Thursday, March 24, 2016

3 Old-School Tips for Using Facebook & Twitter

My three favorite pieces of advice for using social media sound pretty old-fashioned:

  1. Plan.
  2. Schedule.
  3. Be Nice. 

By plan, I mean go way old school and have a marketing plan and a content calendar.

By schedule, I mean use the built-in Facebook scheduling feature and either Buffer or HootSuite on Twitter to time your posts for (your) maximum efficiency and (your posts) maximum effect.

By be nice, I mean - it's a social network, folks. If you want people (customers) to like you, to socialize with you (and patronize your business) then you need to be sociable, helpful, nice. If you need a primer on being nice, there is none better (in business at least) than the Dale Carnegie classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Read the book, or take the course, and get on with (a better) life and (more) business.

If you are organized and understand common courtesy, you can do a great job with social media tools. Why complicate things, right?

Want more old-fashioned advice for social media management? 
I'm a writer who understands business. Maybe I can help. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Tweet Away: 5 Quick Reads That Will Make You A Twitter Power User

Is Twitter worth your time? f you have something - anything - to do with growing a brand, attracting or serving customers, yes. YES, Twitter is worth your time.

Twitter is Good for Business, Customer Service, Marketing, and Sales

It's also an excellent tool for research. This is not a screwdriver, however. While we probably watched someone use a screwdriver about1,000 times by the time we turned 10, we didn't grow up watching people use Twitter. (*Ahem* well, most of my cohort didn't, anyway.) 

Want a free crash course in using Twitter effectively? Read the articles linked below, selected from some heavyweights in the social media-watching world.

1. Start here: The headline is "get more engaged followers," the article is really a good overview/introduction to setting up a solid Twitter account. From Full Bundle

2. Practical advice aplenty in this article from Postcron, including:

If you put your URL in the middle of your tweet, you are 26% more likely to get retweeted than if you put it at the beginning or end.

3. RiteTag offers advice on hashtags. The article is slightly geeky but all the tips are actionable items.

4. Buffer analyzed one MILLION tweets and shared its findings, for free. This is not a surprise; Buffer is a social beast, constantly sharing super-helpful content about content. And yes, I'd tweet that. (More on customer-as-advocate in another post...)

5. Here's how to give your Twitter account a big bump when you apply SEO tactics to your tweets from Social Media Examiner, another beast I love to follow.

Bonus Quick Tip: Match Your Corporate Color on Twitter

On your Twitter feed, click your profile to open your home page. On the right hand side of the page, click "edit profile." You'll see options to change your header and profile pictures, and in the left column, about mid-way down the page, a bar titled 'Theme Color.' You can pick from a basic selection or get crafty and choose one to color-match your corporate logo. The only tricky part: you'll need to know the HTML color code. No worries - there's a site for that.  

Have You Heard That Is Twitter dead? 

To paraphrase Andy Grammer: Oh no, honey - it's good. In fact, Twitter's a very-accomplished 10 year old. Pew Research recently gave it a good look - maybe you should, too?

Next: My three favorite tips for using Twitter and Facebook are rather old-school

Want to start using social media to share great content? 
Need a little help creating great content? 

Previously: Is Facebook all washed up? 

Really? We're still asking this question? It's a social-crazy world out there, folks, and just like #POTUS, I'm a big fan of Facebook.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Q2 2016: Twitter and Facebook Still Alive, Still Making Marketing Easier

Do you think Twitter is feeling Facebook's pain? 

Facebook has been reported dead or dying so many times in the past five years, it's a wonder it's still ....reporting that 2015 earnings were up nearly 30% over last year. A year from now, my social friends, we will not be lamenting the demise of Twitter. We will still be here, bashing it and proclaiming it dead. In fact, we'll probably tweet about it.

Facebook 2015 earnings.
In millions.
Not too shabby.

And yet we'll still be asking, what is Twitter good for? 

In a rather far-ranging article last week, Barrons suggests that Twitter is barely breathing, is still a powerful business, and maybe the failure is all in Wall Street's head. Hm. Well, I'm a Twitter fan and a big fan of Facebook. Here's my take: They're excellent marketing tools. 

Oh, and Instagram? Yes, it's viable too. And so is Snapchat. The key is to know your business, your prospects, and where they are when they're thinking about purchasing...and to be there for them. 

Twitter and Facebook Are Alive and Well, and Can Grow Your Sales 

If you're trying to increase sales and grow your business, and you're not using social media, well, we're nearing the end of the first quarter....of 2016. Sorry to be snarky, but it's high time to reconsider.

Social media is a sales tool that's here to stay.

I've created Facebook pages and Twitter business accounts for many small businesses and several non-profit/government organizations. They weren't all excited at the, they are.

Whether you're a personal fan of social media or not is no reason to ignore a powerful tool. Especially one that can help you reach a lot of prospects, quickly, easily, and free (!) or at least, very cost-effectively.

social media coaching for small business
If you'd like to learn more about how to use either (or both) to marketing your business and reach and serve customers, I can help you get on your way, in just a few hours.  Let's get started!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Content Matters: Multi-channel approach Works for The Verge, and Small Business

James Bareham, Creative Director at The Verge, provides an excellent example of how content can do more than double-duty if you play your channels (and media) right. And he does.

First, he used a LinkedIn post to tell the story behind the Verge's story about Michelle Obama's mastery of social media.

That post (of course) linked to the long Verge article, with a bold, easy-to-read layout incorporating numerous short video clips. All of which work just fine on a phone screen too. Including the one of her singing to a turnip.

What Small Businesses Can Learn From All of This?

  • Good content can be shared in multiple ways. In the process of creating a single piece of content, you'll usually find there is a preamble and/or a follow-up piece that can enhance the main piece of content - as Bareham's LinkedIn post neatly shows. 
  • Every product has a personality. Work it! Admittedly, Mrs. Obama has a little more personality than most, but, hey, let your work inspire you. I once conducted an interview with a vehicle wrap. (Us B2B copywriters can get a little...funny. Or as I like to say, "inspired.")
  • Eat to please yourself, dress to please others. OK, you got me - that's not my line; somebody else said it first. I use it to illustrate the point that no matter how good the writing and overall message, your content - the whole package - has to present itself well. And in 2016, that means the words, pictures, videos, vines, and if you've got one, a star-studded soundtrack, all have to work together. Yes of course, that sort of production is out of reach for most small businesses but at least, please, proofread and take a little time with layout, eh?
This post is part of my slow-but-growing list of excellent examples. If you'd like to share an excellent example of business copywriting, B2B content, or journalism, please contact me here, through my website, or on Twitter

Monday, March 7, 2016

Has AP Gone Batshit Crazy? Nope.

I think the use of both words in question - both used in quotes - was absolutely right in this case.

The Words in Question  

Donald Trump said "pussy." Into a microphone, in a public place, specifically, a political rally. No duh, the press was there. And not long after, Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said (to a bunch of journalists) "My party has gone batshit crazy."
Trump Journalism Decorum
Frankly, I'd be pissed if I found out later that the journalists didn't quote either man verbatim.

Why "Those Words" Are OK Today

Look, everyone following election year coverage (and I sincerely hope a lot - all! - voters are) needs to get as much insight as possible into the candidates we'll get to vote for this fall. Word choice is important. So is passion. Communications skills. Comportment. And an ability to balance those traits...or lack thereof.

What do you think? I welcome the comments of thoughtful readers and journalists - of course - and will follow the maddening crowd (i.e., Twitter etc) for fun. And for insight because...well, it's a news channel too, folks. But we'll talk about that later.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

In UI, Words Matter Too

                                           cow image ok for reuse
Words and pictures. We can argue what's more important till the ^ come home.

The smartest design/communications organizations don't play that game. They know words and pictures both matter. They know that words and images work together to get your message across.

Recently, Convincify did a lovely job of illustrating that point.

See what I did there ;)
In UI web design words still matter

No Matter How Mobile-Ready Your Site, You're Still Using Words, Right?  

You can't control the types of devices your users access, read and view your site. But the words you use to get your message across - yep, those are up to you. Certainly, your site must be responsive. Yes, you should test it for various resolutions and compatibility with different devices. 

And, you should spend at least as much time, effort and brainpower getting the words on the screen right. 



Whew. Good. I didn't *really* want to discuss this until the cows came home. I'll be moooooooving on now.

Move Over Down to Read Your SERPs

Speaking of moooving, you should click over to a SUPER helpful article just posted to the MOZ blog. On the latest eye-tracking studies, it has some very important info for people who want to make the most of their words.

To wit, page descriptions matter more than ever, especially when your prospects are searching on a mobile device.
"Remember you're dealing with a reduced space, so ensure your most important information is at the very beginning of page titles and descriptions, including priority keywords in the body of the website content."
Read the whole article on It's worth all 8 minutes, I swear.

Need a writer who gets your business, and keeps up with scintillating SEO stuff, too?  Well, I try. The result is 
Writing That Works, for you and your prospects.