Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

4 Simple Steps to Start Using Social Media

Social media marketing has become so common place that “social media coordinator” is the newest title on the job market. Businesses today who are not using social media are seen as behind the times. At Landau Digital we frequently get asked, “So how do I start using social media to grow my business?”

Here are 4 simple steps you can follow to get yourself on the social media bandwagon.

1) Commit to a schedule

Like any change in business, the first step is figure out how much time you are willing to commit to make it happen. Social media can be a huge time drain, which is why most companies avoid it. But it doesn’t have to be. Be honest about how much time you have to invest, and base your social media plan on the resources you have available. Even 20 minutes a week is better than nothing.

If you really believe you have no time, read Finding Time to Engage in Social Media to discover some untapped time slots.

2) Define your goals

Why are you engaging in social media? Some common goals are:

  • You just want to see what everybody is talking about.
  • It is part of your SEO strategy.
  • You want to generate new business leads.
  • You are trying to create more buzz around your company.
  • You want to learn more about how your competitors use social media.

Before you can determine what outlets are best for your company, you first have to decide what you want in return for your participation. The following articles may assist you in determining your social media objectives:

3) Choose your outlets

Choosing your social media outlets can be a tricky business. You want to consider the time you have and your objectives. You should not just do what others are doing because it’s “in”. For example, many people jump on the Twitter bandwagon, but it is time consuming to develop a quality Twitter following. Would your time better be spent on a blog, which really demonstrates your knowledge?

You might want to take a social media class or hire a social media coach in order to help narrow down your choices. The following articles might help you choose the right outlets for you:

4) Follow through on your commitment

Just like any other marketing plan, if you don’t follow through, you won’t get results. Implement your social media plan for at least 3 months, and then gauge if it is right for you. It takes some time to see results, but if you put in the time, you will definitely see them.

Landau Digital teaches social media classes to help you establish your online presence. Let Landau Digital review your social media strategy to help come up with the optimum approach to grow your business.

How to Claim Google Authorship

GoogleAuthorshipIf you write content for the web, you should claim your Google Authorship to help establish your online reputation. Many don’t realize that Google Authorship brings a level of authority to your posts, tying them into your Google+ profile that can help establish you as an expert in your field of knowledge.

Google Authorship was created as a way to verify quality of content. By tying specific content to a real person, they can not only validate your online profile, but they begin to see a collection of content as interconnected information. They can weigh the quality based on quantity, thus determining how good is the content you write.

Establishing Google Authorship requires 2 steps:

1) Enter your Google+ profile link on your website user profile. How you do this varies by website type. In some cases you might need a plugin. Here is a tutorial that shows you how to do it in WordPress. Here is a Google Authorship plugin for Joomla.

2) The second step is to add content links in your Google+ profile. This tells Google where you are writing content. This tutorial will show you how to edit your Google+ profile.

Once you have added your Google+ Authorship, then anything you write on the sites connected will show up with your photo and byline. These links are more likely to get clicked in Google searches, which means more eye balls appreciating your work.

Finding Time to Engage In Social Media

Rumor has it 2010 is the year that social media will become mainstream. The early adopters have already left the station, and the early majority has boarded and the late majority is in line. This means by 2011, 84% of individuals will be using some form of social media. Still not convinced? Check out the Social Media Revolution video.

The biggest reason people DON’T use social media

There is no doubt the number one reason for NOT using social media is time. People are already short on time, and just the thought of using social media creates mental stress as we conceive of the hours and hours of time sucked into the virtual realm of the social vibe. The fact is, you don’t have to spend hours a day. You can choose how much time to spend on social media, and then implement a schedule that works for you. The key here is to get engaged and be consistent.

The Social Media Diet: finding time for a social media plan

As a solution to the time dilemma, I wrote The Social Media Diet, a 30-minute-a-day plan for getting involved in social media. I came up with a 7-step plan to figure out where social media will fit into your schedule:

  • Step 1: Choose how much time you want to invest M-F
  • Step 2: Choose what you want to get out of social media
  • Step 3: Choose your networks
  • Step 4: Calendar in your time
  • Step 5: Track your progress
  • Step 6: Stop when your time is up
  • Step 7: Keep it up!

Step 1: Choose how much time you want to invest M-F

It’s best to choose how much time you can put in each day. Even if it’s only 15 minutes, that’s okay. It’s important to do it daily so it becomes a part of your routine. You only have to engage Monday through Friday. If you want to do more on the weekends, great, but at least commit during the week.

If you have people who work for you or your company, factor their time in as well. Collectively come up with how much time all of you will engage in social media tasks.

Step 2: Choose what you want to get out of social media

What you want out determines what networks to choose. There could be many reasons, but only you can determine what is uppermost on your list. I would chose ONE objective to focus on. This will help keep you on track:

  • Generate leads for business (probably the #1 reason)
  • Learn what others are doing in your industry
  • Generate PR for your company
  • Connect and interact with customers
  • Share information to establish your expertise
  • Generate SEO (search engine optimization) links for your website
  • Just to see what it’s all about

Step 3: Choose your networks

Based on the list above, I would suggest you choose 2 of the following networks to get you started. Once you’re in the groove with 1 or 2 networks, then expand to include others.

Generate leads for business (probably the #1 reason)
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Blog building
  • Guest blogging
  • Actively work on LinkedIn connections
  • Industry message boards
Learn what others are doing in your industry
  • All social media platforms
  • Industry message boards
Generate PR for your company
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Article Distribution
  • Create a blog or guest blog on industry blogs
  • Use Stumbleupon, Reddit, etc. to distribute content
Connect and interact with customers
  • Blog
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
Share information to establish your expertise
  • Guest blogging
  • Industry message boards
  • Article distribution
  • Answer questions in LinkedIN Groups
  • Participate in industry message boards
Generate SEO (search engine optimization) links for your website
  • Commenting on blogs
  • Guest blogging
  • Participating in industry message boards that are not behind a login
  • Press release and article distribution with in-line links in content
Just to see what it’s all about Ask your friends or customers what their favorite networks are, and choose what seems appealing.

Step 4: Calendar in your time

Many people ask me how it is I get so much done. Well for one, I calendar in specific tasks in order to accomplish them. Calendaring is the #1 way to achieve goals. I know many of you are crinkling your faces at this moment, but seriously, this is how you’re going to get this done.

Look at your schedule, and honestly evaluate when you could fit in some time to implement your social media plan. Let’s say you have committed to 15 minutes a day. Find the same 15 minutes each day so it becomes a habit. It could be first thing in the morning, just after lunch, or even at the close of your day. Right at the moment it doesn’t matter when you do it, just that you do it!

It’s important to actually put this time INTO your calendar. If you are using Outlook or Google Calendar, set up a reminder so it flashes on your screen to tell you it’s time to start your social media tasks. Treat it like a real appointment.

But I really just don’t have the time…

Sometimes you have to be clever about it, but there is always time to be found if you look hard enough. I took a poll of several people who have found time to include social media into their schedule. Here are some of the ways they found to fit the time in:

1) I started making coffee in the office instead of stopping at Starbucks each morning. The 20 minutes I saved in travel I now spend on social media.

2) I put social media apps on my smartphone, and now whenever I wait in line, wait for a stop light or wait for anything, I am on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and working my networks. I’m amazed how much I get in with just 2-3 minutes at a time.

3) Our office wanted to implement a social media plan. Together we committed to shortening our daily status meeting by 15 minutes so we could all return to our desks and implement our social media strategy.

4) We did a poll in our office to find out who was using social media. We then came up with a strategy that included time people were already spending. Together we promote our articles, tweets and other online links.

5) We hired a consultant to teach us how to use Twitter. We found we were wasting a lot of time figuring it out. He showed us some great tools to help us manage Twitter and make it go faster. After the class, we found it very easy to fit in 15 minutes a day per person because we knew exactly what to do.

6) Each person in the office chose which social media outlets they wanted to use. Then our vice president hired his niece to spend a day creating accounts for each person. She set up profiles, photos, and all the details. That way we were ready to go out of the chute!

7) We asked everybody in our company if they wanted to help write our blog. We found 7 people who wanted to help. Each of us wrote 3 blogs a month, and it has been easy to post daily blogs for our customers.

Step 5: Track your progress

Keep an Excel spreadsheet or other document where you track what you’ve done in your social media domain. It could be as simple as tallying your progress:

  • Sent 5 tweets today
  • Put one comment on a blog

Or you go into more detail by copying and pasting URLs of places you’ve left comments. We signed up for Disqus, which is an excellent tool that helps track comments on blogs. Unfortunately it only works on blogs where’s it’s installed, but it’s becoming more popular, so it’s start towards organizing all those blog comments.

Step 6: Stop when your time is up

As important as it is to commit to doing social media, you must honor your schedule and stop when your time is up. I set a a pop-up reminder on my computer that simple says “time to stop.” If you go overboard, you will get frustrated, and there will always be tomorrow to do more.

Step 7: Keep it up!

While nobody expects perfection, do your best to honor your social media commitment. If you do it consistently, in about a month you’ll start to see an online network begin to build. After two months you will likely have some new online friends. After three months, you’re certain to see some impact in your business. If you find yourself getting bored with the outlet you have chosen, throw in another one, or research articles on how to use that outlet better. Just don’t give up! This is the new way of networking, and pretty soon you won’t meet anybody who isn’t doing it.

How do you find time for social media?

I’d love to hear the ways you have found time to fit social media into your schedule. I’d also love to hear what kind of results you’ve seen from the efforts you’ve put in. Please share in the comments how it’s working for you!

9 Ways to Get More Clicks on Twitter

Twitter is fun, but it is also very easy to get lost in the millions of micro messages that are spit out every day. So how do you distinguish yourself and make sure that your messages are the ones that get noticed?

Dan Zarrella, in conjunction with HubSpot, did specific research to find out which tweets have the highest click through rate (CTR).

Twitter guidelines that will get you more re-tweets:

  1. Use more verbs and less nouns to get more attention
  2. Tweeting on Friday, Saturday and Sunday significantly increased CTR numbers
  3. Tweeting later in the day also had better results
  4. Put your links about 25% of the way into your tweet for higher CTR
  5. Keep your tweets between 120 and 130 characters
  6. Slow down the number of tweets. The more you blitz, the less people pay attention.
  7. Tweets with ‘via’, ‘RT’, ‘@’, ‘please’ and ‘check’ had higher CTR numbers.
  8. Tweets with ‘AddThis’, ‘marketing’ and ‘GetGlue’ had lower CTR numbers
  9. The term ‘daily is out’, used by paper.li, had the highest rate of CTR

Read the specifics of this great research study by visiting Dan Zarrella’s website.

10 LinkedIn Tips to Grow Your Business

1. List every important detail
Include your complete work history. You will likely remember colleagues and classmates you may have forgotten. Those contacts will be able to search for you based on what is in your profile and most social networking sites will suggest people that share these groups or interests.

2. Add updates regularly
By adding connections and editing your profile, you are more likely to be at the top of the list when somebody searches for a company like yours. Each time you edit your profile, the information will be circulated to your network, which regularly puts your name in front of your contacts.

3. Let people know what you’re doing
Use the status field to put in updates. This information is usually sent in emails to others that are connected, share an affinity group or are following specific people.

4. Join Groups
Joining professional groups within LinkedIn gives you opportunities to provide input and gain exposure. Whether it’s your own industry, or one your business serves, professional groups are an excellent way to generate new contacts through the online Q&A section.

5. Become known as an expert
By posting answers in the questions online, you can share with others what you know. If you have good answers, it will create an interest in knowing more about your services.

6. Get recommended by peers and clients
Recommendations are always an excellent source of credibility and your recommendations are always there for anyone to see.

7. Research new opportunities
If you keep abreast of your affinity groups or browse the profiles of competitors, you will likely find new ideas. This can be done by searches online, but the content is distilled better in social networks.

8. Find the leads you seek
If you know of specific business that fits your target market, you can learn a great deal about them in social networks. In addition to knowing the background of the key people, you might be able to find shared connections or shared affinity groups e.g. alma maters. This can make your first contact much smoother.

9. Improve your search engine rankings
If your public profile is set to full view, Google will index your profile and your Linked In page will draw more traffic. If you use Linked In to showcase your talents well, your website will gain traffic. You can increase traffic to all sites by cross-linking from social network sites, your own blog and posts you make to other blogs.

10. See what others see
Google yourself and see what shows up. If your online strategy is working, you should see more links and more relevant information show up first. If your own website is not at the top of the list, consider some new strategies for enhancing the virtual you.