Being Seen Online: Not a Choice Anymore
In my field I run into a lot of business owners and I am always amazed by the large number of owners who think they have a choice in being seen online. The simple fact of the matter is in today’s world business owners no longer have a choice. What I mean here is that whether you like it or not your business will utlimately end up online in some shape or form. Now, usually when I say this I get a lot of blank stares and I can imagine people thinking, “What the heck is she talking about? Of course I have a choice!”, well the truth is no you really don’t. The reason you don’t have a choice is due to a couple things:
- Review Websites – Consumers have the option to add your busines to numerous review websites which include; Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google+, and more. So, whether you like it or not consumers have the power to create an online presence for your business.
- Social Media – So you don’t have an account? Well, I hate to break the news to you, but people are likely still talking about you even though you don’t have an active page.
These are just two of the means in which your business will end up online whether you like it or not. So, that means your business has an online presence that you are not managing or even acknowledging, scary right? The take home message here is when it comes to the online world you no longer have a choice, you will be online, but the question then is, “How well will you do it?”, will you choose to ignore the online world or begin to actively engage in it?
Hiring a Social Media Manager
If you have ever considered hiring an agency or individual to manage your social media, you should first be clear on what it is these professionals do. A good social media manager is an individual that will take over the entire management of your social media accounts creatively discerning how to increase the success rate of your social media platforms. This strategy will be different for everyone. For example, I worked for a boudoir photography studio as there social media manager and I created an online presence which was geared towards women expressing their sensuality. In contrast, I have managed an outdoor recreation company specializing in zip lining and their strategy for gaining an online following was obviously much different. A social media manager should take all the work out of managing your social media platforms for you and you should be able to watch the success of your social media platforms increase as a result.
Quit Wasting Time!
If you are a small business owner, an entrepreneur or just someone who could use help successfully managing your social media, quit wasting time and hire someone to help you. Hiring a social media manager has far more benefits and there are ways in which you can keep the costs relatively low. However, a cautionary note do your homework first! Do not hire the first company or independent contractor you find, this is a mistake. Shop around and check out what is available for social media management services.
Before hiring a social media manager, be sure to ask yourself:
- What is my budget?
- How much time weekly do I want to put into social media?
- How can my business or personal life improve from hiring a social media manager?
- What do I want to accomplish with social media?
Hire a Social Media Manager!
Once you have a clear idea of the answers to these questions, start shopping around! Then after doing your homework, hire someone to do the “dirty work” of social media. Meaning, have a professional successfully manage all of your social media platforms so you don’t have to! Stop wasting time and energy on managing social media and get someone to do it right for you.
I think we all need to jump on the Instagram bandwagon. I have recently become a little obsessed with Instagram and if you are not a user yet you need to be. Instagram is a great app created for sharing photos. This app not only allows you to share photos, but it allows you to make small tweeks and edits to your photos right before you post them. Why would you want to utilize this app? Well, not only for personal usage it is great for staying connected with individuals, but this can be a valuable tool for organizations to market their product. Now in order to use Instagram as a marketing tool, you must go about this tactfully. No one wants to see boring advertisements or sales pitches. No one is going to follow you if they feel like all you are trying to do is sell them something. Make an effort to come across as charming, funny, and personable. Most organizations fall flat here. I have seen way too many businesses use social media for pushing sales, while yes the end result is to get the consumer to buy, you first have to get them drawn in.
Draw them in through content that is:
How To Use Instagram As A Marketing Tool
Instagram is a very underutilized tool. Most businesses have stuck with the normal social networks to market themselves such as Twitter and Facebook. However, human beings are visual creatures with short attention spans. The best way to market your product through social media is through quick attention grabbing visuals. Instagram has been designed for this. Cautionary note this may seem very time consuming to constantly be on the look out for fun and entertaining things to post and also to keep connected with your audience through replying to any posts, well that is because it is. So, hire someone to do it for you. The only way to guarantee success through social media is to hire a professional. Check out SMIO today to hire someone to manage your social media platforms for you!
Taking The Dirty Work Out of Social Media With a Social Media Manager
Have you ever stopped to think how much actually goes into managing and up keeping a social media page? Well, it is a lot of work, and many of us simply do not realize how much energy it really takes to successfully manage a social media page, even just one page. Too many times have I seen individuals, small businesses, and/or large organizations lazily manage their social media pages and then condemn social media for not working for them. Well….lets pause here for a moment and ask the question, why do you think it is that social media is not working for you? The answer to this question is that you are not putting in the time, effort and strategy it takes to successfully mange a social media page. That is why, organization like SMIO Digital Marketing exists. We are skilled professionals that specialize is managing your social media for you. There are a number of benefits of hiring a social media manager and one of the greatest benefits is that these extremely skilled and creative individuals can help develop your online presence and grow your online community. This is not an easy task, it is definitely the “dirty” work of social media, as it involves being constantly aware of who your audience is, what you are posting, and what your goal is in what you are posting. Whether you realize it or not social media is not simply just mindless posting, there is a vast amount of strategy that goes into the creation, maintenance, and building of successful social media platforms.
Buying a Fan Base
Now, I am well aware fans can easily and inexpensively be bought, but in the long run what are you gaining? Not much really, all you have really gained is the appearance of having a successful page, but with no real engagement or audience reach. I think that buying a fan base is a great way to get your platform started, but with out continually putting in time and effort into your social media sites, it will not matter how many fans you buy. I strongly encourage any small business and/or large business to hire a trained professional to manage their social media sites, as this is a relatively inexpensive and will save you time and energy in the long run. I also guarantee you will see the benefits from hiring a social media professional not only from saving yourself time and energy, but also you will begin to see your social media sites excel.
Is Facebook the Next My Space?
Noticeably we can see that social media is changing rapidly and has vastly changed since its creation. For example, take a look at Facebook alone, when Facebook was first designed is was solely created to be a form of communication between college students, requiring anyone to join the network to have a college (.edu) email address. However, Facebook grew and adapted to allow all users to use this application, and thus rapidly grew in popularity. However, research has now shown that Facebook is actually decreasing among users, especially the younger generation, namely teenagers. Now, I think most of use can remember, another social network that was once widely known and popularity, known by the name of My Space, which is no longer even relevant. Well, my point is that because of the face paced nature of online networking and social media usage, is Facebook the next My Space, will it be soon phased out? If so what is next? What will the next latest and greatest social network platform look like?
I predict that the next latest and greatest craze to social media, the next Facebook if you will, being very visual in nature, much like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine. And also fast paced like Twitter, catering to our new generations shortened attention spans, therefore, allowing us not having to take the time to actually read through heartfelt time consuming posts, but gather everything we need in a limited number of characters. I also anticipate the next latest craze incorporating more Facebook like qualities of giving users the ability to establish deeper more intimate relationships with one another through allowing a chat like feature, some sort of messaging feature, or a way to individually make connections with one another. Therefore, within the next few years, I anticipate that the next latest and greatest social media network will be a hybrid of what has already been done successfully. What do you think the next greatest social network will look like?
In working in the field of social media for a number of years, as well as earning a Master Degree in Social Media Management, I can honestly say that there is much more that goes into social media management than simply mindlessly posting status updates. I highly recommend any small business hire a trained individual to manage their social media platforms. In doing so small business owners will see the benefits, not only from having extra time not having to manage their social media platforms, but also will also see first hand how a trained social media professional strategical implements a social media plan to obtain goals.
Now, I recently read a blog that was completely against hiring a social media manager, claiming that basically any individuals with this title are just scam artist. To say the least I was more than little upset by this bogus blog. This individual clearly did not know anything about the amount of data collection and social media metrics that go into creating a killer social media platform. Nor, did this individual consider the return on investment (ROI) calculations that need to be done in order to depict that client’s investment in a social media manager is worthwhile. Also, social media managers are also responsible for SEO, meaning optimizing your ability to be found on the internet using a vast amount of strategies to do so. If you are a small business owner or an owner of large organization and have not yet hired a social media professional, I recommend doing your research and finding the most qualified candidate to manage your social media platforms!
Social Media Mistakes
So, as a social media professional, one of the biggest mistakes I see small businesses making on their social media sites, is overselling. This is very common social media mistake, as businesses want to push their products, depict how great their prices are, and overall promote what they offer as an organization. However, this is a big “no, no”, you want to come across as a human, not a sales robot! In coming across as a pushy sales person on social media sites you will loose fans and overall interest. Individuals join social networking sites, in general, to build and maintain relationships, connect with other like minded individuals, and in general be social. The last thing your followers want is to feel like you are trying to force feed them a sales pitch. So, it is all about balance. As a business you should have two personailities when it comes to managing your social media sites. Every business/organization should have a personal side and a business side when managing their social networking sites. In order to avoid coming across too “salesy” be sure that you are posting like an individual would. Meaning aim to create posts consisting of:
- Relevant information (articles, other sites, blogs, etc.)
- Sharing information (connect with others through sharing relevant posts.
- Images (these speak louder than words)
- Open ended posts to get users involved.
Bottom line, every thing you post should not directly be about selling your business.
However, as I stated you should have a business side in managing your sites. In having this side, you will keep in mind that even your personalized posts should directly relate to what you are trying to sell/promote. For example, if I own an outdoor recreation business I want all of my content I posts to be related to outdoor recreation. It simply would not make sense, and possibly confuse followers if I began to post content about beauty tips and tricks…So, keep it relevant and keep it personal!
I recently read an article that had an awesome infographic , and it depicted what time of the day is best to post. Therefore, the article was based around time. Take a look at the infographic as it breaks down each social media site and what is the best time to post on each. While I found this article very useful, I also found it to be somewhat underdeveloped. What I mean here is that significant social media sites were missing. Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, and Youtube were all absent from this article. I found this extremely odd, because these are major social media platforms that are consistently growing in popularity. I also found it interesting that all of these platforms are mainly used for visual representation. Meaning we use these platforms to send visual types of information, such as pictures and videos. This made me wonder, is there a different set of “posting” rules to follow when using platforms that are mainly visual in nature?
Now the article states specific periods throughout the day that are good to post and bad to post. However, when it comes to using applications such as Snapchat is a message sent at 2am just as effective or seen just as positively as one sent at 2pm? In my opinion, yes and no. I think that these applications that are mainly used for visual representation can be just as effective if used in the wee hours of the morning or mid afternoon depending on the relationship the sender and the receiver of the message currently have with one another.
Okay, so what I mean here, is imagine it is 2am and you are receiving a Snapchat alert from…let’s say Social Media In’s and Out’s…advertising an infographic of their companies effectiveness as social media consultants. What is your reaction? Now, imagine the same scenario, but instead you receive a message from your significant other sending you some sort of heartfelt visual message. Now what is your reaction? My guess is your reaction would be very different if you received an advertisement at 2am versus a message from a loved one. The relationship matters! My point here is that the same rules do not apply to the sending and receiving of visual messages, such as through Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, and Tumblr because concerning these types of messages the rules are unclear on what is acceptable and what is not. So when is the best time to send a visual message through these applications…it really depends on who you are and who you are sending it to!
Buying fans and followers…I have discussed this before, but recently I have started working for a new company and it is common practice to buy fans and followers through a site called Fiverr. Now before working for this company I was totally against buying fans and followers, I did not understand why someone would want to do this…However, my views have somewhat changed.
So, first let me break down this site, Fiverr. What this site does is offer a place for freelance individuals to sell their services for a very low rate, usually $5. You can buy basically anything off this site for only $5. For example, I recently had someone create 4 different logos for me for just $10. One of the main attractions that this site offers is the buying and selling of fans/followers for various social networks and for a very low price. The networks include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Now if you would do this through the actual social network sites themselves you would be paying way more than $5 for the amount of fans Fiverr guarantees you. I would caution you though, some sellers on Fiverr are more experienced than others and I would always chose a more experienced, higher rated seller. Meaning, always check the ratings before buying.
Now, an avid user of this site, my views on buying fans/followers has slightly changed…As I said previously I had no idea why someone would buy fans, what are you really gaining? Well for just 5 bucks you are gaining an immense following…which I know is not real. However, it looks real and it looks to others that you are an established organization that others follow and are interested in. It is all about image and if you appear to be desired, others will also find you desirable. You have to learn to play the game if you want to succeed.