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Pinterest for Business: It’s not just for Weddings and Recipes

As I prepared to get married this past June, I obviously had a lot of ideas for the big day. From the perfect dress to the most fitting theme, ideas were swirling around in my head and I needed a way to get organized. As a social media manager, I knew I had a few tools at my disposal. The first one I thought of and the one that I used most often was Pinterest. In a matter of days I had hundreds of new ideas for my wedding, and to be honest, I used quite a few of them.

I also observed that several of the people I follow have wedding boards – Whether they are engaged, in a relationship…or even if they are single. This is intriguing to me, but it makes sense. As a little girl, you dream about your wedding day from the moment you can start to think and talk for yourself, and what better way to document all of the ideas you have then through an online bulletin board?

And what a great way to market! Think about the hundreds of blogs and websites I visited just through being on Pinterest for my wedding.

But the point of this post isn’t to rant about weddings, it’s to shed light on the ways that you can use a medium like Pinterest to capture a niche audience, drive them to your website, build thought leadership, prove your creativity and prove value to the 70 million people who use Pinterest.

You see, Pinterest isn’t just for weddings and recipes…

Be Visual

A photo of Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart cooking together might compel someone to click on a pin.

A photo of Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart cooking together might compel someone to click on a pin.

If you do any sort of Facebook management for your company, you know that images get much more engagement than posts with simple text – Almost three times as much on average. Pinterest uses this fact as it’s main objective. No matter the content, as long as you have a compelling image, people are more likely to pin and re-pin your post over and over again.

Be Creative

Pinterest doesn’t have to be all about business. It’s a great place to show the creativity of your company too. On the SiteLogic pin board, we have several boards that tell people about our personalities. From our coffee board to our healthy office living board, our name is getting out there because of who we are, and this helps people put a face to our name and build brand loyalty.

Check out 20 big brands who use Pinterest effectively and creatively.

Be Serious

Don’t expect to see leads and sales from simply joining Pinterest and adding a few pins. In order to see the value of this medium, you have to commit to it. The good news is that Pinterest is providing new ways to see the true value and worth of its service through user analytics. This data shows you things like click through rates and the viral nature of your pins, which helps you measure reach, ROI, search results and traffic to your site.

Use Pinterest analytics to help you figure out the value and reach of what you're doing there.

Use Pinterest analytics to help you figure out the value and reach of what you’re doing there.

Drive People to your Site

The most important part about any social media effort is driving people to your website and ultimately getting a sale or getting them to convert. The way to do this on Pinterest is through an appealing image paired with content that gives your audience something they want, inspires them or offers them something. If you can start doing this, expect to see more people coming to your site through Pinterest, and expect to see people sharing your content more often.

The Viral Nature of Pinterest

Even though I’m not adding things to my wedding board now that I’m married, it still exists and gets re-pins weekly (great for all those bloggers and wedding favor sites). This is the beauty of Pinterest – The potential to be in front of people without doing the work. 

Another one of Pinterest’s main objectives is allowing people to share ideas. This boils down to sharing your company and what you’ve created and what you can offer. Your pin will also take a potential client or customer to a page deep in your site, getting them closer to a conversion or sale. Most of the time pins will not take you to a homepage, they will take you to a blog post or separate page, eliminating the chance for someone to have to navigate to what they want to find. It’s right there in front of them!

Pinterest was made for marketing – You just don’t realize it yet

Think about it…Pinterest was made to take an image that links to a website or blog and publicly post it to a virtual bulletin board that can be shared and reused by others – over 70 million others at that.

Sounds like marketing to me.

Need help getting started with your Pinterest efforts? Need some ideas?

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Better Email Marketing Pt 3: A Good Design

email-marketingIn this series we will be identifying some of the biggest questions and concerns associated with email marketing. From finding the right vendor to understanding how people read emails, we will be diving into it all to help you make your email marketing efforts more successful and profitable. 

Now that you’ve picked the right vendor and constructed a plan of action, it’s time to consider the overall design of your email.

Keep it Simple

STARBURST

You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with multiple starbursts, several product photos and red text. Instead, keep it simple with a few eye-catching images, one or two main calls to action and pleasant text and colors.

You don’t want to take away from your main point with flashy images and loud, obnoxious “BUY BUY BUY” statements.

Technically Tasteful

Every email you send out should have at least two links to your website. Always give your audience something to do beyond the email and send them to a relevant page on your site. If you’re doing a product promotion, add a link to that product page. If you’re doing an email about your latest blog post, obviously take them to that actual article on your website. Don’t always send them to your homepage, either. We want people landing deep in your site getting them closer to making a conversion and finding information that they need. And always remember to test your links to make sure they are working and you’re sending people to the right place.

Make sure all images have alt text since images don’t always show up in email browsers until the user clicks “see all images.”

Build Your Brand

Remember your brand when creating the design of your email. Add the logo to the top, fill in the bottom with your social media handles, and use company fonts and colors. Be recognizable to your audience when you land in their inboxes.

Good Email Design

Good Email Design

 

 

This is a great example of tasteful email design. The promotion and promotion code are easily found without being loud, it’s centered around a recognizable day, forms of payment are listed and the imagery is great. LD has put their company logo on the top left corner and added their social media handles at the bottom creating brand awareness.  You can also see that this email has a direct point: Free shipping on ink and toner and 10% of all products. The marketing team was working closely with the sales team here and it’s clear that they had a plan in place.

Obviously some businesses don’t have the capability of creating a graphic like this, but it’s still possible to create something very similar with just a little PhotoShop skill or user-friendly vendors like MailChimp.

 

 

 

The bottom line for any email design, whether you’re promoting a product or sending a newsletter, is to keep it simple. People just don’t have the time to sift through a long, drawn out email and they certainly don’t have time to figure out what your point was. And please, don’t use starbursts.

 

 

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Better Email Marketing Pt 2 – 6 Questions to Consider Before Sending out an Email

email-marketingIn this series we will be identifying some of the biggest questions and concerns associated with email marketing. From finding the right vendor to understanding how people read emails, we will be diving into it all to help you make your email marketing efforts more successful and profitable. 

After you’ve chosen the right vendor for your email marketing efforts, it’s time to start thinking about your messaging.

6 questions to consider before sending out an email

1. Does it match your overall marketing plan?

Your email marketing campaigns should be part of your businesses overall marketing plan. Every quarter you should sit down with your marketing team to make a plan of action that includes all media channels. When you do this, you are able to schedule emails around other marketing efforts that go along with the goals of your business. This also helps you asses the frequency of your emails, the topics you will cover, and the information you will need to gather ahead of time. If your email campaigns don’t work alongside your overall marketing plan, social media plan, website content plan, etc. you will be sending non-sensical, sporadic emails that won’t make sense to your customers.

2. Do you know your audience?

One of the easiest ways to figure out what matters to your customers is to dive into your analytics. Where do most people go on your site? Where do you want them to go? What are they reading? What are their buying behaviors? Analytics can give you great insight into how your customers are interacting with your brand.

Communicate with your sales team – They are the ones who have direct interaction with your customers. What are they saying about our products? What about our services? What are the most frequently asked questions?

Finally, check out how people are talking about you on social media. Better yet, ask your social media followers what they think through a post or contact form on your website. Going directly to the source is one of the best ways to start thinking about the content you will use to fill your emails and how you are going to deliver that content to cater to them.

3. Are you delivering quality content?

Once you have a plan and figured out your customer’s needs,  you can start to think about the structure of your emails. The first step is coming up with a good subject line that makes sense and compels people to read.

Keys to a successful subject line:

  • Give the bottom line up front
  • Tell what’s inside, don’t sell what’s inside
  • Be short – 50 characters or less works best
  • You can use all CAPS, the word FREE and exclamation points – Just don’t overdo it.

Keys to an unsuccessful subject line:

  • Symbols and special characters – Smileys and hearts are okay for Victoria’s Secret, but even they can overdo it. Don’t come off as juvenile
  • Cheating – Don’t use “FW:” in your subject line to make it look like a friend sent the email to the customer
  • Scams – People have become weary of subject lines like, “WE NEED YOUR HELP”
  • Numbers – It’s okay to tell people you are running a 50% off deal, but don’t always use numbers to sell your emails – you will just look like a sales merchant.

4. Do you look like spam?

  • Make sure your emails are coming from a familiar email address. If your company doesn’t have an info@ account, create one.
  • Always provide a way for your customer to “opt out” with an “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of your emails

5. Is it easy for your customer to see the “point” or call to action?

If you can’t see the point, your customer won’t either. Make sure that every email you send has a clear call to action, something that your customer can do, some kind of goal. Simple calls to action include sending them to a landing page, a blog post, a coupon code, or your social media channels. On the other side of the coin, make sure that you aren’t giving people too many calls to action. You don’t want to overwhelm, distract or confuse them.

6. Are you making yourself accessible beyond the email?

Always provide people with a way to contact you. This can be a phone number, email address, social media links or all of the above. Let customers know that you are easily accessible and there to help.

One other important part to all of this is that you don’t have to be an e-commerce website to deliver helpful  and successful emails. Everyone is selling something even if it isn’t a physical item. Figure out your main goal and provide people with the information they need to achieve it for you. You can always give people important content because at the end of the day, we are all trying to sell our brand.

In the next section of our Email Marketing Series we’ll talk about email design and how look and feel can make or break a campaign.

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SEO & Grade School Basics: Setting up Heading Tags

Remember in grade school when you had to write outlines for every paper you wrote? You had to turn those outlines in before you even started putting pen to paper, and it was for a grade.

Take this same concept and apply it to your SEO strategy on your blog or website. Before you start generating a blog post or landing page, revert back to your elementary school eduction for a second and recall that basic outline structure you wrote out hundreds of times.

SEO is just like writing an outline, and page rankings are just like those letter grades you used to receive. Set up your page headings correctly: Get an A+ in rankings. Set up your page headings incorrectly: Get a C- in rankings. In order to achieve SEO greatness, you have to have a plan of action – And that starts with figuring out the purpose and set up of your page.

Writing Your Page Outline

Writing an outline for your blog or webpages not only helps your rankings, but it helps you figure out the purpose of the page and what your main message is going to be. It’s really like laying out a blue print, a plan, a strategy. And it really does help in the writing process.

The first thing you want to do is think about the purpose of the page. What information is going to be delivered?

Then, list a title for the page followed by possible headings. These will become your H1’s, H2’s, etc. While you’re doing this, remember your keywords. Your page title and headings should contain keywords that help boost visibility and give your page “SEO juice.”

Along with laying out your title and headings, think about what your meta description should be. Your meta description is equivalent to a thesis statement when you’re writing a paper. A thesis statement is a short description of what the overall paper is going to be about, and the same goes for the meta description for your webpage. The meta description is what will show up in the search engines below your link. If you write a good one, people are more likely to click on it.

You will also need to consider links that will appear on your page. This is similar to pulling in outside sources, quotes and supporting information when writing a paper. Search engines like when you add links from other sources as well as links to other pages on your site. It adds to your reputation and contributes to your site authority.

How to Implement Your H1, H2 Tags

It’s easy to add the H1, H2, H3 tags into your webpage. If you use WordPress, they give you the option to create headings in the front end. But if you need to go into the backend to implement, this is just a matter of entering a little HTML code that correlates with your CSS.

 

Example:Setting Up Heading Tags

<h1>Big Numbers Lie – Always</h1>

<h2>Lessons Learned about Big Numbers</h2>

<h3> Context sheds light on big numbers</h3>

 

As you can see, the H1 is the main title of the blog post, followed by the H2, which is a main heading within the body of the post, and the H3, which is a sub-heading to a main heading on the page.

Remember, you only want one H1 on a page. It won’t do your SEO any good to have multiple H1’s – Search engines see through you trying to put multiple H1’s in front of them. It will probably actually hurt your rankings in the long run.

Headings Help Usability

Using headings isn’t just beneficial for SEO and visibility, it also helps visitors read your page easier. By breaking up a blog post or webpage into sections using headings, bold text, links and images, they are more likely to read the entire page and take the action you want them to. If your page is just a huge block of text, visitors will probably just skim through, and end up leaving rather quickly.

So next time you sit down to write a blog post or create a new landing page for your site, take yourself back to Mrs. Smith’s English class and remember that SEO doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming – You’ve already done it hundreds of times, you just didn’t know it.

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7 Tips for Creating a Blog Content Marketing Plan That Really Works

set goals for effective executionWith every new year, there comes new trends. Every 12 months (or 12 minutes) there’s something new grabbing our – and our clients’ – attention. Based on these new channels, methods or trends, we can start to shape our marketing goals to be more effective and profitable.

When’s the last time you created an annual content plan for your website, blog, email and social media channels? 

With so much out there competing for your audience’s attention, you need to have a plan in place that includes all of your marketing efforts. You also have to keep in mind that plans can and will change – keeping us on our toes and forcing us to capitalize on opportunities that were unforeseen during initial content planning stages.

A Blog Content Plan

Writing a blog on your website is one of the best ways to attract new visitors to your site and educate them on your brand’s unique positioning. Pair a blog post with a good call to action, links to other pages on your site, and useful content, and you’re on your way to becoming a thought leader in your industry – and to making more money with your website.

But first you need a plan…

1. Know Your Audience.

What do your clients or customers look for? Who are they? What will compel them to read something you have written? What topics will encourage greater interest in your products or services? Knowing who you’re writing to is the first step in creating a successful blog content plan.

How do you figure out who your audience is? Talk to your salespeople, read what people are saying about you on social media and in forums, have a focus group, do a survey, dig into your Google Analytics

2. Know Your Business and the People in it.

Sometimes we get tunnel vision at work and only think we need to talk to people who are in the same department as us. The truth is, to have a successful content plan, you have to know what’s going on at your company as a whole.

Communication is key – Talk to other departments about what their yearly goals are, what events are happening, trends, or if they have any ideas for blog posts.

3. Plan According to Seasonality, Events, and News.

Have a column in your marketing plan that is designated for events that you know will be happening throughout the year. Your blog can be a great place to inform people about your accomplishments, or where they can find you. Also be aware of seasonality. For example, you might have a lot to write about during the winter months if you are selling snow gear. Plan to write articles 4-6 weeks in advance for event specific or seasonal topics.

A simple blog post about a company event or accomplishment is a simple way to keep content fresh on your site.

4. Optimization.

Include a column in your content plan for “keywords.” Optimizing your blog posts is essential. Sometimes keywords can change throughout the year or might be different according to the topic of your article. Writing out the words that you need to focus on will help you and your writers create a post that is web-ready instead of having to have your SEO person go back through and optimize on every single article. This will also help you lay out your keyword strategy, targeting different keywords on each article and avoiding cannibalizing your own rankings.

Do keyword research every so often to see how people are searching for you or the topics you are writing about. Google Trends is an easy tool to see this information.

5. Supplemental Material.

As you are creating your content plan, add a column for supplemental material. Supplemental material can be anything from a video idea, an image, links, or other articles.

Always include internal and external links in your blog posts. You want people to navigate around your site through the blog post and you want to encourage link building by providing external links to other quality websites. Make sure that all links make sense, and are sprinkled throughout the text. A good rule of thumb is to have 70% links internal and 30% external. Avoid linking to generic words/ phrases like “Click Here” or “Check Out.”

6. Bringing in Social Media & Email.

Write example Facebook posts or Tweets that go along with the blog post you have written. Also plan to engage with your audience about things that your email marketing team is sending out, and make sure you let them know to feature a blog post in their next email update.

Social media and emails are some of the easiest ways to get people to see your blog posts. But you can’t simply Tweet a link to the article, you have to have give them a reason to click on the link, and you want the most people possible to see it, which is why using hashtags is important too.

7. Be Prepared for Changes and Additions.

Since our attention is being fought for 24 hours a day, be ready to modify your content plan at any time. Just this past weekend during the Super Bowl blackout, brands were capitalizing on the 15-minute event using clever images, tweets, and posts to further expose their brand (a much cheaper way to communicate with the masses than paying for a Super Bowl commercial time slot).

Don’t expect your content plan to stay the same throughout the year. You can’t predict the news and you can’t predict industry trends. It’s okay to modify, but stay consistent and prepared. 

The bottom line is that no matter what’s going on on the outside, your business should be prepared and working together on the inside. Having a plan of action is essential, and being able to think on your feet is vital. When your staff is working like a team, you’ll be able to pick up on trends quicker and know how to communicate to your audience better. You’ll also be able to optimize your content to not only make sure that lots of people see your content, but that the right people are seeing what you have to say.

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Pinterest for the Small Business

Just when you thought there couldn’t be one more social networking site to put your time into…Pinterest arrived.

If you ever had a bulletin board in your room growing up, it was probably covered with pictures and notes all showing off your personality, hobbies, dreams and ideas. The same goes for Pinterest – A way to organize and share all of the inspiring things you find on the web. Think of it as a virtual bulletin board.

Pinterest is particularly great for small businesses because it helps you reach your audience in a very creative way – Showing them that you as a business have a strong message and personality that has the ability to inspire and visually connect the brand with the targeted audience.

Getting Started

Create a business page.

Make sure you select the appropriate business type and correct contact information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fill out a descriptive “about” section along with your location and website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also be sure to select “off” under the search privacy section. You want search engines to include your Pinterest profile in search results. Google is indexing and crawling Pinterest and it is a site that shows up quite frequently in search engines.

Pins –  A pin is an image added to Pinterest. A pin can be added from a website using the “Pin It” button, or you can upload images from your computer. Each pin added using the Pin it button links back to the website it came from.

 

Boards – A board is a set of pins. You can create a board on any topic – Gadgets, Infographics, Interior Design, Products, etc.

Pinning

You always want to make sure that your pins are useful for others and beneficial to your brand.

  1. Pin from the original source
  2. Pin from permalinks (specific webpages, entries)
  3. Include a thoughtful pin description

Don’t always pin things on your boards that come directly from your website. You want to make sure you are pinning things that come from other places (websites or other Pinterest users) as well. Don’t just talk about yourself all the time. Pin ‘related’ products or images.

Keywords are important when it comes to pinning things on your boards. Make sure you are writing descriptions with your SEO hat on. These keywords will be what Google crawls and indexes. The better your SEO, the more your Pinterest account will show up in the search engines.

 

Adding a price to a pin

Perhaps you run an e-commerce site and want to showcase your products. Pinterest allows you to not only show an image of your product, but add a price to it as well.

To add a price to a pin, type the $ symbol, followed by the number amount in the description. When you are finished, click “Pin it.”

As a business, this helps people see how much you are asking for a certain product and compels them to click through to your site to buy.

 

For further Pinterest guidance, download our Pinterest Guide now.

 

Brands who do Pinterest well

Travel Channel

Chronicle Books

 

 

 

 

 

West Elm

Mashable

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The 2012 Election: A Digital Marketing Frenzy

There’s no denying that the 2012 election has been full of strategic digital marketing campaigns. From the YouTube ads to the promoted Facebook posts, you’re probably tired of seeing Obama and Romney plastered across your computer screen, your smart phone and your iPad.

Not to mention your friends who have been Tweeting incessantly about binders full of women, Obamacare, and anything and everything to try to convince everyone else that who they’re voting for is the best choice.

So you might be thankful that tomorrow is Election Day and you’ll be able to continue living your life “ad-free.” But the truth is, your business can learn a lot from the 2012 Election and how digital marketing helped both party’s utilize their current followers, and convert the undecided to loyal voters.

1. Know Your Message

We can all recite each party’s running slogan:

Obama – “Forward”

Romney – “Believe in America”

Even if you couldn’t recite both slogans, you probably know at least one of them. Sending a clear message to your audience is vital. Make sure that your “about” page on your website and all social media channels are filled out. If people don’t know who you are and what you’re all about, they aren’t going to become loyal customers.

Having a slogan or mission statement also helps your brand stick in the minds of your audience.

2. Know Your Audience

Romney and Obama gather data on all of us in order to figure out what ads we should be seeing. For example, a self-employed 30-something mother will see a different ad on YouTube than the 50-something unemployed male.

While most businesses do not have the access to the kind of data the candidates have, you can still conduct surveys, hold focus groups and explore Google Analytics, and social media Insights for more information on the people who follow your brand.

Knowing your audience is key in your online marketing strategy. If you don’t know your audience, your messaging will not reflect the kind of content that your audience will benefit the most from.

3. Leverage Loyal Customers

When Barack Obama announced that he would be running for president in 2008, he launched a huge social media and internet marketing plan. Some said that that strategy alone helped him win the election to John McCain, who barely had a presence online.

Fast forward four years, and President Obama already had millions of followers online that he could use to build an even larger audience this time around.

Using current customers who believe in your brand for testimonials and interaction on your social media channels will help others see that you are engaging with your audience and that you care about what they have to say. A message or testimonial coming straight from the customer’s mouth goes a long way.

4. Be Consistent

From the font and color choices to the logos and photos, Obama and Romney are consistent across all channels including TV, print and internet.

When you are creating your internet marketing strategy, make sure that the same logo appears on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and website. Make sure that you have your CMYK/RGB codes so that you are using consistent colors. Make sure that the voice of your brand remains the same. And pay close attention to who is running your site and social media channels, making sure that they have a grasp on your messaging and voice.

5. Research

In an SEO infographic published by Rise Interactive, the importance of keywords and an SEO strategy for the 2012 election is evident. Each candidate ranks for different hot button keywords surrounding the election including healthcare, taxes and job creation. For some terms, Obama’s site does better. For others, Romney’s. This means that each camp has taken a lot of time to optimize for keywords to make sure that their candidate outranks the opponent in the search engines.

It is important for your business to pay close attention to keywords and optimize for relevant terms that can help your search engine rankings. Roll up your sleeves and do the research!

Having an SEO plan is essential to any internet marketing strategy, and is the difference between converting a customer or losing one to a competitor.

Above all else, remain truthful and honest to your customers. During an election, it’s hard to sift through all of the junk to find the truth. Don’t make your followers do that. Always deliver a clear message and practice exceptional customer service.

Oh, and never bash your competitors…Even if you do have a better product or service than them.

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Social Media Lessons for the Small Business from the Olympics

Every two years, the world comes together for what is one of the most amazing events in human history – The Olympics. With that event comes all the many ways to consume the cvast amounts of information generated from the games. Whether you check for updates on your smartphone or watch NBC’s (here in the US) or other network showing, there’s no mistaking the vast presence of social media that completely engulfs the Olympics every year.

You’ve probably even taken part in some of the social media frenzy, using hashtags like #olympics, #teamusa or maybe even #nbcfail, a trending hashtag that has brought the network’s mistakes or “fails” to light during the games on Twitter (i.e. A commercial showing US swimmer Missy Franklin winning the gold just before they aired her race).

If you haven’t been taking part in the Olympic social media frenzy, the athletes definitely have. Posting offensive tweets has resulted in a few Olympians getting kicked off their teams, and tweets between athletes and attendees have created online riots. One athlete even complained that she lost her event because of all the hype on social media saying that she was going to win the gold.

So what can a small business learn from all of the Tweeting, Posting and Hashtagging?

5 lessons we’ve learned from the Olympics Social Media craze

1. Think Before You Post 

Social media is instant. While you can delete a post after it’s already been sent out, you never know who has already seen it. When you don’t think before you post, you may end up bruising your brand. Sometimes we don’t realize the impact and consequences that our words can have over Twitter or Facebook, resulting in impulsive posts that don’t always send the right message.

Use a content plan to organize your posts so that you can meditate on them, run them by your fellow employees and have the chance to check them one more time before you post.

If something happens that isn’t on your content plan, run it by a few people before you throw it into the Twittersphere. You are the voice of your brand, you have the responsibility to maintain it.

2. You Are in Control of Your Brand and Reputation

When a crisis occurs in your business or industry, don’t blame social media. Be transparent with your audience, explain to them what happened and how you’re planning on addressing it.

The responsibility of your brand stability is up to your team.

3. When a Client/Customer has a Problem, Respond Quickly and Respectfully

Since customer service is a competitive differentiator, take it seriously. At the Olympics this year, hopeful spectators couldn’t obtain tickets to the games. When they saw that several seats were left empty, they went to Twitter and Facebook with their complaints, forcing Olympic organizers to address the issue publicly.

When you are closely monitoring social media, you have the ability to catch small issues before they become large ones. Social media has become a place for people to vent, and to find others to vent with. Don’t let this happen. Pay close attention to what’s going on, and if a problem does arise, address it as quickly and respectfully as possible. This helps keep your customer happy, it let’s people know that there’s an actual person on the other end of the screen and it sets a great example for others.

4. Don’t Trash Talk

One of the biggest issues with social media and the Olympics has been trash talking. US soccer goalie Hope Solo trashed Olympic commentator and former US soccer player Brandi Chastain over Twitter for comments she made during a match. Solo and Chastain are colleagues and represent the same country and sport. This was poor judgement on Solo’s part, and launched a Twitter fight.

Instead of bad mouthing your competitors or colleagues, focus on your own brand and what makes you stand out among the crowd.

5. Be a Leader

Despite the negative tweets and social media wars, there have been athletes who have managed to use these channels well. Gabby Douglas, Olympic gold medalist in women’s gymnastics, uses Twitter as a positive way to celebrate the games and congratulate fellow athletes.

Gabby’s attitude should be a model for a small business. Stay positive, be a leader and engage with your audience. Monitor your channels and trends in the social media world often, and make your voice known and recognizable. And remember to stay focused on your company’s goals. If you follow these rules, you have the ability to be a game changer in the Social Mediasphere and beyond.

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