office? Or want to gather round for a live stream? Now, you can watch Facebook on your TV (as long as it’s an AirPlay or Google Cast-enabled device). All you have to do is pull up the video, press the TV symbol in the top right corner, select the device and hit play.
  • Facebook launched Marketplace, where you can find, buy and sell items with those in your community. Already, more than 450 million people visit buy-and-sell groups each month, and this latest tool makes that process much easier.
  • Now, you’ll want your employees to be on Facebook at Work. In essence, your company creates your own employee-only social network using Facebook at Work. You get to use all of Facebook’s tools, like groups, messages and updates, to be more productive and collaborative.

Instagram

  • Instagram realized they had a troll problem, and now they’re doing their best to fix it. You can filter and hide comments. To do this, you select keywords and phrases you don’t want to see, and any comment with that word will be hidden. This is the perfect way to keep your Instagram business account squeaky clean.
  • It’s been a while (two months) since Instagram added a huge change to their platform. If you haven’t already, learn more about Instagram Stories. It’s like Instagram’s version of Snapchat.

Twitter and Periscope

  • Twitter is pivoting a bit to focus on what they do best — live news. Now, you can watch all of Twitter’s live streams on your TV.
  • The quality of those live streams is about to get better, too. Periscope, owned by Twitter, launched Periscope Producer. You can now create content and live streams on select professional equipment, drastically improving the quality. Previously, you could only produce live streams on your mobile device.

Pinterest

  • Pinterest now has 150 million pinners, a 50 percent increase within one year. 40 percent of all new sign-ups are now men. And 75 percent of all saved pins come from business boards.
  • Pinterest users are already planning for the holiday season. See what Pinterest data identified as the hottest holiday trends, and learn how your company can use them to your advantage.
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About the Author

Emma Fitzpatrick

Emma Fitzpatrick is a freelance writer and marketer, whose specialties include content marketing, social marketing and short, snappy writing. Pick her brain more at emma.l.fitzpatrick@gmail.com.

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Social Media: The Free Ride is Over

AUTHORS Eric Schimelpfenig 

OCT 24, 2016

Social media as we know it hasn’t been around for that long. MySpace and Facebook, the first competitive platforms for sharing online socially, were founded in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Later on came Houzz, Pinterest and Twitter.

Let’s take a look at Facebook’s mission statement:

“Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”

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Create a brand personality people fall in love with on social

Want more likes, followers and engagement on your company’s social media pages? Then, you need three things: gorgeous (on-brand) pictures, the right personality and an eagerness to socialize.
In short, you need to cultivate a strategic brand personality and then bring it to life by connecting with your followers.

Continue reading Create a brand personality people fall in love with on social

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