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How Effective is Social Media for Generating Quality Leads?

Very. When done properly. Social media can be very effective in generating quality leads. However, it takes planning, preparation, posting, participation, persistence, patience and perseverance. Yes, the 7 P’s of Social Media Marketing!

Generating quality leads is a marathon, not a sprint. A mistake that I see many companies make is trying to do it fast, off-the-cuff or trying to take short-cuts. They don’t work!

It’s a marathon, not a sprint!

In the question above there are two keywords: Effective and Quality

This is what you want. If you attempt to take short-cuts, it will end up costing you valuable time and money and you won’t get the results you want.

Here are the tools you need for Generating Quality Leads:

  1. Clearly define your target market(s). Failure to do this will result in drawing visitors to your site who are not at all interested in what you have to offer.
  2. Research your target. Where are they hanging out online? Which networks do the prefer? What is their buying journey for your product or service? You need to know all this before setting out to conquer the market.
  3. A good WordPress website that showcases what you do, has a clear, call-to-action and a way to capture the leads. Without this, all the social media in the world won’t help you.
  4. Set SMART Goals, develop a strategic plan for each network, then create a tactical plan on how you’re going to implement the strategy.
  5. Blogging at 2-3 times a week. It’s the fresh relevant content that Google is looking for.
  6. Get Social Savvy! Share the posts on social media as well as other people’s relevant content of interest to your target market. You need to search for, follow and connect with your target market. Build relationships. Get to know them as they get to know you!
  7. Monitor and measure. At the end of every month you need to check your social analytics and insights to see what’s working and what’s not working. If you continue to do what’s not working expecting different results, well, that’s the definition of insanity.

What about ROI? When do I see the return on investment?

It depends on…..

  • How much time you put into it if you’re doing it yourself.
  • How much money you invest if you’re hiring someone to do it for you.
  • Your industry and how competitive the field is.
  • How creative and clever you are.
  • What is important for you to measure? Sales? Growing a list? These are Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

For some businesses, a month; others 3-6 months. Don’t expect instant magic to happen. Again it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’re in it for the long haul, yet social media may very well be the main way you get new business.

Done right, it works. Learn how to do it right. It’s easy with Your Social Savvy Solution Online Training Center!

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Creating Your Online Persona or Brand with Social Media

What do you want to be known for?

When you step into an elevator with another person, wouldn’t it be nice if that person says, “Hey aren’t you the _____ lady/guy?”

That happened to me one day. “Aren’t you the social media lady?”

I don’t care that he didn’t remember my name. He related my face with what I’m an expert in. I answered, “Yes, I am! How do you know me?”

“I think we’re connected on LinkedIn. It’s so nice to meet you in person!”

Wow. That’s how you bring the online world into the real world.

What does it take to reach that kind of fame? How do you develop your online persona?

Persistence and Consistency

Creating Your Online Persona or Brand with Social MediaYou decide what your online persona is going to be. That’s your personal brand. Basically, it’s what you talk about the most. What article topics do you share the most? Which industry influencers do you quote, follow & connect with?

You become like those with which you hang out!

Here are some things you can do to start getting noticed and known as an expert in your field.

  1. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete. Your head shot is there and you have a heading with your industry. (Remember, the guy in the elevator didn’t remember my name but he recognized me by my picture & title.)
  2. Make sure your personal and business social media pages are complete and they all are connected and optimized with quality graphics and your industry keywords.
  3. Share, share, and share some more! Find trusted sources of content in your industry or field who consistently put out good, quality content and share it regularly. Set up automatic feeds with TwitterFeed or HootSuite.
  4. Find influencers in your field. Follow, connect, share, comment, build a relationship with them. Hopefully, they’ll follow you back and share some of your stuff with their followers. An influencer has a lot of followers.
  5. Join Groups on LinkedIn and Communities on Google+. Participate and get known. When you share something in the groups, your picture, name & title appears with the post. That’s how you get known for what you do. Look for groups with:
    1. your target market
    2. influencers in your field
    3. peers or industry news
    4. local businesses

Need help getting known? Don’t know where to start? Need to clean up your online act? We can help!

Click here to schedule a free 30-minute phone consultation & social media analysis.

Click here to download the free “Define Your Target Market Workbook”.

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How do You Grow a Social Media Following?

How to grow a social media followingLet me start by saying this:

If there were a magic formula, no one would be asking this question!

There are several challenging factors in how you grow a social media following:

  • The variety of social networks, platforms and channels out there – each with their own culture and lingo.
  • The amount of content that’s already out there that a searcher has to week through to find what they want or need.
  • The way individual social users use each network – their favorites, the time of day they log on, how they interact and engage with posts, friends, businesses and brands online.

Be prepared to do a little Sweat Equity to effectively grow your social media following.

  1. Before anything, clearly Define your Target Market’s Persona. There’s no way you’re going to understand how they use social media and how to reach them if you skip this crucial step. Click here to download a free Define Your Target Market Workbook.
  2. Once you’ve determined who your target is, then you need to do a little research. Where to do they hang out online? Which networks do they favor? How do they use them? What devices do they use?
  3. Learn how each of the major networks work, their lingo and culture. You don’t want to appear like a fool when you start trying to search for and engage your target.
  4. Develop a strategic plan for each network as well as a tactical plan to implement the strategy.
  5. Blog at least 3 times a week. This provides the content that your target is looking for as well as what Google looks for.Content is King - if you're not sharing content on social media, no one is going to follow you!
  6. Share your blog posts on social media – and not just when you first publish it. If you don’t post stuff on social media, no one is going to follow you.
  7. Find trusted sources of content and share their related and relevant content on social media. It’s not all about you!
  8. Search for an follow your target market. When you follow them, they will be notified and then choose if they want to follow you back or not. If you haven’t been posting, they’re not going to follow you.
  9. Monitor your social media to respond to questions in a timely manner.
  10. Check your insights and analytics on each network. This will tell you what’s working and what’s not working and it will help you plan for the next month.

If you’re starting from scratch with little or no following, it takes at least 90 minutes a day for the first 30 days to build a following. Here are the first social media goals you want to reach:

  • 100 Twitter followers
  • 30-50 Facebook likes – You can see Insights after 30 likes and you can also follow your competition
  • 50 connections on LinkedIn – this and a complete profile makes you am “All-Star”
  • 10 active connections on Google+ (The ultimate goal is 100 – having 100 active connections on G+ may help you gain up to 14 spaces in Google search!)
  • 10-25 Pinterest followers – Your target may not even be on Pinterest, but if you pin what people want to see, your following will grow quickly

Once your following is built, you can manage and maintain it by…

  • Continuing to blog 3 times a week
  • Automating a lot of other peoples’ content
  • Learning how to use free tools like Feedly, TweetDeck, HootSuite and Buffer
  • Spending 30 minutes a day engaging with current and potential customers
  • Checking your analytics and insights at the end of each month to see if your following is consistently growing
  • Planning your strategy and tactics for the next month

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Know, Like & Trust: Getting the Best From Your Social Marketing

Building Credibility & Trust onlinePeople buy from whom they know and trust. Before they get to know you, the have to notice you. Before they trust you, they have to also like you.

You get noticed on social media by using the right strategy and tactics. People start to like you because you show a human side.

Social Marketing is not about B2C or B2B – it’s about P2P – People-to-People.

Clients become clients because they trust you and your business. ~Jay Izso in Social Mediaology

To get those people to actually like you and your business you have to be social! You have to show a personal side!

It’s like when you join a local networking group or a chamber of commerce – you get what you put into it.

Build your network the natural wayIf you join a group, but don’t participate in any of the events, no one is going to know who you are. It’s the same concept online. You can build a website and set up your social pages, but if you’re not engaging with people — your current or potential clients — it’s like having a billboard in the middle of the ocean. It may be seen by a passing ship, but that’s it.

Can’t I automate it?

You can automate a lot of the media, but you still have to be social! And you still have to blog 3x a week!

There are lots of free tools out there to help make being social easy. My favorites are Feedly.com to curate and sort articles to share, HootSuite to share and schedule out to the social networks and TweetDeck to manage Twitter.  In 30 minutes a day, you say hello, thank you, wish friends & connections a happy birthday or work anniversary, share interesting content, throw out a free tip or two and collect information for yourself. You’ve touched dozens of people in 30 minutes when it would have taken you hours if not days of phone calling to do the same.

Why can’t I just pay for advertisements on the networks and on Google?

Sure, if you have a lot of money. The majority – and it’s a large majority – of searchers will go to the unpaid Organic search results because they don’t trust the paid ads! Also, people become oblivious to the ads in the social networks. The savvy Internet user knows that to get to the top of the organic search results, that site has to have lots of the information they’re looking for. You get on the top of the organic search by blogging 3 x a week (can’t say that enough) and being social. It all works together. (Read: An SEO Tale of 2 Auto Repair Shops)

It’s people not businesses who are in control. Get to know your people. Download the free Define Your Target Market Workbook.

We can teach you how to manage it all in 30 minutes a day! Check out our classes here!

We make social media marketing make sense and show you how you can make it work for you!

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar
AZ Social Media Wiz Consulting, Training & Implementation

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Buying Twitter Followers gets you Nowhere

Don't Buy Twitter Followers! Buying Twitter followers is the lazy way to get followers and the wrong way! They aren’t true followers.

I asked a new client, “How did you get over 900 Twitter followers with only 12 tweets?”

“We bought them.”

I looked at who they were. For a local business who caters to the upper class, the followers they bought didn’t look a bit like potential or “happy camper” clients. They were from all over, and some looked a little “raunchy” and not at all their target market. They were absolutely no good and a waste of money. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t help and it doesn’t look good.

The only way to fix the problem is to delete the profile and start from scratch with a different Twitter handle.

Anyone can click on your followers and see who they are.

Growing a following takes time – about 90 minutes a day for 30 days if you’re starting from scratch. You can do those in 30-minute intervals – one in the morning, around lunchtime, then late in the afternoon. Twitter’s on 24/7 so it’s important to know when your target market and following is on. You can do that with a free tool called SocialBro.

Build your network the natural wayThe only way to get followers naturally is

  • By following people who would be interested in your content
  • RTing (retweeting) content that they’d be interested in
  • Tweet original content that people want to read
  • Don’t SPAM them
  • Oversell them

Also:

  • Be relevant
  • Be nice
  • Build relationships
  • Don’t use foul language
  • Follow people back whose content you find interesting
  • Block and report SPAMMERS
  • Don’t use robots
  • Don’t automate DMs (direct messages)

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10 Twitter No-Nos

After regularly participating on Twitter for the 5 past years, I’ve gathered this list of my Twitter pet peeves and things that are basic no-nos on Twitter.

  1. Not Tweeting – Ya gotta tweet! How do you expect to get followers if you don’t share anything? When I get a new follower, I thank them and go check out their profile and what they tweet about. If they don’t tweet, I don’t follow. Simple.
  2. Twitter EggEggs – Are you a real person? Then upload a picture. If you’re a business, upload a logo. It’s your brand and image! There are way too many eggs on Twitter!
  3. No Bios – Who are you? What do you tweet about? Twitter gives you 160 characters to describe yourself. You don’t your life story, just who you are & why you’re there.
  4. Over-Tweeting – just as bad as not tweeting is over-tweeting or automating everything. Seeing more than 3 tweets in a row from someone makes me wonder about them. Use the scheduling tool in TweetDeck or Hootsuite to schedule your tweets to post with enough time in between them. Twitter is on 24/7 and that way your tweets can be on when you’re not.
  5. Not leaving Re-Tweet (RT) room – I will RT when I agree with a statement, but I don’t want to spend time editing the tweet so it will fit in 140 characters. Getting your tweets ReTweeted is a good way to grow your following and improve your social media brand, but you have to leave at least 15 characters open so that RT @username will fit in the beginning of the RT.10 Twitter No-Nos
  6. Foul Language – I will unfollow someone in 2 clicks the moment I see foul language.
  7. Insulting folks who unfollow you – just like you don’t like everyone you meet and everyone you meet won’t like you, not everyone will like what you tweet. It’s not a crime to unfollow someone.
  8. Bragging about how many followers you have – followers don’t equal sales. Unless you have the proper marketing, follow-up & sales channels set-up your “followers” will fall into the black hole. Using social media to attract people to your site, product or service is just part of the marketing mix.
  9. Ignoring new followers – A simple “welcome new followers” tweet is a sign that you want to start a relationship with your followers. That’s what it’s all about. Don’t Direct Message (DM) them – especially automated DMs. You’re a person, they’re a person – relationship happen between people not robots.
  10. Tweeting only about your product or service – It’s not about you, it’s not about your product or service. It’s about what you have to offer your followers. Share information, stories, advice and it doesn’t always have to sell something.

 

 

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When Social Media Technology Doesn’t Work Right

When Technology Doesn't work right, don't take it out on your computer.

When technology doesn’t work right, don’t take it out on your computer.

Technology – you can’t live without it and sometimes it just doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. We’ve all had computers crash and Internet connections die on us. So what do you do when technology doesn’t work right.

I taught a client how to share her boss’s blog posts with HootSuite and one time she texted me all stressed out that the post didn’t post on Facebook like it should have.

So here’s what’s going on. There are several entities involved here.

  1. You computer, its speed and RAM
  2. Your Internet connection
  3. Your browser
  4. The third-party tool you’re using like TweetDeck or HootSuite
  5. The social network
  6. The social network’s servers
  7. The social network’s API – that’s the code that makes it possible to schedule posts for the future.
  8. User error
  9. Weather

If any one of those elements stops working, what you want to do won’t happen.

So here’s what you can do.

  1. Refresh the page you’re working on whether it’s HootSuite or TweetDeck or even the social network itself.
  2. If that doesn’t work, check your modem. You may have lost your Internet Connection.
  3. If you’re short on time, just post it directly into the social network.
  4. If the problem is on the social network, try later.
  5. Did you goof? We’re not perfect. We all make mistakes. Try again.

Also keep in mind that each of the major networks have many employees working on the site at any given time that may affect how it functions.

And there also may be something big going on that overloads the networks like when Ellen Degeneres crashed Twitter during the Oscars.

Whatever it is, don’t stress out. Just try it later.

Need to learn how to use the tools? Contact us!

Giselle Aguiar
Social Media Marketing Trainer & Strategist
AZ Social Media Wiz
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Taking Shortcuts in Social Media will Hurt in the Long-run

They are so tempting! Offers like “I will promote Your Website, Blog Or Anything 20,000,000 Members On Facebook Twitter for $5″ or ” I will add 32000 Twitter followers or 6000 Facebook likes for $5″ — seem too good to be true and they are!

You do not want to do this!

  1. More than likely, these are either fake accounts or they are overseas
  2. They are probably not your target market
  3. They are not going to like, share or comment on your posts
  4. Your “Insights” or demographics will be worthless

Here’s what I mean…

FB demographics

At first, their 25,000 likes look impressive. Actually, to me, it was not natural. For a local business, 2000 likes would be great. The fact that over 60% are men between the ages of 18 and 34 looks cool, except the target market for this particular business is women over 40! Also, these men were mostly in Bangladesh, Turkey and Pakistan! Again, not to helpful when it comes to a local business.

The sad part, is that this particular company was paying over $1000 a month to an unscrupulous social media service provider.

A good social media campaign is combined with content marketing with a specific target market in mind. You must clearly identify a specific target market and put together strategic and tactical marketing plans combining blogging, posting and monitoring social media.

It takes time! The 3 Ps: Persistence, Perseverance and Patience

The persistent tortoise won.

Remember Aesop’s fable, “The Tortoise & the Hare”? Though the hare didn’t take a shortcut, he did take a nap and the persistent, persevering tortoise passed him and won.

Persistence – Be consistent and persistent in your message. Research, study and learn how each network works.

Perseverance – Keep it going. Use the free tools like TweetDeck and HootSuite to schedule posts to go in the future. Use TwitterFeed to automate posting content from trusted sources. But don’t over do it. That’s where strategy comes in.

Patience – it’s not going to happen overnight! The more time you devote to your content and social media marketing the faster you’ll meet your goals and get the results you want. Expect that it will take at least one month of diligent work to grow a decent following, 2-3 months to start seeing increased traffic to your website and 6 months for it really to catch on.

What’s a “decent following”?

These should be your growth goals:

Twitter – 100 Followers. Then you can use SocialBro to get analytics & demographics on your followers like what time zone they’re in and what’s the best time to tweet.

Facebook  – 30 Likes. Then you’ll have access to the precious Insights which tell you loads about who your fans are: gender, age, location and which posts they liked, shared or commented on.

LinkedIn – 50 Connections. That along with a completed profile will make you an “All-Star” and you’ll come up in searches.

Google+ – 100 Active Followers. Posting and interacting with these will increase your Google search ranking by 14 spots! (That’s HUGE!)

Have you got your plan in place, or are you totally lost? We can help.

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How Much is Your Time Worth?

You hire a contractor to build an addition to your house. You could do it yourself, but it would probably take double the time than if you hired the expert.time=money

Sure you can build your Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn business pages and set up your YouTube Channel yourself, but it will probably take you longer than if you hired someone like me to set it up for you. I met an architectt who spent “easily 3 hours” setting up his Google+ business page. I would have had it up in half the time probably for less than his hourly rate.

Also, remember, these pages & profiles represent your online reputation. Is the branding the same throughout the networks? Do you have cover graphics sized correctly for all of them. Can visitors to your pages tell instantly what you do?

Another DIY no-no is your website. Sure the free website builder tools from sites like Weebly or Homestead, even GoDaddy, may sound like a good idea, but do you really know what you’re doing?

How customizable is the system they provide? If you’re setting it up on WordPress, again, there’s going to be a learning curve. A website must:

  1. Be pleasing to they eye while showcasing the business and the branding – and look professional. Free websites and blogs look cheap.
  2. Be easy to navigate
  3. Have a call-to-action to capture leads 
  4. Make it easy for the visitor to do what you want them to do – don’t make them think.

The other major “time consumer” in social media is posting, monitoring and measuring. There are great free tools, like HootSuite and TweetDeck, that when you learn how to use them properly, are very effective in helping you manage your social media in 30 minutes a day.

So, I ask again, How much is your time worth?

Contact us for a free phone consultation and analysis.

Giselle Aguiar
Social Media Marketing Trainer & Strategist
AZ Social Media Wiz
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