Social Media Strategy
Have you ever received an invitation to connect with someone new in Facebook or LinkedIn that you’ve never met before? I have…. lots, in fact. Unfortunately, with a huge percentage of these invitations I’ve noticed one big misstep, easily fixed, that caused me to pause or just move on without accepting the invitation.
The big mistake? Not taking the very important extra step to personalize your invitation.
Let’s take LinkedIn for example. LinkedIn provides a bland, impersonal template message that you can use when inviting someone to connect with you. That’s all well and good – but when you are asking someone to CONNECT with you – to be a part of your network, to share information, referrals, connections and with the intention of building a relationship that will benefit you both – I strongly feel that the person you are reaching out to is deserving of at least a few lines and a bit more personality.
I received five invitations to connect on LinkedIn yesterday – all of them from people I have never met. One of them contained a personal message – explaining that she had heard me speak recently at a local networking event, mentioned mutual interests she felt we shared, and expressed gratitude for making the connection. I immediate accepted and replied with my own message right back. Boom! Pow! A great start to a mutually beneficial relationship. We created a positive connection from the start.
The other invitations were also from people I’ve never met. The message was the generic LinkedIn message, nothing else. They are still sitting in my mailbox; unanswered, waiting for a time when I can do some research to find out if we have mutual friends, topics of interest, etc. Which could take quite a while…
Reaching out to new connections whom you have never met in person before is OK, as far as social media etiquette goes. I do it often myself. There are many reasons why you may want to reach out: mutual friends, shared interests, just read their book, wish to meet and collaborate, saw them on the stage, etc. Just remember, when you invite someone you haven’t met in person yet, take a moment to write a personal note. You’ll be surprised at how many more acceptances you’ll receive – and the positive, beneficial connections you will create.
I use social media quite a bit for my personal life and to support my business. It is a powerful marketing tool, a wonderful relationship-building resource and a great way to reach out and easily connect with people when you’re not able to face-to-face. Instagram is one of the tools I use – I love the “a picture tells a thousand words” ease of use and I find that it’s a great way for me to create a more personal connection with my audience.
However, as a mother, I switch to an entirely different mindset. I have a “tween” daughter who is very social. I have allowed her to use Instagram with the caveat that she must follow the rules I set, absolutely, or all privileges will be withdrawn. I am aware of the horrible bullying stories, the inappropriate content, the sexual and psychological issues that are rampant, even among tweens and younger. However, I wish to allow my daughter to share photos of her softball games, school activities and Halloween costumes with our extended family, spread out across the United States.
Every child is different and you, as their parent and the one who knows them best, must make the final decision if you think that your child has the maturity, control and understanding to use social media. I was on the phone with a close friend today, sharing what I’ve learned to guide her in monitoring her 8th grade daughter’s Instagram usage. She insisted that I needed to share this information with others, so here I am. If you decide to let your child use Instagram, here are the practices and rules I’ve put in effect with my child that has allowed her to be on Instagram, without incident, for a year now.
1. It’s absolutely essential that you set your child’s account to be “private.” This is done from the Account settings mode. Halfway down that page, there is a section that says “Posts are Private” – be sure that the box next to it is checked. By having a private account, no one can see your child’s photos unless they first request and then receive permission to follow your child. I have had final say on each person my daughter allows to follow her. And I have later even unapproved or blocked users whose activity I found to be inappropriate.
2. Blocking: If there is anyone following my daughter that I think should be blocked or not allowed to post on her account for whatever reason, I simply block their access by going to that person’s profile, clicking on the three vertical dots in the upper right hand corner and choosing “Block user.”
3. Last, but not least, I have complete and total access to her account. I check it daily, see what she is posting, what her friends are posting and what they are saying/commenting. I am a daily Instagram user myself, so this is easy for me.
Having these simple rules in effect and making the effort to continually monitor my daughter’s activity has made her use of Instagram a success. She is able to share photos with her grandparents, cousins and relatives who live thousands of miles away. She has fun bonding with her softball teammates and she’s learning good practices early on in life for understanding the rules of safe social media usage. Social media is here to stay, it’s inevitable that our children will be using it at some time. I hope that by being a good example in how I use social media and how I’m teaching her, I’m setting her up for a safe future online.
We all have very limited, very valuable time. I love Pinterest, but when I started following people, I just hit the follow button at the top and that meant I was following all of their boards. It’s not unusual for people to have 20, 30, 40 and more (!) boards these days, though, so after a year my Pinterest page started getting really crowded.
I was seeing a lot less of the things I was interested in, and having to wade through a lot more to find what I did like (wasting valuable time in the process, something I know you all can relate to).
Here’s the solution: Did you know that you can follow and unfollow separate pinboards within each person’s Pinterest account? For example, if you follow someone whose insights into travel and cooking you love, but you could do without their tattoo fetish, just go to their individual page in Pinterest and note that each separate board has its own follow (or unfollow) button on the bottom. If you are already following someone and would like to “turn off” only a handful of their boards that are of no interest to you, simply click the “unfollow” button on the bottom of the pinboards with the topics that you would rather not see. Once you start using this advanced feature, you’ll notice your home page on Pinterest filling up with lots of content that you love and want to see – and less and less of the content that you’d rather not.
Please share: What are some successful tactics you’ve used in Pinterest that created a better experience for you and your pin-buddies? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
One of the most frequent questions I am asked is “How often should I post on my blog?” I’m going to share something really daring that I rarely see other blogging mentors share. You don’t have to post EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The frequency that you post articles on your blog will depend on your business, your audience and, of course, your time. My general rule of thumb is to post 2-3 times per week. This is just often enough to keep my blog content fresh, enrich my SEO and continue to share my expertise as a writer and editor who knows her p’s and q’s.
I have found, honestly, that daily posting does not work well for most people, unless you’re someone like Seth Godin. It’s overwhelming for both you and your readers. Think of how many blogs and websites you like to read. Even if you are passionately in love with these other sites, do you have time to visit each one daily to read new content?
Wondering why the heck I’m saying this when I’m hosting a challenge for writing 30 posts in 30 days? Herein lies my evil genius. I still want to you accept my challenge, step out of your comfort zone and write 30 posts in 30 days. By following my guidance, you’ll have a nice storehouse of strategic content that will support your business goals. Now let’s pretend that you decide to post 2-3 times per week to your blog. If you write 30 posts this month, you will walk away with THREE TO FOUR MONTHS OF BLOG POSTS – DONE!
Admit it, I had you at “evil genius,” didn’t I?
One of the most popular resolutions people make (at any time of the year) usually centers around getting organized. I’m betting that many of you have made organizational goals this year – for your home, life or business. If you are working on a list of tasks that will help you get your business organized, I’ve got the perfect task that’s easy, effective and just may make the difference between you getting that next client or not.
When was the last time you reviewed all of your online accounts to make sure your contact information is up to date? All too often we let the “About” pages of our websites, blogs, social media and more sit unattended for months or even years after we create them. Take a look at your website, your Facebook page, LinkedIn and Pinterest profiles, Google+, etc.
When a potential client is researching online, finds your information and thinks “Hey, this is just the woman for the job!,” where is the next place they will look? The contact page, of course! Is your email address up to date? Phone numbers? Links to current social media accounts, stores and shopping carts functioning correctly?
Think of the money left on the table when potential customers call an “out of service” phone number or the email they send bounces back as “undeliverable.” TAKE ACTION: Make a note to yourself right now to make sure that your email, phone, website and other contact information is up to date and ready to go. Then enjoy the satisfaction of checking a very important item off your business organizing list.
Don’t you just love it when we’re productive?!