Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fake Followers & Social Media Hype?

5 reasons to stop posting hype on social media..

Customers are wising up to the over-exaggerated lifestyles they see online.

I'm sure you've seen the fancy cars, houses and wads of cash that social media influencers love to flaunt. In hopes of attracting fans, these influencers like to use hype and fake followers, and for a long time it helped bring in sucker customers.

As social media use has risen, I'm not surprised that reports show a growing trend among millennials trust influencers less and less. The hype, bragging and self-aggrandizing make it hard for any of us to believe it's authentic. While there's no harm in a little bragging, Harvard Business Review reports that too much of it or the wrong type of bragging can hurt your chances of getting a job, being trusted or being liked by strangers.

It's time for entrepreneurs and business owners to stop posting hype -- and instead get real with us.

If you're wondering why boasting on social hurts you and your brand, here are five reasons..

1. Hype is hard to keep up with.

After a while the the grandiosity becomes too much, and you have to lie to keep the hype sounding great. And as you already know, one lie can quickly snowball into more lies... and then it's not just one lie you've told but many.

Many people have used hype to help sell their courses -- and in turn have become widely known for being scammers, con artists and frauds. As much as I love money, I know that my reputation is everything and I'd prefer to stay away from the hype, verging on lying or embellishing and instead treating my fans with authenticity and honesty.

2. Post too much hype and you will be hard to trust.

One of the quintessential tales of hyping and bragging gone wrong is in the story of formerly iconic actor Charlie Sheen. After going on a tirade of blowing up his value by posting online about how he was #winning, Sheen became a laughingstock in Hollywood and across the world.

While Sheen is one of the more memorable culprits of over-using hype, he's not alone. I'm sure if you take a moment you'll easily think of someone in your social media feeds who you got tired of seeing brag and hype themselves up. And in the end, you turned off their notifications and decided you'd never do business with them.

3. Too much hype can ruin your reputation.

Reputation is everything, and someone who constantly brags is annoying. The problem with bragging and posting hype online is simple -- we overestimate its positive impact while underestimating its adverse effects on our brand and appearance.

I've been a victim of trusting hype -- and it cost me $12,000. Now I know, don't trust the hype. If it's too good to be true, it likely is. That was a hard-learned lesson. When I've gone back to check on the guy who sold me shiny objects I notice he doesn't have many fans and he's had a long streak of failed business relationships. His reputation isn't holding up. Initially, the hype he created helped dupe people like me, but now it's hard for him to stay in business.

At first, the hype is like good clickbait -- it gets people curious, but once they find out it's not real they'll stop paying attention.

4. If the hype is the norm, your excellent stuff won't stand out.

Not long ago, there was a big boxing match-up between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor. It was hailed as a super fight, a boxing legend versus a renowned mixed martial artist.

As a big sports fan, I knew it was all hype. Large press conferences, commercials, social media and every kind of advertising tool was used to sell it. The fight brought in millions of dollars -- but only because it wasn't the norm. If match-ups like the McGregor and Mayweather were normal and the press tours and advertising for it were typical, people would tune out.

The same goes for your business -- if hype and bragging is the norm, it will be hard for your "new and best" to stand out because you've been crying wolf too much. So, if you must use some hype and some bragging, do it sparingly and it won't ruin your reputation or be dull and boring because it'll be novel and different when you do use it.

5. Who you are online is what people will expect in person.

Just a few years ago I got serious about this online thing. In one year, I amassed a good-sized following, brought in countless clients and was asked to speak at events around the country.

Each time I spoke, I met more and more people who I had watched online. On many occasions, I was surprised by people -- sometimes in a good way and others in a bad way. In some cases, people who I didn't like online were cool people offline and vice versa.

In the end, I realized I wanted to be as close as possible to my offline self while I'm online and whenever I'm in the media. By doing that, I'll have fewer surprises and it'll assure I don't create some image that later I'm expected to be but doesn't match up with my internal ethics.

As an entrepreneur or business owner, I advise you to do the same. Do as the famous Oracle of Delphi advised Socrates and "know thyself." Be true to yourself when you're online and when you're offline. Being authentic, real and genuine will guarantee you'll never have to live up to some facade or get caught up in telling lies.

Guest Authored By Luis Congdon. Luis is CEO of Thriving Launch, a consulting company that teaches individuals and companies how to use digital marketing to increase profits. He and his partner co-host the Thriving Launch Podcast. Follow Luis on Twitter.

"If people buy from people that they like, know and trust -- it's crucial you start being transparent online, tone down the hype and instead focus on serving and helping your fans.." -LuisCongdon

    • 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, July 8, 2018

    Social Media Tips For EVERY Platform?

    Top social media tips for every platform Part 1: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram..

    You may have missed it, but June 30th was Social Media Day, a day set aside to “recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication.”

    In reality, every day should be social media day for your business, as it provides an essential way to gain leads, attract customers and grow sales. The secret is operating on a foundation that includes three important components: a solid strategy, valuable content and most importantly the know-how. Without these, it is easy to waste a lot of time and effort.

    Meliss Jakubovic, owner of Meliss Marketing, in Atlanta, GA and founder of the free Facebook Group Magnetic Marketing Mastermind, is a Facebook Ad Expert and Marketing Strategist. She helps entrepreneurs worldwide scale using the power of Social Media and shared her top tips for every platform. As a small business owner, you can use her top social media tips to build awareness, increase customers and grow sales.


    “Every business in every industry needs to be on Facebook,” Jakubovic says. It’s the largest online social platform with over 1 billion users, and it can give you access to potential customers you couldn’t otherwise reach. When used correctly, Facebook marketing outshines any traditional advertising. Here’s how to do it right:

    --Start marketing with video. “Right now, video is hands down dominating social media across the board,” Jakubovic notes. Statistics show that video marketing boosts engagement and increases conversions, which both lead to more sales.
    --Promote with paid advertising. “If you’re serious about growing your business, you should have a budget for marketing and Facebook is the first place you should invest it,” Jakubovic “Because Facebook ads offers easy access with the ability to target specific audiences, they provide the highest return on your investment (ROI).”
    --Use eye-catching visuals. “Thanks to our brains, humans naturally process images at incredible speeds. Meanwhile, statistics tell us that attention span on social media is about 8 seconds, which makes visuals the best way to communicate and trigger emotion all in a single glance,” Jakubovic notes.

    --Align yourself with industry influencers. When you partner with influencers in your industry, you gain access to a large network of people with common interests. This offers a unique opportunity to reach potential clients. “The easiest and most cost-effective way to connect with influencers is to offer them an opportunity to try your product and give feedback. If you can get just one influencer to share positive feedback or open up discussion about your product or service, you can have an immediate impact on your visibility and reputation,” says Jakubovic.
    --Start using Chatbots within Facebook Messenger. Chatbots are fairly new and predicted to increase in popularity. “In fact, I bet you’ll start to hear and see more about Chatbots in social media strategy in the months ahead. Those already using Chatbots are seeing open rates increase 75-85%. Chatbots provide a sense of immediacy, offer the personal connection consumers crave, and because of tags make sure no opportunity is lost,” Jakubovic adds.


    Some say that “Twitter is dead,”but Jakubovic says this couldn’t be further from the truth. “The reality is businesses can easily engage and connect with their customers and vendors, while gaining valuable information about their competitors without spending any money. That’s right: tweets are still free.” She notes.

    You may not know it but Google indexes every tweet (which makes it a great tool for search engine optimization or SEO).

    Most importantly, you can’t ignore that 60% of a business’s or brand's followers are likely to purchase or recommend after following them on Twitter. Here are five ways to improve your performance on the platform:

    --Limit how often you share links. Research has shown that tweets without links perform better and get more engagement. “When you limit the links you share, you bring more weight and value to the ones you occasionally include,” Jakubovic advises.
    --Choose the right Hashtags. “I highly recommend you build a library of Hashtags for your business, and make sure you include both industry tags and tags that appeal to your specific audience. However, don’t overkill.” Jakubovic recommends. Studies show that tweets with two Hashtags perform the best on Twitter.

    --Tag relevant and industry-related profiles. Tagging should be an important part of any Twitter strategy, but it needs to make sense. “Only tag relevant profiles and make sure you’re using the appropriate format for Tweets. Unless you’re replying to a post, it’s typically best to include their mention in the body of the tweet,” she suggests.
    --Acknowledge every one that mentions you. “When you receive a mention or acknowledgement on Twitter (or any platform), it’s the perfect opportunity to spread awareness. Strengthen your presence by favoriting the tweet, replying or offering up a shout out,” Jakubovic says.
    --Implement Twitter cards for lead generation. Twitter cards provide an easy way to get people to subscribe to your list, and a growing list offers opportunity for potential clients. “Gaining new leads is always the central goal, so channel your efforts on social media toward building your list and/or following,” she adds.


    Before you decide if Instagram should be part of your social strategy, you need to hear the statistics: 33% of internet users are on Instagram, 60% of Instagram users login daily, approximately 80 million users reside in the United States, and engagement on Instagram is 10x higher than Facebook and 84x higher than Twitter.

    What does it all mean? “Instagram has a more engaged audience than any other social media platform. It’s eliminated the frills and features, and works because it solely shares strong visuals via photos and video. The platform also has less competition when compared to other social media giants, which makes now a great time to dive in and deliver your content,” Jakubovic notes.

    Here’s how to put your best foot forward:

    --Convert to a business account. When you convert to a business account, you get access to features not available on personal accounts (it also keeps you out of hot water since all businesses should be using business accounts according to their terms of service).

    “Instagram for business offers a unique profile layout with the addition of a contact button. It gives you access to analytics, so you can monitor and improve results. And it provides access to Instagram Ads, so you can target a custom audience and get preference in the newsfeed,” adds Jakubovic.

    --Use a Hashtag strategy. Hashtags will get you noticed, increase engagement and build your following. “A good Hashtag strategy includes Hashtags that are brand specific, industry relevant and trending. You can find a variety of tools online to help with Hashtag research and identification,” says Jakubovic.
    --Focus on the customer. “Sharing your followers’ photos on your site is one of the best strategies for growth,” Jakubovic notes. “You’ll want to ask permission first and give proper credit to the source, but it’s a great way to acknowledge and connect directly with potential customers. In fact, Starbucks uses this strategy regularly and is among the top 200 brands on Instagram.” As part of a customer-focused strategy, make sure you like and comment on your followers’ photos and respond to their comments on your own posts. “If you want Instagram to support your business, you cannot simply post and run. You must continually interact and actively engage with your fans and followers,” she adds.

    --Creativity wins. “Only the best quality images and videos will do,” warns Jakubovic. “Be creative, be consistent, be authentic and be unique. Don’t limit yourself to just photos. You should also use video and stories to give your customers a look behind the scenes. If you let them get to know more about you, they will feel more comfortable buying from you.”
    --Host a giveaway or contest. When done correctly, contests and giveaways net big results on Instagram. “It’s a great way to build your following, showcase product and interact with others. Here are a few tips to make a contest work for you: offer something valuable that others want (don’t go cheap), make sure you have a strong following first and simplify the process for entering the contest,” Jakubovic suggests.

    Guest Authored By Kate Harrison. Kate is a startup branding and marketing expert with a passion for helping non-profits and eco-friendly businesses succeed. She has a Master's in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and a JD in Environmental Law from Pace. She wrote a best-selling book, built and sold the leading green wedding marketplace and now help entrepreneurs follow their dreams. Follow Kate on Twitter.

    "By following Jakubovic's tips you can make 2018 your best social media year yet. In Part 2, she covers YourTube, LinkedIn, SnapChat and Pinterest. Stay tuned..."

      • 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

      Monday, July 2, 2018

      How To Boost YOUR Social Media Game?

      Boosting your social media game..

      It’s now widely understood that all customer-centric businesses must have some kind of presence on social media. Even small, independent businesses are turning to platforms like Facebook to keep their customer base informed and engaged.

      While the fundamental merits of social media, (such as maintaining an informational presence on at least one channel, posting regularly to reach customers, responding quickly to concerns and tracking helpful analytics) have been repeatedly lauded in recent years, many businesses are still not leveraging their social media the way they could be.

      Meaningful, creative and consistent engagement via social media can have a transformation effect on the growth of your business, no matter your industry or current state of affairs. I know this because our company, Pink Lily, generated $50 million in our first four years in business -- and that tremendous success was only possible thanks to the reach and impact of smart social media management.

      As an e-commerce retailer that started on eBay, we were positioned from the outset to rely on social media for inventive marketing campaigns and sales generation. That being said, the tips I outline here are applicable to businesses of varying circumstances and sizes.

      If you’ve mastered the basics of social media and are ready to boost your game, consider the following:

      1. Spotlight Your Customers

      For many people, social media posts are an opportunity to gain recognition, praise and attention (either personally or professionally). This means that your social channels should help your customers to achieve that goal, acting as platforms for spotlighting the purchases, contributions and successes of your customer base. At Pink Lily, we do this by making a practice of reposting and sharing every mention we receive after a purchase. By sharing customers’ posts and photos, we are increasing their visibility and providing a quick, uplifting feeling of fame. This is an enticement to continue posting about our products, and the cycle feeds itself in such a way that we see enormous spikes in traffic. For your business, spotlighting your customers or clients might mean adding their photo, name or business name and a key hashtag to a post in order to generate positive interest in their respective profiles or pages.

      2. Offer Daily Freebies

      Free products, services, gift cards and counsel are always warmly welcomed -- no matter the business in question. To engage with social audiences and generate repeat visitors, Pink Lily offers a simple daily contest giveaway on social, offering a popular product or gift card for a minimal level of engagement. Because this is a daily opportunity, social followers end up returning to play again and again (thus increasing our overall level of traffic and engagement and further connecting our shoppers to our brand).

      The investment of one complementary product or small gift card per day is a small price to pay for the sales we generate over time. For your business, offering daily freebies might mean regularly posting complementary and helpful tips or offering regular lotteries for visitors to “win” a valuable product or service.

      3. Crowdsource For Advice

      Your customers or clients want to feel that their voices matter. To build this sense of trust and appreciation, you must think beyond the reactionary. Responding quickly and politely to customer questions and concerns is only part of the process. At Pink Lily, we also like to proactively engage our social media followers to solicit their advice and input on our products before they make their way to our site. In other words, we invite our followers to be the buyer and act as insiders weighing in on large-scale buying decisions before they happen. This practice creates a harmonious two-way relationship with our customers, and we continue to use social media on a daily or near-daily basis to enhance and strengthen that relationship. For your business, crowd-sourcing for advice might mean involving your social media followers in decisions such as where to host your next big event or the color of your revamped company logo.

      Guest Authored By Chris Gerbig. Chris is Co-Founder & President of Pink Lily, one of the fastest-growing online retailers of women's clothing in the US. Follow Chris on Twitter.

      "Compared with the typical recommendations for business growth, implementing these social media practices require a relatively low level of investment, in terms of staffing and financial resources. When considering the potential payoff, this is an easy decision to make. Think about customizing these recommendations to fit your business’ industry, scale and growth goals, then examine your sales metrics after three to six months of implementation. I bet you’ll be surprised by the results.." -ChrisGerbig

        • 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