Social Media Audits

Social Media AuditI’ve been doing a lot of audits on my life recently (with GREAT results), which made me start thinking about other kinds of audits … specifically social media audits! A lot of the people that I see and communicate with on social media are potentially (and very possibly) not really keeping up with all of the social media updates. Granted, that is challenging even for professionals in the field, as changes occur so rapidly!

For example, I took a bit of a hiatus from Snapchat recently, only to return to a social platform that I barely recognized! In this case, it was like using chopsticks … I simply picked it up again and started using, with minimal effort. (I would have said like riding a bike, but I haven’t ridden a bike in so many years I very well may have forgotten how 😉 )

So, my friends of the internet, it’s time to do that social media audit; see what needs tweaking or needs some more major attention, and then take action on updating your social networks and/or strategies!

Here are five areas that you could audit within your overall social media marketing strategy and see what needs a lift:

  1. Snapchat’s most recent update is a location based map search. You can now be found on maps based on your profile information, and based on the fact that you GIVE Snapchat permission to be seen on the maps. I have discovered from some of my closest Snapchat friends that the location is VERY accurate (pointing directly to their home addresses) so you may want to turn this function off until you learn best how to use it for yourself. You can turn it off, for now, under Settings ? Manage Preferences ? Maps ? then untick that box on Share Usage Data.
  2. Facebook Pages now has video as a cover option, as opposed to an image. Video is HUGE, everywhere on social (even I don’t do it enough to be honest) so, for marketing purposes, it is in your (and mine) best interest to start using it as much as possible. If you don’t want to “pay to play”, or spend hours using organic methods, video is your #1 choice for being found and engaged with more regularly on Facebook. I made a cover video for my page! Check it out at facebook.com/makingsenseofsocialmedia. This is an interesting read about video in 2017, I think it will make it’s mark on your choices when it comes to making videos, moving forward.
  3. New Twitter UI = Twitter changed everything. Do you like it? I am getting used to it and quite like it. It just feels more streamlined, more 2017, easier, prettier. These are #Lorrisms, of course I’m quite sure there are more technical terms belonging to all the changes that occurred, this is just my variation on their theme.
  4. Instagram LIVE very recently added replays to their lineup. Meaning, if you missed someone’s LIVE broadcast while it happened … live; Instagram is now giving you a chunk of time in order to consume that content; another 24 hours I do believe. And, last but not least…
  5. Facebook Audio which is essentially podcasting on Facebook (pages only, and currently mobile only as far as I can tell). MEANING, if you want to get on this LIVE gravytrain, but aren’t camera ready every day, or perhaps are STILL camera shy, turn your LIVE on through your Facebook Pages app, set it to AUDIO and just start talking! Talk with a purpose of course, don’t just start rambling 😉 What your viewers will see is a picture of you and an audio wave, and they’ll hear your voice; AKA a LIVE podcast. You can engage and interact the same as a video LIVE.

These are all different platforms and strategies to audit for your own social media marketing purposes. Are you on top of these? If you are … YOU ARE AMAZING! If not, don’t kick yourself, things will likely change again in a few days, so catch up then.

If you would like consulting on all things social media, visit my website and fill in the form you’ll find underneath the video; let’s connect and see if we are a good fit for working together.

Why Local Businesses Should Use Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories has an exciting, relatively new, feature that is the perfect reason why every local business should be using it!

First of all, you may be asking what are the differences between Instagram Stories and your regular (hopefully consistent) Instagram posts.

Instagram Stories is the row of “bubbles” you see at the top of your Instagram feed, that look like this …

You create them by tapping on the camera pointed out here …

When that opens up, you get to choose from one of the follow ways of recording your story …

Instagram Stories   

[In these two screen shots you can see your choices are LIVE, NORMAL, BOOMERANG, REWIND & HANDS-FREE]

The magic happens once you start creating your stories using one of these five creative outlets. The reason why you want to be using Instagram Stories for your local business is for the location based tagging you can do.

When I learned how this worked I started getting incredible amounts of views, up to 75%+ MORE, locally targeted! Here is an example of how I use it:

The story itself is surrounding my work as a social media manager; so now, my city knows what I do, and they know where they can find out more about my work, as I also put my website on the story via text. This is not a clickable link as I unfortunately don’t have the update yet where those watching can “Swipe Up” to connect to the link; but hopefully that is coming soon.

Do you see the potential here? Let’s say you are a car dealership having a sale! Use Instagram Stories when going on a test drive with someone, or show around the showroom or lot, location tag your story and WATCH your targeted local views rise significantly!

Or, you are a local restaurant, bar, bank, mortgage broker, realtor, retail store … the list goes ON and ON as to the effectiveness this function carries for almost any type of business! You simply must start using it! Don’t be shy, everyone starts somewhere. Share the story of that day, of a client’s victory (with their permission of course), of some hardship perhaps (within reason and using common sense), of the staff at an event, or a fundraiser you are doing, etc. etc..

There are metrics available on those stories (for business accounts), so you can see details on how many people saw your story, engaged with it, how far did it reach; and more!

I have a new and improved appreciation for Instagram these last few months, and especially Instagram Stories. They have improved greatly upon their creativity in an effort to stay up to date with Snapchat. I still maintain my position that BOTH are valuable (I blogged about that last year) to the business owner and entrepreneur, and quite often it’s simply a matter of personal preference.

In the end, it is simply another AMAZING free social media marketing tool that you as a local business owner can use to drive traffic into your store and increase value for your customer and sales for your bottom line.

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Story Should be the Priority

I am reading Lilly Singh’s new book “How to be a Bawse” and, in my plight to ensure that those who hear my voice know the importance of using YOUR voice and not that of “Don Draper”, for your social media marketing, came across yet another WIN … someone who agrees with me on story over selling. Lilly says “The story should be the priority first and foremost” … her context is slightly different than my intent here; hers was surrounding an epic video shoot she did where some things went wrong and the videographer (from a different company, not someone on her team) was more concerned about the mic booms rather than the story those mics were picking up (my paraphrase).

Take this image, as an example, and I’m slightly overcompensating here as well, but check it out…which image would base your decision on buying the most perfect cup of coffee; the woman in her perfectly polished coffee set or the hiker who is rewarding himself after a great climb and drinking out of a thermos cap? To me this SCREAMS the differences between what we now call traditional advertising and story selling (aka social selling).

More and more the general public is trusting the story, the REAL story (in the form of Snaps and Instagram Stories and Facebook Lives), over the billboard. The “buy it because I said so” or “buy it because our company has been around forever” story is no longer as effective as it once was. Social people want the social proof and engagement; yes, even from the BIG companies, before they’ll even CONSIDER your product or service.

The choice is yours; traditional (tv, radio, newspaper, magazine, billboard, direct mail) advertising or story-selling. Have you even begun comparing numbers? If you haven’t, you should.

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The Evolution of Mothers Day

evolution of mothers day

Mothers Day … such high expectations are placed on kids when they’re young; it’s all about giving breakfast in bed, making a gift and a card, spending the day doing what mom loves OR leaving mom alone. There’s nothing wrong with ANY of this, it’s wonderful … BUT, as life goes on we know that this day is not really about the gifts or the stuff.

I recall those breakfast in bed days; cute, but more work for me than anything as I always had to clean up the, most likely, spilled orange juice or mess left behind after they had no clue how to make coffee. It was adorable of them to try, but they only REALLY did it because they thought they were supposed to.

And what about Mothers Day for the woman who has lost a child during childbirth, or the mom that has aborted or abandoned their child. This day, no matter how awful those circumstances may be, is also for them, and gosh, how hard that must be. I can’t really wrap my head around what that would feel like.

Then there are those of us whose Mothers have left this earth already; celebrating my mom just makes me sad still, even though she’s been gone 15 years. Being Motherless is a feeling of helplessness; it’s like something is missing; a void that can never be filled.

This day is SO geared towards the giving of things, when, at the end of the day, all MOST moms really want is to be loved, needed, appreciated and to spend time with their children … a laugh, a talk, a hug, a smile. Meals are great, gifts, yes, also really wonderful but, you want to know something? I had the most WONDERFUL evening with my two daughters today, and my FAVOURITE part of the few hours we spent together was us sitting in the car at the end of our date talking and laughing. We sat in the car like horny teenagers steaming up the windows but ONLY because we were talking and laughing so hard. Those are memories being made. The gifts; they’re wonderful (truth … I just about fainted with delight when I found out my 22 year old cut from a lilac bush across the street to make sure I had flowers!) and I am so grateful for their generosity; but as I age, and learn more and more of what life is truly about, the gift of time is the most precious of all.

As Mothers Day evolves over the timeline of your family, may the gift of time be what is most given, and most treasured.

 

How to Launch a Book

 

It’s no secret (if you are following me anywhere on social media) that I, along with coauthor Rob Anspach of Anspach Media, launched a book on Amazon on May 5, 2017.

It was a brand new experience for me, and learning from a pro like Rob made it a lot easier. There is a LOT to do, yet oddly when someone who knows what they are doing leads the way it doesn’t seem that difficult.

I go over a few details in my video, but I’ll also explain in more detail, the steps that we went through to launch a book.

First of all, writing and launching a book, like anything, is only as easy or as hard as you make it. There are many methods of achieving a goal; but it mostly boils down to how badly you want to achieve it. Once Rob had planted this idea in my head of writing about the work I had been doing with Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, I couldn’t WAIT to get started on this project and see it through.

Because I didn’t know ANYTHING about the process at the outset of this project, I 100% followed Rob’s lead. Thankfully Rob is a trusted friend and colleague and I could trust him with this work that I had begun in 2016. Also, thankfully, Rob has written several books prior to this one, so again, I trusted his experience and guidance.

First things first; if you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t bother writing about it. This is definitely NOT a case of “fake it till you make it”. You must not only be knowledgeable about your subject matter, but experience would definitely be an asset as well. You must have a passion for your topic or it won’t flow.

The method Rob and I used to initially get our thoughts and ideas out was to interview each other over Zoom. There we went over ideas and started forming the content.

Through a series of interviews we created the outline and filled it in with as much detail as we could generate. From those video recordings a written draft was created, and from that draft, after we each set our eyes on it for revisions and editing, a book was born.

We then had a graphic designer fashion the cover, which turned out really well (after a few attempts). Once Rob and I were both happy with it the next step was the last; the actual publishing of the book. For this step you will have to speak with Rob; he has published multiple times before and was able to get ours done fairly quickly. There is also this book (NOT an affiliate link) if you are ready to attempt doing it on your own.

A little side note, I’ve already purchased this one as my next book I am going to do on my own…I’m a little hard core when it comes to proving to myself I can do things on my own.

It was at this point where the “friend-moters” took over! I talk about this in the video, so check that out…it was AMAZING how well it worked! I’m SO honoured and blessed to have had so many amazing people help promote No Experience Necessary for us!

And that, as they say, is that. There are not many steps are required, but consistency and a real desire to get it done, will help you launch your own book one day!

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