Why You Should Add Scoop.it! To Your Social Media Marketing

For the past six months, I’ve received links from my from various community members on Twitter and LinkedIn to curated articles on Scoop.it! Like you, the last thing I needed was yet another social media channel, but I was intrigued nonetheless. But now that I’ve become active on the site, I can totally see the attraction! As you’re reading this post, I’m sure that you’re wondering whether this is just the newest shiny tool, or whether it can actually provide value to your brand.

How is Scoop.it! different from the multitude of other channels that you’re potentially already on?

Scoop.it! is a content curating machine combined with the greatest elements of many of the other popular channels.  Scoop.it! is very visual like Pinterest, packed full of great information like Twitter, allows for high levels of engagement like Facebook, and has a professional look and feel like LinkedIn.

As with the other social channels, on Scoop.it! users build and follow a community of like minded people by creating topic pages. Users are given two options to curate interesting and relevant content to these topic pages by either rescooping existing articles, or creating new scoops with articles found on any Website. Once an article is scooped, it can also be directly fed into users existing social channels such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and more reaching friends and followers on their preferred social media channel. Not sure where to begin finding content to curate? No problem, Scoop.It! gives suggestions to users and updates it daily.

Get Content Curating Suggestions

Get Content Curating Suggestions

The high level of participation on Scoop.it! begs bloggers to utilize the site to market that company or personal blog. The Scoop.it! community is very active in commenting on scoops which gives necessary feedback to content marketers. In addition, this community also enjoys rescooping valuable information to their following which increases the potential of any content marketing efforts. Remember, as with any social media, you’re goal is to create relationships, not a sales pitch, so scoop articles from others that will be interesting to your followers too.

Scoops are categorized by topic pages, and thus develop different followings based on these user’s interests. For instance, I presently have two topics: 1) 5 Star Social Media Marketing, 2) Leadership. Not all entrepreneurs are interested in the latest social media trends, and not all social media marketers are interested in entrepreneurial leadership information. This allows people to follow only  your topics that they are interested in versus receiving all curated articles that you have scooped.

Create Topic Pages on Scoop.it!

Create Topic Pages on Scoop.it!

Another element to ScoopIt that differentiates it from other channels is the ability to easily build a newsletter and export it directly to MailChimp. This is a great feature! We all know that our audience consumes content in many different forms and brands need to reach their audience in the format they prefer. The ability to blast out an e-newsletter to segmented groups creates awareness of the curated topic page, positions curators as thought leaders, and keeps subscribers up-to-date with the latest trends of their specific topic.  The Scoop.it! team also sends out emails periodically to scoopers alerting them of new scoops by users they follow.

Easity blast e-Newsletters though MailChimp

Easity blast e-Newsletters with MailChimp

Now that you’ve learned about the power the social media channel Scoop.it! can offer, how can your brand use it as a curating tool? Share your experiences with us in the comments box below.

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.

Find Your Target Market’s Social Demographic

Social Media Demographic Behavior

What’s Your Target’s Social Media Demographic?

Before completing your social media marketing strategy, make sure you have researched “Who?” your audience is, “What?” their social behavior consists of, and “Where?” they’re hanging out on the web.

Today’s economy forces companies to stretch their marketing dollars as far as they can. Adding a social media marketing plan to the mix allows companies to create greater awareness, increase lead generation, and increase sales in an economical manner. To get the best results though, it’s vital that you research the “who?”, “what?” and “where?” of your target market’s social behavior. If you don’t answer these questions now, your social media marketing efforts will be like a bird flying against the wind.

A quick snap shot of some social media demographics compiled from Pew Research’s latest report includes:

Gender: 9% more women use social channels than men. Pinterest is the most used channel by women and Google+ is preferred by men.

Age: While the 18-29 year olds continue to be the most active social users (83%), their usage actually dropped slightly recently. This age group spends much of their time on Facebook and Twitter. The 30-49 age group has recently increased usage by 4% points growing to 77%. As expected, senior citizens are the least social at 52%.

Income: Income level also influences the level of time spent on social channels. Pew found 72% of the lower-income population on social networks compared to approximately 65% of middle class and affluent shoppers. Women with post high school education and above average incomes enjoy spending time on Pinterest.

Race: Brands that are marketing to the Hispanic population will be interested to know that this is the most active race on social media (72%), followed by African-Americans (68%). Instagram is the most appealing social channel for these two races.

Pew Research and Docstoc created the infographic below to make your decision(s) easier. For more information on social media demographics, check out Entrepreneur’s infographic here.

How have you used demographics in your social media marketing strategy? Share your experiences below in the comment/reply box, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Which Demographics Use What Social Media?

Which Demographics Use What Social Media?

3 Ways to Measure the Success of A Social Media Strategy

Last week’s post, You’re Invited to a Social Media Party, compared creating a social media strategy to hosting a party. As a follow-up this week, we’ll talk about how to measure the success of your social strategy by again comparing it with a successful party.  It’s very important to determine if your strategy helped to reach your audience, share valuable information with them, and entertain them with engaging content.

  1. What does a successful social media campaign look like to you?

    What does a successful social media campaign look like to you?

    Our family’s celebration over the weekend was a huge success! Our families are so big that before we knew it, our kitchen was full of laughter and every inch of our deck was occupied. There were approximately 100 of our invited guests scattered inside and outside our home. At your virtual party, you invited many industry peers, partners or potential clients as your guests. Measure how many of your honored guests followed you in return, or “attended your social media party. “ Monitor the number of social shares, retweets and likes to measure how many guests came to the party through your social channels, and which social channel(s) brought the most guests. TIP:  If you haven’t already done so, remember to invite your email community by adding buttons on your email signature and your offline community with social channel graphics on print materials.

  2. The food served at our party was a big hit too with only a few morsels remaining as leftovers. The large variety of dishes to choose from allowed every guest to find their favorite and gobble up their plates. Yet there were still favorite dishes among all of the guests, mainly the fried chicken and mac-n-cheese, versus the baked beans which were only eaten by a few. Measure how much of your social party menu was taken in by monitoring traffic on your blog, retweets, likes, shares, comments and replies to your posts. Find which content was the most popular with your audience and which content, if any, was passed over like the baked beans. If your information menu was a huge success, you may have found it overwhelming to keep up with the level of engagement. Try one of the online management tools to assist in monitoring, replying, measuring and conversing with your community. Two of my favorites are talked about in, My Social Media BFFs.
  3. I typically refrain from traditional decorations preferring to use a little creativity with a multi-purpose approach instead. In addition to streamers, some of our decorations were cupcake tiers, white chocolate chip stuffed raspberries in martini glasses and a photo board to create a festive atmosphere. Surprisingly though, the most talked about “decoration” was our redecorated kitchen that was completed the day before the party. This is a great lesson for content marketers: As professionals, we may favor one piece of content, but our social media community may favor another. This is why it’s important to create content in many different formats to engage and entertain our audience. The kitchen was the starting point of many conversations (engagement) while also being aesthetically pleasing. Our guests not only shared their approval with me and my husband, but I overheard them discussing the subject with each other. This is the same as your social community sharing and discussing your company’s content via social channels. Use metrics to determine which format your audience prefers to consume their content, i.e., infographics, video, case study, etc. Another key take away is to create content for multiple purposes. Yes the raspberries looked very classy in the martini glasses, but they also served as a delicious appetizer. Even the kitchen, though it looked beautiful, obviously doubled as the hub for the meal preparation. This is the same as repurposing content in a social media strategy. For example, a case study highlights how you provided a solution for another company, but the statistics within the case study can also be repurposed as an infographic.

One thing is for sure, the more you invest in your social community relationships, the better you will understand which channels your audience hangs out in most, what content they enjoy most and in which format they consume it most.

Are you having fun with your social communties?

Are you having fun with your social communties?

Remember the goal of a social media strategy is to be social – so be creative, converse often, and have fun with your communities.

How successful was your social media party? Share your experiences with us in the comments section 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.

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!