How to Communicate via Social Media Like Google

Today most companies have a presence on social media. The least successful social brands use these channels as another medium for advertising or sales. So what are the successful companies doing different? A successful social media brand strategy will include a plan to inform and educate your social friends. This type of conversation is what builds trust and relationships and is the key to success in the social media arena. Great social companies communicate regularly with customers keeping them informed of new products or updates, as well as educating customers how to get the most from these products. Let’s take a look at one corporate giant that is familiar to all of us and analyze the many ways this company uses social media to keep in touch with customers:

Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” We all know that Google has been hugely successful at keeping this purpose at the forefront of decision-making with the vast array of products and services they offer, but how can the layperson keep up with all of the updates and new products? To notify users of the latest and greatest updates or new products, Google uses a holistic communication approach to reach the mass of its users. This cross-promotional social sharing starts by posting trending news articles on the corporate website and continues with participating on many social channels to keep users informed on their preferred channel.

Starting with the corporate website, users have access to the company blog which provides an abundance of articles about recent activity at or about Google with additional company social links on the left. All of these links are user-friendly and provide Google customers with several options to stay well-versed on their favorite product(s).

Corporate Websites Should Link To Social Media Chanels

Corporate Websites Should Link to Social Media Channels

Creating a free Google+ page gives users the ability to follow any or all of the many Google product pages such as Google, Google+, Google Play, etc. No matter which Google product(s) is your favorite, you can receive the most current information directly from the company from the variety of Google+ pages available to follow.

Make it easy for customers to follow your social media sites

Make it easy for customers to follow your social media sites

With the popularity of mobile devices, you can also “take Google with you” via the many mobile apps that have been developed. For example, regardless of whether you’re an Android or an iPhone user, you can now use Google Chrome as your browser. There are many apps to choose from, but my most used are the Gmail and Google Calendar apps. With the customizable features, it’s like having a personal assistant with you 24/7.

Take Google Everywhere With Mobile Apps

Take Google Everywhere With Mobile Apps

Outside of the Google playground, there are many other channels for users to stay abreast of updates and new products:

  • @google is the official Twitter account and if you are one of the over 6 million followers, you can stay current on Google’s many products through their tweets.
  • Google also has a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Google, with 13 million followers who receive tips and alerts on how to get the most out of the many Google products and services.
  • If users prefer, they can also find Google on LinkedIn, YouTube, and the list goes on.

Just like Google, using many social media channels will give your company numerous platforms to inform and educate your customers of the plethora of products and services you provide. These conversations will help you to continue developing and improving your products and services which creates brand evangelists. These evangelists are eager to pass along your brand’s educational information by way of liking, retweeting or sharing content, creating a ripple effect for greater awareness to your customers.

How is your company using social media to keep customers informed and educated? How can you use social brand evangelists to help spread the latest news about your products or services? Share your thoughts with us in comments box below.

You’re Invited to a Social Media Party!

You're Invited to My Social Media Party!

Our family is preparing for a double celebration this weekend: a milestone birthday for my husband and our daughter’s graduation from college. While managing this exciting event, it occurred to me that there are several similarities in a creating a social media strategy and hosting a party.

1. When planning a party, one of the first responsibilities of the host is to create a guest list and send out invitations. With a social media strategy, it’s also necessary to invite people to your virtual social gathering – this is how you build your community.

    • Begin growing your Twitter following by searching for other users that are in your industry or target audience. Look at your search results to determine which of these users are passing along information that is valuable to you and invite them to your party by following them.  You also want to find users that would fall into your target audience so that you can offer party bags filled with your brand’s thought leadership.
    • Invite your social friends on all channels to “Like” your company’s Facebook page. Since this channel prefers visual content, be sure to entertain your guests with plenty of images, graphs, infographics etc. while telling your brand’s story.
    • Create a company page on LinkedIn and invite your connections to follow – it’s like hosting a virtual open house for your business. Send invitations to connect to your personal profile to existing colleagues, classmates, past employers, etc. to begin growing your professional network. To keep your network interested, share your industry’s latest trends and news in status updates. Extend your “guest list” by joining LinkedIn groups that are related to area of expertise.

2. Next, as the host, you must create a menu to feed guests. In your social media strategy, you’ll develop a plan that gives your community nutritious “Food For Thought.” The information shared on social networks should educate, entertain or inform your audience – it’s like serving a piece of birthday cake to each of your guests. At some parties, guests will bring a dish to pass. In the social world, you can participate in this tradition by sharing information posted by someone you follow. If you’ve read a post or clicked on a link that one of your social buddies has posted and liked it, chances are that your followers will also find it interesting – so share it with them.

3. The final step in preparing for a party, and my personal favorite, is choosing the decorations and entertainment. Depending on what you’re celebrating, there may be balloons, streamers, music, magicians, you get the idea. The original content that you create for your brand will serve as the decorations and entertainment for your social parties. Original content can consist of images, infographics, white papers, e-books, case studies or any other company materials that tell your brand story. This is my favorite step because it’s where you can be the most creative. Experiment with new ideas to pass along great information in a fun and engaging way to keep your guests talking.

Come To My Social Media Party!

You’re Invited To My Social Media Party!

The benefit of a social media party is that it can be held on multiple channels, unlike traditional parties that are confined to one venue.  You’re invited to my party!

Where:

  • The World Wide Web

Address:

When:

  • Every day!

Time:

  • All day!

What steps have you taken to plan your social media party? Have you sent out the invitations, planned the menu and choose the decorations? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

8 Tips to Ensure Your Next Social Media Marketing Campaign Gets Results

Social Media Marketing

How Strong is your Social Media Marketing Foundation?

Is your social media campaign built on a firm foundation?

A strong foundation is the key to success for any program, and a social media marketing campaign is no exception. Prevent your next campaign from collapsing and get the best results by taking the time to prepare a solid building plan that includes the following tips:

  1. Establish one goal for the social campaign. Every campaign should have a measurable goal that your company strives to accomplish through the social media campaign such as increasing customer relationship management, building brand awareness, lead generation, etc. Attempting to achieve several goals in a single campaign will cause confusion. For best results, focus on one goal for each campaign. Click here to learn how to align your social media strategy with your company’s objectives.
  2. Get to know your brand’s audience. Find out which social networks your target market prefers to hang out and build a community on the same channel(s).  Next, listen to what your audience is talking about, find their pain points and determine how your company will provide solutions.
  3. Analyze your internal environment. If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to define your company’s culture. In addition, take a good look at the success or failure of past social campaigns efforts, align future campaigns with offline efforts, make sure your company website is up-to-date, and determine budget and staffing needs.
  4. Analyze your company’s external environment. Create a competitive analysis and determine industry benchmarks, market trends and whether outsourcing to an agency would make sense.
  5. Develop a keyword strategy. There are several online analytic tools to discover the keywords and phrases potential customers are using to find your website. This often overlooked step is very important because you will use these keywords on your social profiles and in content marketing materials.
  6. Tell the story of your brand. Everyone loves a great story! Stories that connect with your audience emotionally will find the greatest engagement. Great story starters can begin with your company’s vision or mission.
  7. Create your content. Craft a content marketing strategy and begin to build your library. Use a combination of blogs, graphics, videos, webinars, etc. to entertain, educate and inform your audience.
  8. Repurpose a single piece of content to cross promote on different channels. Click here for great ideas on how to integrate content marketing across all your social media sites.
Social Media Marketing

Go Forth and Socialize!

After taking the time to follow these steps, your social media marketing strategy will be sitting on a strong foundation.  Your brand is now prepared to go forth and socialize! Have fun with your social campaigns, experiment with what works best for your unique business. Assess the campaign and fill in any cracks that you might find along the way. You’re sure to experience positive results and a measurable return on investment of the goals set during the planning phase of the campaign.

How do you reinforce the foundation of your social campaigns? Share your thoughts in the “Comments” section below.

Is Your LinkedIn Profile Google Ready?

Are you looking for a new job? Will you be graduating from college soon? Are you an Entrepreneur looking for leads? Or are you just curious what else is out there? Well, if you answered, “Yes”, to any of these questions, LinkedIn is the social media network you want to be hanging out at.

Did you know Google favors LinkedIn profiles during people searches?

Does Google give higher SEO ranking to LinkedIn profiles?

Does Google give higher SEO ranking to LinkedIn profiles?

With that being said, to get the most out of your LinkedIn presence, you need to ensure that your profile is both up-to-date and optimized. Here are 8 steps to get your LinkedIn profile Google ready:

  1. List your current position  with a summary of your responsibilities.  Include industry keywords in your description so search engine crawlers can find you. Start/end dates should be used to show the longevity of your tenure.
  2. List past positions and job descriptions. Again, use keywords in your job description, especially as they relate to positions that you are presently interested in. Start/end dates should be used in this section as well.
  3. List educational institutions which you’ve attended. Who you know, or are connected to, can be a great way to get your feet in the door. Alumni from your school may be looking for you! Or, if you went to a school that is well known in your industry, let job seekers know that too.
  4. List awards that you have won. Awards for accomplishments in your field, volunteer organizations or school should be added to your profile. These awards showcase the hardwork that employers are looking for.
  5. List certifications that you have earned. Employers love to see initiative, so let them know that you continue to stay at the top of your game by earning certifications that will bring value to their firm.
  6. List volunteer work that you are involved with. Today, most companies understand the value of engaging in some type of social responsibility management program. Let them know that you enjoy giving back too by highlighting your volunteer experiences.
  7. Include contact information! The point of updating and optimizing your LinkedIn profile page is so that people can find you. If you don’t list your phone number, email address and/or website, how will these potential clients/employers contact you?
  8. The “Summary” section of your profile is similar to your 30 second elevator pitch. Highlight what you do, be concise, and use keywords when possible.

Stand out from your competitors!

Get in front of the competition with a killer LinkedIn Profile

Get in front of the competition with a killer LinkedIn Profile

Get discovered by adding your videos, images, documents, etc that are relevant to your industry. LinkedIn has many tools to showcase your skills, knowledge and experience. If you have a professional YouTube video, LinkedIn allows you to upload it to your page. If you have created some killer PowerPoint presentations, upload them to SlideShare to post on your LinkedIn account. Upload your resume, referrals, etc. – you get the idea.

Should college students create a LinkedIn profile before graduation day?linkedin-grad-cap-300x274

Yes! Click here to read my guest blog post on www.SocialMediaForStudents.com listing the many benefits of LinkedIn for college students.

Engage with your professional community.

This is a very important element to the process, yet an often overlooked process. Remember, this is a SOCIAL network, so just as on any other social network, interact with your friends. Share articles, blogs or graphics that will be interesting to your network or group community by posting to your timeline. Encourage further engagement by liking or commenting on their postings. There are many groups to join on LinkedIn, and this is a great opportunity to join in conversations by asking questions, answering other’s questions, or commenting to posts. You will soon be amazed by the professionalism of this network, and the possibilities LinkedIn holds for your career.

For more great ideas on creating killer LinkedIn profiles, check out this infographic by@MelonieDodaro .

How can LinkedIn connect you to the right people in your industry? Let us know in the comment section below.

Is Your Brand’s Content Dressed for Success?

social-media-styles

Would you wear your favorite football hoodie and blue jeans to your cousin’s wedding on Saturday, or to the office on Monday? Of course not! Just as you’re expected to dress a certain way based on the event you’re attending, your social media friends expect your content to be “dressed” in a certain way too. Let’s take a look at the typical content attire to wear for the audience on these social media channels:

  • Facebook – Casual dress expected. Users on this channel love images, making this a great place to visually showcase the personality of your brand as well as add a little humor. Recent reports show Facebook having 1.06 billion monthly active users, including 680 million mobile users, so share your library of professional and amateur photos for fans to interact with. Fans love to share images with their friends, which allows your brand the potential for even greater reach.
  • Twitter – Business casual dress expected. With only 140 characters to work with, minus any characters used to attach a picture or link, brands use clever tease lines to encourage followers to click on the accompanying link. This is a great site to push out new and repurposed professional collateral pieces such as white papers, case studies, press releases, new product announcements etc. Use hashtags to create unique search and conversation functions around your brand and include the hashtag on all collateral for customers to join in. 
  • LinkedIn – Suit and tie expected.  This is your professional network and needs to be treated a bit more serious. Your brand’s company page and your employee’s profiles should mimic the look and feel of your office. LinkedIn users search for solutions to their problems, so highlight your products and services, the expertise and thought leadership of your staff, and your brand’s digital collateral. Staff pictures should be professionally taken to give a positive first impression of your organization.
  • SlideShare – Professional dress preferred. Remember all those presentations your brand has put together? Dig them out, dust them off, and upload them to SlideShare! Remember to share them with your other channels, dressed appropriately of course.
  • Pinterest – Professional or casual dress accepted. This is a visually engaging social site that gives your brand huge opportunities to connect and interact with consumers. Use a combination of professional pictures of your product or service, along with amateur shots of customers using them! Or, create boards based on solutions for your customers to show the ease of working with your company. Each company is unique, so add a few boards showing your company’s interests such as innovation, favorite blogs, or products that you love. Allow customers to help create a “Before and After” board to highlight a DIY product. The possibilities are endless!
  • Instagram – Casual dress expected. This is another visually engaging social site that is growing daily. Use the smartphone app while on business trips, at trade shows, or during company events and create real time picture stories. The casual atmosphere on this channel allows brand’s to have a lot of fun with customers and colleagues and humanize their company.

Regardless of the channel(s) you use or the content you create, always be consistent with your brand’s message and tailor it to the social audience it’s being shared with. Your brand will soon become known as a “social brand” by communicating in the language of your audience and including links to all your social properties. Everything your brand is producing will now be synced creating a “brand omnipresence” and allowing social users to follow your brand from wherever they are.

Share you strategy for dressing your content to specific social channels below in the comments section, we’d love to hear your ideas!