Join us for a BROCCOLI Business Chat on Twitter!

Twitter Chat

 

For all you twitter fans out there- we are now hosting twitter chats every Tuesday night at 9pm EST! 

We are discussing entrepreneur and business related topics… sharing insights, inspiration and working on personal and professional development. We hope to create a motivational and helpful online community.

Follow our chat account by clicking HERE!

The chats are live and generally run for the hour- we look forward to chatting with you!

What does it mean to keep my social media posts “on brand”?

brand stamp

It means that you want to make sure every status, tweet, picture and post that you send off into social media world is properly reflecting your company’s image, voice and mission.

It is important for you to make sure that your company posts are three things:

1) On brand

2) Relevant

3) Positive (for the most part)

What you did on Friday night, how much you really think Sally is cute and the noodles you made for dinner should stay in your personal account. UNLESS you are a chef/restaurant/food producer… then by all means post “foodstagrams” of those noodles.

Now don’t get us wrong- you don’t have to sound like a robot- you can have a social media voice! Just make sure it is appropriate. No swearing, street language or bad-mouthing… No personal opinions on religion or politics… no pushing for causes outside of your company’s vision. I.E. You are a vegan and that is admirable- but you work for a restaurant that serves meat products. If you push your vegetarianism, you are confusing your company audience.

Representing your brand on social media is fairly simple as long as your business has its values and image secured. If you are outsourcing your social media? It may be a good idea to have a brand document outlining who you are as a company and what you stand for so there is no confusion and misrepresentation.

 

Social Media: Build Your Community- Then Promote

Social Media Community We have said it before… We will say it again. You should be using social media for business. It is an information hub and a method of open communication with your audience. It is a conversation platform and very important for not only your online presence, but your credibility, branding, SEO and marketing efforts.

So what now? Do you open the accounts and start blasting off all of the great in-store specials? All the special promotions and fantastic things you are offering? Do you start pushing events and upcoming sales?

NO. No you do not. That will most likely turn followers away.

As mentioned earlier- social media is a conversation. When you have a real-life conversation, do you immediately start with why you are so wonderful and why people should like you? Probably not. You want to provide mutually beneficial conversation first- THEN- once you are comfortable with that person, you can start sharing more intimate details of all the great things happening in your life. Take that same model and apply it to your social media conversation.

We always tell our clients to first build your community. Work on sharing on-brand and relevant information. It doesn’t have to be created by you! You can share industry leader links as well as your blog. Work on accumulating fans by using trending hashtags so that your message gets filtered into larger audience pools. Build your fans/followers first and foremost. It may seem like you are treading water for a month or so but it will work in the end. DO NOT buy followers- you want quality not quantity and not for nothing? Social media platforms are hip to these scammers and if they find out you bought your fans? They could limit your pages. Not good.

One you have a decent following THEN you can start to promote! Now you have people who will see your efforts- who know that you are knowledgeable in your field and trust that what you are sharing can be valuable to them. Make sure that your efforts fall into am 80/20 percentile though… 80% helpful links, tips and tricks, quotes, pictures- and 20% promotion. We’ve found that to be a positive balance as long as you are keeping track of your social media insights and are posting the right information at the right times.

You can do social media! But if you need help? We are here to help!

(Did that fall into the 80/20 promotion? We think so!) 

A New Hashtag Tool- That is Pretty Cool

Twitter HashtagThe hashtag allows us to filter our message and reach audiences outside of our “follower” circle. It puts our words into larger conversation pools and allows us to gain exposure while networking and connecting with like-minded/interested audiences.  It is how we categorize messages, host chats through social media and focus our marketing campaigns.

But what is even MORE awesome is when you use THE RIGHT hashtag. When you hit a tag popularity jackpot and your social media influence takes off! That is when you really start communicating with your target audience and the dialogues open up.

Meet Hashtag Scout: http://www.hashtagscout.com

Hashtag Scout allows you to “Find related, recent, and relevant Twitter hashtags with ease.” All you have to do is enter your keyword or proposed hashtag and Hashtag Scout will generate popular hashtags related to the word(s) you entered. There is no charge to search and it is extremely user friendly- the minimalist design really makes for stress-free navigation.

This program should help you get your message out on twitter without the hashtag guess work.

Check it out and let us know your thoughts!

Fake Twitter Followers: How to tell if someone bought their tweeps.

Tweeps: Real or Fake?

Wow! That guy has 25, 000 followers!? He must be really good at what he does… or REALLY popular! He is only following 10 people- but that’s ok, right? He is probably just really busy…

Well, sorry to break it to you but unless he is a celebrity of some sort? Chances are he bought all those followers in attempts to be perceived in a favourable way. If you ask me it does the exact opposite! All of your credibility goes flying out the window. (Excuse the pun.)

Let me help you to pick out the accounts that have “cheated” the system and bought new pals. For me (and a lot of social media professionals) it is painfully obvious.

Here is what we notice:

  1. They JUST opened an account last week and have 25,000 followers already.
  2. They have 25,000 followers and have a total of 7 tweets. What value have you brought to these people to make them want to follow you?
  3. You click on the persons ‘followers’ list and 90% of them are from another part of the world, with no real bio/very short and vague bio and have no followers or tweets themselves. Also- if a large percentage of someone’s followers avatars (say that three times fast) are eggs? That’s suspicious.
  4. They have 25,000 followers but are following 10 people. Again, unless you are a celebrity? To gain that amount of followers- you need to be engaging.
  5. They don’t have lists and they aren’t on anyone else’s lists. With that many followers? You would be on or have at least one list to help filter through everyone!

I believe in quality over quantity and although you may be tempted to give into those robot direct messages? You know, the ones that promise you ‘thousands of followers RIGHT NOW’? Don’t do it. It won’t feel good. Especially when all of those followers slowly diminish in the weeks to follow and you realize people are only following you because they THINK you are influential.

The purpose of social media is to engage. When you are speaking to 25,000 fake followers- it is kind of like talking to a wall. Not much point. Also, as I mentioned- your credibility actually depletes the second anyone realizes you have purchased your ‘fan base’.

Stay strong, be knowledgeable and be REAL. Real conversations, real followers, real information… all of it will bring, you guessed it, REAL results.

A Social Media Posting Schedule for Beginners

So you’ve committed to social media! Happy to hear it- the “social media fad” has turned out to be more of a ‘revolution’ and it isn’t going anywhere but up. It’s definitely here to stay.

So you signed up, but now what? I know it can be intimidating but rest assured that once you get the hang of it? Posting will come naturally and you will be eager to share. For now, I will provide you with an easy to follow social media posting schedule to adhere to daily. YES DAILY. It will only take a moment of your time and you need to stay active.

BROCCOLI Consulting Social Media Posting Schedule

The key to social media for businesses is to STAY ON BRAND. Use your personal twitter to share pictures of your sandwich if you need to (unless you have a sandwich shop… that is the exception). Staying on brand means you need to keep the information you share relevant to your business/product/service/culture. It also helps to keep a positive undertone throughout your account. Make people WANT to follow you!

You may or may not know of ‘The Hashtag- #” The hashtag is used throughout social media as a means of filtering your post into categories/ onto separate pages, so that everyone who has used that hashtag or is interested in that hashtag can see all of the posts ABOUT that hashtag from all over the world. This can help you reach out to people outside of your follower list (which is good for attracting new followers). For example; I would write my tweet:

“Check your links! Always! In an email, social media post- whenever you send a link…Make sure it directs properly. #businesstip

Now because I hashtagged “businesstip” that tweet is not only on MY account but is placed on a separate page dedicated to everyone in the world who is using or searching for that tag. Hashtags do not have spaces so please don’t write an entire sentence- that isn’t the right way to use them. I will write more about Hashtags later- if you get it, use it! If not? that’s ok! Regular use of your social media accounts will get you more familiar with it. I promise.

Every social media outlet has a MAX amount of characters you can use in a post. I will list some of the more popular ones for beginners to start you off the hop and help you figure out how long your post can be:

Twitter: 140

Facebook: 5000- 63 000+ (yes, thousands… please don’t use them all up.)

Google+: 100 000 on posts

Pinterest: 500 in descriptions

If you want to learn a bit more about social media for beginners? Click here and read about why it’s important to stay active on your accounts. If you aren’t sure about what social media outlet is for sharing what? Click here and check out a short formed social media guide for beginners.

Happy Posting!

Social Media Outlets: If you have them- use them.

Social Media

Being visible online is crucial nowadays. That isn’t a secret. Online presence outside of your website adds to your SEO, your reputation (PR), your legitimacy and channeled outreach to your followers. At the end of the day- your competition is out there and you should be too.

Not everyone can afford to have an outside team/person manage their social media. Heck, they don’t call it ‘SMALL business’ for nothing, right? So you do it yourself. Or you try to…

Rule number one: You need to stay on top of your accounts. You need to post regularly! One post a day on fast platforms such as twitter and at least once every few days on slower more ad saturated sites such as facebook. There is nothing worse that visiting a company’s social media page and seeing that they haven’t updated in a month. Why even have the pages if you aren’t going to use them? Just to say you have it? Social media is about people, relationships and conversations that bring value- not just a button under your email signature.

When I see a lack of activity on a page I think:

a)      They are lazy

b)      Maybe they closed down?

c)       They have no interest communicating

d)      They have nothing interesting to communicate

I can’t help it. I want to think “Oh, Joe, he must be really busy! He just didn’t get around to sharing…” but I don’t think that. I think a, b, c & d.

BUSINESS SOCIAL MEDIA MUSTHAVES

The top five are:

1)      Facebook

2)      Twitter

3)      Google+

4)      Linkedin (at least set up a company page)

5)      Instagram (This may or may not work for your business- it’s just a popular outlet if you can make it work)

If you want to be in the social media game? At least TRY to make 1 to 4 work. There are TONS of other outlets to choose from that may work better for your company! Pinterest and YouTube almost made my list…If I was going to do a top ten.  If you feel overwhelmed you can sign up for social media management dashboards to help you manage everything. I personally recommend HootSuite for its ease of use but there are a few to choose from.

Here is a link to a blog on dashburst.com that gives a great top 10 list of social media management tools:

http://dashburst.com/best-social-media-management-tools/

Remember that you do not have to be on them all! Find the best site(s) for your business and focus on it/them. Quality over quantity.

COHESIVENESS

Please. Make sure that your brand is carried through everything you do- but especially your online presence. If you switch your website? Switch all your social media sites. No excuses. They should be consistent. Consider your social media outlets branches of your website- because they are.

Social media is a personalized platform for you to connect with your customers. It helps build a trustworthy relationship and allows for low cost advertising and networking opportunities. Your posted information is an invitation for your followers to share with their followers with the click of a button!

‘Share the link’ is the new ‘word of mouth’ so make sure the information you’re sharing is linkable…Or likeable… how about linkable AND likeable (say that three times fast!).

Crystal Lengua