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Archive for the Social Media Category

Cool Apps: Hootsuite

Social media is an awesome marketing tool, but it can also be a huge time drain. If you post regularly, or want to post regularly, and use multiple social media platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+, then an app like Hootsuite can save you a tremendous amount of time.

Hootsuite allows you to schedule social media updates or posts across multiple platforms. If you are posting in real time, logging on several times a day, then Hootsuite can save you a lot of time. You can enter tweets, posts, or updates ahead of time and tell Hootsuite when to post them. You can also enter one post to be posted on multiple platforms all at once.

All you need to do is write your posts ahead of time. Once you have a week’s worth, you can log in to Hootsuite, enter them, and let Hootsuite know when and where to post them.

One of the biggest benefits of Hootsuite is that it allows you to become far more consistent with social media, rather than posting when you feel like it. You can decide ahead of time if you want to post once a day, three times a day, or ten times a day. Then, you can write your posts all at once. If you want to post three times a day, then you’ll need to write 15 posts a week. Plan to write them on Friday morning, and schedule them for the coming week. You’ll be all set with your social media until next Friday.

Writing a post and using it on multiple platforms can also save time. There is little need to create separate posts for each platform, and with Hootsuite, you can enter your post and have it update your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ account all at the same time. In addition to those four, Hootsuite integrates with WordPress, YouTube, and Instagram.

Even if you still log into your social media platforms every day to increase your interactivity and engagement, you can still automate your posts to save time. Hootsuite is free for customers who have three or fewer social media platforms connected. Look for it at Hootsuite.com.

Cool Social Media Apps: Instagram

With over 400 million active users monthly, Instagram could be a great opportunity to showcase your business. It’s a mobile app where you can share photos and videos. Instagram is owned by Facebook and is considered one of the major social media platforms.

Instagram is a natural app to share photos of your products, team, customers, or office in order to promote your business. Since more than half of all Google searches are now mobile, it just makes good business sense to maintain a presence on a major mobile social platform like Instagram.

The average Instagram user is female, urban, under 30, has some college hours, and makes $60K a year. So if that’s your customer demographic, you’re sure to find her on Instagram.

Some of the things you can share on Instagram include:

  • Photos of your customers with their new merchandise
  • Product photos
  • Your logo image
  • Inspirational quotes and sayings
  • Client testimonials made into a text graphic
  • Photos of events
  • Photos of your customers
  • Photos of you and your staff
  • Photos of your store or office
  • Photos of your merchandise being worn, used, eaten, or whatever
  • Images of any awards your company has garnered
  • Photos of your ads, trade show booth, or other marketing materials
  • Sales announcements made into a text graphic
  • And videos of all of the above

Building a following on Instagram will help you build brand awareness so you can generate new traffic and new customers. It can also help with hiring if you are looking to hire millennials, which now outnumber any other generation in the workforce.

Separating Business from Personal in Facebook

Do you love using Facebook with your friends but know you’re missing out by not using it in business? Do you feel guilty when you post a business promotion and would prefer not to bug your friends? The good news is there’s an easy way to separate Facebook personal use from business within your personal account.

The answer is to group your friends by lists. Once you do that, you can selectively post to the appropriate list(s). Here’s how to do it, step by step.

Log into Facebook and go to your Home page. From the left column, locate the section on Friends and click on More, which is just to the right. At the top right of this Friends page, you’ll see a button called Create List.

Create two lists: one labeled Business and one labeled Personal. You can create far more than two if you want, but for now, start with two. Click the Create button and it will then ask you if you want to add friends. Click that button and select the friends you want to add to each list. In some cases, you’ll want a friend to be on both lists, and that’s fine. Once you’re done, you’ll have a list of business friends and a list of personal friends.

When you post an item, you can select which list you want to see your post. If you’re showing private events like birthdays, weddings, drunk parties, and grandbabies, you may only want friends to see those posts. If you’re pitching a new product, your business list should see that post, but you might not want to bug your friends.

Enter your post as usual and locate the Custom button to the left of the blue Post button. Select the list of friends that you wish to see this post. Then click Post. You’ve now successfully separated your personal and business friends and posts on Facebook.

Almost every social media account has a way for you to separate business from personal, so don’t let this excuse be a reason to miss out on some great marketing opportunities for your business.

How Pinterest and Instagram Can Make You Money

There’s a visual side to every business, and Pinterest and Instagram, which are social media applications, can show your customers and prospects what your business looks like form day to day. Plus, you can have some real fun with it.

Pinterest allows people to post graphics to online bulletin boards and share them with others. In Pinterest, graphics of all kinds are allowed, including photographs, screen prints, logos, and more. In Instagram, photos are posted and shared among users. Here are some tips you can implement in your business to take advantage of Pinterest and Instagram.

1. Take pictures of your work.

Even if you’re a plumber, work can be interesting and artistic at times. Take a picture of the child’s toy that was clogging the toilet, and you could have an entire pinboard of “Things that we’ve pulled out of toilets.” If you’re in personal service, you can photograph your client’s new manicure or hairdo (with their permission of course). If you’re in landscaping you can snap the cleanup job you just did. If you’re a webmaster, take screen prints of your clients’ new webpages and post them to Pinterest.

2. Take pictures of the happy client.

Before leaving your happy client, grab a photo of them showing their new product. With their permission you can post these to both Pinterest and Instagram. As an added plus, use the client’s testimonials or review as your caption, and if they are a small business owner, include their URL to help them out a bit with their marketing and social media.

3. Grab before and after shots.

Before and after photos are great for your portfolio and work well in both Pinterest and Instagram. They can show a future customer what’s possible with your service.

4. Shoot daily scenes at your office or place of work.

Do all your employees hangout in the morning before going their separate ways? Do you ever have all-hands staff meetings? If so, you can add these photos to your growing collection at Instagram.

5. Create topical pinboards.

Even if your job isn’t very funny, you can make funny pinboards about it (exceptions possibly being hospitals and funeral homes). Accounting humor, attorney jokes, and engineering humor can make for a fun Pinterest board. Other ideas include:

  • A pinboard of people you look up to or who have mentored you,
  • Favorite books you’ve read or like,
  • Inspirational quotes,
  • Favorite places,
  • Your team of employees, and
  • Any of the categories mentioned above.

Go wild with photos and screen shots in your business, and your business will get noticed on social media.

Make Your Cash Register Ring With LinkedIn / Part 1: The Game

The most common concern that I hear when people come to me to request LinkedIn training is: “It takes so much time!”

As it turns out, when small many small business owners think of LinkedIn, they see the opportunity but quickly think of the excess hours that their teenage kids spend on Facebook. And so they don’t play the game. They leave money and influence on the table while their competitors launch into cyberspace.

As a CPA, I have a keen sense for the value of every hour. When I started using LinkedIn myself, I had to limit my nonbillable time. So I developed a methodology for being highly effective (read: making my cash register ring…remember, I’m a CPA, not a PR person) on LinkedIn in no more than 15-30 minutes at a shot.

Turns out, this method works for a lot of other people, too – I’ve been giving courses and private consulting on this methodology for a few years now.

It doesn’t have anything to do with what to click on in LinkedIn – that’s for another article – but it is the reason why my clients can now grow their businesses with such a small time commitment in the social media space.

Accountants often say – and rightly so -– that every dollar that you spend has the potential to increase the value of your business. What about every hour that you spend?

So here it is. Be able to answer these questions or don’t waste your time on LinkedIn.

(1) Who am I and what do I want for my life?
Yes, this CPA just went there. And keep it to a phrase or a few sentences.

(2) Why am I in business?
Don’t tell me “to make money” or “to help people.” You can do that by being an employee and by sharing your umbrella with someone. Why are you in business?

(3) What is my exit strategy?
“Exit? What do you mean exit? I just started!” I hear you say. There are different ways to develop your business NOW depending on whether you want to position it for sale, be bought out by a partner, pass it on to the next generation, or simply close the doors when you don’t want to run it anymore.

(4) What is my long-term vision for this business?
Mom-and-pop shop? Global takeover? Exclusive community? Ubiquitous?

(5) Who are the types of players needed to make that happen?
These players help you to accomplish your vision for your business and for your life.

(6) Which of my stories are compelling to key people in face-to-face conversations?
The time a customer said, “I [can sleep at night / increased sales by 15% / prevented total disaster / looked like a hero] because of what your company did for me!”

(7) In what ways is my company’s offering unique to the marketplace?
No, I mean actually unique. And it’s probably not what you’re selling. I didn’t say product/service, I said offering. If I had a nickel for every business owner I’ve heard claim that there is no competition for their product or service…

(8) What are the key experiences that touch the people most important to my business?
No matter your product or service, there is something deep down that causes someone to say “yes” – and that is what is present when your company suddenly looks like an opportunity for someone’s life.

If you own a business and you can’t answer these questions, you probably don’t own a business. You have a job.

But if you can answer the above questions clearly and concisely, you have major rocket fuel. Translate these into the LinkedIn actions and you’ll take off – and you’ll give your CRM system a run for the money. Engage by doing what your business does and you’ll hear ringing in your ears…from your cash register, that is.

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844-884-3766 | david@tieroneservices.net

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