Friday, May 18, 2018

Building Trust For YOUR Social Media Brand?

3 Ways leading brands build trust via social media..

Without frequent interaction with customers, some organizations face uphill battles.

One of the biggest selling points of social media for brands is that it allows for the natural fostering of trust.

For brands that operate in taboo/highly scrutinized industries like credit repair or pharmaceuticals, the value of social media can’t be overstated.

When you study certain industries, you’ll notice that there are particularly warm connections between businesses and their consumers. For example, the coffee shop down the street from you—the one that’s been there for decades—has no trouble building trust with customers.

Then there’s your favorite online retailer, where you shop for shoes multiple times per year. Again, there’s a familiarity that exists and it drives trust.

But then you have those companies that consumers only interact with every so often.

And if they happen to be in an industry that’s highly scrutinized, customers approach them with trepidation and skepticism. There certainly isn’t any trust in the relationship.

The pharmaceuticals industry is a great example. According to one report, just 31 percent of people believe the industry has a great reputation. While there are some reasons to distrust certain companies in the pharma industry, there are also plenty of reasons to believe in them. But without frequent interaction with customers, these organizations face an uphill battle.

The credit-repair industry is another good example. Credit-repair scams are rampant—so much so that there’s a Credit Repair Organization Act that bans credit-repair companies from misleading clients about their services. But not all of these companies are bad.

In fact, there are a number of highly rated credit-repair companies that help people get back on track.

The problem is that most people only interact with these companies once or twice in their lifetime, so a single negative exchange can destroy trust indefinitely.

If you operate in an industry like this, then you know just how challenging it can be to overcome the negative stigma your business is associated with and build trust with your target market. Thankfully, it’s not impossible.

With social media, you’re able to interact with your target audience and control your image and voice—even when they aren’t directly engaging with you in a transaction. By no means is it easy, but the channel exists, and you have the chance to utilize it.

The exact methods you use will depend on a number of unique factors, but here are three specific methods you can use for building trust via social media.

Publish Honest Content

For starters, you have to publish honest content. Honest content is content that comes from the heart. It’s stuff that you write and publish without sending it through five or six different departments, where it gets stripped down and generalized by people who want a pristine brand image. Honest content is more like a journal entry and less like a landing page that’s been A/B-tested to the max.

Directly Engage Followers

The second piece of advice is to directly engage your followers. Remember that social media is a two-way street and that you have to give as much as you take.

Ask your followers questions. Respond to their comments. Like and comment on other profiles. All of these actions will show that you’re there to participate, and not just to advertise.

Host Livestreamed Video

If you want to kick things up a notch and take your social media efforts to the next level, consider giving livestreamed video a try. Livestreamed video—whether via Facebook Live or Twitter’s Periscope — is extremely popular right now and has been shown to boost engagement by significant levels.

From a trust-building perspective, it tears down walls and puts you directly in front of your customers. This can help you humanize your brand and establish more meaningful connections. Give it a shot.

Guest Authored By Larry Alton. Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow Larry on Twitter.

"Social media isn’t a channel for bombarding people with advertisements and self-serving content. While you have the freedom to use it in any way you please, it’s most effective when utilized as a tool for increasing trust—particularly if you’re in a highly scrutinized industry like pharmaceuticals or credit repair.

Are you making the most out of it?" -LarryAlton

    • Post Crafted By:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
    Follow Me Yonder..                     Instagram

    Thursday, May 17, 2018

    Social Media Marketing Steps To Success?

    Six simple steps that make social media marketing less overwhelming..

    You've probably heard the term "FOMO" by now. Fear of missing out is the sensation that everyone else is doing something you should be doing. And it's a feeling that is often triggered by seeing someone's social media post.

    To a lot of business owners -- especially small business owners who wear many hats -- social media marketing itself feels this way. Should I use every social platform that's out there? How do I even get started? Am I missing out on something fundamentally important for my business?

    I've heard these questions time and again while traveling the country with the Small Business Revolution, a national movement that shines a spotlight on the importance of small businesses. People get overwhelmed thinking about social media marketing. It locks them up. It keeps them from doing anything.

    This is a shame, as a sturdy social media presence is important for search and many other reasons. The key is to be strategic. Build your presence deliberately (and, yes, slowly). Analyze your efforts. Adjust as you go. Keep your customer front of mind. You don't need to do everything. You just need to do what makes sense for your business. Here are six steps to help you determine what that means for your unique situation.

    Find Your Customers

    You're likely familiar with major social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. Perhaps you use them yourself. That's good.

    Now ask yourself which platforms your customers use. Not sure? Ask them. Although it may be tempting to use every platform out there, you don't need to. You just need to be able to meet your customers. Also, check out what your competitors are doing. Where can you find them online? Evaluate their efforts. Can you communicate with the same audience differently? Better? Go for it.

    If you're starting from scratch, figure out one key platform that fits the demographic of your customer base. This serves as your starting point.

    Start Small

    Social media marketing is beneficial in many ways -- for generating brand awareness, driving sales, engaging with consumers and more. It can be tempting to try to achieve everything at once. But if you're a newcomer, start small.

    What is most important to you right now? Write it down. Then look at what you wrote and proceed confidently, knowing that this is your top priority and you should focus on this specific goal.

    Of course, you can branch out from there, depending on the results. It's the results that will determine where you go next.

    Hone Your Message

    You know who is your wisest social media consultant? Your mother. It might sound like a joke, especially if terms like "Snapchat" would elicit little more than a befuddled look from your mom. But I'm serious.

    Remember the lessons she gave you when you were a child? "Don't just talk about yourself -- be sure to listen." "Be kind and caring." Those are essential social media attributes. The biggest mistake I see companies of all sizes make on social media is talking about themselves too much. Don't do that. I cannot stress this enough.

    Your job is to solve problems for your customers. Reflect this in your social media messaging. My approach with the Small Business Revolution is to share the stories of remarkable business owners. They're inspiring. They talk about real-life challenges, and we show the way they adapt and move forward. We can all learn from these insights.

    Prepare to talk about your customers more than yourself. If it helps to have a ratio in mind, go with 80-20. Make 80% of your communications about your customers (and the things that make their lives easier) and 20% about yourself. As you go along, you might even take that up to 90-10. It's about developing trust over the long term.

    Make Time For It

    When you're getting started, social media marketing can seem deceptively easy because so many of us are already social media users in our personal lives. But there's more to social media marketing than social media participating. For one thing, it takes time. A consistent presence is crucial. You need someone to check your feeds every day. Someone needs to create and share content. Someone needs to respond to customers.

    Maybe that someone is you. Maybe it's a third-party expert who allows you to focus on the aspects of your business where your unique skills can make the biggest impact. Either way, budget time for it. To be successful, social media cannot be an afterthought. If you remain committed, social media marketing can pay big dividends. Just don't expect your world to change overnight. Stick with it. Make it a priority.

    Integrate Your Efforts

    Think of your social media marketing effort as an extension of everything you do. Integrate it into all of your branding work. Are you communicating the same messages online as you are in person? Is the tone of your customer interactions consistent?

    Before hitting "post," make sure you're reinforcing all of your brand attributes. Social media is a unique opportunity to provide the same personalized experience to consumers as they would receive face to face.

    Relax. You can always make changes. You should always make changes

    The one immutable law of social media marketing is that it always changes. The strategies that make sense for your business today might not make sense six months from now.

    This is what makes it an amazing time to be a digital marketer. With social media, you can constantly refine your efforts. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from them. And get back in there.

    Guest Authored By Amanda Brinkman. Amanda is Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe and Exec. Producer of the Small Business Revolution. Follow Amanda on Twitter.

    "Fortunately, it's easy to analyze and adapt.

    If you're not getting the conversion rates you're looking for, foot traffic, coupon redemptions or whatever preferred objective you wrote down.

    Change things up.." -AmandaBrinkman

      • Post Crafted By:
        Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
      Follow Me Yonder..                     Instagram

      Sunday, May 13, 2018

      YOUR Explosive 2018 Social Media Strategy?

      4 Strategies for explosive social media growth in 2018..

      Let’s face it: Social media is still one of the most effective ways to grow a business and brand on the internet today. But it’s also still one of the most confusing, time-consuming and resource-draining markets as well.

      Why is this? There are now more than 2 billion users spread across the major social networks in the world today, and it’s no longer a one-person job to be a business's or a brand's social media marketer. Instead, we all must rely on some of the best tools and resources to not only help us better manage our social accounts but to also automate and scale wherever possible.

      Below are four different strategies and online platforms that are focused on doing exactly that -- helping you better manage, grow and scale on social media.

      Increase Your Social Following With High-Quality Content

      Brands and businesses often immediately look at their "follower count" on social media. Like it or not, this matters a lot -- not only to impress advertisers and make your brand look good but also to increase your social media exposure and efforts as well. Trying to increase follower counts on social media is all about using the best visuals, social updates and content possible. Think as if you are a user. Why might you want to actually follow another account or brand?

      Creating content is always important. Using other social tools and platforms to increase reach can be a huge benefit as well. I'm a big fan of solutions like, as there is only so much an individual or brand can do when it comes to organic social growth. While it is all a numbers game, it's also a scalability issue as well. Grow your brand by simply reaching more users through your preferred social platforms.

      Social Media Is All About Monitoring And Engagement

      Social media is talking … but are you or your business listening? It’s not just about keeping an eye on how many users are tweeting your username or posting on your fan page. It’s about being able to monitor everything as a whole.

      This includes websites, forums, social media and everything in between. Tools like Sentione allow individuals, businesses and brands to monitor what is being said about them online, to respond and to track correspondence in the process. Not only is it important to monitor online mentions, it's important to respond to them as well.

      While many people are focused on social media monitoring for reputation management and customer service, don't forget to monitor brand mentions and new link placements as well.

      Register Your Name Across All Platforms

      If you were lucky enough to register your personal name on Twitter or Facebook when it first came out, then you can truly appreciate the value of a great social account username. However, there are plenty of other networks out there besides the major ones you already know. I recommend using tools like Know'em to check if your username is available on most social platforms and bulk registering if need be.

      It’s not just about making sure you have your business or brand on every social network. It’s about protecting your name as well. The last thing you want is to have a domain name or brand name that is well-known, then have someone else scoop up that same name on social platforms. This has happened in the past for many brands and it's not something that's easy to fix or reclaim.

      Personally, when it comes time to launch a new website or brand, I make sure we register our names and profiles across all platforms. Not only is it important to try and secure the same username across all platforms, it's also a huge time saver versus going through the process manually.

      Social Media Automation And Scheduling Is Key

      We all know how time-consuming social media can be from a browsing perspective. However, it’s even worse when trying to schedule and manage social updates across various platforms. With more social networks out there than ever before, it's beneficial to use social automation tools to effective post, scale and track social activity across all platforms.

      I use MeetEdgar for social media management and updates -- especially for websites I might be running or managing but where I don't release new content as often. Scheduling tools allow you to continually share older content with new audiences time and time again. This is a great way to make sure your site content doesn't go stale.

      While many things are likely to change in 2018, social media isn’t going to be one of them. Yes, it will likely continue to grow in size and transform in different directions. But as a whole, it’s still going to be one of the most important industries for nearly every business and brand in the world today.

      Guest Authored By Zac Johnson. Zac has 20 years of experience in the online marketing/business space. Follow Zac on Twitter.

      "Make sure there is always a constant supply of new social updates going live, even if they link to older content.

      Get better control and ROI from your social media marketing efforts by trying out the tools and solutions mentioned above.." -ZacJohnson

        • Post Crafted By:
          Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
        Follow Me Yonder..                     Instagram