A Few Quick Tips to Overcome the Social Media Hurdle

hurdleMany companies are using social media to build their brand and gain recognition in the marketplace, and others want to start integrating social media into their marketing mix but aren’t sure where to start.

Here are a few thoughts on launching a campaign:

• Embrace failure and learn from the mistakes – Look at Skittles – they launched a Twitter campaign by turning their homepage into a Twitter feed. When that failed Skittles tried another approach, but didn’t take into consideration what happened the first time! They didn’t learn from their first mistake and what happened – Strike 2! Their ego-centric approach didn’t work the 1st time, why would it work the 2nd time? Learn from the mistakes made and correct them on the 2nd approach to achieve the goal you sought out in the first place.

• Engage with your audience – listen to their ideas and thoughts; don’t make the social media effort all about YOU.

• There is no “I” in team – collaborate with team members to get their feedback and insight on the initiative.

• When launching a social media campaign have a clear, focused goal in mind and follow the necessary steps to achieve it. Is it driving visits to the website? Is it signing up for a webinar? Consider your goal and how you will measure the results of your effort. But recall, sometimes social media ROI can be fuzzy.

• Create something of value for your audience. Give them a reason to care.

• Know your audience before implementing a campaign and be prepared for the worst before it occurs.

• Be up front and honest with your intentions – it establishes trust and credibility.

Plan for success, prepare for failure!

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How To: Optimize your Facebook Presence

facebook-logoMany brands have created Facebook fan pages to jump on the bandwagon, but don’t know how to optimize their page to leverage the power of social networking. Facebook fan pages offer the user many of the same options as a personal profile such as posting status updates, info and photo tabs, and application boxes. However, to be effective the user should understand the importance of placement and interaction.

Here are a few ways to optimize your fan page:

Create a vanity URL – We’ve spoken about this in a previous blog post and can’t stress it enough. Having a vanity URL makes it easier for users to find you on Facebook and increases your shareability.

Optimizing your share preview – A new feature to personal profiles as well as fan pages is the opportunity to share links. This feature allows users to select thumbnail images to be displayed when shared and allows the placement of the Facebook logo or link to your own site to drive traffic to your fan page.

• Perfect Profile Picture – Having the perfect profile picture is key in attracting new fans – it’s the first thing they see when surfing for your brand. When cropping the picture make sure it’s 200px wide with a 12px border around important information since Facebook automatically crops images.

Facebook fan pages are growing in popularity, so be sure to follow these tips to ensure your brand doesn’t get lost in the shuffle and help your fans find you. An added bonus – It’s free and easy!

And become a fan of Strategic Guru while you are at it!

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A & S Website Up and Running!

We have officially launched the new website for our Worst Website Ever Contest winner, A&S Computer Services. We worked with owner, Dave, to create a new design and layout that is user friendly and easily navigable, as well as one that leads users to request more information or a consultation. Congrats, Dave! We hope the new site supports your business goals and is something you can proudly share with clients and prospects.

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Lead Generation Tactic – Webinars!

webinarA webinar is an interactive web-based seminar used to give, receive and discuss information. They are an excellent way to convey information to a broad and diverse geographical area at a low cost and can be a useful tactic to generate leads. According to Henry DeVries, marketing coach and writer specializing in lead generation, the #1 lead generation tactic is seminars/webinars!

The execution of a webinar requires planning, preparation and organization. WorkSmart runs a number of webinars for various organizations and businesses and recently discussed the 10 Best Practices for How to Organize a Webinar on their blog.

Pick a topic that will resonate in your industry or among current clients. Have there been any changes to the industry? New legislation? Industry trends? The best webinars are informative, lively and will be perceived as valuable to the target audience. Here at Strategic Guru, our webinars on the nuts and bolts of social media have been well-received in the past.

We couldn’t agree more that practice, practice, practice is extremely important. This is a good way to work out all the kinks and become more comfortable with what you’re speaking about. Be sure to test your platform multiple times to be sure technical difficulties are avoided. Holding a mock webinar and presenting to a colleague using all your tools is essential.

Another good tip is to be confident. Yes, rehearsing your talk helps with confidence, but you need to believe in what you’re speaking about and sell it to your audience.

As the linked blog post above notes, engaging your participants is crucial. Keep the participants interested by asking questions and lead them to pursue further information. Webinars are a great way to engage potential customers, rather than just blasting your message out. Remember, social media is a two-way street.

For more information on planning and executing a great webinar, check this out: 10 Steps to Running a Knockout Webinar!

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Useful Twitter Tool: Hashtags

twitter-hash-logo-for-fluidIf you’ve been using Twitter for some time or are new to it, you’ve likely seen a word preceded by a hash symbol (#) in tweets, like #bigbadball. What are these used for? Simply put, Hashtags are a way to track tweets on a specific topic and make those topics easily searchable.

Hashtags can be a great way to track a social media campaign on Twitter if utilized properly. When using a hashtag for a campaign, be sure that it’s only included in tweets related to the campaign and not all of your tweets. Websites like What’s the Trend, Monitter and TweetGrid show trending topics and also let you search for a specific hashtag.

As mentioned earlier, we use HootSuite to manage Twitter and feel it’s a great tool to track the searches and tweets that include your #hashtag.

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