11 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Social Media Marketing Game 70

11 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Social Media Marketing Game

Is your company on top of its social media marketing game?

Long gone are the days of relying on one or two social platforms to handle the entirety of your company’s social marketing operation. Facebook and LinkedIn are still integral to just about every company’s digital outreach operation, but they’re no longer paramount.

Today’s digital marketers need to take an all-of-the-above approach to social outreach. And that means deploying a slew of complementary strategies, not all of which will feel entirely familiar or comfortable.

Try these 13 ideas out for starters. Which works best for your brand?

1. Expand Your Horizons.

Don’t be shy about expanding your social footprints to new and unfamiliar networks.

Case in point: Snapchat. At first glance, this disappearing-message channel seems like hostile territory for “traditional” social media marketing. In reality, it’s anything but. Snapchat advertising is a sleeping giant, especially for brands that cater to younger consumers.

2. Develop a Realistic Posting Schedule.

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Post too infrequently and your social media marketing operation won’t ever gain the traction it deserves. Post too often and you’ll find yourself overwhelmed, sacrificing quality and intentionality in the service of a checked box.

The trick lies in threading the needle with a realistic, consistent posting schedule. At least once per day, per platform is preferable; you can decide whether it’s possible or advisable to ramp it up further. Use a scheduling system like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite for efficiency and accuracy.

3. Invest in Engaging Video.

Done properly, video is a powerful conversion driver. While you shouldn’t expect every video you produce to go viral, even a basic company YouTube portal boosts engagement and visibility among those who matter most — current customers and decision-stage prospects.

It doesn’t take much to produce high-quality videos these days. Between your smartphone and an off-the-shelf editing suite, you probably have everything you need already.

4. Switch Up Post Formats and Lengths.

Post formats and lengths vary widely between platforms.

Your Instagram posts will, of course, look very different from your Facebook posts. (Common ownership notwithstanding.)

Even within platforms, you’ll want to vary posts for optimal visual impact. Don’t crowd your Instagram handle with sunset shots, for instance — take plenty of candids, product photos, and selfies as well. Ditto for Twitter — for every glossily produced video you embed, share a text-only comment or two.

5. Reach Out to Influencers.

Align your brand with complementary influencers: non-celebrity social media users with broad followings and professional-grade posting skills.

“Eighty-four percent of millennials have bought something directly from a social influencer,” writes Entrepreneur contributor Jordan French in Social Media Matters in Marketing for More Reasons Than You Think. “People trust influencer endorsements more than they trust celebrity endorsements.”

Influencers don’t come cheap, especially when their followings outstrip yours. But they may well be worth the cost.

6. Respond Promptly to Questions and Concerns.

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Companies of all sizes deal with irate customers. It’s a fact of life. Prepare for your inevitable encounter with less-than-satisfied users by upping your rapid-response game.

Make it a policy to address questions and complaints within a set number of hours, regardless of the time of day or day of the week.

Your public posture should always reflect the old truism: “the customer is always right.” If you have any reason to dispute this, do so privately and discreetly.

7. Align Your Social Platform With Your Website.

Align your social media posts and descriptive content with your company’s main website and blog. The goal here is to speak in a unified voice that resonates with your audience and shores up the trust you’ve built with them.

“People want to see uniformity,” writes French. “Make sure your description, tagline and all posts are in the same tone and voice as your website.”

Create a list of acceptable words and phrases to deploy throughout your marketing content and copy. Whatever you’ll lose in spontaneity, you’ll gain back (and then some) in brand loyalty.

8. Invest in Paid Posts and Other Advertorial Opportunities.

Paid social promotion isn’t as daunting as it seems. Every platform is different, but Facebook is a good example.

Its ads portal is designed for non-marketers and built to support small-dollar campaigns — perfect for small businesses and startups with limited budgets and even less conviction about the proper advertising strategy to pursue.

9. Seek Out Customer and Follower Reviews.

Not all social platforms are conducive to customer reviews. Facebook, YouTube, and Yelp (if you define Yelp as social) all come to mind; platforms like Twitter and Instagram, less so.

On social properties that do support long-form customer and follower reviews, don’t be shy about seeking them out. The only line you must be careful not to cross is pay-to-play: Providing any sort of compensation for positive feedback is verboten.

10. Make It About More Than Just You.

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Effective social media use is about more than tooting your company’s horn. Use your platform, no matter the size, to share compelling and complementary content from peers, employees, and random social media users that you think your followers might find useful.

Ultimately, it comes down to engagement. Taking it upon yourself to create every piece of engagement-oriented social content is not the most efficient use of your social media resources.

11. Run Contests and Giveaways.

Use your social media handles to amplify contests and giveaways. Combined, your social media ecosystem’s reach is likely far greater than your website’s.

Blasting out notification of your next contest’s start date on Facebook and Twitter is almost certainly more cost-effective than mentioning it in a blog update and waiting for contestants to materialize. Successful contests are great social attractors too — the right promotion can draw hundreds or thousands of new followers.

Social Media Marketing Matters

Let’s zoom out a bit and remember just why all this matters.

“This is the first time in history that people have been instantly connected all over the world, able to communicate in a moment over different mediums,” writes Jordan French.

The world has never been smaller, humanity never closer — at least, in theory. But breaking through all the noise and clutter inherent in our ever more digital existences is exhausting. For smaller companies with limited marketing resources, it feels all but impossible.

Don’t let the odds get you down. With a coherent plan, a talented and creative team, and the willingness to make targeted investments in your company’s future, you can stand out from the social pack and get your brand noticed.

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The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success 4

The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success

In today’s world, most jobs are demanding both physically and mentally. Competition is not always based on the best resume, education, or experience. Having the upper hand in your profession is most likely linked to your ability to think quickly, act appropriately, and carry out difficult duties with the utmost quality.

You need to be able to bring something new, different, and maybe even better to the table. So, how can you get the edge? How can you maximize your professional potential and output?

Believe it or not, the answer to that question might be found outside the workplace. It may be what you do when you are not at work that makes the difference in your work. What is it? EXERCISE, that’s what!

Replace Some Screen Time or Other Time Wasters.

Everyone needs to take a break from the workday. Television, gaming, social media, and video-viewing are what we often go to for this.

Try replacing some of your downtime with exercise, or trying exercising while you are in front of the screen. Exercising instead of sitting will not only help relieve some stress from your day but also help release some built up tension so you can actually rest better at night, helping you be better prepared for the next work day.

Exercising a few hours before bedtime elevates your body temperature. When your body temperature returns to normal, your brain and body are ready to sleep.

Exercise Sharpens Your Thinking.

It is a fact that as we age, our cognitive abilities decline.

While researchers may not have found the cure for dementia-related disorders, they do know that exercise helps delay onset or slow down its progression. Exercising during the years of 25 – 45 can boost the brain chemicals that prevent shrinking of the brain. It has also been shown to create new brain cells and increase proteins found in the brain that help keep thinking skills sharp.

Exercise Reduces Sick Time.

Exercise improves general health functioning and helps build your immunity to illnesses.

It has also been shown to increase our ability to think and work under stress, rather than giving in to the stress and being more susceptible to illness.

This keeps you reporting to work on a regular basis, and taking less sick days. The more you are at work, the more productive you are, and the more your employer values you.

Working Out Increases Your Stamina.

Long work days can leave you drained and listless. If you know you are facing long meetings, strenuous work sessions, or overtime for increased production demands, you can prepare to meet these challenges head-on.

As you exercise, over time your stamina will be able to withstand longer and more strenuous workouts. It also translates into helping you stay sharp during those long, arduous workdays.

Yes, How You Look Does Count.

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While it may never be mentioned, your appearance is noticed by employers, co-workers, interviewers, etc. You do not necessarily need to look like a buff bodybuilder, but having a svelte, strong appearance is a benefit.

Other’s first perception of you is of great importance. Think about interviewing prospective employees. Honestly consider the impact of their first impression on their employment outlook. Healthy looking is definitely a check in the “yes” column.

Energy levels are also higher when you are exercising regularly, and your energy is part of how you are perceived overall. When you start to feel better about yourself, you begin to present a more positive image to your coworkers.

It Boosts Your Confidence.

When you have conquered a goal in your exercise plan, like being able to run an entire mile instead of having to stop and walk some, you know you have accomplished something. You are on your way to bigger and better goals.

There may have been times along the way that you felt like that milestone would never come, but here it is. You feel proud and motivated to keep working toward your next goal. You see the fruits of your labor. You are energized and begin to feel better about yourself overall.

You begin to feel a sense of accomplishment that does not leave when you exit the gym doors. You carry that as a boost in your confidence as you go into work.

Bring the Habits of Exercise to Work.

What else do you learn through exercise? Goal setting, resilience, perseverance, learning new things, taking chances, organizing and managing your time, just to name a few. These are great skills to boost your performance at work, too.

You begin to realize that you can take what you have learned through setting up and sticking with an exercise plan to the workplace. You can use all these skills in your career. As you do, you will become more confident and thus, more effective in your daily tasks.

All of these are learned by starting, committing to, and following through with a fitness plan, and can become more of a life plan.

If you are looking for a job, being physically fit might not get you the job, but it will definitely help your chances. Your first impression is incredibly important, so do not brush off exercise and fitness lightly.

Exercise has so many benefits like sharpening thinking, building stamina, increasing energy, reducing negative effects of stress, building immunity, and boosting self-confidence. This can really help you in your professional success.

The benefits extend beyond your exercise time.

They stay with you day in and day out. If you are not currently exercising regularly, just start today, doing something small. Some sit-ups in front of the television, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cleaning up your diet, or increasing your walking pace as you move around the office are good ways to get started. You will feel the benefits, even with these small steps.