Have No Fear…Social Media Resources are Here

Photo Credit:  Dollar Photos; pablocalvog

Photo Credit: Dollar Photos; pablocalvog

I don’t know about you, but the first time I logged onto Twitter, I had no idea what to do with it.  I couldn’t understand how those little 140-character blurbs could do anything meaningful for a business or organization that wanted to grow.  Boy, did I have a lot to learn.

Fast forward two years and I can’t believe I didn’t get it.  Looking back, the experience kind of reminds me of the first time I introduced my parents to the Internet.  They were scared stiff.

What scared me was that I only knew enough about Twitter and the other social media platforms I was dabbling in at the time to be dangerous – in more ways than one.

If this sounds familiar, I’m here to tell you to have no fear, for resources like Social Media Examiner are here!  Earlier this week I saw a post from Social Media Examiner that announced a new show that it’s debuting on iTunes.  It’s called the Social Media Examiner Show and is a ten-minute daily podcast of “snackable” tips for marketing your business.

My reason for sharing this, other than the fact that I think it’s great, is that it’s just one of thousands of resources available for social media newcomers to learn how – and why — it’s done.

Here are a few other tips to help you get started:

  1. Get Social – If you are not already out there, it’s time. The best way to learn is to join the conversation.  Open Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.  If you are brand new, I recommend starting with personal accounts.  You can always create business accounts once you get the hang of things.
  2. Do Your Homework – Spend some time on web sites like Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, Content Marketing Institute, and Social Mediopolis. Google social media experts and read (and subscribe to) their blogs.  Some of my favorites include:  {grow} by Mark Schaefer, Post Planner and jeffbulas.com.  There are also some great books out there.  A few that I recommend include:  The Tao of Twitter and Social Media Explained by Mark Schaefer, Born to Blog by Mark Schaefer and Stanford Smith, Everybody Writes by Ann Handley, and Maximize Your Social, by Neal Schaffer.
  3. Consider a Class or Conference – When I decided to start my own business, I invested in a Mini-MBA course on Social Media Marketing offered by Rutgers University. It was a 12-week, online course and one of the best professional development experiences in my 25+ year career.  This is where I first “met” Mark Schaefer, Neal Schaffer and 10 other social media gurus that I now follow and interact with on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and more.  They opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities – and I never looked back.

If a course isn’t for you, consider a seminar or conference.  I recently participated in a month-long Social Media Success Summit.  It consisted of three sessions (all virtual) on three or four days a week in October.  We heard from 45 of the world’s top social media professionals.  Trust me when I say that whether you listen in live, or tune in to the recordings later, you will come away with a boatload of resources worth well more than what you paid to take part.

While these suggestions just scratch the surface of what’s available, I hope you get the idea.  Today, I have my own business and create and manage entire social media marketing plans for my clients.  I love every minute of it, but also know that the learning never ends.  It seems that there’s something new happening daily – and I’m glad.

My parents just got their first iPads.  They, like me, have come a long way.  You can too.

Have you found resources that you love and would recommend?  If so, please share them here.

Posted in Content Marketing, marketing communications, Social Media Marketing, Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wishing You a Wonderful Holiday Season!

Composite image of hands holding poster
Happy Holidays everyone!  Thank you for subscribing to my blog!  Linked here is the latest issue of the newsletter version of this blog.  It contains tips on managing social media marketing in 2015.  It also talks about what we know and love — blogging.  As always, I welcome your thoughts. 
 
With the holidays upon us I wish you and yours all the happiness and blessings in the world.  Regardless of which holiday you celebrate, I hope you will take time to enjoy the people around you who make life worth living! 
 
The New Year brings with it unlimited possibilities.  I look forward to exploring them with you.  As we said when were kids leaving school for holiday break, “See you next year!” — MJK 

 

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Tis the Season for the Human Side of Business

 

white christmas bow

What a week!  Business was good.  My kids were counting down the days until Christmas break.  My husband was happy that his football team won on Sunday, and I re-connected with three old co-workers on LinkedIn.  While, I connect with people on LinkedIn all the time, there’s something extra special about rekindling old friendships with people who played a role in shaping your career – and life.

You may be wondering why, if these people were so important, I lost contact in the first place.  Well, sometimes life just takes over!  We all get busy, move on to new jobs, start families, send kids to college, and before you know it, 20 years have gone by.  It happens in the blink of an eye.  Try as we might to keep in touch, it does not always happen.  We’re only human after all…

The good news is that social media platforms like LinkedIn are helping us mere mortals to re-kindle relationships of old, as well as form brand new ones.  It’s happening every day and all around the world.  We all talk about B2B and B2C, but H2H (Human to Human) is where it’s at today.  Personally, I rather like it that way.

We all want to do business with people we know, trust and like.  That means it’s important for businesses to show their human side.  Be empathetic, genuine and ridiculously helpful.  Be a friend.

With the holiday season upon us, there’s no better time to reach out and touch those who are near and dear.  With social media at your fingertips you have all the tools you need to do it.  Select the platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and more!) that your customers use the most, and communicate.

Capodanno 2015 Natale_01Take time to thank them.  Ask them about their New Year’s resolutions and how you can serve them better in 2015.  Do a customer survey.  Blog about their successes.  Preview new products and services.  Whether you’re in plumbing and heating, retail, food service, lawn care, accounting, or one of a billion other types of businesses, let your customers know that you’ll be there when you need them.  Let them know you care.

While you’re at it, plug in the names of a few friends or co-workers from your past.  You might be pleasantly surprised by who you find and how willing they are to re-connect.  Old friends are the best.  They already know, trust and admire you – and you them.  In business, that’s more than half the battle.  In life, it’s everything, so bring them back to your present and into your future – and together, make it bright.

How are you connecting with your customers this holiday season?  I’d love to know. Please use the contact form below to share your thoughts and ideas.  Thanks!

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How to Beat the Birthday Blues

Happy birthday candles on a cake

This post is a bit different from what I usually write. You see, today is my 49th birthday. That’s right. The year before the “big” one! While I happen to like birthdays, this one feels a bit major to me.

Could it be because of the many changes I made while at the youthful age of 48? After all, I left the comforts of full-time employment to embark on life as a freelance writer. That was pretty big. I went back to school for extra training in social media. My oldest son’s voice dropped two octaves, my daughter got braces and moved gyms (she’s a Level 9 competitive gymnast!), my little guy weathered the storm of switching schools, and my husband’s company changed hands.

My kids are growing up and, for some reason, the older I get, the worse that makes me feel. I find myself sobbing when I look at old photo albums as I realize how much — and how fast — time has gone by. If only I could freeze my kids at the same age for a few years. Who knows? Maybe I’d freeze with them!

My husband, the realist, says that’s not going to happen, so what’s a 49-year old girl to do to beat the birthday blues?

Start the day by checking Facebook! I must say that waking up to 20 or 30 birthday wishes from friends and family is pretty great. The best part is that they keep coming throughout the day. Some greetings even come the old fashioned way – by telephone! My birthday morning would not be complete without a call from my dad. I treasure that.

Shop! My Birthday is on Cyber Monday! What’s especially great is when retail stores that you frequent send you discounts and coupons to redeem on your birthday. When you combine those with Cyber Monday sales, there are some great deals to be had. There’s nothing quite like buying yourself something and getting it for way less than usual on your birthday! (I already placed my order, by the way! Thanks Kohl’s for the birthday bucks!

Get the mail! My first card arrived in the mail on Saturday from a dear friend who never forgets and my kids and husband left three funny ones for me on the counter this morning. Cards are so much fun! Be sure to check both mail boxes – the one outside and the one in your computer for birthday greetings. I’m grateful that so many people take the time to say something nice.

Work! While many people like to take the day off on their birthday, I’m happy to be working! In a mere seven months, I’ve gotten my new freelance business off the ground. I still have a long way to go, but I’m getting there. Just wait until you see what my 50th year brings!

Eat cake! While the last thing my 49-year-old waistline needs is cake, my kids say it’s a must. I happen to agree. Whether it’s cake, a brownie, cookie, or donut, I’m believer that everyone should hear the birthday song and blow out candles placed in something yummy on their big day. I haven’t seen a cake just yet, but I think one is coming.

Dream. Just writing this post has cheered me up. I have many things (mostly people!) to be thankful for and plan on continuing to dream big. And, while I can’t freeze time, I plan on continuing to enjoy it with the people I love the most.

I wish you many wonderful birthdays — sans the blues.

Do you ever get the birthday blues?  How do you banish them?  I will definitely need suggestions for next year…besides having a huge party, that is! 

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Tis the Season for Making #H2H Connections

Tis the season Christmas ribbon

This week was a great one!  Business was good.  My kids were healthy and doing well in school.  My hubby was happy that his football team won on Sunday, and I re-connected with three old friends and mentors on LinkedIn.  While, I connect with people on LinkedIn all the time, there’s something extra special about rekindling old friendships with people who played a role in shaping your career – and life.

You may be wondering why, if these people were so important, I lost contact in the first place.  Well, sometimes life just takes over!  We all get busy, move on to new jobs, start families, send kids to college, and before you know it, 20 years have gone by.  It happens in the blink of an eye.  Try as we might to keep in touch, it does not always happen.  We’re only human after all…

The good news is that social media platforms like LinkedIn are helping us mere mortals to re-kindle relationships of old, as well as form brand new ones.  It’s happening every day and all around the world.  We all talk about B2B and B2C, but H2H (Human to Human) is where it’s at today.  Personally, I rather like it that way.

We all want to do business with people we know, trust and like.  That means it’s important for businesses to show their human side.  Be empathetic, genuine and ridiculously helpful.  Be a friend.

With the holiday season upon us, there’s no better time to reach out and touch those who are near and dear.  With social media at your fingertips you have all the tools you need to do it.  Select the platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and more!) that your customers use the most, and communicate.

Take time to thank them.  Ask them about their New Year’s resolutions and how you can serve them better in 2015.  Do a customer survey.  Blog about their successes.  Preview Resolutions Green Road Sign Over Dramatic Clouds and Sky.new products and services.  Whether you’re in plumbing and heating, retail, food service, lawn care, accounting, or one of a billion other types of businesses, let your customers know that you’ll be there when you need them.  Let them know you care.

While you’re at it, plug in the names of a few friends or co-workers from your past.  You might be pleasantly surprised by who you find and how willing they are to re-connect.  Old friends are the best.  They already know, trust and admire you – and you them.  In business, that’s more than half the battle.  In life, it’s everything, so bring them back to your present and into your future – and together, make it bright.

How are you connecting with your customers this holiday season?  I’d love to know. Please use the contact form below to share your thoughts and ideas.  Thanks!

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First Responders Use Social Media on the Job

WRITEON

firefighter

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up the Press of Atlantic City (the E-Paper, of course!) yesterday.  On the front page was a story about how police and fire departments all over South Jersey are successfully using social media.  Written by Anjalee firstresponderssocialKhemlani (@acpressanj), the article’s focus is on six first responders who are using social media to promote what they do and how and why they do it.  They are also using social media to deliver important information and educational materials to area residents.

As I read about their successes and challenges, I couldn’t help but think about the many small businesses that have yet to embrace social media.  So I decided to share this article in the hope that these fearless first responders will inspire more small businesses to follow their lead.

So, after you read the article  and are raring to go, here are…

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First Responders Use Social Media on the Job

 

firefighter

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up the Press of Atlantic City (the E-Paper, of course!) yesterday.  On the front page was a story about how police and fire departments all over South Jersey are successfully using social media.  Written by Anjalee firstresponderssocialKhemlani (@acpressanj), the article’s focus is on six first responders who are using social media to promote what they do and how and why they do it.  They are also using social media to deliver important information and educational materials to area residents.

As I read about their successes and challenges, I couldn’t help but think about the many small businesses that have yet to embrace social media.  So I decided to share this article in the hope that these fearless first responders will inspire more small businesses to follow their lead.

So, after you read the article  and are raring to go, here are five things to keep in mind:

It’s all about the customers.  Social Media is all about building relationships and being ridiculously helpful.  While it’s okay to slip in a little something promotional, do it sparingly.   The customer is king!

Take one step at a time.  Don’t try to be everywhere at once.  Find out which social media platforms your customers use the most and start there.  Facebook is a great choice.  In fact, according to some brand new research, Facebook drives four times more traffic than any of its competitors.  Not a bad place to be!

A “page” does not social media make.  In other words, creating a Facebook page and updating it once a month does not qualify as being active on social media.  Whatever platforms you select, make sure you are delivering a constant stream of great content.   The more you post (great content), the more relationships you’ll build and the more trusted and valued you will become.

 The rules and tools are changing all the time.  Ask any social media guru and they will tell you that the only thing that’s stayed the same about social media is that everything keeps changing.  What works now might not work six months from now.  Companies are introducing new tools and platforms.  Existing platforms like Facebook and Twitter are making improvements, and the list goes on and on.   It’s very  exciting, don’t you think?

Don’t wait.  Approximately 64 percent of B2Bs are using social media.  What’s more, 74 percent of consumers are using social media to inform their next purchase.  We need to be there when they come looking!

What challenges are keeping you and/or your clients from using social media?  Please use the comment form to let me know.

Posted in Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment