How to Shine at Events With Social Media

SocialMediaMarketingAre you attending a trade show, conference or some other event? You absolutely need to be active on social media! Why? Every business wants their prospective customers to know they exist. With so many product and service offerings out there, it can be difficult to stand out in the crowd — especially at events that are saturated with businesses that are just like yours! You may be asking yourself, “how do I rise above the rest and attract people at events to connect with me and learn more about my business?” or “how can I get the most out of the time and money I invest in attending such functions?”

Below are a number of ways to use social media before, during and after your event to help attract prospective customers to your business and build buzz around your brand.

Before the Event:

  • Let your audience know you’re attending weeks/months in advance. Include your booth # in your post, if applicable. This helps to create buzz very early on.
  • Create a countdown. Create and post content 5, 7, or 10 days before the event to share your anticipation for attending. Countdown ideas: a simple image/gif/video  with numbers counting down to the event with your logo and the event hashtag, a different reason daily as to why you are excited for the event, a variety of stats about your business/product/service, testimonials, etc. Get creative!
  • Use the event hashtag in posts leading up to the event across any and all social platforms your business uses.
  • Consider creating a hashtag specific to your business and the event.
  • Follow the event host, association, organizers, vendors, attendees, etc. on Twitter.
  • …and communicate with them! Let other attendees know you’re excited to connect with them at the event!
  • Consider creating and posting teaser videos/photos leading up to the event if you are launching a new product/service, or are unveiling new features to your product or additions to your team.
  • Give a “behind-the-scenes” look or a sneak peek at your team, strategizing sessions, booth setup, materials, swag and more! This will build excitement in your audience and hopefully encourage them to visit you at the event.

During the Event:

  • Snap photos and post them to your social networks in a timely manner. Don’t forget to include the hashtag and a geotag (share your location) so that others who are at the event are aware of your presence!
  • Experiment with video. If you’re super tech-savvy, make a time-lapse of yourself setting up, or capture video of your business interacting with visitors throughout the day.
  • Consider live streaming components of the event, such as setting up your booth, announcing the winner of a contest/giveaway, providing a sneak peek of your promotional items, encouraging others to visit your booth, etc.
  • Incorporate an activity at your booth that encourages others to post about your brand. A great idea is to have visitors snap selfies using your product/service, share it on social media, use your hashtag, and tag your company in the post to be entered into a draw.
  • Use other marketing methods in conjunction with social media. Include your social media links on all handouts, and use these handouts as a takeaway for visitors. Another great idea is to consider looping testimonials (video or text) on a monitor at your booth so others can quickly see just how great your product/service is.
  • Don’t forget about the folks at home! Unfortunately, not every one can attend such events, so consider utilizing social media to get a message out to your audience letting them know their presence was missed and perhaps offering some sort of incentive (such as a coupon code, a chance to win a prize, an exclusive offer, etc.) If you are taking this route, try to ensure that the people actually attending the event walk way with something of higher value than the ones who didn’t attend — especially if the ones who are attending pay to be there.

After the Event:

  • Make connections. Once you get back to the office, flip through the business cards you receive and connect with absolutely every single person you met at the event on social media. Be sure to follow their business accounts, too. Once connected, use built-in messaging on the platform of your choice to send off a quick, personalized note letting these individuals know you were pleased to meet them. Don’t get “salesy” in this message — save that for an email.
  • Follow up. Be sure to send off emails to individuals you feel would benefit from your product/service. Don’t forget that you can also send off emails to those individuals who couldn’t make it to the event and offer them some sort of perk, too. Be sure to include your links to your social platforms and encourage attendees to continue the conversation about the event on social media and use both your personal company hashtag as well as the event hashtag when doing so.
  • Blog about it. Why not sit down and take some time to recap the event in a blog and highlight special moments that occurred during the event? A blog post is another great way to encourage others to continue the conversation surrounding the event on your social media platforms, or share their experience directly on your blog post! Optimize your post settings to include tags that align with the event. Once you publish your post, be sure to share it on all your social accounts and include the event hashtag when doing so.
  • Give thanks! When the event is over, send out a quick Tweet to the event hosts, organizers, sponsors, etc. thanking them for producing such a great event!

MeganSignature

Social Media Marketing Tips – Part 3

linkedinA few weeks back I created a new series on The A Dot Blog that outlines tips to help businesses bolster their social media presence across various platforms. If you missed the past two posts, you can view them here: Social Media Tips for Facebook & Social Media Tips for Twitter.

In today’s post I will tackle a very popular social media platform among professionals that is often overlooked by businesses who are considering where to spend their marketing efforts online. You may have guessed it — I’m talking about LinkedIn.

Did you know that LinkedIn’s user base exceeds 450 million users and that its average number of users is roughly 105 million per month? Amazing!

Here are a few more LinkedIn stats to consider:

  • There are roughly 40 million students & recent graduates on LinkedIn
  • The majority of users on LinkedIn are men (57%)
  • 40% of LinkedIn users visit LinkedIn daily
  • 2 new LinkedIn accounts are created every second

There’s no wonder why 79% of business-to-business marketers view LinkedIn as an effective source for generating leads!

If you’re considering using LinkedIn to market your product or service offerings, the following tips can aid in your efforts!

  • Focus on your own profile. Make sure that before you create your company’s LinkedIn page you spend time filling out your own profile first. Why? When your name is featured on your company LinkedIn page, people will likely check out your profile to learn more about the role you hold in your business. Be sure to add skills, achievements, company milestones, etc. — basically anything that you want others to know about YOU and anything that sets you apart from the rest!
  • Build your company page. Be accurate and thorough when creating your company’s LinkedIn page. Boast about your products/services. Let potential customers understand why your business is better than the rest. Link your team members’ profiles to your company page so that viewers can have a “behind the scenes” look at who is a part of your business and how they’re championing your brand.
  • Claim your custom URL. When you first create your company page, you will be assigned a random URL containing numbers. Be sure to edit your URL and choose one that better matches your brand. If possible, use your business’ name. This will ensure your page appears in searches both on and off LinkedIn. Plus, it’s easier for you and others to remember.
  • Get your team on board. Encourage your own employees to create a LinkedIn profile, fill out pertinent information, follow your LinkedIn company page, and share your brand’s content frequently.
  • Keywords are key. Be sure to fill out your company page with keywords that match your product/service, business, industry, target market, etc. This will increase the likelihood of your page being listed in search results.
  • Share your LinkedIn url every where. Link your company page to your website, email signature, other social media accounts, marketing materials & anywhere else you can think of to help grow your company’s following. Don’t be afraid to search & connect with your current customers on LinkedIn, too.
  • Post engaging content. Stand out in the crowd by using images that contain faces and evoke some sort of emotion — these types of images are what people are naturally drawn to. When your followers like, comment & share your content, their connections see this activity, which increases both the reach of your messages and the chance to gain more followers.
  • Interact with others. Be sure to also share, like, and comment on any other content that you find interesting and aligns with your brand and industry.
  • Cross-post/promote content. Share LinkedIn articles that you publish to your company page or personal LinkedIn profile on other social media accounts and vice versa. This will help increase visits to your profile/company page, and will ensure you’re sharing great, consistent content across all social platforms.
  • Sponsor your best pieces. Have content that is performing very well? Consider sponsoring it directly on LinkedIn. There are various advertising outcomes you can achieve when sponsoring your content that depends on the parameters you select; such outcomes include increasing your company page’s follower base, getting your updates seen by your target market across every device, directing your audience to your website, and more. Learn about sponsoring your content on LinkedIn by clicking here.

That concludes this series! I hope you have gained some valuable knowledge about social media marketing for your business! Which platform (or combination of platforms) works best for your business? Let me know in the comments section below!

Until next time…

MeganSignature

 

Social Media Marketing Tips – Part 2

twitter-blog-post1.pngA few weeks ago I created a blog post outlining a few tips to help businesses market themselves on Facebook. The key pieces of advice I listed were to help businesses not only learn the basics, but to cover some of the more “advanced” areas in regards to Facebook marketing. If you missed it, you can check out that post here: https://theadotblog.com/2017/10/26/social-media-marketing-tips-part-1/

Today, I am back with some more tips and tricks to help you excel at marketing your business on Twitter.

Let’s jump in…

  1. Choose a Twitter handle that makes sense.  Ensure it resembles your business’ name as closely as possible so that your audience can easily find you.
  2. Pay attention to the details. Fill out your profile and keep it concise. Add information that is relevant. Add a website URL (link) if you have one. And remember, don’t remain an egg; add a picture to your profile ASAP!  Twitter accounts with profile pictures have 10 x as many followers than those that don’t.
  3. Familiarize yourself with what hashtags are and how to use them. There’s no need to use them for #every #single #word, be sure to #CapitalizeEachWord & #KeepThemShort. For more tips on how to use #hashtags, check out my post here: https://theadotblog.com/2016/02/25/how-to-use-hashtags/
  4. Understand what “@” means. The @ symbol is always displayed next to each and every username, but it is also how you will communicate on Twitter. If you compose a Tweet and begin it with someone’s @username, not everyone will see the Tweet. For example, “@StaffStatSuds I love filling shifts in seconds!” will be seen only by users who follow you and the user you are mentioning. Adding the username anywhere else in the Tweet is called a mention and the Tweet is visible and public to all. For example, “Wow! I love using @StaffStatSuds to fill shifts in seconds!” will ensure the account mentioned and all others will see your Tweet.
  5. Tweet your own content. Do this once daily at the very least; share a photo from an event, a blog post, information surrounding enhancements to your product/service offering, etc. Doing so will not only help build your brand, but it will help keep your feed current and fresh.
  6. Re-tweet at least 1-3 times daily. This step is easy and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. Use hashtags that are relevant to your industry, product, service or brand. If you’re in software, search something like #TechNews, #SaaS, #Software, etc. You should be able to find reputable content that aligns with what your business is doing. Once you find something you like, click the re-tweet button, and add your own personal opinion as a comment (A.K.A a quote Tweet); this will ensure when others search for your content (or content related to what you re-tweet) they will see your thoughts which can help position you as an expert for that specific subject matter.
  7. Reply to others. If someone re-tweets your unique content, thank them for doing so and spark up a conversation by tweeting back to them. Hint: reference point 4 in this post to understand how to best converse with individuals on Twitter.
  8. Be engaging. Some businesses are guilty of constantly promoting their products/services. While it’s okay to Tweet about a sale or promotion or a new product launch, be sure to share content that your audience wants to see, such as a blog about the latest features of your product, an explainer video highlighting the benefits of your services, or a series of teaser videos to build excitement for your holiday collection. Putting a spin on the “generic” content you share will help increase the quality of conversation that surrounds your brand.
  9. Tweet links to your blog — and do so often. If you have a company blog Twitter is a great space to share your posts! Don’t be afraid of tweeting the same blog link more than once a day to ensure you reach people in different timezones, or anyone who didn’t get the chance to see your tweet the first time it went out. Try not to spam your audience, however. Three of the same blog tweets per day is more than enough!
  10. Use Twitter as a customer service tool. If a customer has a concern or complaint, they may choose to Tweet you about it. Don’t be afraid of responding directly to them via Twitter to help resolve their issue. For tips on providing social customer service, click here: https://theadotblog.com/2015/11/05/6-tips-for-providing-exceptional-social-customer-service/
  11. Create lists. Ever feel like your newsfeed has A LOT going on and the tweets you’re seeing throughout the day aren’t necessarily filled with content that matters to your brand? Get into the practice of creating lists. From the desktop site, simply click on your profile photo in the upper right hand corner of the screen and select “Lists”. The page will then show you any lists that you have subscribed to (when viewing others’ accounts you can check out their lists and subscribe to any that interest you) and lists that you are a member of (those that others have added you to). You also have the option of creating your own list, naming it, and adding accounts you exclusively would like to group together. For example, you can use keywords such as “entrepreneurship” or “quotes” and group similar accounts under their respective lists. To view lists, go to your personal Twitter timeline and select “lists” from the bar that portrays all your other Twitter-related stats, such as Tweets, Following, Followers etc.
  12. Use images. Tweets containing only text tend to get lost in the shuffle. Stand out in the crowd by using images that contain faces and evoke some sort of emotion — these types of images are what people are naturally drawn to.
  13. Don’t be afraid to recycle. Do you have a certain tweet that has a lot of likes,  retweets & replies? Either tweet it again, pay to promote it, or pin it to the top of your page so anyone new visiting your feed can see it — no matter how much time has passed since it was first created!
  14. If you’re tweeting a link, shorten it using a URL shortener such as bit.ly. This will ensure you have enough space to add additional wording to the tweet, and will allow others to retweet your content and add their own thoughts about it.

There you have it — 14 tips to help you out with your Twitter marketing efforts. Be sure to check back next week as I share more social media marketing advice for your business!

MeganSignature

Social Media Marketing Tips – Part 1

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Whether you’re in start-up mode or you’re celebrating your 5th year of business, social media is a great way to increase your brand’s awareness, interact with your customers, reach more markets, and cultivate relationships that can lead to your brand’s growth.

Over the next few weeks, I will provide tips to assist you with marketing on 3 of the major social platforms—Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Let’s start this week off with Facebook…

  • Complete your company’s “About Me” section to help your visitors find useful information at a glance.
  • Claim your URL. When you first sign up to Facebook, a random URL will be linked to your account. Choose one that better reflects your brand, such as your company’s name.
  • Recycle your content. If you use something once and it gains traction, it’s okay to use it again! It’s a great way for new members in your audience to see past content—as long as it is still relevant.
  • Pin posts. If you have something incredibly important that you want your followers to see, pin it by: 1) viewing the post in your timeline, 2) hovering over the drop down menu on that post, and 3) clicking “pin to top of page”. This will anchor the post to the top of your page until you decide to unpin it.
  • Promote, promote, promote. Share your Facebook link/like button in your email signature, on your LinkedIn profile, on your company’s website, blog, etc.
  • Use Facebook ads. To get your posts in front of your specific target market(s), spend some dollars utilizing Facebook ads. Doing so will ensure that your posts are reaching exactly who you are trying to reach at a much quicker pace.
  • Create a Facebook contest. Running a contest on your page is a great way to increase interaction with your audience, gain more followers, have your content seen by the masses and really drive people to your page.
  • Use hashtags. Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter! Check out trending topics, and if it makes sense for your brand, join the conversation.
  • Create eye-catching content. People scroll tirelessly through many social media platforms day in and day out. Make sure your audience stops on your posts. For tips on how to make your content pop, click here.
  • Use infographics. If your company is data heavy and regularly relies on such data to sell your product/service, try using an infographic as an alternative to display your research. Infographics are fun, visually-pleasing, and are shared regularly.
  • Use GIFs. These moving images are a fun way to convey a thought, message or mood. For more information on their many uses, check out this post here.
  • Encourage reviews. Let your customers know that you appreciate their feedback. Be sure to respond to all reviews—both positive and negative—and publicly respond to any issues or concerns and offer a mutually beneficial resolution.
  • Highlight testimonials. Once you receive glowing feedback, turn it into shareable content! This will allow your audience to see how happy others are with your product or service.
  • Use a variety of content such as blogs, polls, live video, photos, quotes, testimonials, infographics, and more to constantly keep your page vibrant and refreshing.
  • Always include a call-to-action. What do you want your audience to do? Learn more by visiting your website, provide a testimonial, share your content, tag a friend? Let them know in your caption!

That’s it for now! Check back next week for more social media marketing tips to help grow your business. Do you have any recommendations for others? Feel free to leave a comment below!

10 (More) Tips for Building a Better Blog

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A few weeks ago I published a blog outlining 15 tips to assist you in building an incredible blog. If you missed it, you can read it by clicking here. Today, I am back with even more tips to turn you into an expert blogger!

  1. Choose a narrow layout. For readability purposes, a narrow layout is ideal. It’s difficult to read extremely long lines of text without losing your place. Shorter, more narrow lines of text are much more pleasing to the eye.
  2. Consider what your theme will look like across devices. What looks great on your desktop may not be compatible on a mobile device. Be sure to optimize your layout for various devices – desktop, mobile & tablet.
  3. Give your readers the ability to share your posts. Ensure your social media sharing icons are turned on and visible for every.single.post to help boost your readership. You can also utilize your call-to-action to request your readers to share your posts with their network.
  4. Find inspiration. Sometimes it’s incredibly difficult to think up ideas to blog about…especially if you’ve been at it for awhile. Listen to music or podcasts, read what others are writing about, or even research relevant trending topics. When I’m not too sure what to write about, I search for images on Google using general keywords such as ‘social media marketing’. Looking at the images and captions helps me draw inspiration from sources that are relevant to my theme.
  5. Create a blogging schedule. When you’ve finished brainstorming plenty of blog ideas, consider creating a schedule to determine when each idea should go live. Doing so will hold you accountable to consistent blogging and can help you when developing content. If 3 out of 5 ideas you’ve dreamt up are related to Facebook, you may consider creating a series for these posts, or you may choose to space these posts out—it’s entirely up to you.
  6. Ask for feedback. You may be nervous or hesitant to hit the publish button when you’re just starting out. Ask your friends, family, or colleagues for their honest feedback on your posts. However, you should remember to stay true to you; your voice may become lost if you focus entirely too much on the opinions of others.
  7. You’re your own worst critic. Have you heard of the saying “less is more?” Apply this idea to your blog posts. Many of us are perfectionists. If you’ve spent about an hour or so on one post and you feel that you’re finished but are in an editing frenzy, constantly deleting and reworking lines, it’s probably time to hit publish. The extra few hours you may spend editing your post could be better spent creating new ones.
  8. Write when you feel like it. If you’re forcing yourself to write, you’ll become tired of it and see it as a chore. Blogging should be fun. It should challenge you. If you aren’t inspired, take a break. I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity.
  9. Get your blog out there. Congrats! You’ve posted your blog…now what? Your work doesn’t end here. You must now share your blog wherever possible! Post it to your social media accounts, integrate your blog into your company website, blast off an email with the link to your customers, etc. Get creative! Your views count on it.
  10. Don’t be discouraged by the stats. When we first started The A Dot we were averaging less than 10 views per day in the first month of going live. Now we’re receiving 3 to 4 thousand views each day. Don’t sweat it. Keep pushing forward. Remember, you can always recycle your content at a later date to increase your views.

That wraps up a total of 25 tips to help you build a better blog! I hope these bits of knowledge bring you success in your own blog journey. Good luck!

MeganSignature

15 Tips for Building a Better Blog

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The A Dot Blog celebrated its two year birthday last month! In just two years, our blog has hit a couple of milestones:

  • We’ve had 5 main bloggers (& 10 guest bloggers) contribute a combined total of over 370 posts
  • Our posts have received over 850,000 views!
  • We have readers from Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, France, Australia, Italy & 63 other countries!
  • More than 100 individuals are subscribed to receive our posts directly in their inbox daily (you should be, too!)

We’re thrilled to have found such success with a blog that no one had really ever imagined would have a global footprint. We’re proud that our little blog which started in Azilda, Ontario (a.k.a the original A Dot) is so well-received from our community and beyond.

Today on The A Dot, I decided to share with our readers a 15 tips for building a better blog.

  1. Brainstorm ideas. When we first started The A Dot Blog, we sat down to discuss who would write what. Whatever you choose to write about, own it!
  2. Think of a great blog title. This is sometimes difficult for many bloggers. Sometimes it is easier to write your piece first before dreaming up a catchy title. Make an effort to use a title that explains the post—“How to…”, “3 Tips”, “5 Ways”…etc. as these posts typically have more views. For tips to help you create hard-hitting headlines, click here.
  3. Add photos. Insert a stock photo at the beginning of your blog that visually describes your article or place images throughout your blog to describe each concept. Choose attention-grabbing images to entice readers to check out your post.
  4. Choose an appropriate length for your post. Typically, our blogs are 500 – 1500 words in length, depending on the topic. Many readers do not like to spend more than 3-5 minutes reading a post.
  5. Find your voice. Don’t make your posts so formal that it bores readers. Add your own style to everything you publish. If you’re witty IRL (in real life), then be witty in your blogs! If you’re blunt IRL, be blunt. Readers want to feel like they know the real you!
  6. Always have a call-to-action. Sometimes it is difficult to wrap up your blog. An easy way to do so is to add a call-to-action at the end of each post. Some examples include:
  • “What’s your favourite tip presented in my post? Comment below.”
  • “Do you have any additional advice for our readers? Add your thoughts below!”
  • “Know someone who may benefit from our services? Share this post with your network!”
  • “To learn more about our product, visit our website at:”
  1. Add links and resources. Reference back to your past posts, or link to other blogs. If you’re lucky, the owner of the blog you just mentioned may reciprocate which could lead to more readership on your own blog.
  2. Invite guest bloggers to write on your blog. If you know someone who is also a blogger, consider asking them to write a post to feature on your blog and vice versa.
  3. Conduct research. If you’ve brainstormed a few blog topic ideas, consider conducting research to learn more about the topic as a whole to ensure you’re providing your readers with the most accurate/interesting information as possible…and remember: always put your own spin on it!
  4. Add keywords to each post. Insert as many keywords/tags that you can think of that relate to your post. This will help your blog posts become discoverable.
  5. Add widgets and menu bars. It helps to use a website that specializes in blogs, such as WordPress or Blogger. Choose a simple layout and add widgets and menu bars to make your content as easy to discover as possible. Things to consider: create an archive menu for your readers to quickly access past posts, and perhaps add an additional menu bar to divide your content into certain topics/categories. Also include a widget for your readers to subscribe to your blog as quickly as possible.
  6. Align your blog with your brand. Consider the overall theme, logo, colours, etc. Your blog should be an extension of your business’ brand.
  7. Get a great domain. Purchase a .com domain instead of a generic .wordpress.com, or .me, or .info, etc. It will make it easier for your readers to remember!
  8. Develop your “About” section. People want to get to know you! Be personal. Let readers know your backstory. Keep it relevant and update it as necessary.
  9. Be unique! Don’t focus on what everyone else is doing. Use your own voice, knowledge, expertise, and niche to draw readers to what you’re doing and writing about.

There you have it – 15 tips for building a better blog! Stay tuned for more tips in the near future. What is one piece of advice you have for new bloggers? Feel free to comment below!

MeganSignature

 

10 Things You Should Do Every Day

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With September right around the corner, I thought it would be an ideal time to share a list of things that I feel everyone should do every day to better your life and improve your mindset as the end of the year approaches and things naturally get busier.

  1. Get a good night’s rest. Lack of sleep will eventually take its toll on you. Personally, I used to get about six hours of sleep per night. This year, I made it a resolution to squeeze a few more hours in each night and it’s been absolutely game-changing; I’m more alert, more productive and happier overall.
  2. Read, write or listen to music. Take a break from the screen for awhile. Get lost in something other than your day-to-day.
  3. Learn something new. Expand your horizons and keep your mind sharp by studying a new language, picking up a hobby, learning a new skill, etc. Keep striving to be the best possible version of yourself.
  4. Treat yourself. This doesn’t always need to involve spending money; read a book, have a bubble bath, watch a movie, etc. We generally spend the majority of our day being busy and serving others, so be sure to spoil yourself, too!
  5. Create a positive environment. Your atmosphere can definitely impact your overall mood and wellbeing. Keep your workspace neat and tidy to help relieve stress and maintain a clear head. Create a living space that you actually look forward to going to after a long day of work.  Lastly, don’t forget to surround yourself with people who are optimistic to keep you in a positive frame of mind.
  6. Spend time alone…it’s good for you! There has been many times where I will drive to or from work without listening to music to really help clear my head. Take time for yourself and learn to enjoy it!
  7. Create something. This one’s easy for me since a large portion of my day is usually spent doing something creative thanks to my job. Whether it’s a blog post, a meal, a document, snapping and editing a photo, etc., strive to do something creative each day; doing so allows you to think differently and step outside of your comfort zone!
  8. Touch base with someone you care about. Let your loved ones know you’re thinking about them. Go out of your way to make them smile. Life is too short not to let people know how you feel about them.
  9. Go outside. Enjoy nature! Go for a walk. Get some exercise. Spending time outdoors and getting a breath of fresh air can help with your mood, relieve stress and restore your energy!
  10. Spend time on self-reflection. Take a few minutes at the end of each day reflecting on your day as a whole, making mental notes of what you need to do the next day, and see how your goals and resolutions are progressing. Doing so will help keep you on track for whatever you are trying to accomplish!

MeganSignature