5 Ways to Share Your Patriotism On Social Media

Use Your Social Media Channels To Share Your Patriotism

Use Your Social Media Channels To Share Your Patriotism

Patriotism is alive and strong and one of the few attitudes that Americans can express publically without the fear of being ridiculed or being offensive. Regardless of how Americans feel the other 364 days of the year about our government leadership, policies, international conflicts, etc., our July 4th celebrations allow us to come together as one country and one people, thankful for all the opportunities we have been given by living in the greatest country on the globe.

With the 4th of July just around the corner, this loyalty to our country is no longer limited to streets lined with American flags proudly displayed on homes, small-town parades, or fireworks at the end the day.

In the year 2013, we’re fortunate to have access to many exciting and fun digital tools to express the love and gratitude we share for the United States of America, and the men and women who defend our freedom daily.

5 Ways to share your patriotism on social media:

1. YouTube, Instagram and Vine – Take plenty of pictures and videos to showcase your family’s traditions for this holiday. There is nothing cuter than little children decked out in red, white and blue outfits or looking in amazement at the beautiful fireworks. Our family hosts an open house each year. Guests bring items to grill and a dish to pass, it’s like the loaves and fishes by the time all the food is put out! Our town is small, but this holiday celebration is big. It starts with a home-town style parade, followed by our national award winning water ski team show, and finally ending with a spectacular fireworks display. With all of this entertainment, there are plenty of opportunities to snap some pictures or take video of all the fun and share with my friends digitally.

Share Your 4th of July Visuals on Social Media

Share Your 4th of July Visuals on Social Media

2. Pinterest – This is a great place to search for recipes, crafts, outfits, and decorations for your party. But if you’re a seasoned Independence Day celebrator, you already have your own favorite traditions in these areas. Take pictures and upload your recipe or instructions to projects to this channel to share with your followers. People less creative, like me, need to see pictures of all these cool creations, and the instructions will allow us to be able to create as well.

Share your party ideas on Pinterest

Share your party ideas on Pinterest

3. Twitter – People love great quotes, and this is a wonderful place to share your favorite quote since you are limited to 140 characters. If you don’t know a quote by memory, the web is loaded with patriotic quotes, just remember to cite the author.

Patriotic Quotes Can Be Shared in Twitter's 140 Characters

Patriotic Quotes Can Be Shared in Twitter’s 140 Characters

4.    Facebook – Send out an invite to your 4th of July party from this social channel. Your guests will be able to see who else is coming, and collaborate on specialty dishes or drinks to contribute to the festivities. Is there a website or online video that represents your American spirit? Share your online patriotic video with your Facebook community who loves visual images and videos.

Invite Your Facebook Friends to Your 4th of July Event!

Invite Your Facebook Friends to Your 4th of July Event!

5. Hashtags are becoming all the rage with more and more social sites using them. Here are a few hashtags to use on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest:

  • #4thOfJulyWeekend
  • #America
  • #GodBlessAmerica
  • #Patriotism
  • #IndependenceDay

This article only scratches the service on clever ways to share your 4th of July traditions with your social community. What elements of the 4th of July holiday are you most excited to share with friends on social media? What social media channel will you use most often to share all the fun with your digital neighborhood? Share your thoughts and ideas below, we’d love to hear your creative ideas on how to spread our American spirit.

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 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!