Working in the Social World, I am privy to thousands and thousands of social profiles, all the time, every day. People connect with me. I connect with people.
And most of the time, the people I’m connecting with, are social-savvy, marketing-gurus who are certainly not new to the social environment.
However. (and there’s always a however, right?)
Now, I’m not the type of person to name and shame, publicly, except when it is meant to be constructive. So I don’t intend to do that here. But I did feel the (albeit slightly passive aggressive) need to highlight a few key faux pas that social people still make, to this day.
The dodgy profile picture:
It still astounds me how people seem to forget the importance of a profile picture. Selecting the image that will set your first impression alight, is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll make on social. It needs to be professional, but not too stiff, it needs to be branded – but not without personality. It needs to be appropriate for the forums you’ll be joining, but still stand out. So what do you do? Well, what you don’t do is choose something that you think is hilarious, and will catch people’s attentions… something that stands out… something that broadcasts a message etc etc… but completely ruins the first impression most people will have of you.
Stick to a head shot – something natural, something un-forced. Something that shows who you are. Get your peers to review it – take the criticism on the chin, and go with what is best. You never know when your profile picture may need to speak for you, first.
Case in point: Someone recently approached me to sell me SEO services – their profile picture? A duck, swimming in a pond, upside down. NEXT…
And while we’re on the profile picture subject – remember… when you set yourself a profile picture on G+… and you send an email through that same account, within Gmail – that profile picture will show up in your recipient’s mailbox.
Case in point: Received an email from a business who wanted to sell advertising space in major event catalogue: Profile picture? Some guy, beer in hand, cig hanging out of his mouth, on the beach with a number of semi-clad females hanging about. NEXT…
Your automated social reply
I’m sure you’re really thankful that I followed you. And appreciative etc, but the days of automated replies are done. It’s not the reply that stands out. It’s the personality behind it. I realise, that for many brands, it is somewhat tricky to keep up with the increasing follower rate, on a daily basis, and resource just means that you cannot possibly compose a personalised message to every single person – and I’m ok with that. An option may be to choose to highlight just a few new followers that you’d like to thank – be personal, find a talking point, promote them – make them feel part of your mission.
Social is social. Think about that for a second. Social Media… is social. So, make sure that your bio (if you have one… which, if you don’t, is a completely different blog topic) demonstrates who you are, what you do, what you believe in, and what drives you.
I personally like a bio that is filled with so much character and diversity that immediately makes me want to follow them, because that’s the type of content that I hope to hear from them. But that’s just me. Other bios are beautifully suited to the individual bio type (Mark Schaefer wrote a great blog about his favourite twitter bios) – all the types of things that capture someone’s attention and makes them want to follow you.
Just like your profile picture, your bio often speaks for you before someone has read your first tweet.
Remember – your bio is searchable, so for SEO purposes, think about what you’ve put in there. If you want people to find you, be sure to have a bio that wants to be found.
We could go on, for quite a bit more, about the do’s and don’ts of Social – but that will give me a good reason to write another post.
In the meantime – need some help? Give me a shout.
Look. I’m going to be honest with you. Social Media marketing is not hard. In fact, it’s actually quite simple. And if the amount of followers and fans keep growing, and you are not quite sure why – well, then chances are…. you’re doing it right.
I recently had a twitter chat with Alan K’necht – author of The Last Original Idea and general all-round cool digital guy, about the tools that he found useful for Social Media analytics and management. His response to me got me thinking. “What… other than the one between our ears?”, he said.
He’s right. Social Media is not about having the best tools, or the biggest budget to do cool things. Social media is about knowing what to say, and knowing who you want to say it to. It’s about having something to say that people will find interesting and will want to listen to.
So, yes, Alan. It most certainly is about using your brain.
Case in point: One of my clients who is just starting out her business – not a lot of marketing experience, but figuring it out as she goes along – and has developed such a great following already, just in the few weeks of going “live” – that it dawned on me. We can ALL social – if we just know what we’re trying to say.
Social Media is no different to a cocktail party. Picture it – you arrive, and you start to chat to a couple of people in the joint. Some are well-known, some not so much. Some have interesting things to say, and some just keep repeating the same garbled nonsense over and over again. What do you naturally want to do? You levitate towards those who have something interseting to say, that you are into – and you start to hide from those who want to flood you with too much self-promotion, too much nonsense. They pretend they know everything and want to show you how much you know. In fact, they start to make you feel completely insecure by the amount that they (apparently) know.
Nah. You levitate yourself out of that situation… swiftly.
So – why offer Social Media management services, Katy? Aren’t you just trying to commercialise something that you’ve JUST said most people can naturally do?
Sure. But the question you have to ask yourself is: Do you have the TIME to invest in keeping conversations going? By that I mean – are you a one-hit wonder who splurges all the latest social media stuff, manage to find some followers and keep them engaged for a while, and then slowly slink back into your old habits? That’s where I, and people like me, come in. We can help.
Our JOB is to keep at it. Our job is to be your voice. Sure – you can dip in and out when you want to – but we’re there for the times when you are simply just trying to run your business, pay the bills, get the job done.
See how that works?
Why not give us a call. And if we think you’re doing a great job already – we’ll tell you.
We recently had a conversation with a friend who is planning a huge finale to a great festival in our town. The gist of the conversation centered around a few tips to get their website recognised and found on search engines.
These were some of the tips we gave them
1: CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT
How SEO works is that search engines trawl the internet looking at common words that people search for. They capture the search terms, along with the URLs of the websites, of those search terms. The more content that is used from one URL, the more the search engine thinks, “ah! This URL / Site must be important if there is a lot of traffic to and from the website – ie, there are lots of people using it”. So the more it recognises the URL in a search, the more relevance it will apply, and the higher the ranking in the results.
So, to do that, you need to create content. You need to be posting relevant STUFF to the website, using a few key words that pretty much points to your website, on a regular basis and people need to be visiting the website.
There are a number of ways that you can do this:
– blog : A Blog allows you to constantly write info / updates etc onto your website and generate new content as often as you like!
– social media traffic with all references back to your website: Ensure that all your tweets and posts point back to pages within your website.
– effective Search Engine Optimisation application that sits on your website – where you are able to enter key terms that you think people would use to find your website.
2: Piggy Back off others
If you don’t have the time to spend on constantly sitting on the website and updating it with info, then another quick way to generate some traffic to your website is to piggy back off others. Have as many businesses / people as possible, share a link on their website that points back to yours. You can encourage them to put something on their website by writing a little press release or an article for them – that they can simply copy and paste onto theirs. Ensure that you are on all community websites, and blogs, and newspaper sites etc, event calendars etc. It all helps in the trawling process – giving the Search Engines bigger reason to think that your site is important.
3: SEO Search terms
Ensure that your SEO terms are mentioned in your website as often as possible. (Esp in the opening paragraphs of any articles / pages you use). Ensure that whatever web administration you use, eg Joomla! , WordPress etc – all have a plugin installed that allows you to capture the necessary Metadata (keywords, descriptions etc).
4: Social Media
Marketing is largely online – the entire community is moving online – and trends in business certainly reflect that – advertising rates are going down rapidly and advertisers often struggle to meet quota as people believe in online presence much more than printed presence for many services. So, where Social Media helps is to generate additional search hits that point back to your website. Ie: when you tweet, you include a link to your website, when you put something on Facebook, you put a link to your website. The more people clicking on the link and going through to your website, the higher the interest and therefore the higher the rankings.
I used an example of a local community website that we developed recently. Having only launched the website 3 months ago, the struggle to have it discovered by leading Search Engines was number 1 on our priority list. Our vision was to use it as a portal into the village where locals as well as visitors could find news items, business information and more. The only reason why we have moved up the chain so quickly in these 3 months, is because we are CONSTANTLY posting new news articles…. so the content on the website is being renewed on a daily basis. We’re also then telling people via Twitter and Facebook, when there is a new news article, and we post the link to the website.
The number of unique visitors to the website (daily) has gone up from 10 a day, to now an average of 62 NEW and UNIQUE users every day. So word is spreading. And that’s only because we are adding and adding and adding content to the website.
If you are thinking that you may need some help with your SEO, or your website, why not give us a call.
Being of “that age”, the imminent arrival, and prospective announcement rates by new expectant mothers (and fathers) seems to happen more and more frequently. So you would understand my amusement at a recent conversation amongst a group of friends where the topic of a recently-discovered pregnancy quickly turned from the usual “ooh’s, aah’s and when’s and how’s…. ” (well.. not exactly the “how’s”.. but you know what I mean), to one which started to brainstorm a few ideas as to HOW the announcement would be made.
It was only after sitting at my desk one day, that I noticed an ever impending phenomenon that is raising its head above the social media horizons… that I had to jump in and take note.
We all know how social media has, “changed our lives”, “made the world smaller”, “reduced our privacy”…. “changed our lives”… but now we take one step in another direction where, instead of being the medium to make an announcement, social media has become so intrinsically involved in our lives that we need to make a decision and almost create a plan, as to how we use that medium, in order to broadcast probably one of the biggest announcements of our lives.
We have adapted to this social media tool in such a way that our lives are becoming dress rehearsals for our Facebook Profiles. Our innermost thoughts (and dinner menus) become our Twitter Voice.
Make no mistake, I encourage innovation, I celebrate excitement and I revel in the unusual. I am a social media fanatic. I know how it works and I recognise its power. But I do wonder: When that day comes, and someone flicks the switch and all Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Reddit, StumbleUpon, YouTube, Vibe, Keek, Instagram servers, and our lunch breaks go back to being 5 minutes on the park bench outside, or a conversation with that person in accounting who just never seems to talk…. when we suddenly discover that the blood that pumps through our veins is haemoglobin and not our Relationship Status – will we be able to cope?
It would just hurt for a while.