Category : Social Media Marketing

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5 Posts to AVOID Sharing on LinkedIn

Do you ever pause just before hitting the Share button when posting on LinkedIn?

Have you ever wondered if what you’re about to post will hurt or improve your personal brand and authority on LinkedIn?

It can be hard to know what are the best kinds of content to post and which you should avoid, especially when the topic is current, relevant and, perhaps, even controversial.

While controversial posts will often get the most engagement and comments, do you really want people to associate that topic or content with you?

You may even be thinking that if you just share the post and don’t provide your own opinion or comment that people won’t think that you’re for or against a particular side. But often just by posting, your connections will make assumption and form an opinion, which may or may not be in your favor.

I am going to show a number of example posts and share why you may or may not want to share these types of posts on LinkedIn. Remember that LinkedIn is very different from Twitter or Facebook, it’s a professional network, full of potential prospects who may not share your world view. And by posting in a way that conflicts with their views, you could hurt your ability to connect and build a relationship with them.

When in doubt, the best rule of thumb is to always keep it professional and avoid all negativity.

Here are 4 types of LinkedIn posts you should avoid sharing as well as four examples that can help your engagement and build your personal brand.

1. Controversial Posts

As LinkedIn is a professional network full of clients, potential clients, industry peers and other people in professional relationships with you, it’s a good idea to avoid topics that tend to polarize people, especially controversial ones with a negative connotation.

This is not because these topics are not important or relevant, but because LinkedIn’s not the correct platform for those discussions.

Because these topics do polarize people, it can invoke the age old “you are either with us or against us”. In these scenarios, if you fall on opposite sides of your clients or other professional relationships, this can hurt your business and your personal brand.

It’s better to avoid posting, or even commenting on, these types of posts altogether.

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2. Political or Religious Posts

These are two topics that people feel extremely passionate about. Just like with controversial topics, these types of posts tend to see people join one camp or another, and your connections can take great offense if you believe differently than they do.

Again I would recommend that you avoid posting or commenting on these types of posts.

3. Sales Pitch Posts

While LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B, it’s most effective when you use it as a platform to build relationships, rather than as a place to broadcast your sales material.

While some businesses can make sales directly on the platform, most will need to build relationships with clients so they can move the relationship to the place where they can have a sales conversation, usually offline.

Any ads and sales pitches in status updates will often be ignored by your connections and can, in some cases, hurt how they see your brand.

Focus on providing value and being the go to resource for your ideal clients, so that when they need someone who does what you do, you’re the first person that comes to mind.

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4. Too Much Personal Information Posts

I’ll say it again – LinkedIn is a professional social media platform. It’s not Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat.

While you should be social, you can be social AND professional at the same time. That means no cat memes, no posts of what you ate for lunch (unless it’s relevant to your profession), no drinking/partying pics and absolutely no negativity.

In the example post below you will see as one commenter points out that the author of the update has given out sensitive information that allows viewers to determine her underage daughter’s age, name, city and industry of employment. This is information that she probably did not intend for the potentially hundreds (or more) strangers in her extended network to see.

4 LinkedIn Posts That Can Help You Stand Out & Improve Engagement

1. Timely & Relevant Posts

There’s no better way to create conversation with your connections (helping you to stay top of mind) and increase your engagement than to post on timely and relevant topics in your industry or the professional world in general.

The key is to pick topics that are generally positive in nature and that in some way affect you (and some of your connections).

Here are a couple of status update examples that share a relevant and timely topic that have received a lot of engagement.

2. Conversation Inspiring Posts

While you want to avoid negative, non-business related topics, it can be good to post on topics that can inspire productive debate on important issues in your industry or the business world.

Both the content and how you present it should be thoughtful and inspire productive conversation rather than emotionally heated debates.

3. Professional Wins & Changes Posts

As this is a social network, and you’re looking to build relationships with people (which requires them to get to know, like and trust you), you also want to include a personal element in some of your posts.

A great way to occasionally add a bit of yourself into your LinkedIn status updates is to share relevant professional or work related wins and changes.

This could be a new job, a promotion, getting a new client or a lesson learned.

4. Personal Touch Posts

You might be thinking, “but you just said to keep it professional”.

And I did.

But very occasionally and done correctly, it can be beneficial to share a little piece of your life outside of your work with your connections.

While both this example and the earlier example with too much personal info have a work related theme (which is ideal), the difference between the examples is that in this one, the author doesn’t give away information that could endanger his daughter. The post also leaves you with a great bit of wisdom (which could only come from a small child).

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Wrapping Up

I hope you’ve found these examples of what not to post and what to post on LinkedIn helpful.

A great way to test if something would make a good update would be to ask yourself, “is this something that I would want posted and associated with me on the front of a large and popular newspaper?” If you still feel passionately about posting something controversial, ask yourself if you’re willing to lose customers or potential prospects who might disagree or be offended by your point of view.

While opinions and experiences will vary, these general guides should help you stay on track to maximize your LinkedIn presence.

Have you ever posted something on LinkedIn and received negative backlash from it? Let me know in the comments below.

New Facebook “Name Tag”

Recently, Facebook rolled out a NEW search feature to easily and quickly find content from your favorite Pages without having to type in the brand‘s name.

You may have noticed it…

It’s located directly under the business name once you go to their Facebook Page.

 

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This new feature helps both the user AND the business.

As we all know, social media algorithms are designed to help folks solve queries, so, it’s our job as a business to design a way to use that to our advantage…Facebook gave us a hand.

As a business, you are able to use this feature to help tag your updates and traffic campaigns within the content. This way, you are able to get organic “juice” at the same time that you are helping the general public find you faster to solve their question.

And let’s face it, some of us just have LONG names for our businesses, right?

So, Facebook, once again, found a way to benefit the user as well as the business. By typing in the “@” symbol and a company’s shortened tag (Like above), users are able to locate your brand much faster and therefore, get the answer to their query much faster.

This will also help build trust and authority with your audience.

Now, some of you are probably wondering, “How do I get one of these?”

Good question! The short answer is, “You don’t.”

Why?

Because Facebook was kind enough to add a piece of code to their platform that, get this, programs it FOR YOU! Pretty wild, right? “Finally, Facebook threw us a bone and did some thing for us that helps our business at the same time!” Yep!

Now, I know that some of you are wondering where your new tag is…

…well, like everything else with Facebook, they role it our slowly to see how it “takes” within the business community. So, if you don’t have your tag yet, you will shortly 🙂

Currently, since Facebook is awarding them to you, you are unable to change them manually, however, I suspect that after the initial roll out, and a positive feedback is given, Facebook will provide you with an area to manually alter your tag.

 

Here’s to Your Success!

Alex, MPeMG

Now Would Be a Good Time to Publish with LinkedIn

With Microsoft’s latest purchase of LinkedIn, one of the largest business social media platforms today, it would be a good idea to start becoming much more active with the juggernaut publishing platform.

…Wait, I can publish content with LinkedIn, not just share content, or post quick updates?

YEP!

I’ve always said you don’t have to be anointed as an influencer to build online influence! It’s up to you to contribute to your audience, share valuable experiences, and create solid content that shows your thought leadership.

The LinkedIn publishing platform gives you the opportunity to expand your reach in a major way. Since all LinkedIn members have access to the platform, it’s critical for you to create high-quality content that differentiates you.

Your published posts show up at the top of your LinkedIn profile.

With the LinkedIn publishing platform, you can follow other publishers and build your own followers in the process. While your LinkedIn followers have the potential to see your LinkedIn posts, they aren’t official network connections. (It’s similar to LinkedIn’s current model for following LinkedIn-appointed influencers.)

Any posts you publish on LinkedIn are tied to your professional profile and show up near the top of your profile. This means your thought leadership insights are showcased when someone views your LinkedIn profile.

The first post we published to LinkedIn helped me attract over 200 new followers, and my profile views were up 38% week over week! These stats tell me that the LinkedIn publishing platform is going to be a great place to share longer-form, thought leadership content.

(Related Resource: Digitally Speaking – “Plain English” Online Marketing Resource & Training Library)

#1: Create Valuable, Attractive Content

Before you start posting, have a plan in place. What content is most useful for your audience? Is your post too salesy? Although there’s no formal editorial process, LinkedIn makes it clear that sales-oriented content won’t be tolerated (after all, that’s what the advertising platform is for).

LinkedIn has some helpful guidelines in their Help Center about what to publish. This is a good reference for understanding how to frame your content so it resonates with and adds value to both your established audience and your potential audience (which will now be even greater than your existing LinkedIn network).

Make sure your posts are scannable.

The general guidelines we’ve seen (including LinkedIn’s) recommend keeping posts between 400 and 600 words and publish weekly. However, you could certainly experiment with these parameters and determine what works best for you.

Like other social networks, people want to consume information quickly. Make it easy for them by creating scannable, attractive content. A few best practices are using a compelling headline, placing an eye-catching image at the top of your posts, bolding important text and breaking up longer paragraphs.

Feel free to enhance your articles with YouTube videos or content from SlideShare to make them as interesting and useful as possible.

When you’re ready to write an article on the LinkedIn publishing platform, it’s pretty easy. Go to your LinkedIn home page and look for the pencil icon in the box at the top where you would typically share an update.

When you click the pencil icon, you’ll see the publishing editor. This is where you create your post.

LinkedIn’s publishing editor is very simple to use. It’s similar to the WordPress editor or Microsoft Word. You can type or paste your text into the editor and format it right there.

Does your LinkedIn post have a bio section? You’ll need to create a bio at the end of each post. Your bio should include a sentence or two about who you are, what you do and who you help, a link to your website or blog or even a specific call to action.

It’s a good idea to make the most of all of your resources. In my bio below, I’ve linked my name to my Google+ profile, and on my Google+ profile I added LinkedIn to the list of sites I contribute to. This ensures that Google picks up my authorship profile for my LinkedIn posts.

Be sure to create a bio section at the end of every post you publish!

Before you hit Publish, please be sure to review your post and check it for grammar and spelling (the Preview option is helpful here). But if you don’t catch everything, you can go back and edit your post any time.

(Related Resource: Digitally Speaking – “Plain English” Online Marketing Resource & Training Library)

#2: Share Your Post Everywhere

To maximize your reach and engagement inside and outside of LinkedIn, share your post on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. If you have a LinkedIn company page, share it there as well (assuming your post is relevant to your company page’s followers).

This kind of aggregate social networking adds credibility and encourages more shares and engagement across the social web. In turn, all of that engagement sends social signals to Google’s search algorithm and can help increase your visibility in online searches!

#3: Manage Your Post Comments (Very Important!)

You’ve written a useful post, you’ve promoted it far and wide and people are reading it. After all that effort and exposure, don’t forget to check your comments!

In the Comments section of your post, you can respond to and interact with members who are leaving feedback or starting a discussion.

Don’t forget to respond to comments on your posts!

In most cases, those who commented on my posts were people I’m not currently connected to. That means the post is getting visibility beyond my first-degree network, and yours probably will too. Unfortunately I did see one or two spam comments when I posted, but you have the ability to hide and/or flag these.

#4: Evaluate Content Performance

LinkedIn immediately starts to show you the number of views, social media shares and comments your post generates. I admit that it’s exciting to see those metrics changing right before your eyes in real time!

Use your LinkedIn post metrics to determine how well your content is resonating with your audience. As you build your professional content library, compare your posts to see which ones outperformed others.

When you have a feel for what’s working for you, take some time to review the posts of your favorite official LinkedIn influencers and your competitors. Evaluate their posting schedule and which posts got the most views and engagement. Consider how you can use similar tactics for your own success.

Evaluate what your favorite influencers are writing about.

Seeing what’s working gives you an idea of what people are responding to and you may want to consider using similar topics or how-to’s that appeal to your own audience.

Learning from the LinkedIn influencers who have gone before you can help you craft a more successful content strategy of your own!

Keep Your Existing Blog!

It’s critical to remember that LinkedIn’s publishing platform shouldn’t serve as your content publishing hub. It’s a place to syndicate and further showcase your existing professional content from your blog.

Remember, you don’t own your LinkedIn presence or the content associated with it.

I recommend publishing the original post to your own blog first, then publishing it to your LinkedIn profile in its entirety.

You may want to vary the two posts a bit, however. Perhaps write your blog post to your specific audience or niche, and when you publish it to LinkedIn, change it to appeal to a broader audience.

The LinkedIn publishing platform is an important part of any marketer’s content strategy. I think it will be interesting to watch the network grow as an online content destination for professionals.

Talk Soon!

Jos. M. & Alexander J. Kubicek, CMC & CCAS

MatchPLUS eMarketing Group, LLC

P: 412-374-1558

C: 412-215-3650

www.MPeMG.com

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Financial Services & Digital Marketing: 4 Trends to Start Now

Customer retention in financial services consumers are demanding more targeted, relevant, and personalized communications from their favorite brands. This isn’t exactly a new development, as it’s been the case for the past several years. What’s notable about this ongoing trend is that increasingly, consumers are coming to expect this same level of personalization from companies in every vertical– and that includes the financial services sector.

The shift towards highly personalized communications coupled with increased competition, including competition from 2.0-era services (think peer-to-peer lending shaking up the traditional lending market), and the continued evolution of technology are the key drivers of marketing trends in financial services. Let’s take a look at a few of the major trends shaping the financial services marketing outlook for 2016.

1. CUSTOMER RETENTION AND LOYALTY TOP MARKETING PRIORITIES FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
Every interaction with a prospect or customer has the potential to be either an opportunity to earn customer loyalty or an opportunity for your competition to sneak in the back door and capture your customer’s interest. According to the Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Research study published in July 2015, customers are buying more products and services from financial companies– but not necessarily from their current providers. Consumers cite competitive pricing (39 percent), high quality customer service (34 percent), and good value for their money (32 percent) as the key drivers behind switching to another financial institution.

” For banks considering the question of how to keep their customers from switching to other providers, we found that first-contact resolution is the key. Of the consumers who switched to another provider due to poor service, more than 80 percent said they could have been retained if their issue had been resolved on their first contact with the bank,” according to Accenture.

What this means, in a nutshell, is that financial services organizations have to step up their game in order to earn and retain customer loyalty. The recipe for gaining customer loyalty is excellent service (e.g., prompt resolution of any issues) coupled with substantial value. That doesn’t mean your products have to be cheaper than the rest; it means that your customers have to feel like they’re getting more out of their relationship with you than they ‘d get by working with one of your competitors.

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2. CONTENT MARKETING IS THE FINANCIAL SERVICES VALUE FUEL
With content being the primary driver of basically everything in the universe (well, at least most marketing initiatives), content marketing is one of the easiest ways for financial services companies to deliver more value to consumers. Yet, according to Financial Content Marketing: The State of Play, 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, Trends, a report from Dianomi, less than two percent of financial services companies deemed their content marketing efforts highly effective, but 90 percent saw content marketing as an important area of growth for the following 12 months.

Content marketing in the financial services sector isn’t about sales. In fact, just 13 percent of survey respondents reported sales as a focus of their content marketing efforts. “Rather, financial services companies are taking a more wide-ranging approach: the most common objectives are brand awareness and thought leadership, both cited by 71% of those polled. Customer retention/loyalty was a close third, cited by 69%.”.

(Related Resource: Digitally Speaking – “Plain English” Online Marketing Resource & Training Library)

3. DIGITAL MARKETING MEETS CONSUMERS WHERE THEY CONDUCT BUSINESS.

Digital marketing trends in financial services a few years ago, some schools of thought were of the mindset that marketing channels like social media were pretty much a waste of time for financial services companies. After all, banking is boring, right? But here’s the thing: Consumers are conducting financial business digitally, so it makes sense to reach and engage those audiences on the same channels that they’re embracing to conduct transactions.

A quick look at StatisticBrain reveals just how prevalent digital is in the financial services world: 69 million Americans bank online, with 81 percent of those who manage household finances banking online at least once in the past 12 months. More than half (56%) paid at least one bill online in the past month, and 90 percent have used a mobile device to check their account balance or a recent transaction in the last month.

With the increased emphasis on quality content, providing value through digital marketing initiatives is a natural progression that meets consumers where they’re already conducting day-to-day business. CMO reports that, “Financial marketers are pivoting to digital because they are seeing diminishing returns and poor audience engagement in traditional advertising channels. Seventy-seven percent believe high-impact ads can breakthrough as much as TV/print ads. Sixty-seven percent say digital is more efficient, believing that it costs less to reach targeted consumers online than off.” For financial services companies embracing the power of digital, opportunities abound.

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(Related Resource: Digitally Speaking – “Plain English” Online Marketing Resource & Training Library)

4. PERSONALIZATION IS THE KEY TO GAINING CONSUMER TRUST.

The other trends impacting the financial services industry (increasing competition from market disruptors, decreasing consumer loyalty, etc.) point to the importance of personalization in financial services marketing as we move into 2016. It’s critical for financial services organizations to embrace Big Data to gain an in-depth understanding of their consumers’ behavior, attitudes, and needs in order to respond in real-time with relevant, targeted messaging.

” This kind of customer-first strategy is no longer optional. Gartner reported that 89 percent of companies plan to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience by 2016,” explains PixelMedia. “The other side of the coin is that a firm without a customer-first marketing strategy will lose out to more responsive competitors with lower overhead. This new breed of financial service providers, many with no physical locations, are engaging customers with targeted messages and more creative financial offerings.”.

Financial services companies are being forced to meet their digital consumers in the digital world. In 2016, keeping pace with the speed of digital means better customer acquisition and retention, factors that no financial services organization can afford to lose in today’s highly competitive environment.

 

To Your Success!

Alex, MPeMG

 

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NEW Facebook Live Video Features For Marketers

Recently Facebook opened up it’s LIVE video streaming service (Facebook Live), and it’s the fastest growing platform of its kind on the planet.  People are spending 3 TIMES as much time watching these live feeds as any other type of online video. Clearly, this going to be a “Cash Cow” when you are able to implement it into your business.

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Whenever a new social media feature is announced, businesses are often skeptical to adopt the potential new trend. The likely reason… it’s hard to take risks when you are in business. There can be a lot at stake.

On the other hand, it can be more risky NOT to try a new trend(s) before they become the “norm.”

What if the potential benefits were enormous, and there was ZERO risk??

Introducing Facebook LIVE…Facebook LIVE is now available on your Facebook Business Page! If you are unsure about how to use Facebook Live in your business, there is a ton of instructional information (PDF’s, videos, podcasts, etc.) on the web to guide you & this is one of them!

Here is a link to Facebook’s own Tips & Ideas Page: https://live.fb.com/

In this article, I want to share with you a few ideas / examples of how Facebook Live can help YOUR business, NOW.

You’ve already seen the video talking about the first 7 benefits of using Facebook Live in your business, now let’s move into some direct application…

1. Let your customers see your business….Behind the Scenes:
This is your opportunity to show all of the hard work that goes into running your business, so your audience has the opportunity to learn more about your business.

  • If you are a photographer, you can take people on a virtual-photoshoot. Let them experience how you set up your scene & what you look for in a great picture.
  • If you create products, you can take people on a tour of your manufacturing facility. This can increase trust if they can see where their products are being made.
  • If you own a restaurant, you can take people into the kitchen & let them watch the chef cook a meal. Let their mouths water!

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[Related Resource(s): Want step-by-step instruction for all of your Digital Marketing Initiatives?  Digitally Speaking – “Plain English” Digital Marketing Resource & Training Library]
2. Meet your Employees:
Your employees work hard & deserve some extra recognition. And clients want to get to know the people behind the company.

  • Create a set of questions & do a weekly series where you interview a different employee each week.
  • Let your employees takeover Facebook Live & broadcast out whatever their job entails.

[Related Resource(s): Want step-by-step instruction for all of your Digital Marketing Initiatives? Digitally Speaking – “Plain English” Digital Marketing Resource & Training Library]

3. Make Customers Famous:

Customers are rarely going to shy away from an opportunity to have some free publicity – especially if you are in a B2B environment. Facebook Live gives you the opportunity to give your clients an extra, “thank you.”

  • Share success stories for services that you’ve provided.
  • Walk through case studies that you have done for a client.

[Related Resource(s): Want step-by-step instruction for all of your Digital Marketing Initiatives? Digitally Speaking  – “Plain English” Digital Marketing Resource & Training Library]
4. Q&A Sessions:
There are questions & concerns from customers in every business, and it can be a powerful strategy to address those questions head-on. Facebook Live gives you the opportunity to have a real conversation and engage one on one with your audience.

  • Address FAQs & take questions live.
  • Talk about some common concerns & put minds at ease.

[Related Resource(s): Want step-by-step instruction for all of your Digital Marketing Initiatives? Digitally Speaking – “Plain English” Digital Marketing Resource &Training Library]

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5. eLearning and Training:
Facebook Live provides a great opportunity for businesses to showcase their expertise. You know the ins & outs of your industry, but it is likely that your audience does not!

  • If you own a bar, teach people how to mix a decent drink.
  • If you sell software, teach people how to use it.
  • If you teach courses, teach people a segment from something in your course.

The opportunities for Facebook Live in your business are practically endless, and we encourage you to get creative with it!

7 BONUS TIPS:

  1. Tell people ahead of time when you’re going to broadcastBuild anticipation in your target audience by letting people know when you’ll be broadcasting live.  Remind them of the benefit(s) of why they should attend and about how much time they will need to commit.
  2. Go live when you have a strong connection

    Check to make sure that you have a strong signal before going live. WiFi tends to work best, but if you can’t find a nearby network, you’ll want a 4G connection. If you have weak signal, the ‘Go Live’ button will be grayed out.

  3. Write a compelling description before going live.

    A great description will capture fans’ attention and help them understand what your broadcast is about.

  4. Ask your viewers to follow you and receive notifications when you go live

    Call out that your audience can tap on the Follow button on live videos and videos that were live and then opt-in to get notifications the next time you go live.

  5. Say hello to commenters by name and to respond to their comments

    Call out that your audience can tap on the Follow button on live videos and videos that were live and then opt-in to get notifications the next time you go live.

  6. Broadcast for longer periods of time to reach more people

    The longer you broadcast, the more likely people are to discover and invite their friends on Facebook to watch the video. We recommend that you go live for at least 10 minutes, and you can stay live for up to 90 minutes.

  7. Be creative and go live often!

    Try different types of broadcasts – and go live frequently – to keep your audience engaged. Visit live.fb.com for more tips and ideas.

 

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Access 26 Million Prospects With Snapchat

If you’re not already familiar with Snapchat, you should get acquainted. Snapchat is a mobile photo-messaging app that allows users to take photos and short videos that remain viewable to recipients for approximately 10 seconds; after that, the “Snap” disappears into the dark tubes of the interwebs, never to be seen again.

Snapchat demographic stats

To expand its services, Snapchat has added live text, chat and video calls between contacts, which has helped increase use of the application among younger audiences. Just check out these stats:

Snapchat has roughly 26 million users in the United States

77 percent of college students use Snapchat daily

58 percent of college students would be likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if they received a coupon on Snapchat

That’s a huge audience of potential customers. If you’re not already using the app as part of your own marketing strategy in 2016, you should be. Check out this guide to help you get started:

Highlight special events.
If you’re hosting or taking part in live events (grand openings, anniversaries, trade shows, charity events, etc.), then Snapchat is a great tool to leverage. It gives your audience members direct access to your live event, no matter where they are.

The NBA used snapchat in this manner during draft picks, All-Star games and finals. During the 2014 All-Star Game, the Association launched its brand on Snapchat, where fans were able to get up close and personal with players during the game. They also got tight Snaps of the game’s Slam Dunk Contest.

Tease new products to your fans.
Some brands still worry that social use can be self-destructive and lead to a host of problems with managing user engagement. But others are jumping in, because marketers can make a serious impact with product launches using apps like Snapchat.

Snapchat is an ideal opportunity to start teasing out videos and pictures of new products. Because these images last a few seconds, you can expect a fair amount of buzz and chatter to surge around your new offering.

Pull back the curtain.
Snapchat can also be used to take your followers beyond raw products and services so you can engage the community more. Take them behind the scenes to show off your company. Have fun, and use the caption and drawing tools within Snapchat to show off your personality and corporate culture. This is a great opportunity to show your fans how different your brand is from your competitors’.

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If you want to mix it up behind the scenes, rotate control of your Snapchat account among trusted employees. Give them each control of it for a day or so. This adds a great deal of variety and flavor that your fans will enjoy. Just be sure to set some guidelines to keep “bad stuff” from popping up.

Keep it Disney.
Snapchat is about as casual as social media platforms can get. Your followers aren’t interested in corporate stuffiness– they’re looking for color, action and fun. Give it to them.

At the same time, you still need to maintain some professionalism due to the nature of the audience. Snapchat followers are younger: according to Snapchat, the average user age group is 12-34. That means “keeping it Disney” with content that is clearly for a general audience.

Tell a story.
Videos in any medium should be kept short and snappy, and that’s certainly true with Snapchat. Regardless of the medium, your audience is out there looking for brief content to digest while in line, sitting in class or on a short break at work. Feed them brief content and they’ll gobble it up.

Snapchat works because the videos you take are limited to 10 seconds. Take that and run with it, because you can make multiple video clips and string them together to tell a story that your followers can go through all at once when they have the time.

Push the incentives
Here’s where Snapchat can get you real foot traffic if you own a physical business: incentives. Incentives are a classic marketing strategy, and have become an expected staple within social media. Businesses often host giveaways and sweepstakes asking fans to like, retweet, share and comment for a chance to win something big.

Snapchat can be used the same way. In fact, an impressive 58% of college students stated they were more likely to buy from a company if they received a coupon via Snapchat.

Just Snap It

So can Snapchat actually drive customers to your business or to your website? The answer is absolutely “yes.” If you haven’t started using Snapchat as part of your marketing strategy, you’re definitely missing out on the opportunity to connect with relevant members of your target audience.

Talk Soon!

Alex, MPeMG

Co-Founder & CMO

MatchPLUS eMarketing Group, LLC

(412) 374-1558

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The Social Media Grind

Today’s blog post comes from Steve Cartwright. He is a great contributor to the community of Digital Marketing and we felt that this short piece would shed a light on the “Social Media Grind.”

 

It seems as if everyone uses social media and as a business owner it makes perfect sense to use social media marketing to get the word out about your business, products and services. However you also need to understand that social media marketing has the potential to draw you in and become a major time waster and even worse still your customers can often see you doing this. If you want to ensure that social media is not controlling you at work, follow these tips.

Social Media Zombies

Have a Plan of Action

If you fail to plan, you are going to waste an awful lot of time on social media so don’t do anything without a plan, as this will help ensure social media marketing will work well for your business.

Create a Social Media Publication Calendar

Plan your posts ahead of time and schedule posts in accordance with what you specifically want to promote, making sure all of your updates have a purpose. If you have a calendar with pre-written posts, you can easily schedule them to work to meet your business goal.

Avoid Time Sucker Activities

It’s way too easy to get suckered into yet another personality quiz or discussions about what one of your friends had for dinner, or perhaps you’ll get suckered into playing some sort of game or commenting on some cute picture or a million and one other things. It’s fine to do all of this, but do it after work is complete and you are on your own time clock.

Outsource Scheduling

Once you create a publication calendar that matches your promotions you can give the list of updates to someone else, your virtual assistance for example to schedule and monitor. However, don’t make that an excuse not to engage personally and share your opinion.

Take Time to Comment and Engage

Even if you outsource parts of your social media marketing, be sure to personally comment and engage your followers so that they know you are a real person to trust and know you.

Do More of What Works

If you do something that works, do more of it and less of what isn’t working for you. Monitor the metrics of everything that you do so that you are positive about what is working and what is not working, simple isn’t it?

Each Post Needs a Reason for Being

Don’t post something without a purpose. If you don’t know why you are posting it, don’t post it.

Don’t Forget Your Call to Action

Everything you do should have a CTA. Whether it is to share, follow, or click, ensure clarity about what you want your audience members to do. If they know what you want them to do, they’re more likely to do it.

Using social media correctly to market your business is an essential marketing technique today in the world of advertising and marketing. Social media marketing can be very effective and pretty inexpensive if you are careful not to waste time and effort on messing around and doing things that have no purpose.

Is Your Online Marketing Broken?

Quickly & effectively analyze your Social Media, Website, & SEO structures in order to maximize leads & sales!

Is a “Broken Website” really going to cost you money??

Yep….

A website SEO audit is a full analysis of everything related to your website’s level of search visibility. A complete and detailed audit will give you a deeper understanding as to why your site is not generating the traffic you think it should or why your sales and conversions are not improving.

Download Your FREE 30-Minute Online Marketing Audit Here!

Can’t I Just Use One Of Those Automated Reports?

There are many “automated” audit tools where you can do it yourself. You may visit other SEO or web developer websites and see a cool tool that says “What Is Your SEO Score” or “Get Your Free Website Analysis” – and then you put in your website URL and voila’ in a few minutes you have this really pretty report with some great information! While this can be a useful overview of your website these reports are meant to be “lead generation” tools and not meant to be a real audit. Often when you use these tools you will have to enter your email – or the report will come back showing issues and they encourage you to contact them for help.

These tools are in no way a true representation of the health of your website and do not offer you a real value in terms of what needs to be fixed to improve traffic and conversions.

Why Do I Need An Audit?

Over the last year we have seen incredible changes from the search engines in how they compute the search results when someone does a search. It used to be that you could just add keywords to your title tags and content and header tags – get a few back links and there you go you are ranking!

Download Your FREE 30-Minute Online Marketing Audit Here!

It is NOT AT ALL like that anymore and most business owners have not been able to keep up! There are hundreds of factors used by the search engines to determine how your site will be returned in the results. Some of the more recent additions to these factors include:

–Site speed

–Responsiveness

–Content

–Authority

(NOTE: Click the image to receive your FREE download!)

Does Social Media Marketing mean TROUBLE?

Ultimately, the results of a social media marketing audit should reconcile the difference between the current situation and where the brand social media efforts need to be. Just like the other online marketing audits companies will perform, a social media audit is not a “one and done” situation. They should be repeated periodically as part of being accountable for the social media investment.

Why do an audit? If you don’t know where you’re starting from, a lot of time and resources can be wasted improving things that don’t need it and neglecting things that really need your attention.

Who should do an audit? Companies that are new to social media marketing, companies that have been unorganized and uncoordinated in their social media marketing, companies that have used an outside agency and are pulling social media inside (or vice versa), or companies that have matured in their social media marketing and need to jump ahead a few steps.

Maintaining a social media presence can be a full-time job, which makes it kind of difficult if your full-time job requires your time and attention be spent elsewhere. Social media profiles can fall into disrepair quickly when left alone. An audit can help get things back on track.

On the flip side, there are those of you who actively maintain social media profiles and take great pain to keep everything updated and cohesive. Audits are helpful in these instances, too. They can serve as much-needed opportunities for reflection and growth.

Basically, audits are helpful for everyone, no matter where you’re at with your social media marketing.

(NOTE: Click the image to receive your FREE download!)

[IMPORTANT] SEO!

As Google gets more stringent with its penalties for everything from obvious link spam to having too high of a ratio of ads to content, getting a semi-annual or yearly site audit has become a business necessity. If you aren’t, you should be lest you get a surprise message from Google letting you know why your site visits have turned into an upside down hockey stick.

But just what is a site audit? What kind of audit do you need and what should you expect in the final report of the person auditing you? What follows is everything you need to know about website audits.

What is a Site Audit?

Site audits are, in the simplest terms, when you pay someone to forensically examine your site with tools and their eyes utilizing their knowledge and expertise to tell you what is good and what is not so good about your site (or as we say – where you have challenges and opportunities).

Download Your FREE 30-Minute Online Marketing Audit Here!

Types of Site Audits

There are many types of audits and they cannot all be covered here, but the most common types of site audits related to SEO needs are:

  • Site Health Audits: Assessing general site health or when there is a site health issue such as a downturn in traffic or positioning of unknown causation.
  • Red Flag Audits: Assessing a site for potential penalty issues. This should be part of a site health audit, but can be an audit unto itself.
  • Competitive Site Audits: Analyzing your site gaps, in its vertical and among your competitors to see what opportunities there are for site growth. Some will use this as a time to copy what their competitors do, but this can be a risky strategy.
  • Conversion Optimization Audits: Analyze conversion issues, which can be onsite or technical.
  • Negative SEO or Attacked Site Audits: Analyze downturns in site metrics when we know a site (or thought very likely) has been attacked by negative SEO methods.
  • Penalty and Recovery Audits: Analyze downturns in site metrics when a site is known (or thought very likely) to have been algorithmically or manually penalized.
  • Security Audits: Security audits for site vulnerability especially important in high-risk verticals and high value sites, but everyone should have one.

(Note: All of these can be part of the same audit, however these are how they are most commonly broken down when we receive client requests.)

Which audits are most needed? Site audits are all determined by a site’s needs. However all site audits should start with the Site Health Audit.

 Blog Image for DSHub(NOTE: If you like step-by-step instruction & FULL access to a Digital Marketing training library, Digitally Speaking will provide you & your team with the most advanced & up-to-date eLearning possible – Over 350 hours of video instruction on the most popular digital platforms!)

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5 Ways Financial Companies Boost Marketing Success

The “Financial Game” is littered with all kinds of firms claiming to do something different than the other. So as you can imagine, it’s pretty easy to get lost in the mix. Being that MatchPLUS eMarketing Group(MPeMG) deals with many financial firms as clients, we came across this article while doing some customer work & thought we’d share a few tips on how to separate yourself from the pack.

5 Ways Financial Companies Boost Marketing Success

James Daniels | April 1, 2016 | Video Email Marketing | No Comments

Financial companies benefit from having the right online marketing strategies in place. If you own a financial company, continue reading for five ways to boost your marketing techniques to increase profits.

1. Refine Your Email Marketing Strategy

Email marketing is a great way to connect with customers with whom you’ve already worked, as well as promote yourself to potentially new customers who are interested in what you have to offer them.

To make the most of your email marketing campaign, you should only email those people who have given you permission to do so. They may have signed up for your email list via social media or your website, for example. A good rule of thumb is: “Never send unsolicited emails.” 

21 Proven Conversion Tricks with eMail Marketing

Your emails should also be personalized with the recipient’s name, should be sent from an individual email address, should be formatted simply, and signed by the individual sender. Finally, include a strong call to action and references to current events, as well as helpful and relevant information that your recipients will appreciate. You also want to include a video in your email, as that has proven to increase engagement with viewers.

2. Advertise on Social Media Through Video

Many companies today are taking advantage of the opportunity to advertise products and services affordably on social media websites , from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

As a financial business, you can use social media video ads to target the audience that will be most interested in seeing your ads. This means that you make every dollar you spend on your video ad campaign work to your advantage. Video is one of the best ways to advertise to social media users, and is likely to result in many more likes and shares than a standard text based ad.

5 Steps To Build & Star In Your Own Video Marketing

3. Connect with People on Social Media

Another way that you can use social media to promote your financial company is by connecting with users who have addressed you directly or have mentioned you in a hashtag, whether they have positive or negative things to say about your company.

If you are a company that often has reviews from customers, reaching out to people who have complaints will give you the chance to make things right and salvage the relationship. Plus, this looks really good because it proves you care about your customers’ feelings.

Social Media Marketing 101 - Membership Site Graphic

4. Start a Blog and Use SEO

In addition to creating a website that’s attractive, functional, uncluttered, and easy to navigate, you should also set up a blog that you can fill with useful and relevant information that your customers would be interested in reading. This content should be helpful for learning about the industry, new ideas to help their business, and how your products and services can help them achieve their goals.

Establishing yourself as an expert in your field, and providing valuable information for free in this manner, entices more customers to want to work with you and trust you. Just be sure that you incorporate the latest SEO strategies throughout your website copy and blog so your site will rank high in search engine results.

5. Advertise Locally

Local websites, including directories of local businesses, can help put your brand in front of more people who would be searching for companies like yours. Therefore, focus your advertising on local customers, who need your help. This could help get more customers through your door.

So while you think about finding and investing in the right insurance to protect your company and financial business assets from companies as www.bizinsure.com, you can also watch it grow by boosting your marketing strategies on a consistent basis using intelligent marketing techniques.Local SEO - Membership Site Image

James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.

Of course, these items take some time to execute, however, getting them implemented into your marketing strategy early would be very wise. Believe it or not, the digital world is still in its infancy. We hope that you start seeing some success with these tips from James, however, if you’re having a hard time figuring them out or implementing them, relief is just a click away: Digitally Speaking – All of your Digital Marketing answers and needs in one convenient spot each month!

See You Inside!

Alex, MPeMG

Co-Founder & CMO

www.MPeMG.com

(412) 374-1558

Your Book = Business Growth

There are plenty of reasons to write a book.

Some of the most powerful reasons are to make money, sell your product, grow your tribe, build your list, or share your message. Most people we have worked with have a dual motivation: they want to make money and share their message.

You don’t have to be a writer and you don’t have to have content …

Right now, focus on the reason why you’re going to publish a book in the first place and who you’re going to help with your book.

Here are 9 reasons to write a book that should w get you thinking:

1) A Book is an Instant Credibility Booster for You and Your Business

It’s positioning and authority wrapped in a front and back cover.Book Publishing Image 2 - 3:7:16

Think about it …

Don’t you treat someone a little differently when you find out they’re a bestselling author?

You’ll be amazed how many people want you to autograph your book for them; and unlike a business card, books don’t get thrown away. Inside your book, you can demonstrate your genius and show examples and social proof of your knowledge, wisdom, and experience without being a braggart.

You’re treated very differently, with celebrity status.

It’s like getting an exclusive VIP ticket to a private members-only club … past the velvet rope to access a community that enables your freedom and autonomy.

When people introduce you to someone else, they feel special when they announce you as an author; or, better yet, as a “# 1 bestselling author.” Take my author quiz to see if you’re ready to be an author.

2) A Book Creates the Ultimate Foot in the Door Strategy

For a couple of bucks, you can mail your book to a prospect to get your foot in the door … but here’s another little strategy I use to bypass the gatekeepers.

I buy my own books on Amazon and have them delivered to a prospect, gift-wrapped, with a card … and Amazon pays me royalties when I buy my own books!

When is the last time you ignored a package from Amazon, especially one that is gift-wrapped?

I don’t know about you, but I would consider it very rude if my assistant opened up my presents!

People “meet” you in your book.

You start a one-way conversation with them. You reveal your “reason why” you do what do you in your book, which creates a reason why they’re going to do business with you.

Introduce yourself to your prospects with an attention grabbing book title.

3) Use Your Book to Get Traffic, Generate Leads, and Build Your List

Getting and keeping customers is the holy grail of every business.

Books are one of the lowest cost ways to generate high-quality leads.

Here’s how it works:

Every chapter in your book tells a short story and answers a question.

Your book is a library filled with social proof, examples, and stories to show you care, know what you’re talking about, and can help the reader solve just about any challenge.

Throughout the book, you invite the reader to visit a web page where they enter their contact information, text their email address to a phone number, or call and leave their name and information.

Each call to action is a way to interactively engage the reader and drive them to some kind of bonus or gift.

You can give away:

-Training videos
-A free audiobook
-Surveys
-Trials of your services or products
-A consulting session
-Diagnostics
A high-value way to get closer and deepen the relationship
Because publishers don’t give you the contact information of the book buyer, the reason you embed a call to action in your book is. You need the right strategies, tools, and systems to drive readers to your offers and capture leads.

4) Books Sell Your Products and Services Faster and Easier

Your book can talk about what you do, who you do it for, include case studies and results, and invite the reader to try them out.

If you are a chiropractor, a fitness instructor, or in pain management, you can demonstrate three different stretches or exercises to eliminate neck or back pain.

If you are a nutritionist or dietitian, you could discuss the benefits of using coconut oil in a cooking demonstration.

By demonstrating your product or service, talking about the benefits, and showing proof it works, you multiply your sales when you include a call to action in your book and capture leads with text messaging, mobile-responsive websites, QR codes, voicemail, or shortcodes.

5) A Book is a Perfect Way to Position Yourself as a Consultant or Authority

These Books Are Waiting To Be Written Image

This one is dead simple.

Who would you rather do business with:

A coach, consultant, doctor, nutritionist, financial planner, fitness therapist, expert, or mechanic who hands you a business card that says “I am a Self-Proclaimed Expert– Hire me!” on it.

OR

A professional who’s a # 1 bestselling author and hands you a book about the problem you want to fix– and autographs it for you with their mobile phone number and email address.

Do you throw or lose away business cards? How often do you throw or lose away an autographed book?

6) Published Authors Make More Money and Help More People

Your book is about gaining access to an exclusive, member’s only club; meeting with CEOs and celebrities; getting VIP treatment; gaining instant credibility; garnering speaking opportunities; and attracting media attention.

It’s about getting paid what you’re worth, not what you can get.

It’s an opportunity to make more, live more, and give more.

7) Your Book is a Perfect Way to Get Media Attention, Radio Shows, TV Interviews, and Traction in Social Media

Every chapter in your book can easily become the subject of a TV or radio interview, a speech, a social media post, a YouTube video, or a podcast episode. The book becomes a “marketing roadmap” for your messaging and marketing. It gives you a script and a formula for what to speak about and share.

Interviewers and hosts will pick the topics they want you to talk about based on what’s in the book, which makes it super easy for you to just show up and be the expert you already are.

8) A Book Can Build or Grow Any Local Business

I talk to lots of local business owners who tell me they don’t understand why they should write a book or what it will do for them. They think that because they only do business in a specific town, region or neighborhood, a book won’t make a difference to their bottom line.

Think again …

Ask yourself these questions:

-Do you ever fight for business with competitors?
-Do you have any trouble standing out in the crowd?
-Do you ever get asked the same questions over and over again from your prospects?
-Do you get price resistance?
-Write a book and you’ll have a high quality piece of information to give to all of your prospects. Instead     of throwing up a sales letter on a website, you can stand out far beyond your competitors who don’t      have books.

Bestseller status gives you immediate credibility and authority and positions you as a go-to person.

The fact is, this works for any business, anywhere in the world. Thinking that you’re “local” is irrelevant as to whether or not a book would be a powerful marketing tool for you.

9) Marketing in Heavily Regulated Industries is Easier

Businesses like financial planning, investing, medical, healthcare, franchises, stocks and trading, legal, fitness, or multilevel marketing are easy (and legal) to market with books.

Many of our customers believed for years they couldn’t write a book to market a business, because legal teams and compliance departments would stop them. With very few exceptions, no company can prevent you from sharing your personal life experiences, stories, and topical or general advice.

Once again, this strategy will work for any business.

A book just gives people a reason to listen to you and take you seriously, faster.

When you ask the question, “How will a book grow my business?” All the things I just shared with you should make that very obvious. There are plenty of other reasons to write a book. Share your reason to write a book in the comments.

How often do you lose or throw away an autographed book?

Every chapter in your book can easily become the subject of a TV or radio interview, a speech, a social media post, a YouTube video, or a podcast episode. The book becomes a “marketing roadmap” for your messaging and marketing. There are plenty of other reasons to write a book. Share your reason to write a book in the comments.

 

What are you waiting for?? Start writing! 🙂 Need some help? We can do that, too!

www.MPeMG.com/m-book-publishing

OR

(412) 374-1558 [We LOVE to chat!]

 

Alex, MPeMG

Co-Founder & CMO

www.MPeMG.com

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