5 Tips for Creating a Social Media Plan

Get a plan for your social media presence.

There are too many things on a daily basis you have to keep up with. Don’t start your Social Media presence without a Plan.

Having a Social Media Plan is crucial if your business is going to be successful with your online presence. Businesses often fail in their social media efforts because there’s no structure or commitment from the start, leading to poor or no results and frustration.

If this has happened to your business, you’re not alone. That’s the reason you need a Social Media Plan that will help you stay on track with daily maintenance, recurring posts and projects you may want to initiate. Following are five helpful tips for creating a social media plan that will keep you on track.

 

Create Goals for Your Business

Your social media strategy should be molded by your goals. Are you looking for new sales leads? Are you trying to increase your Web traffic?

Are you trying to raise brand awareness? You can’t do everything at once, so you’ll have to set goals that are attainable and invest time, energy and resources into achieving those goals.

 

Find Out Where Your Customers Spend Their Time

Recent research has shown that internet users spend anywhere from 16% to 25% of their online time on social newtworks. In comScore’s 2012 U.S. Digital Future in Focus Report, researchers found that customers are spending 1 out of every 6 minutes online on social networks. This is good news if you’re trying to reach customers and start a dialogue with them through social networking sites.

 

Stay Engaged on a Consistent Basis

You need to think about the ways and frequency which you’re going to engage with your customers. It’s better to have a steady stream of engagement in order to reach your goals. Respond to comments, tweets and posts on a daily basis as this should be part of your maintenance. Do not let this go by the wayside or people are going to think your not interested.

 

Create Useful Content

Post relevant and current information that your clients will find useful and they will start to see you as the authority on a subject. Your followers don’t want a sales pitch, they already like you. They want conversation that will be useful to them and not just talk about how great your company is. Don’t go more than a couple of days without posting something or you’ll look disengaged.

 

Delegate Tasks

Once you start growing and your social medial presence is established, you’re going to want to broaden your horizons and keep up the activity by posting videos on YouTube, interacting more frequently on Twitter or creating and installing some custom apps on your Facebook page. To accomplish all this you may need some help. If you become overwhelmed by all the activity, look into adding a team member to help you out. Graphic artists can create impressive infographics, writers can keep your blogs updated and write white papers or you could even consider bringing in an intern to help with the day-to-day conversations and gathering information. A talented team can help you achieve your goals much faster than you could on your own.

Positioning your business for success in social media takes strategizing and time dedication. Monitor your analytics to see where you’re being successful and where you need to make adjustments to your plan. Starting a social media marketing campaign is exciting but it should not be taken lightly. Go into it knowing that it will take time and dedication. You’ll get much better results if you have a well planned social media strategy from the beginning.

If you think it’s time for your company to get a social media plan, get in touch with Hadfield Communications at www.hadfield.net. We’ll be glad to analyze your current social media efforts and give you feed back on how to make it work for your company.

Are Email Blasts Effective?

Have you started using email marketing tools to reach your customers? “According to the Direct Marketing Association, every dollar spent on email marketing generates $43.62 in revenue” as an average. Email marketing can be an effective and economical way to reach your audience if done in the right way. You can boost your communications with your customers, talk to them in a targeted manner, get more referrals easily, track who reads and responds to your emails and more.

Email marketing should be targeted.

You should only send emails to people that have given you permission to receive emails from you.

A proper email marketing campaign is targeted to the people who want to hear from you and it’s not a random email blast to see what sticks. In other words, spam. Email marketing should be part of a comprehensive marketing strategy and should only be executed if you have the permission of your contacts or subscribers. In other words, they have opted to provide you their email address in order for you to communicate with them. If you don’t have a properly developed list of contacts who have agreed to hear from you and you blast out unsolicited emails, then you are just wasting your time and efforts because your email will go right in the trash.

Email marketing has many benefits. When you send out an email blast, assuming you’re using an established marketing system, you have access to many reports and analytics that tell you if your campaign is reaching your target and is successful. They have analytics that show how many people opened the email, at what time they opened it, how many times they opened it, which links they clicked, if it was forwarded to someone, etc. You can also see if they marked your email as spam or unsubscribed from your mailing list. This kind of feedback is exactly what you need to see how successful your campaign was and how to adjust the next campaign you send out. With a traditional mailing campaign, it’s hard to know how many people actually respond to the offer because you’re sending direct mailers to a targeted group of people hoping the design of the piece and the offer are enough to get them to open it and respond. So really, there’s no way of knowing how effective the mailer was. But, don’t get me wrong, there is a place for printed mailing campaigns and they have been proven to work, so I’m not saying not to use direct mail.

There’s also an economical aspect to sending out email campaigns. With a traditional direct mail campaign, there are costs attached that email campaigns don’t have such as mailing costs and printing costs. You still have design cost on both campaigns and you still have to consider branding the email to stay within your design guidelines.

Email marketing is a great tactic but it should be used as a supplement to other marketing initiatives. A great way to grow your marketing list is if you are running an ad campaign or social medial campaign, you can incorporate an opt-in option as a source to for people to hear from you.

If you think it’s time for your company to get started with more Email Marketing, get in touch with Hadfield Communications at www.hadfield.net. We’ll be glad to analyze your current efforts and give you feed back on how to make your Email Campaigns more visible.

Best Times for Sending Messages

Checking phone messages on cell phone.

There’s a science to figuring out when the best time is to send messages on Facebook, Twitter and Email.

As with everything else these days, it seems there’s a science on the time you should send Emails, Tweets and Ads. Digital marketers are figuring out that people are working longer hours, logging in at home and on the weekends. This means added opportunity for connecting with customers at different times.

In the post by Tessa Wegert for ClickZ called The Best Time to Send Emails, Tweets and Text Ads, she outlines that when posting to Facebook, usage peaks at 3:00 p.m. ET on weekdays, with Wednesday being the best day. But Sunday can be slow, as can be expected with people spending time with family or resting.

But if you’re posting to Twitter, the weekend may be the best bet for you as customers engage with their brands on weekends much more, specially in the sports and apparel arena. That’s to be expected as most people go shopping during the weekend.

As for sending emails, there’s different timeframes sighted and it really depends on the nature of your message and what makes sense for your brand. And lunchtime seems to be the best time for mobile ads.

At the end of the day, you know your brand and customers best and by taking a look at your analytics, you will determine what the best time is for your brand to send messages. As with everything, there’s no single path to follow to be successful.

If you think it’s time for your company to get started with more aggressive Digital Marketing, get in touch with Hadfield Communications at www.hadfield.net. We’ll be glad to analyze your current efforts and give you feed back on how to make your Digital Marketing more visible.

Master Facebook Marketing in 10 Days

It’s the question every business owner asks: How do I build a greater following on Facebook? In 10 days you can boost your Facebook interactions and brand recognition by acquiring fans and customers that will spend money on your product as a result of your social marketing efforts.

A very useful resource I found to achieve this goal is outlined in the publication by Hubspot, How to Master Facebook Marketing in 10 Days. Here, Andrea Vahl, Social Media Coach, Strategist and Speaker reveals 10 steps to follow that will get you better results on Facebook. Some are a little more challenging to apply than others, but nevertheless, it’s a good source of useful information. Here is a synopsis of the 10 steps, which she outlines in detail on her guide.

1) Watch and Learn – Spend some time exploring other Pages on Facebook. Do some searching to find complementary businesses as well as competitors that you can learn from. Look at the Facebook pages of the big brands you admire to get some insight.

2) Understand Facebook Best Practices – There are some Facebook “rules of thumb” you should be aware of. While there aren’t any hard and fast rules in social media, there are some general “best practices” that you can start with as a base. Ultimately you will have to carve your own way with what works with your audience and what they need from you.

3) Learn the Lingo – Clearly, you should speak the language if you’re going to be more engaged.

4) Add to Your Page – Your Page should give potential Fans a clear picture on what your business is about and you should keep it up to date.

5) Create a Content Calendar – Spend time planning your editorial calendar, deciding what content you will post and when. One of the biggest challenges business owners can face is “What should I post?” An editorial calendar gives you a road map you can turn to without having to start with a blank page trying to figure out what you want to communicate to your customers.

6) Understand the Art of Engagement – The more often you (or your customers) comment, click, like, and tag content, the more likely your content will display in their news feeds.

7) Put on a Show – Spend some time brainstorming and planning the types of events you can host on Facebook. This step is a little more intricate, but if done right, it will yield results.

8) Put on a Contest – Put on a contest which requires entrants to get creative. It requires they get engaged and that engagement drives relevance which is something Facebook and Facebook relationships thrive on.

9) Run a Targeted ad Campaign – For this you’re going to have to have a specific target audience and design a campaign specifically for them.

10) Review your analytics to see where you need to tweak your strategy. Facebook offers an analytics page called Insight where you can get the results which represent the counts of people who have viewed or interacted with your page and much more information.

As always, these are just suggestions and you should not be afraid to try new things not mentioned here. After reading this ebook, you should have a solid foundation to start using Facebook for business. Remember that Facebook is constantly changing, adding features, and growing the community, so stay active and informed.

If you think it’s time for your company to get started with more aggressive Facebook marketing, get in touch with Hadfield Communications at www.hadfield.net. We’ll be glad to analyze your current efforts and give you feed back on how to make your Facebook Page more visible.

Content is Key to Turning Hits into Sales

What is the most important factor to consider for good SEO? CONTENT. Providing good quality, original content or information on their Web sites allows businesses to use key words throughout their site and gives visitors valuable information that they can use. Both of these things are important for successful search engine results.

To illustrate this point, Brafton has put together an infographic called “Why Content for SEO?” (see below; click on chart to expand) and it shows how content is key to search engine visibility. The effect on sales is impressive with 60% of business decision makers saying branded content helps them make better product decisions. Coupled with 57% of marketers saying that new customers have come in via company blogs. And, 52% of consumers say blogs have impacted their purchase decisions and 61% of consumers are more likely to purchase goods from businesses that offer custom content.

Content is key for good SEO and to get better sales results.

When discussing content marketing, Bradford also sites that 75% of consumers prefer informational articles over ads. So it’s clear that the information people find online impacts their purchase decisions.

Gone are the days of having just a “pretty” Website. It is crucial you populate your site with original content that visitors will find interesting. That’s the way you’re going to turn hits into sales.

If you think it’s time for your company to get started with SEO, get in touch with Hadfield Communications at www.hadfield.net. We’ll be glad to analyze your current efforts and give you feed back on how to make your Web site more visible using search engine optimization.

5 Tips for Better SEO

SEO involves many different keyword tests.

There are many aspects to SEO.

All of us want our Web site to rank first with search engines but to achieve this lofty goal, you have to pay special attention to the way you create content. Here are five tips to help you get better results.

  • Ensure content is built based on keyword research to match content to what users are searching for
  • Ensure as much written content as possible is kept out of rich media and images
  • Produce content-rich pages other sites will want to link to; be an authority for users producing excellent content
  • Be sure content is unique – don’t reuse content from other sources
  • Create a social media plan to promote content via social spaces

Different SEO processes are required for new sites as opposed to established sites. New sites must find their first target keywords. We call this first step the Keyword Research Funnel. Established sites with traffic and response can build on the success of their most responsive keyword niches.

The Keyword Research Funnel is a process for starting SEO for new sites with little existing traffic. By using keyword research tools such as Wordtracker, and your own marketing and product knowledge, you will find your target market’s keywords and keyword niches within those markets. Those targets are then tested to find out if the keywords are as popular as predicted. Here are four steps to take to achieve good results with your Keyword Research Funnel:

Step 1

Find Target Markets – finds your site’s target markets and the keywords that define them.

Step 2

Prioritize First Keywords – finds and prioritizes target keywords within your target markets.

Step 3

Create First Content – creates landing pages on your site ready for testing your prioritized target keywords’ niches.

Step 4

Test keywords – Predicted popularity and hoped-for response are verified. Keywords that don’t deliver response are dropped. Keywords that bring response are used.

The creation of SEO was a drastic overhaul in how Web site’s content is created and how they get to the top of search engines. The next step in SEO development is finding ways to predict the patterns of the search engines better, which is no easy task. Keep in mind that in SEO, a strict formula doesn’t always work and sometimes there are hits and misses before you land on the best possible keywords.

If you think it’s time for your company to get started with SEO, get in touch with Hadfield Communications at www.hadfield.net. We’ll be glad to analyze your current efforts and give you feed back on how to make your Web site more visible using search engine optimization.

Why Is SEO Necessary?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and it’s the way a Web site gets traffic from the listings on search engines. All major search engines like Google and Yahoo use the listings of key words where Web pages and other content are ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. It’s a way for the search engine to understand what is on the page.

There is a science to search engine optimization. Search engines reward pages with the right combination of ranking factors. As the chart from Search Engine Land and Third Door Media shows below, there are some major factors or “signals” you should seek to have in your copy and coding to be successful with SEO. You can click on the chart for a closer look or download it at Search Engine Land.

SearchEngineLand-Periodic-Table-of-SEO

There is a science to search engine optimization.

What you have to keep in mind is that search engine optimization makes the content of your Web site easy to understand to the search engines so they can figure out what the page is about and rank the content accordingly in order for someone to find your site. Here is a good example of why SEO is needed. Imagine you post a picture of a field during spring. A person would describe the picture as “a green field with colorful blooming wild flowers with blue skies and a giant tree to the right side”. Now this is a description that the best search engine would struggle to create without some help. How do you make the search engine figure out the photo? That’s where SEO comes in. It allows people to provide clues that the engine can use to understand content.

Understanding how to build SEO friendly content allows you to write copy and tags so search engines know what’s on each of your pages. Without SEO, many Web sites remain invisible to search engines. Even though there are still limitations to search engines, SEO is the best tool for you to use if you want people to be able to find your Web site.

If you think it’s time for your company to get started with SEO, get in touch with Hadfield Communications at www.hadfield.net. We’ll be glad to analyze your current efforts and give you feed back on how to make your Web site more visible using search engine optimization.

How to Find People to Follow on Twitter

Twitter is very useful to share thoughts, ask questions, get the news and discover helpful links and information. If you are a new user, finding new people to follow can be difficult. There are a number of ways you can find people on Twitter that have your same likes, hobbies and interests. The possibilities are endless when you’re trying to connect with people.

 

If you want your efforts to pay off on Twitter, it is crucial you follow relevant people that interest you. Thankfully there are a number of ways to find people on Twitter. Here are a few suggestions that can help you get started.

 

Directories is one way to go.

Sites like Twellow, WeFollow and Just Tweet It let you search people by location, topic, top tags and other interests. Finding the right people shouldn’t be too difficult. By doing a few directory searches based on your criteria, you should find like-minded people to follow in no time.

 

Twitter Directory

Directories are a helpful way to find people with the same interests as you.

Lists are useful to find people with similar interests.

Listorious is a search engine for Twitter lists. You can find anyone by topic, region or profession. If you’re looking for a certain type of person to follow, like people interested in art, just type in the criteria and you’ll get a list of people interested in the same thing. Another source for lists is Twibes, which helps you find people with similar interests by matching keywords of things people Tweet. Once a word is matched, Twibes compiles the list.

 

List to find people on Twitter to follow.

Twibes helps with finding lists of people by matching them with key words.

Engage with people.

Another great way to gain find people to follow and to find followers on Twitter is to engage with people. You should follow others whose Tweets are interesting or meaningful to you and be an active contributor to the Twitter community by reading and posting high-quality information. As stated on Is Social Media Worth Your Time?, it takes commitment and a strategy to be on Twitter if you want to get the benefits out of it. Otherwise, Twitter can be a very lonely place.

 

If you think it’s time for your company to get started on Twitter, get in touch with Hadfield Communications at www.hadfield.net. We’ll be glad to analyze your current efforts and give you feed back on how to make Twitter work for your company.

Does Your Business Need to be on Facebook?

Does Your Company Need tobe on Facebook

If someone likes your page, their friends will see the post and they’ll get exposed to your brand.

It seems that every company (small or large) has rushed to be on Facebook without considering many factors that need to be considered before starting a Facebook presence. The last thing you want to do is put up a Facebook page and not have fresh content to keep your page vibrant and people interested. Below are a few things you should consider before you begin.

Time is a big factor. Are you willing to invest the time it takes to make your page a destination to engage people? Are you going to constantly be able to add value and keep your page current to entice new visitors constantly? Ask yourself if you have the time to make that commitment. If you don’t, your efforts will backfire and your Facebook page will be stagnant.

Do you have a plan? You need to come up with a plan for posting engaging material to create a buzz around your page. Really think about how you can create value for your customers and map out a strategy that will work for your company. Think of your target audience and create content that will be useful to them.

One good thing about a well thought out Like Page on Facebook is that any interactions will make it into the newsfeed of those that like your page. Your posts will be seen by friends of those that Like your page, expanding your exposure. That means that their friends will see them interacting with your brand and the more interaction you get, the more your name will get out.

Another great thing about Facebook is that it will give you free exposure. You will be able to connect with people you would have not connected with if it weren’t for your Facebook page. Every good impression made on Facebook is a potential person that will Like your page and their friends will see it, and so on.

Long term, one of the most important reasons why your business should have a Facebook page is because you want to expand your network of followers and you’ll want to provide them with useful information about your business. Those new followers will eventually become an important source for future earning potential. They will also become advocates for your business if you provide them with a valuable experience. Just make certain that before you start, you have the time and the plan in place to make your company successful on Facebook.

If you think it’s time for your company to get a Like Page on Facebook, get in touch with Hadfield Communications at www.hadfield.net. We’ll be glad to analyze your current social media efforts and give you feed back on how to make it work for your company.

5 Tips for Successful Tweeting

Twitter and Social Media

Make Twitter part of your social media strategy.

The thing about Twitter is that you shouldn’t focus on how many people follow you, but focus on the people that do follow you. Give them content they want to read and retweet.

If you post an articles on your blog or Website and are looking to increase your traffic, Twitter is a great platform to do so but make sure the content you’re sending is something your followers can use.

Spamming is a big no-no though. Try to diversify your links so they create value for the user. Remember this is a 2 way conversation – create value for your followers and your followers will give you value.

Try to keep these 5 tips in mind when Tweeting: 

  • Be consistent – Don’t give up after a week. Twitter requires a fair amount of time, patience and interaction with people. Don’t just do ten tweets in one day and then go a week without any activity. Post at least three times a week with substantive materials that people in your network will be interested in.
  • Be responsive – Engage with people on a personal level to build relationships. Reply to people that comment on your posts and make direct comments to people whose posts you like. You want to build trust, loyalty and engagement.
  • Be entertaining – Provide content, not SPAM. Avoid a tone that is just marketing or selling. If every Tweet you send is about promoting your business, your followers are going to drop you, and fast.
  • Use links in your Tweets – 70% of links that are retweeted contain links. But make sure they provide quality information.
  • Integrate Twitter into your overall social media strategy. If you intend to use Twitter for anything other than personal use, link it to your other social media networks and your Website.

If you want to get more educated on this subject, there are a growing number of Websites that give advice on how to get the most out of Twitter. A good one is TwiTip, which covers such subjects as “Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from Twitter” and “3 Creative Tools For Power Twitter Users.”

Keep in mind that the goal is to develop a pool of followers who are really interested in what you’re saying and that look forward to your Tweets. For every comment or reply you get, there’s many others who didn’t reply because they don’t have the time to respond, but they may be listening in the conversation and may chime in once in a while.

If you think it’s time for your company to get started on Twitter, get in touch with Hadfield Communications at www.hadfield.net. We’ll be glad to analyze your current efforts and give you feed back on how to make Twitter work for your company.

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