Posts Tagged ‘blog’

5 Keys to Managing Your Social Media Campaign

Social media is everywhere and businesses today feel compelled to jump in. Some are using it to increase traffic to their website or blog, but many more are using it to establish a reputation as an expert. No matter your reason for using social media, how do you make sure you’re jumping into the right veins, and how do you know if it is getting you results?

I have create 5 simple keys to help you determine whether your goals and actions are in line with each other. Follow these steps to make certain you are not spinning your wheels with your online efforts.

1. Write down your goals and objectives

Determine your social media goals so you know what you are moving towards. Some goals might include:

Make your goals measurable so you know when you are moving towards them. For example, if you want to increase traffic to your site, you might say:

  • increase traffic by 300%, or
  • increase traffic by 1,000 visitors

2. Monitor your progress

How do you know if you are doing what you need to in order to achieve your goals? Come up with simple methods for tracking social media implementation so you know how much effort you are putting in. For example, if you are commenting on blogs, keep a spreadsheet of links to all blogs you’ve placed a comment.

If you are measuring traffic increase, be certain to install Google Analytics or something similar on your website so you will know how many people are coming, where they are coming from and what keywords they used to get to you.

3. Pay attention to the conversation

Whatever social media outlets you participate in, utilize tools that allow you to monitor mentions of you and/or your company. For example, HootSuite allows you to set up a column that shows each time your username has been mentioned on Twitter. You can also set up setup columns that show you every time a keyword or phrase have been mentioned, and in this way track mentions of your company name or phrases that differ from your Twitter username.

Google alerts is an excellent way to keep abreast to what people are saying. It’s also a great way to know when your content has been indexed by the search engine giant. Set up a Google alert for company name, project names or even phrases of topics where you would like to join into the conversation.

As you monitor the conversation, be certain to jump in if needed. This means thanking people for the positive comments, but also adding your feedback to the not-so-nice comments. Reputation management is a huge task, but a very important one as you create your online presence.

4. Leverage existing assets

Social media implementation can be the biggest black hole of time sucking you ever met. But it doesn’t have to be if you plan wisely. Look within your company and investigate existing assets that cold be re-purposed into social media voices.

A great example is this blog, which was created when we realized we were spending quite a bit of time writing long emails of explanation to clients. We found ourselves copying and pasting the same answers over and over, and finally realized it would save us time if we cataloged all these answers into a blog.

Look at what you are already creating and see how it could be pushed into the social media sphere. It could be writing, video, audio, photos or even social media tasks that employees are already engaging in. One company we recently spoke to found out that employees were spending an average of 20 minutes per day (during break time) using social media. So they asked them if they would spend 20 minutes of work time engaging in social media for the business. Their social media plan was born, and they have had a tremendous result without a lot of changes in time or effort.

5. Be consistent

Choose your plan wisely, so you will not let your followers down. If you create a plan that requires more time than you have, then it will be impossible to be consistent. Consistency is the trust factor that lets people know they can rely on you. Be predictable, and you will build connections and followers who will be there when they expect you. Don’t show up, and you will lose your disappointed connections.

The key to consistency is being honest with yourself about what you CAN do, so that you WILL do it.

What are your tips?

Let us know your favorite ideas for managing your social media campaign. Do you have any tips that you have found most useful and creating, monitoring and maintaining your social media presence?

Collaborative Blogging For Those Short on Time

Blogging has become a mainstream method for reaching out to potential customers. But many small businesses do not have the time to invest in a regular blogging routine. So how do you capture the opportunities it has to offer if you don’t have the time to participate?

Find complimentary colleagues

Look within your industry and put together a group of 3-5 complimentary colleagues. They should offer services that compliment your own but do not compete. As a group you should be able to offer a complete package to your potential customers.

For example, I participate in the Possibilities Unlimited blog, which is comprised of a consortium of businesses coaches. Their blog pulls together knowledge from:

All four of us are entrepreneurs, and we have extensive experience with sales growth and business management. Together we have created a blog that allows us to share our expertise without having to write articles every day.

Who should manage the blog?

As the creator, you should be in charge of the blog. You should be responsible for inviting writers, which also means you have the right to let a writer know when it’s not working out. Style and publishing calendar would be under your control, so you will be able to optimize it for your business message.

At the same time, you would be responsible for technical upkeep. If you pay a developer to assist with this, it is fair to ask the contributing bloggers to pay a portion of the upkeep.

How should I brand the blog?

It’s not a bad thing to brand the blog separate from yourself. Simple Web Toolbox was created by Landau Digital, but we have branded it as its own entity so that people who do not work for us can also write for us.

Choose a name for your blog that fits the umbrella theme. For example, the Possibilities Unlimited team has a marketing message about “winning in the game of business“. Their blog is called “Consulting2Win“.

How do I invite writers?

Before you begin to invite writers, it’s a good idea to put together some guidelines for participation. These guidelines should include:

  • Description of the blog theme and the topics it will include.
  • How often they are expected to write.
  • Meetings or conference calls they will be expected to participate in.
  • The topics you want them to cover.
  • The length of articles you expect.
  • Any formatting or graphics you will require.
  • The submission process (do they input it themselves or send it to you and you will input it).
  • The promotional activities they are expected to provide (i.e. Twitter, facebook, email newsletter promotion, etc.).
  • Links expected from their website.
  • Explanation of what the distribution would be if money is made.

What if it doesn’t work out?

Just like any business, you will have to manage this group like employees. Having guidelines gives them an understanding of expectations. If they do not fulfill the requirements for participation, you need guidelines for what should happen next.

For example, if somebody misses their copy deadline more than 2 times, will they be asked to leave? Or would that be an indication they cannot write so frequently so you would reduce their articles per month and bring in a new writer? It’s up to you to determine the guidelines that will keep everything running smoothly.

Do you already have a collaborative blog?

We’d love to hear your ideas on what works in a group blogging situation and what you have done to make it a success. Please share your ideas in the comments.