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Archive for Social Media’ Category

18

Jul
2012
Comments Off on Social Media: Engagement is KEY!

Social Media: Engagement is KEY!

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Using social media is an optimal way to communicate with the world. Posting to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube can connect you with potential clients and customers. But, if you’re just posting a link, photo or video, you’re not using these platforms to their fullest potential.

The key is engagement. Sure, social media can get you an initial following just by making regular posts about industry related news and company announcements, but it won’t do all the work for you. There are several ways to start the conversation on your social pages, or to even become part of another discussion. Here are a few tips to think over the next time you visit your social media accounts and think, “How am I going to get more followers?”

Facebook: Facebook started out as a network for college students and has evolved into a perfect location to promote your business. So, once you create a post focused on something new about your company or share some information about your industry, try asking a question. “Do you think this will work for all PR agencies? Do you think there is a niche market for this product?”

Asking a question can get the conversation started and lead to a larger following. If you’re not comfortable with posing open-ended questions, test out Facebook’s poll option. This way, you can still ask your question, but also provide multiple choice answers. Using a poll makes it even easier for followers to participate in your conversations. Instead of coming up with the proper wording to express their opinions, they can simply click a choice and be done!

Twitter: Twitter is where many of us go for fast tips, quick updates and breaking news. However, Twitter doesn’t have to be the pit stop platform that it’s made out to be. TweetUps, Twitter chats and Q&As are a great way to start the conversation, keep it going and gain a larger following over time.

For example, web journalists meet on Twitter at 5 p.m. Wednesdays to take part in #wjchat, a way to talk about all things content, technology, ethics and business with a tie to journalism on the web. All you have to do is come up with an unused specific hashtag and start a Twitter chat of your own. Promote the chat to your followers across all social platforms and email anyone else who might be interested in being a part of the discussion. A great start is to promote the chat through LinkedIn and get your followers on there to meet you on Twitter.

LinkedIn: Speaking of LinkedIn, this is the perfect place to find potential clients and to have discussions with others in your industry. To start a conversation on LinkedIn, try creating a group focused on the industry in which you work and invite other professionals in the field to join you.

Once you create a group, you can post a topic of discussion. For example, post a piece of industry related news and pose a question. For example, if you find a good article on the future of public relations, post the link in your group and pose a question such as, “The Future of Public Relations and Social Media by Mashable: http://on.mash.to/Mz2PiY What are your predictions for PR in 2020?” This could lead to a larger following for you and a wealth of information for your group members.

YouTube: There are a great deal of channels on YouTube that only have video uploads and no interaction with subscribers or experience with commenting. Your subscribers DO want to see what videos you post, but they also want to hear from who’s behind them. Take a second to stop recording videos and check on the ones you’ve already posted.

If you receive a comment on your video, thank the user for watching it and taking the time to send you feedback on your piece. This is a great time to push for a little more conversation. Ask your commenters what they liked and what could’ve been better. If you’re not looking for a critique, start a discussion on the basis of your video. Ask questions, share tips, but most of all, engage!

Social media really is a great way to connect with the world. Start engaging and make the connection even stronger!

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11

Jul
2012
Comments Off on PR: There’s an App for That!

PR: There’s an App for That!

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As a busy PR professional on the move, your job has to travel with you.  For many of us, our laptops often sit idle while our smart phones and tablets never seem to get a break.  Public relations is all about staying connected, so having the right apps at your fingertips is key.  In our digital world, apps are invaluable tools for maintaining a presence, staying informed and serving clients’ needs from wherever you are.  In no particular order, here are five must-have apps for today’s mobile PR professionals.

AP Stylebook 2011 ($24.99 from iTunes)- Ditch your hard copy outdated edition AP Stylebook and invest in this app. Whether you are new to the biz or a seasoned pro, this essential reference guide should be kept close at all times to answer those burning style questions to ensure you’re writing to AP standards.

Dropbox (free from iTunes and Google Play)-This handy file sharing service saves  your photos, documents and videos in one place—and syncs them to all your computers, phone, tablet and even the Dropbox website.  It’s ideal for managing presentations and files when you’re out and about.

LinkedIn (free from iTunes and Google Play)-This one is a no-brainer. The LinkedIn app enables you to stay connected to your professional network 24/7, get the latest updates and share your status.  If you have a LinkedIn account—and you should—you need this app.

Evernote (free from iTunes and Google Play)-It’s like a virtual personal assistant to keep you organized. With Evernote, you can take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists and record voice reminders.  It’s completely searchable and works across all your devices.

Flipboard (free from iTunes and Google Play)-This awesome app creates a personalized magazine with content created from everything being shared with you. You can flip through your Facebook newsfeeds, tweets, other social media feeds and news outlets quickly and easily.  You can even re-tweet and share from within the app.

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11

Aug
2010
Comments Off on Going Organic

Going Organic

“Going organic” has become important for many people’s diets in recent years. But going organic in the internet world is becoming more important than ever when it comes to winning the search engine battle.

The internet is quickly replacing phone books and directories when we are looking to find information on a company or product. It is important that your web site can be easily found. With the massive amounts of information that can be found on the internet these days, it can be easy to be lost in the shuffle.

One way to get your company’s information on the “results page one” of a search engine is by paying for an advertisement. But many companies are finding that they can get the same results using Search Engine Optimization, while saving some money at the same time.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) promotes a web site through increased visibility on a search engine. By correctly managing the components of SEO which include accurate key word lists, ad groups and compelling ad copy, you can make it easier for Google to match your site with the search being conducted. Search engines such as Google and Bing index billions of websites each day based on their content. When all of these variables work together, you can get a measurable conversion, ending up on the first results page.

The goal in SEO is to end up in the the top, unpaid listings in the search results page, also known as the organic results. Most people do not take the time to click through the results pages, so if your web site doesn’t land in the top 10, chances are you missed a chance to get people to your web site.

Getting lost in the shuffle in search engine results is easy. But with SEO, small and large businesses can place themselves right in front of their customers or prospects.

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11

Aug
2010
Comments Off on Blogging Effectively for Business Part 1

Blogging Effectively for Business Part 1

Do you know what it takes to get found in today’s world of social media? Setting up and maintaining a blog is one way to engage your customers and prospects without an overt selling message.

According to E-Marketer, by 2013, 58% of the U.S. Internet population (128 million people) will be reading blogs regularly while 17% (38 million) will have their own blogs. Getting people to read and react to your blog requires some upfront planning and long-term commitment.

You can quickly create and publish new content through a blog and allow your readers to leave comments on your content as well as garner other feedback from those reading both your post and reader comments, thus creating a vibrant loop with all parties.

Creating a blog also gives your company another chance to be found via search engines. For example, you can raise your search ranking in Google just by adding content to your blog on a regular basis. Rather than a static website where content rarely changes, adding fresh content to your blog multiplies the number of keyword phrases ultimately picked up by the major search engines.

Before you leap into blogging, remember that a blog has no expiration date. You can’t start a blog and decide after two months to stop it, because you will stop talking to your customers. Put some planning into your blog by answering these questions:

  • Who is your intended audience and what topics are of most interest to them?
  • Do you have the time and people to blog?
  • Do you host the blog on your website or have a separate domain?
  • Do you use a free blogging platform (a popular one is WordPress) or pay a monthly fee?
  • Are you comfortable editing the blog templates or should you get IT or an outside firm involved?

Coming soon: How to create content and how to measure your blog’s effectiveness.

Jim DiFrangia, SBC Social Consciousness AE

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11

Aug
2010
Comments Off on Blogging Effectively for Business Part 2

Blogging Effectively for Business Part 2

Why are many companies, especially those among the Fortune 500, blogging today? Creating a blog gives you the ability to ‘humanize’ your company and interact with your customers and prospects.

Adopting a blogging strategy may seem counter culture to some companies, where communications is tightly controlled. However, openness, sharing ideas and welcoming feedback is gradually becoming a successful communications format with corporate America.

Just getting a blog started is the biggest challenge. It is important to determine the type of content your audience is searching for and how the blog brings something of value to your readers.

Establish your expertise in a subject that is appealing to your audience without an overt sales message for your product or service. A hotel chain, for example, could start a blog on ‘best places to travel’ and garner reader comments. The blog’s sidebar could contain a blogroll (links to other travel resources), photo gallery of hot vacation spots submitted by readers and—by the way—a link to the hotel chain’s Web site.

Welcome comments to your blog even if they may be negative. A negative comment gives you the chance to solve a customer’s problem and leave a positive impression on others readers. Sometimes, comments provide you information that is important to improving customer service.

You don’t need to assign just one person to write your blogs; rather create a team of bloggers to diffuse the workload. Just make sure your bloggers have a passion for the subject matter, they enjoy interacting with readers, they know how to write and they know what they are writing about. Should your CEO blog? It’s OK if he or she meets the above criteria and is willing to devote some time to this initiative; otherwise, don’t do it.

Jim DiFrangia, SBC Social Consciousness AE

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