Invite your Friends and Family to like your Business page

Some things are so simple that it’s easy to overlook them. Be sure to invite your family and friends to like your business page. Yes, your Mom loves you and is your biggest supporter. Who knows, she may be at a cocktail party or at coffee hour after church and hears someone say they are looking for someone to do what you do. Now stop rolling your eyes. This works. Your mom knows this person on a personal level, there is already a level of trust between her and her friend, so that friend is more likely going to trust her opinion or referral even if it is her own child. So she goes home and friends that person on Facebook and then sends them a link to your business page which is loaded with lots of great content that they can use and has a few reviews from others on it. You’ve just made a valuable contact that will potentially lead to a sale or new client. You just need to follow up on the lead. This is a slower growth process than paying for Facebook Ads, but it is a more social way of doing it which benefits you with the Facebook algorithm. Each person you invite knows approximately 300 people that you don’t. So if you invite 10 people, your business page will be seen by potentially 3000 people you don’t know. Your family and friends are also more likely to like your content and give it a thumbs up or make a comment. Facebook algorithm reads this and sees you being social which is rewarded by pushing your content higher up on people’s profiles. So, yay! Go invite all your friends and family.

A few Simple Facebook Tricks to Maximize your Organic Reach.

“Marketing is really just about sharing your passion.” — Michael Hyatt

My specialty is in maximizing the organic reach for my clients. One simple trick is I learn what business are compatible to their own. For example I am an artist so compatilble businesses would be local frame shop, art supply stores, local galleries and interior decorators. By going into my business page and liking those businesses as my business page I am letting those businesses that I care about them and wish to follow their feed. They in turn may follow my own. The added bonus is you may find that they have content that is relevant to you and your followers and that you may want to share with them. This becomes a win-win for everyone. Organic reach is the long game approach, but I personally prefer it as creates a stronger connection between a business and their clients. There is more engagement beyond the simple thumbs up. Yes, you could pay for an ad and get a several hundred thumbs up, but you need to convert them into actually engaged followers. I find it simpler to start with the engagement first through organic reach. Try it and see what you think. My short video shows you were to click on the Facebook site to try it yourself. And as always, contact me if you have a question.

Social Media Content Your Fans will Love

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Other than during the Super Bowl, no one turns on the television strictly to watch ads.  They turn it on to be entertained or educated.  Facebook has acknowledged this truism. They have changed their algorithm to push more content that readers wish to see. As the New York Times summarized  

In short, you’ll see more posts from friends that have spurred lively debates in the comments. And you’ll see fewer cooking videos from brands and publications. Prioritizing what your friends and family share is part of an effort by Facebook to help people spend time on the site in what it thinks is a more meaningful way.

This adds extra challenges to small businesses and their social media managers.  I have three Post-it notes attached to my desk asking these questions. I try to make sure that at least 1 or more of the questions has an solid answer.

  • How can I help more people?
  • Does this post touch your heart
  • Only share content that educates or shares emotions.

Content that engages your fans spurring them on to like the post, share it or comment on it means you need to share something that is a pit personal.  

What are your passions?  Are you a parent?  Then show how you love your kids by sharing posts about family things to do over the weekend. It shows that you are a person who recognizes that other working parents may be struggling to find quality time with their kids in their busy lives and everyone gets tired of their usual routine. Make this into two posts. Post one shares a website for a hike in a nearby state park.  Post two shares stunning scenery from that park with a quote that seems relevant.   Or are you a four-legged parent? Make your pet the company mascot! Pet photos are very popular, add humor with it and you will have a winning combination.  Create a Where's Waldo contest with  a find the store cat in the photo as a weekly post will be fun.   Again, you are keeping it social. You are sharing humor and empathy in these examples.

Be a thought leader in your industry. Bookmark posts that are relevant to your industry. Read through and share a snippet from the article that really spoke to you.  Add that in the body of the post with a comment from you and the link to the article.  Warning - stay away from the articles on politics unless directly relevant to your industry.  If something worries you in your industry, you could have a lead comment of "This has me worried. What do you think?" and then add the link.

Be sure to keep up with the comments, you can turn on the notifications for social media on your phone so you can check out what has been said and comment back or give it a quick thumbs up as a thank you. This is true across all social media, but especially Facebook and Instagram. The faster you respond, the more likely your posts will be read as a conversation is happening.

Don't forget about the businesses who may be suppliers to your business. Share their content on your page or engage in conversation on their posts. They will notice and likely share the favor. 

The Negative Comment and What To Do.....

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You receive a devastating review on Google or Facebook. What do you do? Is it the end of the world?  No. But you do want to immediately address it. This is all about customer service.  Before you panic, read the comment carefully. What is at the root of the problem and how may you fix it? Take a screen shot.  This gives you a record to use as an example for future training and may be shared with other members of your staff so everyone is on the same page. 

If the message is especially ugly and has upset you, take a break. Go for a walk to calm down. You want to respond with reason and not anger.  Your job at this point is to try and turn a negative situation into a  positive one.  What is the root of the problem.  Be honest and upfront. Sending an apology will go a long way. Offer a solution to rectify the issue.  Write a rough draft before posting.  Let colleagues read it to be sure it is clear, precise and void of negative emotions. Poor manners have become the norm on social media, don't be caught by it.  Ask yourself If the customer were standing in front of you, would you be comfortable with your response? 

Check back the next day to see if the customer has seen it and replied. If you handled the comment appropriately, a disgruntled customer may have become a new fan. Thank them for their response and possible change in rating.  

Hashtags for Every day of the week

 Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community.  -- Simon Mainwaring  

Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community.  -- Simon Mainwaring
 

Hashtags are essentially just a pound sign followed by a keyword.  They are used like indexes to quickly find information. Try it out.  Go to twitter or another social media platform and type in # and the name of your city, for example #Chicago. Check what pops up!

Why use hashtags?  Studies show that you will get around twice the engagement with careful use of hashtags. Some hashtags are specific to an industry while others trend around political events or natural disasters. Well, what if you are just trying to have a conversation without the political slant.  Every day of the week has a series of hashtags affiliated with it that have become common over time and are used across social media platforms.  Let's take a look at the collection and then consider how you might effectively use them. Check to  see which are trending.  And let's be aware that an overuse of hashtags within the body of your post can be visually and verbally disruptive. For a comedic rendition of this  notion check out the video by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. 


MONDAY:


#Monday #MondayMotivation #MotivationMonday #MondayMorning #MondayMood #MeatfreeMondays #MeatfreeMondayRecipe #MusicMonday #MondayMusic #MondayBlues #MondaySelfie #MondayMiracle #MondayMorning


Do you see a pattern developing?  These weekday hashtags tend to be alliterative.  Motivation Monday. Both words start with the letter M.  And notice that the hashtag #MotvationMonday has no spaces. A space would defeat the use of the hashtag.  If your spellcheck goes crazy with it, tell it to ignore.  Also Mondays tend to be back to work after weekend posts.  So they are often inspirational quotes to get you motivated for the week. But if you are a food blogger then "#MeatlessMondays" would make sense.  Own a restaurant?  Feature your vegetarian dishes on Mondays. One last point to note.  The hashtags need to be easy to read. Look at the difference between #motivationmonday  and #MotivationMonday.  Proper capitalization works as the replacement for spaces.


Tuesday:

#Tuesday #TuesdaysTips #CharityTuesday #TestimonialTuesday #TT (TransformationTuesday) #TT (TuesdayTransformation) #TuesdayMorning #TuesdaysThoughts #TuesdayMotivation #TuesdaySelfie #TuesdayMorning

I like TuesdaysTips. Provide your potential client/customer with relevant and helpful information. You want to share content that helps pople and touches upon emotions. If you are a hairdressing salon, think about all the tips you could share to prevent a bad hair day.  It can be funny, but don't let it rollover to the edge of snarky. 


Wednesday:

#Wednesdays #WednesdayWisdom #WayBackWednesday #WomanWednesday #WomentoFollow #Humpday #WednesdayWorkout #WednesdaySelfie #WednesdayMotivation
#WednesdayMorning #WildlifeWednesday


Thursday:

#Thursdays #ThrowabackThursday (#TBT)  #ThursdayTestimonial #TestimonialThursday #ThankfulThursday #TravelThursday #CoffeeThursday #ThursDate #ThursdaySelfie #ThursdayMorning #ThursdayFunDay #GoodDeeds #ThursdayMusic #ThursdayThoughts


Friday:

#FridayFollow (#FF) #FollowFriday(#FF)  #FollowforFriday#FridayFunDay #FridayNight #FeelGoodFriday #FoodieFriday #FilmFriday #FlowerFriday #FappyFriday #FridayNights #FeelGoodFriday #InterviewFriday #FridayFeeling #ScienceFriday


Saturday:

#SaturdaySelfie #SocialSaturday #SocialSaturday #SaturdaySwag #StreetSaturday #SaturdayNight #SaturdayFunday #Caturday #SaturdayEvening #SuperStarSaturday


Sunday:

#SundaySoul #ScienceSunday #SundayBrunch #SundaySchool #SelflessSunday #SundayBlogShare #NFLSunday #SundaySelfie (#SS) #SelfieSunday (#SS) #SundayFunday 

A great website to put on your Social Media radar is Hashtagify.me.  You can type in any hashtag and quickly see related ones. The site will show you which are currently popular and which aren't. It's a good idea to mix up your usage between popular and less popular as the popular one's will have more traffic connected to them and your post may become lost in the shuffle. The general rule of thumb is stick to just two hashtags unless you are on Instagram.  There are studies that show that your engagement will drop by 17% for 

Finding that tricky balance

 "God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well." --  Voltaire

"God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well." --  Voltaire

So my birthday is in a couple of days and I am making the time to take stock of my personal goals.  I am awesome at setting business goals and crushing them, but I am truly lousy at making personal time to relax, I call it self love.

I recently started a bullet journal with the aim of changing some habits with the hope of creating some new ones. If you don't know what a bullet journal is look here.  What I rapidly noticed is that unless I scheduled daily self love time, I didn't take any which tended to make me cranky and work slower.  I am a data geek and this is data geek fun.  So now, I schedule daily self love, that could be anything. I don't dictate what that must be, but if it feels relaxing and makes me happy, then I define it as self love.  My two favorites are to take a book (novel!)  to my local coffee shop to read before it is time to tutor.  The other is a double whammy as it counts as self love AND exercise!  I love to take my dogs for walks in the local park, especially around this one section with fountains. These walks never fail to make me feel like I am in Europe on vacation.

But though I am getting better at the tiny self love, the bigger must be planned in advance self love I truly, truly suck at. Being a business owner is a constant struggle and juggle. As I am also a fulltime artist, I just double the juggle fun.  So I have to make lists of what I want to make sure to do this coming searon so I don't miss out.  That's what the picture i posted above is all about.  I need to get back into my 3x a week gym routine. I slacked off this summer and may clothes are snug as a result. Sooo, that is number one on my list.  Notice numbe two.  It's a bit of a self love.  I used to get montly massages in Chicago and stopped the practice when I moved. i will work more efficiently as well as benefit from longer workouts if I am not in pain. Right?! So monthly massages goes back on the list. And it is fall. So what are some fall, wintery things I want to do.  i want to try ice skating again. I havne't been since my daughter was in third or fourth grade. She is 29 now. St. Louis is blessed with several fun outdoor rinks. My neighbor and I were talking about his love for ice hockey. I mentioned that it had been a long time since I had skated, he offered to take me and promised to not let me fall. He's 6. What a charmer, so sweet.  So yes, I said, I would take him up on his offer.  And I normally haaaaate winter.  But this year, I am determined to embrace it.  If it snows I will be taking a walk in a local state park to enjoy nature at her starkest and most glittery moment.  

So finding the balance between work and personal life is tricky. If you have some tips to share. Please post them in the comments. I'd love to know. For me it's bullet journals to find your strengths and weaknesses and quarterly seasonal goals.  

Finally there is a reliable app to schedule and post to Instagram and Pinterest

 A picture is worth a thousand words.  --  An English Idiom

A picture is worth a thousand words.  --  An English Idiom

In my career as a social media strategist, I've been receiving more and more requests for Instagram. For Artists it is THE IT platform. Collectors use it to find and follow artist careers.  With that in mind and knowing that as an artist, I wasn't taking full advantage of this social media platform, I've been research and test driving a variety of scheduling platforms..  I like Hootsuite for most of my scheduling, but not for Instagram.  I can say now, hands down, I like Tailwind.  Because of the nature of Instagram being built for use solely on the phone, you can schedule your posts in advance and then it pushes them to your phone with a notice to post it. So you still need to post it at the right time, but if you are like me with a phone nearly always at your side, this shouldn't be a problem.

What I really like about it is that you can see what your posts will look like on the Instagram grid in advance. This allows you to make it picture perfect.  You can drag around and arrange posts. Super easy.  

Yeah, my newly formed Instagram account for LemonGrass Spa could be a bit more visually organized, but you see you can arrange like a collage based on textures and colors so your entire account has brand cohesion. You can add an extension that makes it super easy to push content from your blog or Etsy store. It's a simple hover and clicks system. They even have a slick way of finding the best hashtags.  The only downside is that you have to be careful as you post to be sure you are posting to the correct account if you have more than one like I do.  That simply requires slowing down and not just pushing any old button.

Seriously, on a scale of 1-10, I give Tailwind a 9.5.  If you want to try it out, I asked them for a promotion code for you.  You can get a one-month free trial and see if you like it too

https://www.tailwindapp.com/dashboard/settings/invite?ref=heart&theme=giftcard

And as always, let me know if you have questions.

Social Media made Easy - A hands on Workshop for Small Business Owners and Artists

I am so excited to be presenting this class!  It is a crash course on how to maximize your marketing time and dollars on Facebook, LinkedIn and if time permits Twitter and Instagram. The class is designed for the busy small business owner and artist who are trying to be seen and heard above all the noise. What do you say? How do you say it? How do you schedule it? What does engagement mean? Why is it important?  The class is only $60 and will have you sucessfully up and running your social media campaign by the end of the class.  You will walk out with a rocking content calendar to keep your clients coming back for more.

To register please go to Dabble.co at https://dabble.co/rc/b33177cc0ba97165d5d8b0a64ddc8682

Summer Bucket List

  The time to relax is when you don't have time for it. - Sydney J. Harris

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it. - Sydney J. Harris

I suck at relaxing.  I admit.  Major fault.  I love my work and when not working on social media, I am selling Lemongrass Spa products or working on my art.  When not doing those things, I am trying to keep up with the everyday like cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, etc.  I try to look at each task with joy, but a season can pass and I hardly take notice.  

Friday I walked out of a meeting with a friend and colleague noting the beautiful weather and that we were already half way through the first month of summer.  I lamented all I had to do.  I verbally rattled off a list of summer activities I wanted to enjoy. He shot back with "So, what are you going to check off this weekend?" Ugh.  He was right.  I've been thinking about the exchange ever since.  It dawned on me yesterday while I worked the day in my studio that if I wanted to enjoy these activities, then I need to make a concrete list of them and schedule them into my calendar with as much diligence as I take with my businesses. So above, you see my basic list.  Some should be easy, the jam may be construed as cooking, but now that I am on a low GI, anti- inflammatory diet and I love jam, I need to master the art of homemade sugarless jam.  Canning has long been a hobby.  I should add mastering Kambucha to that list too.  So much to explore and enjoy.  Note that few of these items cost lots of money.  The hot air balloon is my staycation treat.  I must check this one off this summer.  I've parasailed and found the experience remarkable and imagine being in a hot air balloon to be similar.  

Today, I am taking time to be with my daughter on her day off. We are going to the movies, to see Wonder Woman. And I am ordering that Stunt Kite I want, so when there is another sunny, breezy, cool morning, I can take advantage of it.

Update August 2: I've checked off Kite flying and Reading a novel.  I'm researching the Balloon ride. 🙂

CIT @CET

  The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art. -- John Lasseter

The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art. -- John Lasseter

I have been accepted into an artist residency program in St. Louis at the CET building in the Cortex Corridor which is the tech startup and biotech center of the city's commerce. The city recognizes that artists and entrepreneurs share much in common and want to see what synergy may come of the opportunity.  I overlap both realms and love having an office with conference room, a stocked maker space,  a kitchen with a steady supply of snacks, let alone the fastest and most reliable internet in the city.  I will be working out of the shared space for the next nine months. I have not let go of my home office and spend at least 1-2 days a week working here for the sake of my dogs.  (Don't say it, I spoil them...I know.) 

Thank you to the Regional Arts Commission for making this residency possible.

It's Social Media not Marketing Media"Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community." -- Simon Mainwaring

 "Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community." --  Simon Mainwaring

"Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community." --  Simon Mainwaring

Social media is just that it's social.  It isn't called marketing media for a reason.  Your social media feed can't be filled with just sales pitches. Your readers, what is left of them, will tune you out completely.  They want to engage with you and your company. Social media is about being social.  

Think of it this way.  When you get home you open your mailbox and sort through your mail. Most folks auto toss out the junk mail.  Set aside the bills and hope for a letter, a real honest to goodness letter.  Well, social media works the same way.  Folks will open their feed, ignore the ads without a thought, bookmark  the news stories they want to read and then search for that tidbit of connection, a virtual letter.

 As a business owner, you spend your time on social media to drive up sales. It is an integral part of your marketing plan.  Yes, I know.  I get it. Yet I ask you to put yourselves in the shoes of your customer and other followers.

Let them know who you are?  Who are the other people behind the scenes. And what do they do? Celebrate your work life.  Share your work story in pictures, anniversary posts and other related events.  Does someone always bring donuts for the office to share?  Then honor that morning moment with a photo and brief quote on gratitude.  If you own a brick and mortar business, take your customers on a tour of the shop or restaurant using Facebook Live.  Use videos on Twitter and Facebook to announce sales and weekly specials.  Follow up with a print version reminder.  

Another way to let your customers know who you are as a company is to share quotes that inspire you.  They highlight your values and the values of the company.  Did a news story strike you as especially relevant, then share the article and add a sentence of reflection.  Keep politics to a minimum a you may offend a potentially valuable customer.  But if there is going to be a heat wave, you could add a few words as to how your business could help folks prepare. You could also commiserate on how much you dislike the heat.

Artists may also use social media to connect with collectors.  Show a new body of work being created in Sneak Peeks.  I made a large work in a very short period of time.  It took approximately 224 hours to create which translated to 8 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I posted updates regularly on Instagram.  Folks started to cheer me on. Giving me confidence that I could do it.  I also had the largest opening as a result as my followers wanted to see the work in person. See what the hype was all about.  I made it social, by talking about the work load, my coffee consumption, my audiobook selections and posting daily about the  progress.  Looking back at the quote with which I strarted this post, I'd say my service to community was to openly share what it means to be an artist and the real labor involved.  Some folks wrote that they now had a greater appreciation for why artist charge the prices they do for their art.

Helpful Tips for Social Media

  "Social networking helps reach people easier and quicker." --    Bill Cosby

"Social networking helps reach people easier and quicker." --   Bill Cosby

Many business owners are slammed with trying to do it all, including their social media.  Thinking of you, today I thought a roundup of thoughtful posts on the subject of how to grow your business using social media might prove useful.

Entrepreneur Magazine : Number one is to be consistent with your posting.  The number one thing I notice when taking over accounts is a half hearted attempt to get started and then after a week, posts peter out to nonexistent.  No one knows you are there if you don't post consistently. I disagree with Number 2. You don't have to be on every channel.   Target your market.  Post where you know your customers are. Instagram works best for businesess that are highly visual, such as clothing shops or landscape firms, but the legal business isn't that visual, so you are reduced to creating a series of memes.  Twitter is best for business to business, rather than business to consumer.  Facebook is a must for everyone, especially non-profits. If you use Linked-In, then really use it.  Network on it, share blog posts, but posting your resume and then forgetting about it won't make the site do much for you and don't forget to add photos and videos to your Linked-In account to give folks a better sense of what your services are.

INC Magazine: published a good collect of tips the 11 absolute truths of social media.  Check out number 11.  I can't stress a social calendar enough. Every industry has a cycle of some sort to it.  Create a  content calendar that follows that cycle.  My old yarn store saw business slow down after Mother's Day and start to pick up around July 4th.  Special promotions were held in June to keep folks coming into the store.  Fall was a hectic time and Christmas always came quick, so be prepared for it all with a content calendar.

Click on the title of each magazine to be taken to the articles. Contact me if you have any questions regarding the content.

Social Media for 2017

You are a small business and want to take advantage of social media's social marketing potential. According to SmallBizTrends.com , 1.8 billion people worldwide logged onto Facebook in September 2016.  That makes for a whopping 17% increase from the previous year.  1.66 billion of those users are accessing their social media accounts via their smartphones.  If the target for your social media plan is to send folks over to view your website, then be certain that your site is responsive in design. In other words, it looks good and is easy to navigate both on a desktop computer as well as on a smartphone.  If you're not sure if your website was built with responsive design, pull out your smartphone and check your website.

 ®  This example of a responsive design is from Awwwards®.  

®

This example of a responsive design is from Awwwards®.  

Ignore the news about Twitter fading out of the social media scene. That can hardly be the case with 21% of American adults using it and our president-elect seems addicted to it.  There are 6,000 tweets per second.  How in the world do you stand out against all those tweets? Consistent posting is the answer.  One tweet every few days or months will get lost in the shuffle.  And think about your tweets as a mini blog.  Schedule 5-8 per day with them connected by theme so a new reader can go back to your feed and see a story unfold. And consider whether you like opening a mailbox or email account to a cluster of junk mail.  Do you read it all or immediately delete it?  A mini blog approach allows you to share valuable content without overwhelming your readers with tons of ad style writing that will turn them off and tune them out.

If your customer target is women, then you may want to consider Pinterest.  Why?  26% of Americans are on Pinterest and of that number nearly half are women.  If women are your tribe, then you need an active Pinterest account.  

What does this all mean for you in 2017, with 97% of American adults 18-64 saying they use social media within the past month, then you need to go where potential customers are.

A book I highly recommend you read is Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen.  It speaks directly to the concept of writing content to engage with your customers, rather than blasting them with ads all day long.  I think of it like having a two-sided conversation.