Choosing Your Social Media Platforms for the Overwhelmed

Social Media Strategy

Where to spend time?

There is a big myth out there that you have to be everywhere on Social Media in order to drive business.  This is just not true.

Your customers are not everywhere, so why should you be everywhere?

Spreading yourself so thin on Social Media platforms that you can not interact and create relationships is just a waste of time.  Social Media is just another tool enabling you to interact and network.  If you do not have a plan and a follow up system, you are just wasting your time.  You need to build relationships in order to drive business.  No one is going to buy from you or hire you just because they exchanged likes with you on a Friday.  Take the time to get to know the person.  What can each of you bring to the table to help the other person?  This applies on every platform.  You must develop relationships.  You also can not view these platforms as just more broadcast channels.  You need to share information, educate and converse. That is the goal.  Content of value is the prize commodity.

So where to start?  How do you choose where to spend your time?  As with everything else in business, there is a strategy in choosing your platforms and deciding where to spend your time.  There are questions to ask, you have to determine who your audience is and where you will find them.  Don’t be afraid of asking yourself the hard questions to find the right fit for your business.  Without that right fit you will not see positive results.

Not sure what questions to ask?  Contact us at 212-812-1438 to learn more about our strategy session program.

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Awards and Rewarding Your Employees

Crystal Award

Crystal Award

Everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done.

How you thank employees for their efforts can greatly enhance the success of your business.

Think about it for a moment, which business would you rather deal with, the one where employees are motivated to go the extra step in helping the customer, or the one where everyone is walking around grumping and grumbling about every little thing and oh yeah, someone will be there to help you eventually?

There are many things that you can do to motivate and recognize your employees.  The first most basic is to say “Thank You”.  It is simple and goes a long way to encouraging people to go that extra little bit.

The next step is to create a culture of being helpful to the customer, and treating everyone in the office like they are also a customer.  We are fortunate that in the next few months we will be sharing some guest posts with you from Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, who is one of the best customer service trainers around.  Nancy’s information will help you create that culture.  For now, just know that you need to create the culture, or if you can’t wait visit Nancy’s site for a sneak preview.

Now that you are saying Thank You and have created a positive helpful culture, you need to go the extra mile to show your employees, and vendors and partners for that matter too, that you care and notice their efforts.  The most basic way is a hand written, not email, not electronically produced card, not a digital card, but a good old fashioned pen to paper written by you, note.

The next step is to create a higher level of recognition for a job well done, or some extra effort. There are many ways to do this, an employee of the month program, a lunch when everyone meets their quota, an award program at the end of the month, quarter, or year, or even a full blown incentive program complete with a travel award for the top achievers.

The one thing that you want to do when deciding what types of recognition you will give is to not make it predictable and rote.  One it will stop working, and two, and more importantly, it will become expected and when suddenly it is not forthcoming you will have lots of unhappy people on your hands, even if it was because they did not reach the goal one month.

For some ideas of crystal gifts and awards visit our awards site, or call us for help to create your own incentive and awards program.

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Getting the Year Off to a Good Start

motivating employees

Award

As the new year begins, it is important to be sure that you have clarified and quantified your goals for the coming year.  We have discussed how to set your goals, how to be sure they are realistic and how to work toward those goals.  If you have not written those goals down, you are already falling short.  Take a minute, write out your big goal, mark down the small steps that you need to accomplish everyday to get to those goals. Now put those papers some place where you will see them every morning.

Seeing your goals on a daily basis will keep you motivated to reach them.  Next to those goals, you should also have a daily task list that consists of the items that will help you reach the goals.  This list is a written record, the tasks that you have already broken down when you figured out your goals.  If you need to post on two social media platforms and make ten cold calls, figure out what time of day gives you the best results and then schedule those activities accordingly.

Next step, create an incentive program for yourself.  In other words, decide that when you accomplish X on the way to your big goal you will treat yourself to something.  Don’t go over board. Make it something that will motivate you but not side track your efforts.  Having this incentive system in place is an important step in reaching your goals.  Everyone needs a little motivation.  While you are putting the incentive program in place don’t forget your employees, outsourcing partners and vendors.  Motivating them to help you can make reaching your goals that much easier.

For more on ideas on how to take note and motivate your employees visit our awards site

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Where Business Cards Networking and Social Media Intersect

Business Card ideasI recently receive an e-newsletter from Nancy Fox, a business coach, about business cards and how to make yours memorable.  Her advice was solid but what struck me were the following two tips:

Missing Website Information – If you don’t have a website, in today’s marketplace, this stands out like a sore thumb. Just have at least one professionally designed landing page online so you can send people there, and as a back up make sure you have a well-crafted Linked In profile.

Generic Email Address (not at a business address). When people see a business email address that is @aol.com, @yahoo.com, or @gmail.com this screams lack of professionalism. People immediately form an impression that this is not a substantial business. Register a professional url so that you can have an email address on your business card that points to your business online.”

Nancy Fox had both of these tips listed under the heading of  “Top 10 Biggest Business Card Botches”.  I agree with her that these are big mistakes on business cards.  I however, believe that it goes much deeper than that.  These are two marketing blunders that can impede your business growth.

If you want to truly grow your business in the coming year, then you need to take the steps to be sure that all of your marketing materials are consistent and professional.

I have several other suggestions for a one page “website”  besides Nancy’s of a one pager and a Linkedin Profile.  You can certainly create a professional looking one page website, but if you are a service business, you can also use some of the cloud profile options out there as well.  More importantly, for not much more effort or expense, you can create a five page site that gives a bit more about you than just a bio.  Showcase your clients or successful projects.

Additionally, you can craft full profiles for yourself AND your company on many social media channels.  Put those links on your business card as well so that people can find you and connect with you.  Remember, the word is CONNECT, so choose your platform(s) carefully and interact with the people that you meet, don’t just put up a page and forget about it.

Not sure how to choose your platform, contact us for help, or sign up for our newsletter for more tips on choosing your platforms and marketing your business.

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Goals and How to Make Them Realistic

Are your goals realistic

Do you have more to do than hours in the day?

Now that you know where you fell short last year, let’s move ahead to growing your business in the coming year.  Take out a piece of paper, yes, I said paper.  At the top put the year, and what you hope to accomplish, this can be a dollar number, it can be the number of new clients that you want to get, write it down, it is your main goal.

Next you will need to break down how you are going to get to that big goal. Remember to be very specific. Write down how many cold calls you going to make, how many networking events, how much time on social media, etc. that you think it will take for you to reach your big goal.

Now look at those steps, are they physically possible, in other words are there enough hours in the day?  If the steps that you need to reach those goals look like they will fit in the available time, great take out what ever tool you use to plan and start marking in what you need to accomplish each day.  If you can not fit it all in the available time you might be able to solve that issue simply by hiring a Virtual Assistant, or some other support people, such as outsourcing a portion of your social media management, or email marketing campaigns, or your writing.  Of course another option is to see if your budget will enable you to hire additional employees.

Another area to look at if your goals will not be attainable because there are not enough hours in the day is tools and systems that you can put in place.  We will look at some of those tools in future articles.

For some people meeting their goals is as simple as hiring a coach.  What ever your issue is, find the resources and invest, in your self and your business.

This will make your goals attainable.

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Goals, Analytics, and Measuring Results

setting goalsFor those of you who wrote down your goals last year but have not seen them since, take them out.  Take out that piece of paper and read it.  Do those goals still resonate with you?  If they do, great, let’s proceed; If they do not, we will get to that in a moment.

Look at your list, were your goals very specific, or did you have general list such as “Network more”?  Did you write down how many newtorking events you were going to go to a month, or how much time you were going to spend a day on social media?  If your goals were very specific, your next step is easy. Measure how many of the goals on your list you accomplished, don’t fudge the answers or you won’t be able to grow and improve how you are running your business.  You did them all? WOW, that is amazing, you must be very disciplined.  You can skip the rest of this post and come back later this week for our piece on getting ready for next year.  If you did not meet all of your goals, and they were specific, look at which ones you did not reach.

If your goals were not specific, you can look to see if you met them, but really measuring will be very difficult.  What is “Network more”? Is it going to one event per month, one per week?  Your task going forward is to use last year’s list as a guide to writing this year’s goals sheet.  For how to write out your goals, we will cover that topic separately.

Take your specific goals sheet and check which ones you accomplished and which ones you did not.  Let’s first examine the ones that you did not meet.  Why did you not meet them? Was it something technical like a website that was not ready on time and the domino effect was that most of your goals were not met, or were your goals unrealistic?  Unrealistic goals are not just goals that are too grand,  but also goals that are impractical to execute.  For example you can not have a goal of developing three new leads per month on social media if your personal and business pages are a mess, and you do not know how to use the platforms.  Your goal should have been to learn how to use the appropriate platforms for your target market.

Save that list of why you think you did not meet your goals, no excuses, just the hard facts, this list is critical to the next step, creating your goals for the coming year.

For more information on learning how to use social media platforms or other marketing tools to reach your goals, visit our website or sign up for our newsletter.

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Social Media Platform Checklist for the Overwhelmed

SoMe-Blog-post-imageAs promised here is a checklist, far from comprehensive and all inclusive, but full enough and then some for most businesses. As those of you who have worked with us know, our mantra is: You do not need to be everywhere!  Choose your platforms based on your target audience, understand how to use them to meet your goals, and strategically spend your time in those places.

Some platforms are not necessarily places you will spend a lot of time but rather they are tools to enable you to do more in less time or create content in addition to your own written material or images. Some places are just places that you should go to claim your name. Be sure that your page looks clean and good and then move on, updating those pages periodically.  Those places such as about.me  can be a main platform for some people, but for most it is simply, in my view, a step in the online reputation management process. Here is my basics list, and remember you do not and should not be on all of these platforms.  You can use this list though to help evaluate your goals from the past year and create your goal sheet for 2013.

Of course the list can go on for quite a while, if I have left off one of your favorites, please share it below.

Not sure how to choose your platforms?  Contact us for help.

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