Author Archives: Michalina Durczak

For most businesses in Ottawa, the summer is the busiest season of the year. For others, it may be the slow, sluggish season. Regardless of which category your business happens to fit in, you can still be productive this summer 2016.Nothing is hotter than social media right now: It is time to fire up your social media techniques by following some of these sizzling hot strategies!

Refine marketing with the season

It is very important to make a few changes to your advertising that make your content more appealing to a summer audience.

During the warmer months of the year, people like to relax and de-stress. Make sure that your content and covers reflect this. Emphasize aspects such as relaxation, convenience, savings and of course, fun. This is what summer is all about after all! Marry your brand with the season.

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Adjust posting times

What time of day you target your audience is just as important as what you target them with. The timing may differ in the summer from other seasons.  In the colder months it becomes dark between 4 and 6 pm so more people stay indoors and conduct searches online.

During summer, it’s typically light out until 8 or 9 pm. People stay outdoors much longer. In general, they are online less during the day, especially if the weather is prime. Keep this in mind when you schedule your posts.

Snap summer “Selfies”

Most businesses focus their marketing strategy on sharing business-related content, but giving your followers a peak behind-the-scenes can give them a better idea of your company’s personality and foster engagement for your other content. Use your business social media page to post photos from the company BBQ or pool party. Post some fun pictures of your loyal customers enjoying the hot weather at a picnic! Share your summer recipes or link to videos of summer office activities. Giving your audience a look on the inside helps strengthen relationships, and makes your business more real and approachable. Show your business personality and increase engagement.

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Summer Sweepstakes

Follower engagement is crucial to the success of your social media campaign and the best way to get your followers involved is to ask them! Invite them to share their own summer photos featuring your brand. This strategy increases your network engagement and you benefit by automatically getting great user-generated content.

Be Daring

Try something new. Post more than you usually would, and not all of it should be about your product and brand. Go for the natural marketing feel by discussing things at a more human level! Talk about summer community events with your audience.

Try A New Tool

Take advantage of the potentially slower summer business pace and use that free time to try out a hot new social media tool. Try a visual platform such as Instagram, Vine or Pinterest. Set a reasonable goal such as posting 2 new photos per week. The summer months may not be enough time to gauge the effectiveness, but it could also be a hidden gem in your social media marketing efforts! The only way to find out is to try and when September comes around, decide if you want to continue to grow your presence on that platform.

You could also take a stab at a new type of social media post. Consider trying a Facebook quiz or trivia question, a caption contest, a question for the audience or featuring a customer story.

 

Grow your Network

This is the hottest time of the year to find new people and potential customers to connect with online using LinkedIn and Twitter. Aiming to grow your Facebook likes is not a bad idea either. Keep in mind that if engagement is down during the summer because users are outdoors, it is not unlikely that it is down for your competitors. Still, find that personal connection to people that can help grow your business even during the slow days of summer!

If it happens to be busy for your business through the summer season, grow your email list! Something as simple as a paper sign-up sheet can go a long way in helping you stay in touch with customers after they visit your boutique, eat at your restaurant, or come into your office.

Using social media platforms is a foolproof way to connect with your audience members and readership on a more intimate level and grow your blog reach at the same time. There are countless apps available to you and there are new ones developing daily. Some apps and social media platforms are blazing a trail in the blogging world that every blog in the community should take advantage of. In the last blog article, we took a look at various popular social media platforms and how to implement them to maximize your user engagement and gear traffic toward your blog page. There are also several key things to keep in mind once you are familiar with social media platforms and decide which ones you want to use:

icon-set-1175043_960_720FIVE KEY THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

  1. PICK YOUR FAVOURITE FEW: When you find out just how exciting and useful all of these social media platforms can be, it is easy to get ahead of yourself checking and updating all of them. Let’s think realistically, there is not enough time in the day to spend a good amount of quality time on all of these outlets, even if it was all you did for your whole day. Pick your favourite social media platforms and commit to them! Spend the majority of your time focusing on one and dabble in the rest of them later! You can also alternate which ones you spend more time on.
  2. DON’T FORGET SOCIAL MEDIA ICONS: If you have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and an Instagram account, make sure you have links for all three on your blog page and website! When someone finds your blog and decides to become a regular follower, it will be so much easier for them if they could just click and go directly to your Instagram account to see if they want to follow you all over social media. Instagram is a good place to remind them to connect with your blog and check back regularly when you post something new.
  3. STAY CONSISTENT IN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATOFRMS: When you first start to create all these social media platforms for your blog, be sure to keep your names consistent to streamline your presence. You want it to be simple and easy for readers to find your account, your Instagram, your Pinterest and so on. The key is to keep your name consistent and easy to remember and track. Try to stick with your blog name as much as possible when doing this. If you would like to tag a fellow blogger who encouraged you with positive feedback or gave you an idea, try to tag them by their name or blog Be memorable, simple, and stay consistent.
  4. MAKE CONNECTIONS:There is more to social media than just flooding your audience with your blog Yes, it is the right place to share your posts BUT you have the opportunity to share so much more than just blog content. Take advantage of the power of social media and make connections with your fans and followers on a deeper more intimate level. Share your thoughts from your day, especially if they spread positivity or ask questions to actively engage with your readers. Share anything that represents a common interest and it does not always have to relate to your blog or business. Try asking who’s keeping up with the latest TV show for example.
  5. TRY NEW THINGS: Social media is changing every single day. Remember Myspace? Many people loved their Myspace and only got a Facebook account because it was like a rite of passage. Twitter is not for everyone but is a great resource for connecting with your readers. Don’t be afraid to play around and try out new apps to see how they help or hinder your social media reach and how they help you make connections with your readership and community. Not every platform is right for your niche audience and readers. It really depends on your industry. Remember, you don’t have to do everything but you won’t know what you like for your blog until you try new things, so get out there and explore!

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Social media is a fantastic way to connect with your audience members on a whole new level and grow your blog reach simultaneously. There are many apps available to you out there and there are new ones developing every day. Some apps are blazing a trail in the blogging world that we think every blog in the community should have. Take a look at the following platforms and implement them to maximize your user engagement:

FACEBOOK
Create a Facebook page for your business blog (separate from your personal Facebook page) so that you can share posts, connect with your audience, ask questions, share links, run contests and so on. Users are constantly on Facebook so you always have someone to engage with while they online or taking a break after putting supper in the oven. Social media is free so you don’t need to worry about paid marketing if you don’t have the budget. Also, be sure to like some of the other blogs you follow so that you can share deals, ideas, favourite blog posts, and help each other out! It’s a great idea to set up a page for your blog so you don’t spam your friends with you blog posts constantly, unless they choose to like your page on their own.

icon-set-1232558_960_720TWITTER
You should most definitely have a Twitter account set up for your business blog. Some people are Twitter champs and post all of the time while others sign in once a day to take a peak on how things are doing. Either way, it is good to have an account because it is easy to let followers know about your posts and get some user engagement. Twitter is great for updates, asking questions and fostering discussions among your followers who share similar interests. You may even get inspiring ideas for new blog topics that users request you to write about.

PINTEREST
Pinterest is where all creative, crafty and beautiful visuals entice the viewer’s eye. Having a Pinterest account is more than just a collection of pretty images. It can grow your blog exponentially! A single pin can bring many views to your blog and also drawing traffic from many people who share a similar interest. Pins can help your blog attract new readers but it can also help you find other bloggers who write on similar topics! Just make sure that your Pinterest account is not filled with solely pins from your page and pin some items from other bloggers as well to show your support. Pin things you like when you are reading your favorite blogs, and create well balanced Pinterest boards to become an active member in your industry.

INSTAGRAM
Instagram is rapidly growing with popularity. It is a literal snapshot of your day! You can easily follow all you favourite bloggers and photographers. Instagram can bring much more intimacy because most of the posts are images actively taken by the user throughout the day. You are allowed to see the moments that make bloggers real people – walks at the park, meal prep, what they are reading, doing, eating, liking… you have the ability to interact and engage by liking and commenting back and forth. Instagram is recommended for connecting with your readers on a deeper personal level and also to find like-minded bloggers and followers. The hashtags come in handy for identifying those with similar interests and interesting content.

GOOGLE +
Google+ is one of the newer social media platforms on the scene but you should definitely consider it for your business blog. It is quite easy to share content, join communities with similar interests, and encourage each other to engage with your blog. Posting on Google+ also helps with SEO and Google’s search ranking so you’re doing yourself a favor by having a presence on this platform!

blog-327071_960_720EMAIL
This may not be considered a social medias platform but it is so important and you should be using email marketing! Email is one of the most personal ways that you can connect with your audience! If you are open and have the time for your readers to email you thoughts, questions or blog requests, you will be able to understand your readership better and deliver what they want to see. Also, a timely email response can mean the world to your audience members. Don’t you feel valued when other blogs email you updates and respond professionally, courteously and quickly to your emails? Find an email guideline that works for you –try to respond within a week or earlier if it is time sensitive. Perhaps you can even reply within 24 hours if you are online, blogging anyway.

Does your posted content get the reach it needs? Do you want more people to see what you share? A peer network of social advocates can aid you in expanding your content reach. Read on to find out how to build a network of peers that will help amplify your business presence online.

1: Decide What to Share and Who to Share it With

The main goal behind a network of social advocates is to have this network of peers ready to share your content, ultimately expanding your overall reach.

First, you need to decide what content you want your network to share. Develop some goals such as the following examples:

You want to promote your brand so your business stays top of your client’s mind. Save your strongest content to send to your advocate employee network a little less frequently. For an idea of what content works best, take a look at the original content you’re currently posting and see what your target audience responds to the best and most readily.

You want your business to be seen and recognized as a leader in your field. The content you send to your network of advocate employees should be a daily array of original and third-party content that will promote engagement in industry discussions.

Next, you need to figure out how often you can send content to your social advocates. Your core marketing team will provide all original and third-party content for advocates to share at first. Once your network develops, you’ll be able to deliver more content.

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2: Make It Easy for Advocates to Share Content

There are two methods to deliver the content you want shared to your social advocates:

First, you can simply post the content on your business web page and then email links for the posts to your advocate network. Ask advocates to share the content and to feel free to add their own take to tailor it for their own audience. You may include sample tweets or posts for more guidance. This method has the benefit of naturally increasing engagement for your main social media platforms.

The second method is to use an automating service such as Circulate.it. Upload your links into Circulate.it and the program will automatically send an email to your advocates on the days and times you choose. Advocates can share your content to Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

3: Expand Your Content Creation Team

Once your internal team members get familiar with the process, you can assign larger roles to key members. Ask them to find links to third-party content similar to the content you’re already posting. Each team member should submit a minimum number of links per day, to maintain a consistent flow. Askthem to email you links as they find them or load them to your automated delivery tool for you to review before they are sent.

This method generates a lot more third-party content for you to share. It is a great way to fortify the content you post to your main social media platforms.

4: Scale Your Network of Advocates

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Once you have your first batch of contributors in place, you can start to look for your own advocate network:

  • Do you have separate departments in your business you can reach out to?
  • Are there industry specialists who might want to take part in your advocate network?
  • Do you have loyal followers on your current social media platforms who consistently share your content already?

Invite these people to take advantage of the content you produce by signing up to receive and share it.The bigger your advocate network is, the larger the reach of the content you’ve asked your advocates to share.

Most social media managers use a combination of original brand content and content from other sources on their social media platforms. The more content creators you have, the more original and third-party content you’ll have for your mainsocial media platforms as well.

If you start your own advocacy system, you may never have to find outside content again. You can simply curate it from your peers!

What are your thoughts? Do you want to create an advocacy network for your business? Please share your suggestions in the comments below.

Do you want to expand your business reach to a new audience on Facebook? Have you tried targeting niche audiences?

Targeting niche groups on Facebook, as well as your regular audience, will help you create new channels of traffic. But how do you reach your niche audience? Read on.

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Discover Your Niche Audience

A good brainstorming session will do the trick to present a secondary audience. Think of how your product or service can benefit people other than your primary audience to identify new features that will interest a wider client base.

A second way to get started is to dig into Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to learn more about what your primary audience is all about. Consider any shared interests you find to identify secondary groups of people who might qualify as a niche audience for your business.

Target Your Niche Audience

When you’ve discovered what kind of audience you want to target on Facebook, you can make use of the Audience Optimization tool to ensure your post will be seen by users who are most likely to engage with the post.

Okay. You have discovered your niche audience and know how to target that group. Here’s how to make the most of your exposure and maximize that reach:

1: Speak So They Understand

Many niche groups use a specific language of words, slang, expressions that differentiates them from other groups. Whether you’re trying to connect with athletes, yogis or raw vegans it’s important to speak the same language they do.

To get acquainted with the specific language of a niche, try to search Google for phrases such as ‘CrossFit slang’. You can also try ‘Online Slang Dictionary’ or ‘Urban Dictionary’ to learn the meaning of words that are specific to a niche group.

Make a list of the words used by the niche audience and use the terms in your posts to reflect the mood and style of the group you want to target in order to maximize appeal and encourage engagement. Don’t forget to respond to comments with the same words your potential clients use.

2: Support Their Interests

Posting pictures and links that appeal to the mood and mindset of your niche audience can be especially effective because they’re attractive and easy to share.

To avoid losing your original audience with this technique, make sure the images or links you post are still relevant to your existing audience in addition to your niche. Otherwise, you may not get any engagement at all which won’t do any good for your business.

Even if you don’t directly tailor a Facebook post to a specific niche audience base, you can appeal to their interests indirectly.

You can go even further by posing a question that helps your niche audience know that their opinion is important to you and that you value their feedback, therefore increasing your chances of engaging members of your niche audience in a conversation.

3: Support Their Social Opinion

If your business openly accepts or aligns with a niche audience on a particular issue or controversial topic, you can feel free to publish posts that make a clear statement to signify your support.

If you like to share posts that feature quotes or people who are seen as authoritative figures and influential towards your target group, you can encourage your niche audience to share your post and help you reach others who are interested or passionate about the subject.

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Last Word

Reaching out to niche groups of potential clients on Facebook, in addition to your primary audience can aid in creating new avenues of traffic and engagement as well as furthering your reach to new client bases.

By applying the tips above, you can engage your niche audience effectively. Prepare your Facebook posts with your niche group in mind, ensuring that you can capture their attention when they are scrolling through. The first 3 to 4 words of your post have to grab the attention so it is important to use language that they understand and identify with.

Have you tried targeting any niche groups on Facebook to expand the potential of your business? What tactics work for you? Share your thoughts and give some feedback! We’d love to hear from you.

Have you seen growth in your business since 2015? What is your plan to continue that growth throughout 2016? As a business owner, you should take the time to look over your marketing strategy and identify what contributed to your success and what may be improved.

There are many things you can do to drive your business success. The internet is filled with tips. One thing you can do it to be more specific and tailor your marketing based on your industry.

  1. Home services

Plumbers, electricians and most trades and small businesses that serve their customers in the industry of home services often have a lot of competition to go up against. How do you stand out?

  • Search engine authority: In this industry, the way it works is that customers give you a call when something is broken or needs maintenance, so it is crucial to rank well in search engine results. Build your authority, and rankings as a result, with website search engine optimization (SEO) and authoritative content about your business and services.
  • Email marketing:These days, people are spammed with emails. Despite this, it is still a good way of reminding your potential customers that you can help them out. Every campaign should be sent for a reason, such as educational or newsworthy content or a promotion for your services.
  • Educational content:Good content has the potential to build your website’s authority in search-engine rankings and it can also do some selling for you, or at least save you time educating your customers about your business or services.

 

  1. Professional services

Lawyers, real-estate agents, accountants and other small business professionals that provide services to individuals and other businesses must compete with several othersimilar providers. Standing out and finding clients beyond word-of-mouth advertising and referrals can be difficult and usually requires hard work and a big marketing budget. But there are things you can do to make your business stand out online without breaking the bank or spending too much time.

  • Search engine authority:The easiest way to gain new clients online is to appear in the top couple of search engine results when your potential clients search for keywords associated with your service.
  • Video:Video is a great marketing tool as visuals are king. People are engaging more and more with videos, therefore it is the best type of content to share on social media in the way of expanding your reach and increasing engagement from clients.
  • Educational content:As part of your website SEO strategy, you should publish educational content frequently (once a month, minimum). The easiest way to do this is to update your website blog with informative posts about your services, trends or updates in your particular industry, educational posts about things your clients may not know, etc.

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  1. Retail

After the holiday season, it is tough to keep the level up as there is a sudden slowdown in business. You can strengthen your business with a strategy for supporting your business using online tools and tactics.

  • Mobile-friendly e-commerce: Regardless of your industry or business type, mobile marketing is essential. For retailers, mobile-friendly websites are a great feature for showcasing your products when your customers aren’t physically present in your store. With an e-commerce website, you have the ability to increase sales locally and even nationally.
  • Reward program:Most retailers find it a challenge to build loyalty and increase their return customer base. Get creative about options you can put in place as an incentive for customers to come back, such as including a coupon with every purchase (or purchases above a set amount), providing stamp cards to work toward a discount or giveaway item, etc. You could even offer a discount or free item for customers who sign up for your email list.
  • Email marketing:A proven method of reminding your customers to visit your store is email marketing. Create a list through a pop-up on your website or sign-up form in your store, and send monthly campaigns to showcase new products, offer a monthly discount code or coupon, and announce any upcoming sales or events.

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These marketing strategy tips are just a few to get you started in your small business marketing endeavors for 2016. Your year will be off to a successful start if you implement the right tips for your industry, no matter what industry you’re in!

Did your small business grow last year? What are you planning to do in 2016 to extend that growth? Every business should take time to evaluate their marketing strategy, determine whatworks and identifywhat can be improved.

There are many general small business marketing tips you can follow. You can also be more specific and cater yourmarketing based on your industry.

  1. Fitness

Fitness is always a popular new year’s resolution. Your plan for fitness marketing in the beginning of 2016 should be focused on reaching out to and engaging with your current and potential clients, both online and in person, to help them achieve their goals and maintain their fitness, beyond their resolutions.

  • Freebies: Keep your clients motivated to achieve their New year’s resolutions with free resources, tips and other bonuses. Try to support their fitness plan or New year’s resolution by offering a special promotion or giveaway to give them incentive to reach their goals. You can also offer the freebie to new clients.
  • Engaging content: Everyone needs encouragement, especially in the fitness industry. Exercising regularly and avoiding junk food can be tough. Use your blog and social media pages to share words of encouragement, stories to motivate or entertain, and those before-and-after pictures that inspire. This fosters an engaged and supportive community.
  • Brand management: There are so many different types of fitness practices. Not only do you need to stand out among those in your industry, you must also compete against other niches due to the market of potential clients who are researching fitness methods they have not yet tried. Get your Yelp page and other review profiles in check, respond to reviewers and practice good customer service to increase good reviews. With a good online reputation, you can stand out among your competitors in your industry.
  1. Food and beverage

Everyone eats. There are some quick things you can do to keep your establishment on your customers’ minds in 2016 while increasing your traffic online.

  • Email marketing: The main benefit of email marketing for restaurants, coffee shops and bars is the reminder it sends to potential customers. Do not spam your contact list with daily or weekly emails. Instead, use a monthly or email with a promotion, coupon or special. This is a good way to keep your establishment on their mind when they’re hungry and scouring the food industry.
  • Re-targeting ads: This is a type of pay per click advertising with Google that can really pack a powerful punch, even if you are limited to a small budget of even $75 to $150 per month. The way these ads work is to re-target your potential clients by showing them your ads on sites they visit, after they have looked at your website. This keeps your restaurant, bar or coffee shop front-of-mind and makes you stand out from competitors in the industry.
  • Social media advertising: The top social media platforms for restaurants are Instagram and Facebook. Use Instagram to share delicious visuals, and incorporate Facebook’s advertising tools to increase the reach of your posts, photos and videos to customers. Even a $50 a month budget for Facebook ads can go a long way!

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  1. Personal services

Loyalty is an important part of the customer base for a small business that offers personal services. This includes the niche markets of spas or salons and natural medicine practitioners like massage therapists or acupuncturists.

  • Loyalty programs: Encourage clients to come back to your salon for every haircut or return to your spa for every nail service with a loyalty program. Offer a discount after a set number of services, exclusive specials for your loyal customer base, free services for referrals, and so on.
  • Social media engagement: Facebook is perfect for expanding your reach to a wider audience, Instagram is ideal for showcasing your services, Pinterest is the go to for visual how to’s and inspiration, and Twitter is the place for customer service.
  • Reputation and brand management: Since loyalty is so crucial in this industry, it is important that your online reputation reflects your brand. Follow up with all reviewers, whether their comments are good or bad. Encourage brand ambassadors from your loyal customer base who will talk about you to their friends and improve your word-of-mouth reputation.

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There are many ways you can promote your business website, but let’s start with the three key ones.

STEP 1: SEO

Make your business website search-friendly for Google by making it easy for the search engine to understand your page. Strive to gain exposure by getting your business mentioned by other websites and ask them to link back to your page. With some simple SEO tips, your small business can rank higher in search engines, helping generate more traffic to your business website.

Basic Tips To Make Your Website Search-Friendly:

  • Set a preferred domain URL– nowadays, people don’t always use a leading ‘www’ on their website domain name, they just use sample.com  rather than www.sample.com. Your web host should allow you to set your preferred version.
  • Use keywords in your content– write naturally in your content and don’t repeat the same keywords to frequently so it doesn’t look like spam. Use semantic-based words related to your field throughout your business website.
  • Install a Yoast SEO WordPress plugin– this plugin makes it much easier to optimize your content for search engines like Google by letting you add proper SEO titles and descriptions to your content. The advanced user can implement XML sitemaps, canonical URLs, breadcrumbs, etc.
  • Customize your permalink structure– in WordPress you can customize your URLs to be short and easier to remember by changing the permalink structure. Make it simple by using a shortened version of your post title, if you wish.
  • Submit a sitemap to Google– this helps search engines understand your business website better and make help your page rank higher on search engines.
  • Add ALT tags to images– you can also help Google understand your images by including a description in your image ALT tags.
  • Link to other sites and back to your older content – outbound linking can help your website’s authority, making it appear more relevant which can rank better. Internal links help the search engines understand your content more easily.

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STEP 2: SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

Set up your social media platform accounts and start building your online presence! Social media can really benefit your business by getting you exposure! A significant amount of your traffic will come from social media alone!  There’s no question your business should be on this marketing wave.

Think about this: your audience is on social media right now. You have the opportunity to expand your reach and promote your brand to thousands of new people and you can do it for free!

Create profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook as a base. If you sell products or can work with many visuals, also get a Pinterest account.

Social Media Marketing Tips:

  1. Add Social Media Follow Buttons On Your Business website

Install social media buttons on your site where they will be visible. Try on your sidebar or the top navigation pane.

  1. Make your content easy to share
  • Install social media sharing buttons–You can place social share buttons on the top, left or bottom of your content.
  • Optimize your images– there are optimal image sizes for each social media platform. Here’s a cheatsheet to help you optimize.
  1. When posting content on social media:
  • Create an introductionthat will grab attention or have a call to action.
  • Use popular hashtags!
  • Use social media management tools to schedule your posts (i.e. Hootsuite and Buffer).
  • Each social network has different times when user activity is at its highest. Avoid dead time zones.
  1. Be social!
  • Find your audience on social media and add people that might be interested in your business website and services.
  • Join relevant groups or follow others in the industry.
  • Engage with followers and ask questions to start conversations.
  • Share other people’s content. If you’re on twitter @mention
  • Commenton other people’s blogs. Leave useful comments and people will recognize your expertise and come to your page.
  1. Run a contest
  • Host a giveaway to help draw attention and attract your audience.

STEP 3: BLOGGING

Blogging allows you to increase awareness about your brand or service, establish credibility and show your expertise in your specific niche.

Tips For Effective Blogging:

  • Write useful content and be consistent– once or twice a week will help your business rank in search engines and attract social media traffic.
  • Add attractive visuals– make your images more shareable by avoiding generic stock photos.
  • Make it search-friendly– use keywords, SEO and hashtags.
  • Write in an easy-to-read format– keep your audience interested and wanting more by making it engaging and easy to read.

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What Bothers You?

If you could name one thing you think bloggers should stop doing what would it be? Any of the following resonate with your experience? Don’t hold back! Let us know what you think froma blogger’s point of view!

  1. Posting Way Too Many Quotes

We understand that it’s a trend now to post quotes because they really do work. Quotes can inspire, motivate, and even just bring out a laugh. Just because quotes work with engagement and interest doesn’t mean 99% of your social media posts should be quotes. If someone is deciding whether to follow your business page, they don’t want to see a million tweets or posts of quotes.

Do this instead: Use quotes! Just keep your good judgement and moderation in mind. It is possible to have too much of a good thing.

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  1. Using Fake Names on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a platform to showcase your work experience, highlight your skills, and be visible to brands looking for social media and blogging experts. On Twitter you can get away with a funny or clever Twitter handle, but on LinkedIn it is inappropriate. You have to represent a real person with a real photo because you are a real professional! If your LinkedIn name sounds something like “Mandy Angelstar23” then you. need. to change. that. NOW.

Do this instead: Use a real name, or stay away from LinkedIn until you’re ready to be a real professional.

  1. Keeping Your Social media Pages Private

If you’re a blogger just on social media to chat with your friends and post pictures to family, then by all means keep your profile private!

However, if you’re a blogger who’s looking to grow your blog traffic, then you must make your accounts visible to the general public. We don’t mean your personal Facebook profile. But we do mean platforms like Twitter. Make it as easy as possible for others to follow you. A private account is an extra hurdle most people won’t bother with because they can’t see your content before they decide to follow.

Do this instead: If you want to keep certain accounts private, then do NOT link to them from your blog page. Otherwise, make those profiles accessible and viewable to the public and you’ll instantly notice your follower growth.

  1. Pitching Brands in Public

A definite way to look unprofessional is just that. All you have to do is leave a comment on a company’s Instagram post that sounds a little something like this: “How can I get free products to review? I’m a big blogger!” Or tweet something like “Hey @brand @brand need someone to review your products? Give me blogging material.”

Social media is a great place to start in getting a good contact, but that is not the way to do it. Besides, you need to keep pitches brief and you can’t say all that much in a 140 character limit.

Do this instead: Ask the brand, in a professional manner, who you should reach out to about opportunities for blogging. That way you don’t sound like you’re actually pitching out on the public space. Or you can always send a private message on a brand’s Facebook page.

  1. Relying Mainly on Collaborative Boards on Pinterest

Collaborative boards used to be the ultimate weapon to successful pinning. But with the Smart Feed, not so much. You really don’t need to be following 100 collaborative boards. See which ones are actually getting you repins and forget the others.

Do this instead: Search is key on Pinterest now, not collaborative boards any longer. Use keywords in your pin descriptions, and don’t forget to hashtag but make it sound conversational.

  1. Posting the Same Message On Every Platform

When you send out a message on social media or schedule one, do you copy it and plug it into every social platform? Different platforms call for different approaches. On Twitter, keep it short and use hashtags. On Google +, you can go longer, making your post full of keywords. On Instagram, images and visuals are key.

Do this instead: No, don’t completely rewrite every single thing. And sometimes it happens to be short and sweet enough for more than one platform. But for the majority of your content, customize and tailor it a little for each platform.

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So your business has been engaged on social media and online marketing for a while. You’ve surely come across things people do on social media networks that drive you crazy. These annoyances, sometimes minor, other times become common enough to come up as a pet peeve.

  1. Auto-posting Facebook Posts on Twitter

Auto-posting posts everything you share on Facebook to Twitter automatically. The problem for followers is that they often have to go to Facebook to THEN go to the original destination (like a link to a post). If you’re sharing an image on Facebook without any text, it just tweets out like “fb.me/cdjiotv” which looks a lot like spam. Also, if you writesomething longer on Facebook, the text cuts off because you have more space on Facebook than on Twitter.

Do this instead: Disconnect that option! The quickest way is to go to facebook.com/twitter and then click “Unlink.” Then use something like HootSuite or Buffer to post to both networks at once… but with a custom message for each platform.

  1. Overusing Hashtags

Too many hashtags just looks weird no matter what the platform. Spammy-looking post with 20 hashtags or the tweet that’s hard to read because there’s a #hashtag #on every #word in the #sentence is just hard to read.

But well-balanced hashtag use really depends on the kind of platform. You can probably get away with more on Instagram than you can on Twitter. I wouldn’t mind 5 hashtags on Instagram, but when you only have a 140 character limit, it seems like overkill.

On Pinterest you don’t even have to use them. Hashtags aren’t native to the platform and Pinterest says they’ll ding your pin if you end up using too many.

Do this instead: Keep your hashtag usage reasonable.

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  1. Posting Too Much at Once

It’s annoying…the person pinning 50 pictures of bedroom decor ideas or a play-by-play that takes up the entire newsfeed. (An event or Twitter party is an exception, but still, no one needs 15 Instagram pics from you within an hour).

Posting too much content at once on a regular basis can bug your audience because they aren’t seeing as much content from other people.

Do this instead: If you have a lot of content to pin, consider putting it on a secret board instead of sending it through your newsfeed. If it’s stuff your followers would love, then try a scheduling tool like Tailwind Plus. Be conscious of how many times you’re posting in a row.

  1. Starting Tweets with @ When Sharing with Your Followers

Big brands do this too so don’t worry if you weren’t aware.

You want to tell your followers how awesome your trip to Disney World was so you tweet “@waltdisneyworld was such a blast!” Problem? Yes. That doesn’t go to all your followers.

Any tweet that starts with @ is considered a reply. Only people who follow BOTH you and @waltdisneyworld will actually see it. Since they follow you both, they can see the replies since your Twitter feed is public.

Do this instead: Either re-word the sentence so it doesn’t start with @, or you add a period in front of the @. It’s a lazy person trick.

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  1. Asking People to Follow You Back on ANY social media platform

If there’s one that is sure to get someone NOT to follow you, it’s for you to follow them and then immediately say “Just followed you/just liked your page! You can follow me back?” On Facebook this is very common: “New like from X. Hope you’ll like my page/post back!” It ends up being the equivalent of comment vomit.

This one can be a rookie mistake. Until you get more involved in the blogging world, it is hard to wrap your head around how to get new followers. So this tactic of asking for followers or likes sounds innocent enough. But, the truth is that you have to earn followers and likes.

Do this instead: If you want people to like your page or follow you back, you need to interact with them and put in the effort to engage with your audience. Respond when they ask a question or leave a comment on a post. And of course, it is quite likely that someone will follow you when you follow them as a common courtesy. But just don’t ask for it and skip the effort.