Category Archives: Social Media
(Jas’ note: I’m glad to welcome back Alicia Lawrence with another great guest post.)
If you’re like most business owners, you probably want to use social media to expand your marketing efforts and reach new customers. After all, social media is a powerful, free tool — you can use it to access countless new contacts. Here are several tips for having social media work together to expand your influence and reach new customers.
1. Make Social Media Complementary
According to a survey done by Accenture this holiday season, over 65% of customers preview products online before looking for them in stores. This makes it crucial that your online presence accurately reflects how you and your products are in person. In addition, 63% of people also plan to do the opposite — check out products in-store and then shop online. That means it’s important for the transition between your actual store and social media presence to be as seamless as possible. To do so, focus on a few channels and make sure you’re always delivering content that is entertaining and useful to your audience. Remember: your social media efforts should complement your brick-and-mortar business — if the two work together you’ll almost certainly attract customers.
2. Have a Blog
One of the best ways to gain customers’ attention and trust is to have a business blog. Now more than ever users are accessing news, information and articles online. They highly value content, especially if it comes in the form of a well-written blog post. If you regularly post original, engaging content you’ll very likely attract followers. You can write about a number of things — for example, if you’re a software company, you can write about tips for buying a new computer. The more you can tie your business in with information users want to hear, the better. Remember: consumers want a relationship. The more you share with them the more likely they’ll be to buy your products in return.
3. Work Together, But Be Different
When managing multiple social accounts, it’s easy to fall into posting the same content on each one. Instead, get to know the users on each different channel and learn what they would want to see on your social feed. This might mean sharing entertainment Facebook, news and deals on Twitter, and product reviews and photos on Pinterest. If you can pin down what your followers are looking for on each channel you have better chance of boosting your reach to others who are looking for the same info. The brand Havahart does a great job at this on their Facebook and Pinterest.
Beyond that though, some sites allow you to tailor content to different contacts. On LinkedIn, for example, you can sort connections by category and send a private message to everyone in that category. Do a little research, and figure out how to tailor your posts on various sites and platforms. This way you may be able control which followers receive regular blasts and updates, and which receive messages only occasionally. At the very least, you know how many contacts you have in each category, which is very useful when you’re developing a new campaign. It can also allow you to see if one social media platform is more successful, and if so, you should ask yourself how you can emulate this success on your other sites.
4. Hashtag It
Even though you’ll be sharing different content tailored for each social channel, that doesn’t mean they should never connect. Hashtags are a great way to integrate your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and even YouTube videos! Just in 2013, hashtags on the YouTube video Dance Pony Dance helped it go viral on both Facebook and Twitter.
5. Know Your Brand Mavens
Brand mavens are individuals that are highly influential to your target audience. This isn’t just celebrities, they can also be those just with a large following or with a blog that has high traffic. Make sure you identify your brand mavens on each social channel so you know who to outreach to when you have a message you think their fans should hear.
Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for WebpageFX and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land and CJ Pony Parts. Her work has been published by the Association for Business Communication, Yahoo! Small Business, and Spin Sucks.
One of the many points that I mentioned during my CEO of You talk on Oct. 26 in Philadelphia was that you have to have passion to make your personal brand work. If you are nonchalant or ambivalent, it will show in your brand. You have the opportunity to be great, so why not jump at the chance to do so.
My daughter celebrated her 7th birthday this week and we ordered cookies from a new cupcake shop in our area, Prohaska’s Oh, Sugar. We had never tried them out, but their Facebook page showed that the products looked pretty awesome. When I went to pick up the cookies for my daughter’s class party, Jeanette, the owner, was there. In talking to her, I immediately saw just how much she enjoyed what she was doing. The passion showed in her products and as well as in her demeanor. You could hear how passionate Jeanette was about making her business a success and, by the looks of the comments on her Facebook page, it’s working.
What this little trip to a cupcake shop continued to prove to me is that passion is the center of all success. Whether you have a business of one person or 100,000, if you don’t have the drive for what you do, you might as well not do it at all.
At some point in our lives, we lose a little bit of that passion. There’s nothing wrong with that, though. But, it’s up to you to find a way to get it back. During PRSSA’s National Conference, I mentioned a number of times how much being there really energized me. The energy of the speakers and students re-ignited my passion for public relations and being a better professional.
Ask yourself these two things if you feel like you are starting to lose your passion: What can I do to improve myself/my career? What is the one thing that I truly enjoy about my life? If you can find one answer for each question, your passion principle can be fulfilled. While you may have an “A-ha Moment” in your life, you essentially have to have the passion to move forward. Life without passion is not great. It’s flat. But, life with passion opens up a completely different way of looking at how you want to succeed.
To paraphrase Robert F. Kennedy, some people go through life and ask why? I chose to see things that never were and ask why not? Ask why not… because your passion will emerge and take you to great things.
What is your passion principle? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
A week ago today, I left for Philadelphia, Pa. and the 2013 Public Relations Student Society of America’s National Conference (PRSSANC). The buzz leading up to the event was incredible and the energy that filled the Loews Philadelphia Hotel was infectious.
I had the honor and pleasure of presenting “CEO of You: Creating Your Personal Brand.” To say I was blown away by the response before, during and after the talk, is a vast understatement. You could see the passion in the tweets and questions. I meant what I said on Oct. 26, “America runs on Dunkin’? No, America runs on PRSSA!”
After talking to students afterwards about personal branding, I realized one simple thing: In our lives, PR can make a huge difference. Why? Because it’s in our power as students, new pros and seasoned pros to do so.
I stressed in my talk about being great. That wasn’t something I just said to sound cool. I meant it. We all have the power to shape lives by being great. Your personal brand is an extension of you on social networks, websites and in personal interactions.
Would you seek advice from someone who is average, or below average, or would you ask advice or guidance from someone who has shown they can be great at something? If you want to be the best, you listen to the ones that have achieved something more, something greater. Your personal brand can make a difference to those around you.
If you took anything from my talk at PRSSANC, I would hope it would be that you have the power to make your personal brand great and be the CEO of You. Your brand may be good now, but you can make it greater for the future. In turn, you can make a difference in the lives of fellow students, new pros, and experienced pros.
After all, PRSSANC inspired me to want to be something more than I am right now. I want to make a difference for my clients, my business, and YOU. Let’s do this together!
Tags: CEO of You, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, National Conference, personal brand, Personal Branding, Philadelphia, Philadelphia hosts PRSSA National Conference, PRSSA, PRSSA National Conference 2013, PRSSANC, Sarenna Lawson, talking about personal branding, Temple PRSSA, UVU PRSSA
On Oct. 23, I had the honor of speaking to my friend and colleague Deirdre Breakenridge’s PR and Social Media class at New York University. My talk was titled, “Building Social Relationships.” While I discussed engagement, listening to your social audience, and being effective, I kept coming back to one word: Trust.
In social media, public relations, advertising, and even in the media, you need to have a level of trust to succeed. If your audience doesn’t trust the message, information in a release, or a report about a seemingly important news topic, you’ll be talking to the wall.
So, how exactly to you get social media followers to trust you? It’s not as simple as you think. This isn’t a matter of just following and having blind faith. You need to look at brands and individuals with a critical eye. Your personal brand depends on it.
Here are a few tips on how to build your social trust.
- Prove it: In the legal world, lawyers attempt to prove their client’s innocence of an alleged wrongdoing. In social media, though, we need to prove to current and potential followers that we are worth their time. Make sure your message in clear, concise, and transparent. Gain someone’s trust by being you!
- Establish Your Voice: Don’t be part of the “noise” on social networks. Set the tone by showing social followers that you are different from others. Bring positive, effective, and worthwhile messages to social media. Make sure you aren’t just tweeting to tweet. Have a purpose.
- Get to Know Your Audience: You don’t need a meet and greet, but when someone first follows you, reach out and say, “thanks.” Take it one step further and start a conversation. From personal experience, I would not be where I am today, unless I developed a relationship with now trusted colleagues on social networks.
- Understand the Power of Social: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. are more than just social networks. They are powerful tools to spread your message. Respect these networks and don’t take advantage. There is so much good that can be done with social media. If you are unsure of a post, hold off. It’s better to be last and right with a post, than first and wrong.
How are you building trust on social networks? Use the hashtag #CEOofYou on Twitter or leave your comments below.
Wednesday, Aug. 28 was the 50th anniversary of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Dr. King’s speech in 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, looking out over the National Mall, is one of the most significant events in world history. Trailblazer Jackie Robinson was there. So were Sammy Davis, Jr. and actor Burt Lancaster, among others.
President Obama, along with former Presidents Carter and Clinton, spoke at the 2013 event at the same location Dr. King did. The events spurred discussion on Twitter, as is the norm with big events. The hashtags, “#MLK50″ and “#DreamDay” were popular, with folks sharing their dreams for a better tomorrow or equality. One of the more UNpopular tweets, however, was from the Golf Channel.
Not the finest moment for the Golf Channel’s Twitter account. I see what they were trying to do, but it didn’t work. Of course, when big events happen and people on social networks get upset, the knives come out. Is it really necessary though? Later in the day, the Golf Channel apologized for the tweet.
It is time to step back and refrain from flaming every single tweet or Facebook that is a “misstep.” On Wednesday, it was the Golf Channel. While their judgement wasn’t the best, this wasn’t the level of Gap during Hurricane Sandy or Kenneth Cole during the Egypt crisis (which was just idiotic). On Aug. 27, ABC News tweeted out that Neil Armstrong had died. Well, he’s been dead over a year. And while this was a mistake, which a number of people in my timeline noticed, I didn’t see ABC getting flamed. It was a mistake and one that may, or may not, happen again.
As PR pros, we can certainly use this as a chance to teach and not ridicule a person, company or brand. Do I think that we should give a pass to those who make blatant jokes about a serious situation or try to capitalize on a crisis with tweets or Facebook posts? Absolutely not. This is where having an experienced social media team in place really helps. Not one that is green.
Let we, as PR pros, be the ones to lead the way in setting an example of how best to use social media. It goes a long way to showing we aren’t “know-it-alls” or being quick to judge. As Dr. King said in his speech 50 years ago, “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” We’re all better by leaving the cup of bitterness alone.
Tags: ABC News, bad tweets, Dr. Martin Luther King, Facebook, Golf Channel Twitter mistake, I Have A Dream speech, Lincoln Memorial, March on Washington, MLK, National Mall, Neil Armstrong death, President Clinton, President Obama, President of the United States, public relations pros, Twitter, Washington DC
Over the weekend, I was going through some mementos of my younger years. I found one of my old yearbooks, a scrapbook of newspaper clippings from the first space shuttle launch and when the 1986 New York Mets won the World Series. Oddly enough, I also found an AOL start-up disk. If you are like me, you remember they came in the mail with an offer to try it free for 30 days. Ah, dial-up.
This find got me thinking. AOL and Prodigy went by the wayside pretty quickly; it sort of evolved, but then ended up dying. Prodigy is a footnote in online history. AOL, as it was then, isn’t the same. Are we in for the same sort of slow shuttering of social media platforms?
Now, this blog isn’t meant to be the “Five Reasons Facebook will Die by 2015″ or “Why Twitter can’t stay free” type post. As a matter of fact, I’m trying to go in the opposite direction. Over the coming weeks and months, I’m going to be starting a frank conversation about social media and whether it’s evolving or is stuck. We’ll talk to pros and students about their feelings and findings. You be able to see and hear these things via my YouTube channel and brand new podcast.
But, let’s start the conversation right now. Is social evolving or is it not? Leave your feelings in the comments section.
Jas’ note: I’m beyond thrilled to have Heather Whaling as the first poster in this Inspire Series. She’s one of the hardest working pros around and she has plenty to share, as you’ll see.
When I launched my own company in 2009, I had no way of predicting where the journey would lead, but I stayed focused on a core purpose: I was 100% committed to building a PR firm that people would want to work for and companies want to work with. Three-plus years later, we’re well on our way. I’m fortunate to work with an amazingly talented team and clients that I truly believe in.
So, how do I keep from slipping into neutral and just letting life progress as-is? If you’ve reached a point in your career where you feel like you’re doing what you set out to do, congratulations. But, don’t stop. Don’t get comfortable with status quo.
When Jason asked me to write about what motivates and inspires me, I spent some time reflecting. Here are my four tips for staying motivated:
Define your all. What matters most to you? There’s a lot of debate right now about “having it all,” but what does that actually mean? In PR – a professional where we often feel like we’re always on the clock – how do you blend personal and professional goals to create the life you want? At work or at home, you need to set your priorities. (If you don’t set them for yourself, someone else will.) If you take time to define your “all,” then you’re equipped to proactively make decisions that will move you toward those lofty aspirations. Living life on your terms is motivating.
Act like an owner. In her book [Re]Frame: Little Inspirations for a Larger Purpose, Sarah Evans encourages readers to act like an owner. As she notes, “We are more likely to take better care about something when we ‘own’ it. Even if it’s merely changing how we view what it means to us. If you want to be happier at work, change how you think about work.” Even if you’re not technically the company owner, shift your mindset. As Sarah says, “own your work, or go find something worth owning. There is no option C.” When you feel personally invested something, you’re naturally more motivated to make it succeed.
Embrace the crazy. This has become the de facto motto in our office, as well as my own life. A career in PR, while fulfilling, can lead to some unavoidable chaos. Plus, personally, I’m embarking on a new adventure, as a small business owner and a mom-to-be, both of which are demanding, unpredictable situations. Instead of stressing about it, I’ve decided to simply embrace the crazy. As I’ve learned, the less you dwell on the impending “crazy,” the more you can enjoy wherever the road leads you.
Find your energy. During the next couple weeks, pay extra attention to those moments when you feel incredibly energized. What happened? Did you land a major media placement for a client? Create a piece of content that resonated with online communities? Land a new client? Mentor someone? Volunteer in your community? Whatever it is – and whenever/wherever it occurs – take note. After a couple of weeks, you’ll spot emerging patterns. Then, you can start to purposefully recreate similar situations. As you infuse activities into your week to generate this positive burst of energy, you should become an even more motivated self-starter.
Your turn: How do you stay motivated and inspired so you can apply your best self to whatever you’re doing at home or at work?
About Heather: As president of Geben Communication, Heather Whaling (aka @prTini) leads new business development, client relations and strategic planning for the firm. An avid Twitter user, Heather can trace 75% of Geben’s business back to relationships that began online. This ability to turn social networking into business outcomes has helped Geben evolve into a highly respected, sought-after, award-winning PR firm. Want to learn more? Connect with Heather: Blog • Twitter • Instagram
Tags: act like an owner, blogging, business, define your all, embrace the crazy, find your energy, geben communication, Geben365, Heather Whaling, Inspire series, Marketing, prTini, staying motivated and inspired, technology
Earlier this year on the blog, I did a five-part series detailing how to help your career. It received some terrific feedback from many of you. Today, I’m beginning another series that I hope is a little longer than five parts.
It’s called the Inspire Series and we’ll feature folks that make an impact. These people could be students, new and experienced PR/social media pros, or just regular people. My goal is to show the positive and inspiring things that are going on in our world.
We see plenty of negativity and biting commentary. Of course, things aren’t always rosy. But that doesn’t mean I can’t help give you more of a glass half-full approach. Who inspires you? Think they should be featured in the series? Drop me a line at Jason[at]JRMComms[dot]com or use the contact form.
Today is a really exciting day for me as a blogger and a professional. I’m officially launching my podcast, “The JourneyCast.” I’ll be talking with those people in (and out of) our industry, who are making a difference, doing impactful work, or people you should know more about.
This week, I’m thrilled to talk with Matthew Cerrone, founder and editor of MetsBlog.com, the best blog about the New York Mets and one of the preeminent sports bloggers in the nation. I’ve known Matt for a number of years now and was even lucky enough to be a small part of Metsblog in 2006. Matt has worked extremely hard to get to where he is today and is a great example of what can happen if you have a passion to see something through. You can also check out Matt’s latest project at MatthewCerrone.com.
Don’t forget to leave your comments about the podcast below.