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Social media is my passion. I love helping clients connect through the virtual world.
Most people that I’ve talked to at workshops, networking groups, or while consulting have heard me mention the 80/20 rule, meaning 80% of content in your blogs, newsletters, and social media posts should be interesting content and only 20% should be promotional.
One QUICK reason (this is a Tuesday Tip so I like to keep it under 200 words total) is that people want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Having 80% of your content as interesting content gives your clients (and potential clients) a chance to get to know a bit about you so when you do mention your offers/classes/packages/promotions they will feel comfortable enough to take the plunge with you.
- Quotes & memes help people know who your influences are.
- Humorous postings show people your fun side.
- Informational articles show you are knowledgeable and follow current information.
- Asking interactive questions encourages engagement.
There are many ways to build relationships – even virtually.
“Tips” image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
*Tuesday Tips are typically short, sweet, and to the point. A quick read and then back to your day.
For some people, Facebook Group posting is somewhat fun and distracting. For other people, Facebook Group posting is essential to their business. Some businesses take advantage of Facebook Groups to keep in touch with their “tribe,” be it a networking group or a group of their ideal clients.
I’m seeing more people re-purposing content from their Facebook (personal) Profile or their Facebook (business) Page and using this content in groups they belong to. Generally speaking, re-purposing content is a good thing, and I’m all for using something multiple times in multiple places. When you share content from your Facebook (business) Page, it’s easy to share, is public, and has the added benefit of possibly driving people back to your Facebook (business) Page to see what else is there.
There’s a bit of a different twist, however, if you’re on your Facebook (personal) Profile page and want to share something to one of the groups you belong to. As you go to share the item, you may notice the following message.
“You chose a specific audience for this post. Only people in that audience will be able to see this when you share it.”
If you continue on with this posting — your audience (possibly made up of potential clients) will see …
This attachment may have been removed or the person who shared it may not have permission to share it with you.”
This same issue can happen if you’re trying to share content from one group to another group. If a group is NOT a “public” group, and if you try to share information outside of the group, the share will be visible to anyone that belongs to the group, but it will not be able to be seen by someone that’s not in the group. So if you’re in a private coaching group and your coach has a spectacular program she’s mentioned that you’d like to share outside the group – it needs to be FIRST posted in a public place.
If you’re trying to share an event or a special or a meme or a photo with a Facebook group, make sure what you’re trying to share is public, otherwise things will get really boring, really quickly and all your audience will see is a rather dull box.
Email has been on the verge of death for … I think about 8-10 years now. SPAM was going to make people avoid their email, then RSS was going to make people move away from their email, and most recently social media was going to take the place of email. I’m fairly certain next month something else will come along that will tell us of the gloom and doom of email.
Yet, email lives on. And as email lives on, businesses need to take advantage of email to connect with their target audience.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing email in detail. By the end of this series you should be able to start up a list and keep it running. Here are the items we’ll be addressing:
- Build your list — define your target email audience.
- Create freebie offer
- Create your sign up form
- Remember CAN-Spam
- Set up your program
- Create your email
- Test and Track
Let’s start with how to build a list. First, you’ll need to remember that you’ll have to INVITE people to your list, not ADD people to your list (we’ll discuss this in detail in Part 4). But who is going to be receiving your email?
- Current clients
- Past clients
- Prospective clients
- Strategic partners
Basically, this includes anyone that is using your services, might use your services, or might recommend your services.
Your homework* for next week is to answer the following questions about your email prospects:
- What are their key challenges, frustrations, and pain points?
- What aspirations, hopes, and dreams do they have?
- Which niche forums do they hang out in? What are the hot threads?
- What social network posts are generating the most shares, likes, and comments?
*HOMEWORK?? Yes, I’m giving you homework. It will make sense next week.
FINAL QUESTION — do you have any specific questions about or challenges based on email? Leave a note in the comments.
For day to day use of social media, however, we need to remember to keep the “social” in social networking.
Here are some tips.
- Find Your Tribe.
When you are adding people to your social network, remember to add the right people. Find your ideal client or your people that are good joint venture partners. Remember that you’re addressing people, and not just analytics.
- Be Yourself.
Yes, you want to portray your “best” self when you’re on social media. Just as people don’t go to meetings wearing coffee stained yoga pants, you do want to put your best “verbal” foot forward. Keep this in mind whether posting to your own pages or making comments on other pages.
- Maximize Information (minimize promotion).
You want to share content and information that is of interest or helpful to your audience. Some experts recommend having 80% of your content being information or communication and 20% of your content being promotional. Some experts recommend having 40% of your content being informational, 40% being conversational, and 20% being promotional. Whichever way you look at it there’s always a maximum of 20% promotional content. If you wouldn’t meet someone at a coffee shop and spend 30 minutes saying “buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff,” then don’t do that on your Twitter account or Facebook page.
- Converse and Engage.
In addition to being attentive to what you are putting on your page, also be aware of what you’re putting on other pages. Comment on pages of industry leaders, engage in conversations on your clients’ pages, and share information from your clients or your joint venture partners.
- People Before Tech.
I’ve seen people get worried about how to handle ROI or SEO, and I’ve seen people avoiding getting involved in social media because they are afraid of messing up. Picture your social media platforms as a great big coffee shop (or networking event). “Walk” around, see what other people are doing, and say “hi.”
- Don’t Lose Time.
Unless most of your clients are virtual, don’t devote time to social media networking at the expense of in-person networking. And, if you find it difficult to get “work” done without resorting to the temptations of crushing the candy or feeding the farm animals, find a way to walk away. You can use different windows for “work” and “personal,” you can have a set schedule for “work” time and “play” time, or (if all else fails) find yourself a social media manager or a virtual assistant to help with the business.
- The Internet – It’s Forever.
A few weeks ago a politician (or, most likely, his social media manager) posted something insensitive and confrontational on his Twitter account. Ten minutes later the post was removed. However, in that ten minute time frame (on a Sunday evening — let’s face it people are always paying attention), someone from the opposing camp managed to grab a screen shot of the offensive post. Within 24 hours it went viral.
Just treat social media like a coffee shop, with pleasant conversation and a “give and take” mentality, and you’ll do just fine.
There are two articles below. One of them talks about in-person networking but some of the same rules apply to social media networking.
“If you seek to form personal, mutually beneficial connections rather than the comparatively parasitic kinds, networking may seem more palatable to you.”
Keep this in mind both online and off.
OH — and just for fun, read the article below about the Grandmas. Sometimes we really need to spend an extra moment or two on proffraeding. (<– Okay, that’s really not a good example because it would get highlighted as a misspelling, but you get the idea).
- Grandmas Are Tagging Themselves ‘Grandmaster Flash’ on Facebook Laura Beck. (cosmopolitan.com)
- Networking is Literally Disgusting. Melissa Dahl. (nymag.com)
Guest Post (with minor edits) courtesy of Evie Burke at One Insight Closer.
Whether it’s spring break or summer vacation or winter holidays, we all need a few days off, or even a vacation (!) to have some time to relax.
Sounds wonderful right? But then you start to think about all those things that you want to or should be doing for your business right now – and suddenly taking any time away from your home office sounds less wonderful and more stressful.
On some level though, you know you need the time away – a time to rest and not think about your business. You just don’t know if that’s possible.
Let’s take a step back and remember having a JOB (play with me here). Remember going on vacation then? If your job was anything like mine, going on vacation meant that you had to set aside some extra time before you left to tie up any loose ends, to let clients and/or co-workers know you’re going to be gone and to update anyone who was going to be handling some of your responsibilities while you were gone (and maybe letting them know how to reach you in an emergency).
You know that that process was? A system, even if you didn’t call it that or think of it that way, it was the system that you, or the business you worked for, setup to make sure that things ran relatively smoothly while you were gone.
Let’s step back to today. What is your system for taking time off in your business?
Okay, I hear some of you laughing (or sighing) that you are your business and if you’re not there things don’t run. Nothing happens when you’re not in the office – or worse, if you’re not in the office things start to fall apart. Well, that might currently be true, but there are probably a few things that you can do before you leave or set up to happen while you’re gone to make sure nothing falls apart and that things run smoothly when you return.
- Let your clients know you’ll be out of the office
Just give them a heads up. This could be a quick phone call and a follow-up email so they have the dates and other information at their fingertips. And let them know how to contact you if you’re in a business where emergencies happen and they might need you now. Let them know how to handle that.
- Tie up loose ends
If you have any projects or communications that have under 15 minutes left on them, finish those up. These things will take longer to do if you wait until you return, because they won’t be fresh in your mind.
- Decide what can wait until after you get back
If you’re anything like me you’ve suddenly decided that those two bigger projects that you put on the back burner should really be DONE before you leave. Because you don’t want to think about it when you return. You want to have time available for those great new ideas that will pop up when you return from vacation.This is where I remind us both (you and me) that some things will have to wait until after vacation. Trying to cram too much in before you leave will result in frustration and the temptation to take work with you on vacation (don’t do it!). Instead, decide ahead of time what can wait. Make a list if you need to and then you can schedule those things when you return.
- Out of Office email reply
Most email programs have this. Set it up for the dates that you’ll be gone and let them know when they can expect a reply back from you.
- Update your voice mail message
Again, let people know you’re out and when you’ll get back to them.
- Set time aside for replies and phone calls when you return
Set aside a couple hours on your first day back in the office for returning emails and phone calls (and cleaning out your inbox).
- Plan the first couple days you’re back in the office
This one is really important for me. Last year I didn’t do this when I went on a two week vacation. Actually, I “planned” on planning my first week back on the airplane ride home. Yeah, so on the airplane ride home I think I slept, talked with my husband and maybe read a couple of chapters of a fiction book. So, my first week back “in the office” I did catch up on email and send my newsletter, but that was about it…I realized that first week back would have been a lot smoother, and more productive, if I would have planned a few tasks to be completed that week. I could have gotten back into the swing of things a lot faster.
- Write and schedule your newsletter in advance
If you send a newsletter, you can write it in advance and schedule it to go out while you’re gone. And if you have a VA you can write everything in advance and pass it along to her early.
- Enjoy your time off!
Allow yourself to mentally unplug from your business and enjoy your time off!
You deserve some time off! Put it on your schedule and start planning for it!
In the comments below share what else you do to prepare for vacation or even a day away from your business.
(Additional note on #8, if you don’t have time to write a weekly blog post, remember to ask if someone wants to do a guest blog — Mary).
Photo by Mary Wu, on a previous vacation.
Karthika Gupta, a photographer I know, recently did a blog post titled “Entrepreneurial Lessons From The Field.” She shares some lessons that she learned from three female entrepreneurs living in India. Karthika pointed out that these women are running businesses without some of the tools that most businesses take for granted, like business cards and websites. However, even without the use of a computer I feel we have lessons to learn from their “social” media.
Know your customers. While these three women business owners in India have gotten to know their customers through frequent personal interactions, that might not be an option for people in virtual industries. However, even in our technology driven world, we can understand our customers by trying to understand their needs. We can engage with our clients (and potential clients) on their social media pages. We can subscribe to their newsletters and know what promotions they are offering (and even share those promotions).
If some of your clients live near you, you can get to know them better, perhaps over a cup of tea. (more…)