Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Social Media

Your Digital Footprint: Are Your Potential Customers Finding You? Edit article

the-digital-footprintBasic digital marketing strategy begins with a review of your social media/digital footprint.

The confidence that people and businesses have when asked about this process is very alarming to me. Why? Because in 2017 most of us should be aware that no matter how much you post or where you post–your life and business are no longer private! Everything, and I mean just about everything, can be found by a potential customer looking for your products or services. And that should be a good thing.

With all the information that is “out there” in the digital world, there is incredible potential for you and your business when your information is branded and threaded together.  Then, the more information you share with consumers, the more your expertise rises. It’s called Thought Leadership and anyone with a specialty has the potential to attract new customers by creating a digital strategy of thought leadership. And the benefits? Inbound Marketing Leads.

Attention Small Businesses

I know you are all posting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But did you know that “posting” needs to strategic too? What is it your customers want to hear? Buy me or Teach me?

Ask yourself how you make your purchasing decisions. Do you follow and like every “offer” being made on your newsfeeds? Or do you research and find information, reviews, and articles to help you decide where to spend your money? That’s what I thought.

By the time your prospects actually reach out to you–by phone or email–they have made 80% of the decision to buy from you already.

So what information are you offering that is supplying that 80%?

Steps for Small Business

  1. Update and Brand all your social profiles.
  2. Figure out who your customers really are and then where they are on social. Then be there, not everywhere.
  3. Review, revise and get your information strategy together. Posts, blogs, articles and materials all have their purpose in social media. Is what you are posting a bunch of “fluff” and “sales”? Then you will not get inbound leads. But, if you are out there, being a thought leader…well, wouldn’t it be nice to actually have an inbound strategy in place that is working? Thought so.

Attention Professionals

It is amazing to me how few professionals utilize blogging and social posts to grow and advance in their careers. The days of “updating” resumes to get ahead are long gone! This is the digital/information age and if you cannot be found where we are looking, then no one will find you!

Steps for Professionals

  1. Update and Optimize your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Brand and thread all of your social media profiles together.
  3. Blog and offer information that is searchable and will offer you an inbound stream of leads and contacts.

Branding and Thought Leadership are not just trendy words that marketing professionals use. They are the new reality of marketing. Take the Digital Footprint Test for free (from me) and see where you could (and must) improve. It might just be worth 25% more leads or more sales that are inbound to you!

Maria Bereket is a Digital Media Marketing Consultant and Coach, LinkedIn Strategist, and Social Media Trainer. Her work focuses on bridging the gap of the digital divide by teaching people how to use social media to grow their business through social media thought leadership. She is an innovator and creative task master, so don’t contact her if you are not looking for growth and change. Teaching people to embrace technology and learn how to communicate in a digital world is her super-power. Connect @mbear88 or email her at Maria@DesignBearMarketing.com if you are looking for an INBOUND MARKETING STRATEGY that works!

Originally posted on LinkedIn

business, Inbound Marketing, Marketing

Branding Is What People Say About You

The hardest concept for a business owner who has been around for more than ten years is “Branding.”

Branding was your logo.

Branding was your Est. Date.

Branding was the product.

Branding was actually never those things, but it was easier back then to draw in customers with those details.

Today, in the Digital World, Everything is About Information.

Our hand-held devices are the authority on just about everything. Should we eat at the corner restaurant? Ask Yelp. Should we buy that pair of shoes? How many stars does it have? Is this business something I can trust? Let’s Google them.

And I know that you know this fact, but do you really understand that telling customers how great you are is not the same as building your brand?

Look closely at this illustration. Now compare it is message to your last five Social Media Posts. How much information are you sharing? How often are you yelling at people to Buy Me? How many posts are sharing about why you do what you do? Customers want to “see” behind the curtain. How often do you do that?

How Do You Think Customers “Understand” You?

“Back in the day” there use to be that wonderful marketing principle about “three people who tell three people.” Remember? Personal recommendations, key placement print advertisements, and those loyal “three customers who told their three friends” were what made the lines of people wrap around your cash register. Today things do not quite work like that. Your customers are not placed within a 25-mile radius of your location (thankfully!) The promise of the Internet was that if you built a website, people from around the globe could possibly be your customer, right?

Google is Searching For Thought Leaders Who Share Information

All that you posts, write, and share about you and your business are thrown into a large river called “Google.” This large information system is hungry for anything that can be offered to the millions of people asking questions on their hand-held devices. Questions that need answers, right now!

Consumers do not want to know how great you are. They want to learn more about you through reviews, blogs, articles, and posts that you share. They have a very sophisticated way of determining if you are worthy of their time and trust and it is not just those “Millennials” who use this information system anymore. The fastest growing demographic for tablets and iPads are over 65! We are all using the Google-sphere to direct our attention– and our dollars–whether we like it or not!

And you want to know what’s even worse?

We Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish

In 2013, statistics noted that we had an 8-second attention span when it came to digital information. By many accounts, today it is merely 6-seconds to catch me before we “X-Out” of a page to find something more interesting. You have less than 6-seconds to catch people in your headlines, articles, advertising, and even in the books, they read…..

“Front-load your best material in the first few chapters before readers put your book away.” -publishing agents everywhere

So How Does This Determine Your Brand?

Ask yourself the following questions: Where are you supplying information? What are you writing about in your Blogs? What new information are you sharing in your posts? On your Instagram feeds? How often does the content on your web page change? How often are you sending interesting content via email?

Information is what we seek. Problem-solving posts. How To’s. How Not-To’s. Content, rich with keywords and images that delight us in the first six seconds of our interaction with you and your business. And don’t be fooled by the occasional article in your local newspaper or local living magazine—these PR tactics will only enhance the regular and consistent information that your business is already sharing on a daily basis.One-hit-PR does not a brand make!

Thought Leadership is How You Get Found

And thought leadership is a long-term view of a digital marketing strategy. The question is: How are you sharing information that will get you found?

Maria Bereket is a Digital Media Marketing Consultant and Coach, LinkedIn Strategist, and Social Media Trainer. Her work focuses on bridging the gap of the digital divide by teaching people how to use social media to grow their business through social media thought leadership. She is an innovator and creative task master, so don’t contact her if you are not looking for growth and change. Teaching people to embrace technology and learn how to communicate in a digital world is her super-power. Connect @mbear88 or email her at Maria@DesignBearMarketing.com

Original Post on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariabereket/recent-activity/posts/

Design, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Social Media

5 Valentines Posts To Do Right Now

I am a huge supporter of the Annual Content Calendar for social media posting. With Valentines Day fast approaching its time to get serious about using it. So I will start with a few statistics and then share five ideas that you can incorporate in your posting efforts over the next couple of weeks.

Let’s Start With The Numbers by Statistic Brain

$116.21 is the average amount people spend on Valentines

61.8 % is the percent of consumers who do celebrate Valentines Day

Why are these important?

53% of women say they would end their relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentines day.

I love the 53% break-up statistic! Serious business Valentines Day! It’s the war between the sexes: Women want to be thought about and rewarded for all the things they do – even when they say they don’t want anything it doesn’t hurt to surprise them with a small token of your love. Same goes for customers. They say they don’t want you to post too much, but when it comes to dropping some dollars, they only are kind to those who share information.

So as a small business, you can (and must) help your customers by offering them information and ideas–for Valentines Day help them know what to write in their cards, put in their gifts, or just keep them focused on the most important events of the day. In other words, be relevant to your customers so they don’t “break up with you.”

So Let’s Get Started with Your Posts

You should be scheduling a post every day no matter what the theme or holiday. Let’s start with some post types: quotes, articles, images, stories, and offers. Use a program like Canva (below) to help you make pretty posts for your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Then start off the year by beginning to think about your products and services differently (like through the eyes of your customers, especially those who have no idea who you are) and then think about how you can repackage and offer them in ways that appeal to a different generation. The goal for every business is to grow your customer base.

So let’s begin with Valentines Day. I know what you are thinking: a good number of people only buy chocolate and flowers on Valentines Day, but offering your customers a warm, fuzzy feeling over the upcoming holiday theme of “Love” is good customer service. And remember: not everyone cares about Valentines Day as a day to “get something.” But we are all aware that the day is happening and it is nice to be included in some way.

Here are 5 ideas to Inspire Your Valentine Content:

#1 Create Gift Guides – Who doesn’t love a good gift guide? Come on, we are all really, really busy lately and spending a few hours figuring out what to get our significant other is a huge pain. So make it easy and fun by putting together a few of your products especially for Him or Her. Just in those two groups are lovers, spouses, family, and friends. Why not share the “love” with everyone by including everyone to give gifts? My Dentist is quite creative by offering unique gifts for his customers at Valentines—he buys a few boxes of chocolate and wraps them with a Teeth Cleaning Certificate!

#2 Contests – “Best Engagement Story”, “Silliest Valentines Gift”, “Cutest Pet Couple”…the possibilities are endless when it comes to contests that ask customers to share their stories with pictures. Ask people to post them onto your page with your specific contest Hashtag. Offer them a movie night as a prize. Why would you do that when you are not a movie theater? Because it is relevant to the holiday and the contest. But most important is that the more people who post on your page, the more they share with their friends (who don’t yet know you), and the more people who see your page, the more engagement your posting will have—and that is the goal here. Traffic and engagement! Becuase that will lead to sales.

#3 Date Night Ideas – This is a good time to think about your neighbors and ways to co-brand your business. What could be a fun “Date Night” on your main street? Outline it, have menus, ask people to share their ideas. Post lots of fun ideas, silly ones, and of course, ask people for their stories and ideas so they will share. Magazines are filled with ideas right now—share the links to the articles and offer your personal take on them. Be the source for information.

#4 Love Notes – Post some interesting poems and even some famous love letters to give your fans and customers ideas on what to say to their beloved. Do some DIY ideas here too—perhaps hosting a Valentines Card get together with craft items so people can make a personal statement and then post the card onto your page to enter them into a drawing. Emojis may be fun but they do not say “I love you” like a love note!

#5 Anti-Valentine’s Day – So think about my dentist for example. He is taking an anti-teeth product (sweets) and placing it with something he does (teeth cleaning)—and it says I love you, right? Well, there are plenty of people who hate sweets, hate romance, hate spending money on holidays. Post comics, gag gift ideas, and anything “Anti-Valentines” that gets people sharing your posts from your business page. Have fun and be sure to ask people to share their stories with you!

So now, just get to it and make the posts. Track your fans, likes, and foot traffic. Notice how many people are noticing that you are posting something daily and relevant instead of just “Buy My Stuff” content. And please, share your stories with me on well (or not well) things went.

Maria Bereket is a Digital Media Marketing Consultant and Coach, LinkedIn Strategist, and Social Media Trainer. Her work focuses on bridging the gap of the digital divide by teaching people how to use social media to grow their business through social media thought leadership. She is an innovator and creative task master, so don’t contact her if you are not looking for growth and change. Teaching people to embrace technology and learn how to communicate in a digital world is her super-power. Connect @mbear88 or email her at Maria@DesignBearMarketing.com

Original Post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/five-valentines-post-ideas-do-now-maria-berekethttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/five-valentines-post-ideas-do-now-maria-bereket

business, customers, Marketing, Social Media

Eventually an Egg Walks!

image001

I still remember the first time I got behind the wheel in my driver’s ed class car. After two weeks in class, I finally got to sit in the back seat waiting for my turn to drive. When I finally got into the drivers seat, I was informed that I would be getting on the highway.

I recall feeling as if I would throw up as I approached the “on ramp.” My instructor, a retired policeman, kept telling me to put my foot down on the gas. “You have to merge at the same rate of speed,” he kept saying.

I could feel the sweat dripping down the back of my shirt, and my hands were so tight on the steering wheel that my knuckles were white. I am not sure how I got on the highway or even how long it took to get to my house. I was in some time warp with strange sounds whizzing alongside my ears and deep, muffled voices from behind me that sounded like a horror movie.

I remember not wanting to get out of the car because my legs felt like concrete–until they hit the ground–then they quickly turned to jello, unwilling and unable to move toward my house.

Eventually, I got to the front door but was unable to turn the knob because my hands were shaking so violently. I was relieved when they finally pulled away so I could slump down against the brick wall and gather myself.

This flashback came about when I was reviewing a month end posting report on a recent client’s Facebook posts.

They had paid me for my “advice” on social media and only wanted a strategy for posting with content ideas and direction. Unwilling to see the value in training or social media management, they felt confident that things would just roll off the page as simply as it was outlined. I pointed out that the person who was the “communications coordinator” already had a busy job and may need some guidance, but the owners thinking was that she already had her own Facebook page, so it would be easy to get this going, right?

I recall leaving that meeting feeling nauseous.

I had been driving in the front seat with my parents for 16 years before I took that ride on the highway. I can tell you that none of that observation and keen attention to the turn signal movements helped me at all that night–or many other nights afterward for that matter. Learning to drive, like learning how to implement a social media strategy requires training….lots and lots of training, and even more practice.

The simplicity of social media is a concept that comes from the idea that it is free.

Free is not free when you calculate the number of hours it will take someone to set things up, make a plan, write and curate content, follow up, analyze, readjust, and then post and post, and yes, post again, daily.

It must have been great to be a Yellow Pages Salesman back in 1980’s. Pay, create, and print. Done. All that what was left was for the phone to ring, again and again.

Not so simple today. But really, nothing is that simple anymore. Business is driven by a presence on social media, not a specific need, but more about people’s desire to learn more, perhaps even own the thing that caught their eye while scrolling through images on their phone.

It’s tough out there today!

Social media is advertisement/journalism/newspaper ad/business listing/inventory and billboard sign. The “small shop” is no longer products and a salesperson, but rather a whole world of experiences. Consumers today expect to log into your website and find all the answers to their questions—visually, thoughtfully, and graphically pleasing. It has to be simple enough to find what they want quickly, but detailed enough that they can go deep inside the culture of the business.

A flat, yellow paper ad from days gone by did not even scratch the surface of “experiential.” And placing an ad took maybe two hours back then with a payment plan! You had all the details done—hours, logo, address, perhaps clip art—it all came down to size and budget.

So why isn’t marketing today operating like that?

Why is it so hard to see that marketing a business today is more than a few posts and fans to “thumbs up” our information? Why isn’t there more of an effort to bring people on board who can really grow an organic program that is fun and part of the everyday culture of the business?

Oh yeah, it costs money.

I am always clear when talking to people about social media marketing. “It is an egg,” I tell them. “eventually, it walks.”

But who has ever seen an egg hatch?

Not in this grocery store nation. So, I am thinking, I may need to find a new analogy….perhaps that’s why I had my flashback this morning.

Social Media is like learning to drive a car!
You will feel unbelievably nauseated, sweaty, out-of-control, and utterly fearful of every single moment,
until one day, you just don’t.

I like that.

Maria Bereket is a Social Media Consultant, LinkedIn Strategist, and a very animated Speaker. Her work focuses on bridging the gap of the digital divide by teaching people how to use social media to grow their brands through thought leadership. Her passion is working with small businesses and non-profits because she feels that it is through their work that our communities will be stronger and better for everyone. Teaching people to embrace technology and learn how to communicate in a digital world is her super-power! For a different perspective follow her @mbear88 or just email at mbear88@gmail.com  (Originally Posted on LinkedIn)

Personal Brand, Social Media

The Awkward Feeling of Standing Out

duckWhat if Prince had decided to be like Hall & Oats, Billy Joel, or U2?

Those were the top names when he recorded Purple Rain.  He didn’t choose to have the same 80’s look and feel of those other guys, no, he became different because he was different.  And his career grew larger than life the more  “himself” he became.

Today it doesn’t take songwriting or a purple velvet jacket to become a “pop star” in your career.  It takes a personal style that means you must stand out, be taller (or shorter) than the competition.  It takes acceptance of that slightly off person that you know you are. Are you the square peg that squeezed into the round hole your whole career? Own It! You have to find yourself and stand proud.

To be the “pop star” of your world….it takes a voice.

Sorry folks, what it really takes is a Blog.

So Here is The Short List:

#1 A Blog Sends People To Your Website.

Interesting articles and materials that are found on Google searches mean that people, potential customers, will eventually click through to your website.  This is the virtual goal of anything social.  Clicking through to the home base of your business.  Sure, you could run $500 a week ads on Facebook, but why not find people genuinely interested in what you have to offer?

#2 A Blog Helps to Market Your Products & Services

What better way to give us all the behind-the-scenes look at who you are and what you do?  Selling art? Caring for children? Cleaning teeth? Bridging the digital divide?  They are all problems that need solutions. And the super highway of information can collect your thoughts and show me the roadmap to all the things that you can offer to help.

#3 A Blog Exposes You As An Expert.

Who wouldn’t want to stand next to Bill Gates when it comes to expressing your views on things that you are good at?  And don’t let the Bill Gates reference scare you away from standing up to thought leaders in a world of noisy advertisers. People today want genuine, authentic, organic information.  They want the voices of experience and understanding.  They want industry insiders who know how to change, correct, fix, guide, and fulfill all the promises that can be filled. We don’t want “snake oil” salesman with slick graphics and a cool video, we want authentic experiences that can impact us.  That would be (could be) you!

Think of blogging as an opportunity to contribute to the world’s problems.  One post at a time, reaching out to people, to your niche.  LinkedIn has over 414 million members.  What if just 1% of 1% of them read what you wrote and reached out to you?

You do realize that is over 40,000 people, right?

I don’t know about you, but if 40 thousand people were reading my thoughts and solutions, I would be a Pop Star!  

So Write.  Plan.  Solve.  And STAND OUT.

Note: I have one question.  When I “spell-checked” this piece the “snake oil” reference was flagged as “politically incorrect.”  Anyone have any comments on how this impacts society?

Maria Bereket is a Social Media Consultant, LinkedIn Strategist, and a very animated Speaker. Her work focuses on bridging the gap of the digital divide by teaching people how to use social media to grow their brands through thought leadership. Her passion is working with small businesses and non-profits because she feels that it is through their work that our communities will be stronger and better for everyone. Teaching people to embrace technology and learn how to communicate in a digital world is her super-power! For a different perspective follow her @mbear88 or just email at mbear88@gmail.com  

Personal Brand, Uncategorized

BRAND YOU. It’s Time To Become You.

masks

It’s easy when it’s easy.

You know, to do things “the way they have always been done.” To set aside our desire to be heard and recognized for our work and let the “other guy” take the credit. It is even easier sometimes to forget our successes and hold our errors close to our hearts so that we don’t lose the memory of all the pain and agony of doing something new or different. It feels easy to be “safe.”

Being safe isn’t where our world is today.

The pace of society, technology and the overwhelming abundance of information does not work well with “playing it safe.” So why fight it?

Your career is the one thing in life that you control.

I don’t care if you were born in South LA or can’t speak English. In time, you can change the things that need to be changed to become something. I read somewhere that it only takes ten years to become someone else. In ten years a high school graduate can become a doctor. In a lot less than ten years, you could learn to speak almost any language fluently. And in a matter of weeks, you could learn one of the most important tools there is–that when mastered–can make you envied and admired, followed and liked by thousand of fans.

It just takes the desire to risk being yourself.

And why would we risk that? The best parts of ourselves are those that were learned from mistakes, yet we ignore those and focus on the one or two things that are acceptable successes driving our life and careers into safe harbors. Being safe is an illusion of the world of work today. Stifling your individuality and skills is a recipe for career disaster.

To really own your career you must accept who you are

Every piece of who you are, including all those eccentricities that your bosses have told you were “never going to get you anywhere,” are important today. Did it ever occur to you that the reason people tell you such nonsense is that they know the true value of that gift you have, and perhaps, they fear that if you really owned it, they would be out of a job?

Social media is that tool I mentioned that can make you into the “superstar” you already are. Mastering its ability to broadcast your unique skills will take you to the moon and back, right alongside the SpaceX team. Because social media is the way, we communicate today. It is the spaceship to the future of work and recognition. Social media is your voice. It has replaced the press release and the Rolodex of contacts that you inherited from your family connections. Social media can take you where you need to go. But it works best when you are your authentic self. No masks. No safety goggles.

So look in the mirror and decide what matters to you. Pull all those ugly, quirky traits out of the closet and try them on to see if they are your ticket to success. Funny? Detail-oriented? A visionary? A collaborator? A talker? A writer? An out-of-the-box thinker? All of these things are in demand, somewhere, and if you can wear them with expertise, then you too are in demand.

Accepting who you are is the first step. Step two is learning how to voice those skills in the most efficient way possible–through blogs and posts that solve people’s problems. So start with the “easy” part, you.

Own who you are! Be proud of what you are good at and wear all of you like a magic robe. Take pride in how you got where are and then learn to broadcast your story and your skills out to the world. It is the only way to head into the future of your career.

So share your “brand.”

Maria Bereket is a Social Media Consultant, Brand Innovator, LinkedIn Strategist, Small Business Specialist, and Energetic Speaker. Her work is focused on bridging the gap in the digital divide, and her passion is working with people and organizations who need to find their voice in a world filled with noise. Her work with small businesses and non-profits is most important to her plan because she feels that it is through their work that our communities will be stronger and better for everyone. Follow her @mbear88 or send her an email if you need a different perspective mbear88@gmail.com

business, customers, innovation, Leadership, Marketing, Uncategorized

Distraction or Reluctance? It’s Time To Decide.

business, customers, Marketing, Social Media

Oh, Radio Shack, you and I have been through so much together!

Untitled-1

I remember the day as if it happened yesterday.

My Radio Shack Tandy 4000 Computer box taking up most of the kitchen. Unpacking the cords, the 90-pound screen, the manuals, the keyboard, the heavy metal box with the huge slits for something called “floppy disks.”

My Dad had bought and assembled a “computer desk” from Sears the night before. And there it sat, in our kitchen looking so futuristic in our drab 1987 world. I was so excited when I got to turn on the power first. We all sat in front of the machine listening to the warming up sounds, beeps and churns of the internal engine revving up. It was exhilarating!

And we watched in anticipation as the little space bar blinked at the very bottom of the screen. Blink, blink, blink. We waited. Turned it off, then turned it on again.

Blink, blink, blink.

Devastated, we packed up the whole thing and drove it back to Radio Shack thinking we had purchased a defective portal to the future. We were greeted by a uniformed, attentive and knowledgeable gentleman who helped us to carry all the heavy boxes in the store. My Dad knew that we would get it all straightened out, it was Radio Shack, after all!

I jumped into the conversation and explained the whole process and the disappointing result. He listened intently and said:

Miss, you just need to purchase software to run it”

Ah, sweet software. The magic elixir of the computer in 1987 and so few boxes even existed, but bought we did–operating system and a word processing program. It was really love-at-first-site for me– all those wonderful things my Tandy 4000 could do with those huge floppy disks. And best of all, I would become the expert in my family! Total win-win.

So today, as I think of Radio Shack and how it impacted my life, my ultimate career choice, and the push of the social media revolution, I am sad, but not surprised that it would file Chapter 13. Like its famous commercial of last year, it never did leave the 1980’s. That is probably how I can recall the whole event so clearly–every store looks exactly as it did in 1987, right down to the shirted experts who still greet you at the door!

And that is my point today, other than nostalgia: We can all learn something from those shirted experts. Customer service is essential to success. It is what carried this outdated chain of stores for 25 years beyond its expiration date. The faces of these technical experts who greeted you at the door changed, but not the store itself. It felt drab and uncool to go inside, like entering into your grandfather’s garage. Sure there was everything we needed, wanted and desired in there, but it just wasn’t cool to go inside.

Best Buy made Geeks the trendiest thing ever in the 2000’s, so much so that everyone was proud to be called a geek, but Radio Shack was the first place of Geekdom, it was theirs to take and they didn’t.

The lesson here is that we must understand our customers. Not just what they need and want, but how they feel about the experience of receiving it. Walking into the store felt like a portal back in time, even with the iPhone display right up front. Hello, Radio Shack Marketing Department:

You can put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig!

I am sad to lose the wonderful, knowledgeable and kind efforts of the Radio Shack employees. In several states, and coast-to-coast, I have always been greeted and helped each and every time I went to one of their stores. But I did secretly want it to be cool. I did want that bright light, Apple store appeal, and they didn’t offer that to me.

Keep that in mind when you are sitting down to figure out why your business isn’t growing as fast as you would like. Are you outdated? Are you listening to the under the breath comments and jokes about your business?

We all made fun of Radio Shack for years (and years!) Hey, they made fun of themselves in a million-dollar commercial. Too bad they weren’t listening.

*sigh, I will miss you Radio Shack. You were my first Geek-crush.

#radioshack, #geek, #customerservice #tandy4000 #customerexperience #applestore, #marketing, #socialmedia

Originally published on LinkedIn

Maria Bereket is a Social Media Stress Reliever! She is a Trainer, Designer & Small Business Strategist who helps busy professionals, business owners, and schools feel stress-free when setting up their social media profiles and programs. Design Bear Marketing is her Social Media & Design Company. @mbear88 http://www.DesignBearMarketing.com

business, Marketing, Social Media

6 Ways to Model your Social Media Plan for 2015

Social Media Signpost Shows Information Support And Communication

Social media marketing is an overwhelming process of posts and images shared across Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others. Sure, it’s easy to be fun and relevant when you are Nike or Virgin Airlines, but what do you do when you are a boring business solving every day, difficult problems for consumers? How can you make your social media sound fun? Forget fun, how can you get people to read your content in the first place?

The best way to start off your new 2015 plan is to model it after someone who already makes it work. There are lots of very successful companies out there, but let’s take a look at one of the most necessary (and boring) businesses there is: Taxes. Liberty Tax is well known for its statue of liberty signs and street dancers who bounce up and down trying to get you to notice their offices around the country, but did you know that their Facebook page is just as effective?

Let’s take a look at a few of their posts and see if you can model your own posting by following their strategy.

#1 Relevant Content. This is one of their new year posts that touches everyone who spent just a tad bit more than expected over the holidays. It is not directly about taxes, but it falls under the overall services that a good tax Advisor would offer its clients: money management. There is no sales pitch, just useful, relevant information that establishes Liberty Tax as an authority.

#2 Be The Resource. It is important that every business become a resource of knowledge to help navigate the overwhelming amounts of information that come across our newsfeeds. Who do you call to get answers to questions? Well, that should be you. Affordable Care Act is not directly related to the services that Liberty Tax would provide, but why not offer the knowledge in tips to their followers and then gently offer their number for them to call?

#3 Problem Solving Tips. Using the hashtag #taxtuesday, Liberty is offering tips and solving problems while at the same time optimizing their content consistently. #TBT became a thing because enough people understood the consistent message of posting old photos on Thursdays. Find your voice for tips and problem-solving and then make it a day of the week that people begin to look forward to.

#4 Branding. Liberty Tax is all about the Statue of Liberty. That green foam statue hat on top of the white sheet is waving its arms at us from January through April on most street corners. We recognize it. It is their brand identity. In our visual world, we need to have these touch points to distract us from our overwhelmed lives, and Liberty Tax does it well. Everyone posted a Happy New Year Image, but when we use our branded image to reinforce the message, there is a purpose behind the post.

#5 Fun. I suppose that Willie Nelson wouldn’t find this post that fun, but for everyone else– who doesn’t want to feel a sigh of relief in a world of celebrity news? Here are real situations related to the business of tax that are fun because they involve someone else. Find newspaper comics or stories that make light of serious situations and people will look forward to your information.

#6 Links Back to Their Site. Most of the articles posted by Liberty are from their blog. A blog being your natural and most effective way to become the resource and go-to source that people need. Finding your voice in the world of social media is essential for success. You have views, information and a whole lot of resources that people really want to read and share. Plus, having a blog and posting the content on other sites gives you the best social strategy of all: bringing people back to your website!

So take a look at successful company pages of your competitors and see what works for them. Are they consistent in their posting? (probably yes) Are they selling all of the time? (most likely no) Are they giving us a piece of their personality? (if people are following them then you can be sure the answer is yes)

Make a plan. Post on a schedule. Create your own content and share. And remember, you must be consistent!

#2015 #socialmedia #marketing #designbear #facebook #posting

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/6-ways-model-your-social-media-2015-maria-bereket?trk=object-title

business, Design, Marketing, Personal Brand, Social Media

What is Your Profile Really Saying About You?

two-faced-12-16-10

When people take a look at your professional life there are two ways: Your resume and your LinkedIn profile.

They are one in the same.  You, your skills, your experience, your passion.  So what is the best way to figure out what your profile is saying about you?  Here are three quick tips.

  1. Word Cloud. The amazing thing about word clouds is that the computer will go through what you have written and pull out the words, count them, and then display visually the most often used words.  Once you pull out the grammatical words what you have left is what your colleagues, recruiters and potential employers see.  It is the essence of your work life.   Choose the top 20 words and this is the core of what you are telling people. I use http://tagcrowd.com/wordcloud linkedin
  2. Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words.  We all know this is true, but we fail to “see” our own image as something worthwhile.  Sure we are older, heavier, grayer, but we are who we are and if we want people to trust us then we need to show our faces so that people like and trust us.  Make sure you are showing your face.  Make sure you are smiling, even slightly.  Make sure it’s not too casual or awkward.  Artsy is for artists.  Go to https://www.photofeeler.com/ to get an idea of what people think of your profile shot. 05-misleading-first-impressions-1.w1120.h1382
  3. Your Profile Heading.  So you work at ABC company as an XYZ.  Big deal.  Unless that is some really hot stuff and you are totally happy with telling the world that, then no worries.  But, if you are like most people, is that what you tell people?  Do you get excited when you tell people that?  Then figure out what makes you excited about what you do and put that in your profile heading.  Go back to the word cloud and find the words that you are…passionate trainer, detailed engineer, creative writer, entrepreneur, visionary, strategist….what makes you different from all the other XYZ’s who do what you do?   Take some time and figure out the keywords that will make your profile POP.  Mirror that on your resume too.  Go ahead, be who you are!photo dec

 

#smallbiz #DesignBear #LinkedIn #Training #Profile

Source: Facial images http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/06/you-should-worry-more-about-your-profile-picture.html
%d bloggers like this: