Best December Articles: Get An Edge Before 2017!

Even with shorter days and the perceived acceleration of time toward the end of the year, the search for the best social media articles for December provides the chance to focus on the business opportunities of 2017 before you head out for the egg nog!

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12 Step Process

12 Step Process

It seems most things can be broken down into a step-by-step process. Getting everything lined up for a successful strategy or campaign is no different. Start here and you’re a lot more likely to hit those objectives.

 

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TOP POSTS for October – Crammed with Proven Treats!

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With October comes the oncoming onslaught of the Holidays! This brings into focus how to get the most out of your social media and digital marketing so your business can go seriously into the BLACK for the season. The top articles for the month cover everything from SEO to Facebook Referrals and, in the season of BUYING AND SELLING, whether caring really matters.
Optimize Video

Optimize Video

Unless you haven’t been online in the past, oh, ten years or so, you are aware of just how popular to users and critical to businesses video is now. There is much more to leveraging video for you business than a quick snippet taken from your phone or a flash report on Facebook Live. Since video is so pervasive, you need to optimize your content….and one size does NOT fit every channel!

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They’re Here!! 5 Outstanding Social Media Posts for May

 This month we’re treated to a nice mix of articles covering How-Tos, new research studies and a bit of crystal ball gazing for future trends.

Measuring Social Media

KPIs for Social Media

Measurement is the crucial component to understanding if you’re meeting your goals, right? Yet many small-to-medium sized businesses charge into the land of social media without considering what their goals are and what to measure. This article by Dara Fontein outlines some metrics you might consider, and WHY you might consider them.

With a flurry of articles earlier this year like “Is Google+ Dead?”, you might wonder just what is going on. While not dead, it is not what it was, and Google, which has a track record for altering, spinning off and dropping products at a seeming whim, is still tweaking the channel. This article by Martin Shervington goes over the list of what the current release of Google+ looks like, changes that impact you and your business if you’re investing resources there, and a some tips on how to approach it today.

Long content vs short content

Pew Research graph: Long vs. short form content on mobile

This article by Andrew Hutchinson takes a deep look at new research by Pew Research that tries to answer this question: One research study last year showed that long-form content (defined as posts of over 1,000 words) consistently got more shares and links than shorter form content; another study found that the average human attention span had dropped by 33% since 2000, largely attributed to mobile phone use, and, given the increase in mobile media consumption, would seem to suggest that people want shorter content…..sooooooo, which one’s better?

Teens Most Important Social Network Snapchat

TEENS: Most Important Social NetworkSnapchat

This great synopsis of statistics and charts covers a number of areas beyond the fact that Snapchat overcame Instagram in the perceptions of teenagers with an average age of 17 as their “most important” social network. This is critical information if your business has this demographic as a key audience. Very few marketers use Snapchat today, so the opportunity is huge.

Facebook Logo

Get Better Performance on Facebook!

Another top article by Andrew Hutchinson with the goal of helping you boost your posts’ performance on Facebook. Take note that, early in the article he writes, “So how do you maximize your performance on Facebook? The basic answer is ‘listen to your audience’.” If you haven’t done the work around discovering and understanding your Visitors/Audience/Customers/Community (VACC), tactical efforts will be ineffective.

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Don’t just write. Ignite.

English: Buttons with just three holes. Italia...

You work like a crazy person, obsessing about the appropriate, attractive graphic, the relevance and utility, even entertainment value, of the content, the “grab” of the headline, inclusion of targeted hashtags….everything. Now, ready to post….how do you light a fire underneath it?

You’ve heard a lot from me about Content Shock…now I’m going to move onto what Mark Schaefer (whom I quote in the title of this post…) calls Content Ignition. Over the next few posts you’re going to find out about some very specific actions you can take. Not every one is right for each post, but there are enough options to cover most every scenario you run into. Overall, you need to do whatever you can to make it easy for others to share what you publish.

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TIPS: 3 Views of Content

The online world is utterly obsessed with content. This takes a number of forms, from articles and blogs to photos, graphics of any kind, videos, podcasts, and any re-mix thereof. It is an attention economy and if you can get your customers and visitors to focus on JUST YOU for a bit, you have achieved something pretty impressive.

However, this is only getting harder to do well. If you have the goal of creating or highlighting something of real value and relevance to your audience (as opposed to distraction or “click-bait”…) you have to be thoughtful, intentional and resourceful while balancing the other needs of your business and life. While the standing approach can still be called “Fail Fast” or “Do It Wrong Quickly“, you still need to cultivate an acute awareness of the real value of what you publish to your audience. There are numerous articles, sites, books and courses about content marketing available. Still, navigating it all as a solopreneur or small business owner can seem like panning for gold, and you just don’t feel like you’ve got the time or resources. You’ve got a business to create and run.

I’ll keep this to the point to save you time: here are three views of content that can help you use the resources you have more effectively. Frame your efforts with these in mind and you will find you come closer to “hitting the mark.”

  • Make it interesting – There’s the stuff you’re interested in and there’s the stuff your audience is interested in. Drive laser focus on the latter, include the former and do your best to leave ‘overt selling’ out of it. Don’t be a pimp. Remember, only roughly 1 out of every 20 pieces published should be considered selling.
  • Make it relevant and usefulJay Baer says to publish stuff your audience would be willing to pay for. The greater the utility and relevance of what you publish, the more valuable you are to your audience, which will bring them back to you frequently….and when you DO sell, they will listen.
  • Be truly “value add – Don’t just shove articles and links onto your stream and let your audience figure it out. Comment….give them a clue or a question or a contrarian point of view. Provide a reason to care and click through.

Do you have any views of content you feel are foundational? Share in the comments and make your case.

6 Blogs to Enhance Your 2015

It’s the last few days of 2014 and the Internet is packed with looks forward and backward, best of/worst of lists and the like. I’m not immune to assessing some of the more significant resources I use regularly, and so am passing onto you a short list of six of the most enlightening, not to mention entertaining, authors that I read and ponder.

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3 Pointers for a Better LinkedIn Profile

Simple things can have enormous impact. I come across profiles on LinkedIn that are very well thought out, complete, updated regularly, provide a view into the person’s professional credentials and experience, showcase recommendations that are pertinent and have well-designed headlines and summaries that make it easier for anyone who is looking for someone with a particular skill (recruiter, prospective customer, whomever…) to find what they are looking for.

I also come across profiles that barely qualify as blank pages. If you are going to use LinkedIn as a social channel, there are several things you need to do to improve that first impression. Here are 3 pointers that can help you get to a better profile from the beginning:

  • Upload a good, professional pictureNo squirrel pictures allowed. There are people who wish to present an edgier first impression for a number of reasons, but generally you don’t want a visitor to your profile to wonder what you look like. If the goal for your use of LinkedIn is to get a job or attract new customers, you want to look the part, only better. There are any number of good professional photographers who can deliver a great head shot, so splurge a little. As a side note, selfies tend to actually look like selfies, so avoid them. One example I saw was a selfie of someone who was averagely dressed, but I couldn’t help noticing the six pack of beer in the background….
  • Use pertinent key phrases in your headline“I Rock!” is not a headline, by the way. LinkedIn has reworked their Edit Your Profile page to give you suggestions, which can be quite helpful. If you’re unsure what to use, consider the role you are looking for (if you’re looking for a job) or concise phrases describing your experience that you may then expand upon in the summary. You have 120 characters available in the headline and 2,000 in the summary. Use them wisely and don’t be afraid to edit and re-edit to get it right.
  • Get some well-written recommendations“She was great to work with!” is a sentiment, not a recommendation. When you ask others to write you a recommendation, you can help them out by suggesting a couple of projects for which you really did the “heavy lifting”. A vague request for a recommendation often results in something relatively vague, which doesn’t really make the case for you. The more specific the recommender is about the value of your work, the easier it is for the visitor to your profile to make the judgment call on how valuable your contributions would be to their project and business. If your recommender sends you a recommendation that is too vague or isn’t really as helpful as it could be, you have the option of sending it back to them and asking (very kindly, of course…) if they might make a few edits. Don’t feel like you have to take the first draft. Once again, a visitor to your profile is looking at the recommendations for a reason, so they need to reflect your value as accurately as possible. Get them right and get them solid.

While there are many more actions you can take to ensure you have the best profile possible, these are a good start. Here are some other resources you can check out that will help:

Social Media Examiner: 12 Resources to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Business2Community: 5 Killer Resources To Help You Dominate LinkedIn

LinkedIn Blog: Creating A Killer LinkedIn Profile: Tips for Link Humans [INFOGRAPHIC]

Hongkiat: 10 Tips To A More Professional LinkedIn Profile

Forbes: 22 LinkedIn Secrets LinkedIn Won’t Tell You

HubSpot: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn

If you come across others that you find particularly useful, please post them to the comments.