A Simple Way To Enhance Your Social Media Efforts: Use Themes


Some days you may catch yourself struggling with what to post on your company’s social media page. What type of content does my audience want to hear about? What content will they engage with most? While these questions are important, sometimes you need to get back to the basics.

When building social media posting plans for our clients, we begin with a list of holidays (like this one). And not just federal holidays. We will include ALL of the holidays, like ‘National Cupcake Day’ and ‘National Yoga Awareness Month.’ People love to celebrate traditions and holidays, especially ones that pretty much force you to have a cupcake.

Don’t just take our word for it! Here’s a real-time example of how we used a theme to drive social media engagement.

We have a restaurant client who specializes in pizza (the best around!). Our holiday research told us that October is National Pizza Month. How perfect! In honor of the delicious holiday month, we ran a photo contest. Entrants simply had to take a photo with anything pizza-themed, post to Facebook and use our special hashtag. Three of our favorites will receive gift cards at the end of the month.

The response has been staggering! Engagement scores on our contest-related posts are about triple the average. Even better, users are actually entering the contest.

What did we already know? Our audience loves pizza. People love contests. People love winning money.

What did we find out? Bringing these things together in one pretty bundle can help to drive engagement. We just had to identify the pieces and fit them together in a way that made sense.

Overall, pay attention to themes and holidays which fit within your social media content. Mixing up your content with themes will drive your audience to engage.




A Simple Way To Enhance Your Social Media Efforts: Use Themes


Some days you may catch yourself struggling with what to post on your company’s social media page. What type of content does my audience want to hear about? What content will they engage with most? While these questions are important, sometimes you need to get back to the basics.

When building social media posting plans for our clients, we begin with a list of holidays (like this one). And not just federal holidays. We will include ALL of the holidays, like ‘National Cupcake Day’ and ‘National Yoga Awareness Month.’ People love to celebrate traditions and holidays, especially ones that pretty much force you to have a cupcake.

Don’t just take our word for it! Here’s a real-time example of how we used a theme to drive social media engagement.

We have a restaurant client who specializes in pizza (the best around!). Our holiday research told us that October is National Pizza Month. How perfect! In honor of the delicious holiday month, we ran a photo contest. Entrants simply had to take a photo with anything pizza-themed, post to Facebook and use our special hashtag. Three of our favorites will receive gift cards at the end of the month.

The response has been staggering! Engagement scores on our contest-related posts are about triple the average. Even better, users are actually entering the contest.

What did we already know? Our audience loves pizza. People love contests. People love winning money.

What did we find out? Bringing these things together in one pretty bundle can help to drive engagement. We just had to identify the pieces and fit them together in a way that made sense.

Overall, pay attention to themes and holidays which fit within your social media content. Mixing up your content with themes will drive your audience to engage.




Making The Most Of Social: The Twitter Edition


 As small business owners, we know it’s important to get involved in social media. There is so much to know and so little time. This blog series is dedicated to giving you simple, straight-forward best practices for your business’ social media presence. This week we’ll be talking about Twitter.

  1. When posting to Twitter, use hash tags the right way. The best practice is to use 1 to 4 hash tags at a maximum. Too many hash tags can be extremely distracting to the reader. Also, Twitter users prefer reading Tweets with the hash tags outside of the post text. Still confused about hash tags? Read our blog dedicated to them here 
  2. Mention and thank your customers and fans. People love to be mentioned and re-tweeted, so do this often. You can make use of the well-known “Follow Friday” and mention some standout fans on that day. But we recommend taking the efforts a step further and personalizing a few tweets to fans each week. This small gesture goes a long way.
  3. Attach photos and videos whenever possible. People often forget to use photos on Twitter. It’s a fact that a tweet which contains a high-quality graphic or short video will be viewed more than one without. 
  4. Place hash tags in your company description on your Twitter profile. Doing this is a clear and simple way to get your Twitter page found when people search the hash tag you’ve placed within your bio. See the example on our founder’s profile.
  5. Tweet often and in real-time. There’s no such thing as too many tweets. Tweet daily and about topics that are relevant to your life and business. We find it most time-efficient to use the Twitter app on our phones.
  6. Create a follow list. Pretty quickly, the list of users you follow becomes quite large. It’s often overwhelming to scroll through all of the tweets that are coming in. Creating a follow list offers you a streamlined feed with only the type of information you want to see. Here’s how to create a Twitter follow list.

Twitter is a great tool for connecting with other individuals and brands. Our goal is to help you use it in the best way. For more social media insight, sign up for The Social Haven Community.

Making The Most Of Social: The Facebook Edition

As small business owners, we know it’s important to get involved in social media. There is so much to know and so little time. This blog series is dedicated to giving you simple, straight-forward best practices for your business’ social media presence. This week we’ll start with one of our favorites…Facebook. 

  • Get personal. On your Facebook page, use REAL images of your team members and company headquarters. Your audience wants to feel like their interacting with the real people behind the brand.
  • Use the favored post format. Facebook users do not like to see links within your post. To avoid this, all you have to do is paste the link you’re sharing into your content box. Then let the related photo, title & excerpt appear. Finally, simply delete the link. The supporting content will stay and will be clickable to the user. Here is an example of an ideal Facebook post.


  • Choose a vanity URL. A vanity URL is a personalized URL that you can claim for your Facebook page (depending on availability). When you first create your facebook page, you are assigned a random URL like: http://www.facebook.com/pages/thesocialhaven/857469375913. This is obviously not something that your audience will remember, so visit your Settings tab, click Page Info, then Edit your Facebook Web Address. You should choose your business name if it’s available. We use http://www.facebook.com/thesocialhaven.
  •  Use high-quality images in every post. Your audience is more likely to engage with a post that contains a photo or video screenshot. 
  • Advertise. It’s as simple as that. With Facebook’s latest restrictions, even though users “Like” your page, this does not mean that they will see your content. Facebook serves up content to users based on their interests and activity history. The only way to guarantee that your audience sees your content is to pay to target them directly. The best part, it’s pretty inexpensive. Start with some small testing and grow from there. 
  • Review your results and adjust. Facebook offers an awesome metrics section called Facebook Insights. Visit the tab and get familiar with the ins and outs. You should be reviewing what your audience cares about, and what they don’t. It’s the only way you’ll be able to adjust and improve over time, reaching even more people.

The Keys To Building A Movement: #HeForShe Case Study


As we watched Emma Watson’s U.N. Speech yesterday which promoted the important #heforshe campaign, we were firstly very moved. If you haven’t watched it, we encourage you have the experience. This movement should be shared worldwide as quickly as possible.

Our second thought was, “Wow. The power of great branding behind a movement can make a world of difference.” By simply searching the #heforshe hashtag online, you will undoubtedly be impressed with the massive impact that this movement has taken in just a few short months. How did this happen? How can one video be viewed by tens of thousands of eyes in a single day? It takes great preparation, and spot-on branding.

So, how did U.N. Women prepare for this massive explosion of a movement:

  1. Develop a simple, but memorable #hashtag. The hashtag must be one that has not been used before, is short yet still meaningful, and is displayed across all marketing channels. Kudos to the team who chose #heforshe.
  2. Bring on a well-known, like-able (or lovable, in Emma’s case) spokesperson to speak publicly about the movement. Film high quality video of these events, like U.N. Women did.
  3. Put together a great team of staff and campaign partners. The U.N. Women team are obviously top notch marketers, and they’ve brought on well-known campaign partners like Barclays and J.P. Morgan. Choosing campaign partners that have substantial followings themselves will help to amplify the movement. 
  4. Create an awesome landing page or full website where visitors can find simple instructions on how to take action. U.N. Women did a great job staying on top of website trends with their #heforshe website here
  5. Create a uniform social media presence for the movement in advance, then ramp up excitement for the big reveal. U.N. Women created Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube pages. 
  6. Give supporters an easy way to share. In this case, supporters are simply writing #heforshe on a piece of paper, taking a photo of themselves and posting it online. See one example of thousands below. U.N. Women representatives even visited some international events during the ramp-up period, like the World Cup. They carried #heforshe signs and took photos of people holding the sign in support. Grassroots efforts like this are usually necessary.
  7. Lastly, you must have a genuinely thoughtful and empowering movement. You can have all of the other qualities above, but without a message that people will feel good supporting, the efforts won’t go far. 

Preparing to launch an international movement is not an easy task. Months of preparation and planning are required, along with exquisite team members. In the end, making the world a better place is always worth the work. 


This Week On Facebook: Updates You Need To Know

1. Your Facebook Newsfeed Will Now Feature Trending Stories



With this new change, “when a friend or page you are connected to posts about something that is currently a hot topic of conversation on Facebook, that post is more likely to appear higher up in the newsfeed, so you can see it sooner.” 

So, what does this mean for your business’ facebook page? It means that you can take advantage by monitoring which topics are trending, then posting about them on Facebook. Your fans will be more likely to see your update about this trending topic over posts that are not related to trending news. An important note: Use hashtags! Hashtagging words related to the trending topic will help Facebook recognize the content. More about hashtags in this blog.

2. Facebook Pulls Personal Promoted Post Feature



If you’re a business using Facebook, you should be paying to promote your company page posts. Since October 2012, individual users could also promote their posts. This feature was controversial because reports emerged that Facebook was deliberately decreasing the reach of the regular, non-promoted posts in order to force people into payment for the promoted post.

Needless to say, this update is beneficial to companies using Facebook and you won’t have to compete with personal promoted posts to get your content seen.

3. Facebook Tailors Delivery of Ads Based on Feedback



Facebook allows you to hide content that you no longer want to see. To take it a step further, they ask you why you don’t want to see the content. They use this information to decide whether they will show the ad to other users. Facebook will “pay more attention to feedback from people who don’t often hide ads so that when they do give us feedback, we take it as a stronger signal.”

Just another reason to make sure you’re promoting content that is useful and relevant to your audience. If you’re simply talking about how awesome your business is, it’s probable that your post won’t get a wide reach. Instead, talk about how your audiences’ lives will benefit by using your product or service. 





This Week On Facebook: Updates You Need To Know

1. Your Facebook Newsfeed Will Now Feature Trending Stories



With this new change, “when a friend or page you are connected to posts about something that is currently a hot topic of conversation on Facebook, that post is more likely to appear higher up in the newsfeed, so you can see it sooner.” 

So, what does this mean for your business’ facebook page? It means that you can take advantage by monitoring which topics are trending, then posting about them on Facebook. Your fans will be more likely to see your update about this trending topic over posts that are not related to trending news. An important note: Use hashtags! Hashtagging words related to the trending topic will help Facebook recognize the content. More about hashtags in this blog.

2. Facebook Pulls Personal Promoted Post Feature



If you’re a business using Facebook, you should be paying to promote your company page posts. Since October 2012, individual users could also promote their posts. This feature was controversial because reports emerged that Facebook was deliberately decreasing the reach of the regular, non-promoted posts in order to force people into payment for the promoted post.

Needless to say, this update is beneficial to companies using Facebook and you won’t have to compete with personal promoted posts to get your content seen.

3. Facebook Tailors Delivery of Ads Based on Feedback



Facebook allows you to hide content that you no longer want to see. To take it a step further, they ask you why you don’t want to see the content. They use this information to decide whether they will show the ad to other users. Facebook will “pay more attention to feedback from people who don’t often hide ads so that when they do give us feedback, we take it as a stronger signal.”

Just another reason to make sure you’re promoting content that is useful and relevant to your audience. If you’re simply talking about how awesome your business is, it’s probable that your post won’t get a wide reach. Instead, talk about how your audiences’ lives will benefit by using your product or service. 





7 Things Business Owners Need To Know About Twitter

One social media site is not like the other. They should all be treated and managed differently. This can be a time-consuming process, which is why it’s important to share experiences - good and bad - in order to alleviate some of the confusion or frustration that can occur.

Twitter is a very unique social media site. There is so much opportunity just waiting to be tapped into. The trick is using it in the best way to seek out and attract that opportunity.


1.  When posting to Twitter, it’s important to use hash tags the right way. 

We’ve all heard this one before. What we want to get across is HOW to use them. The best practice is to use 1 to 4 hash tags at a maximum. Too many hash tags can be extremely distracting to the reader.



Also, Twitter users prefer reading Tweets with the hash tags outside of the post text, so try to follow this guideline whenever possible. 

 

2. Mention and thank your customers and fans.



In the book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People,’ Dale Carnegie said, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” This principle holds true today. On Twitter, people love to be mentioned and re-tweeted. You can make use of the well-known “Follow Friday” and mention some standout fans on that day. But we recommend taking it a step further and personalizing a few tweets to fans each week. This small gesture will go a long way. 

 

 

 

3.  Attach photos and videos whenever possible.

People tend to use images and videos in abundance on social sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. But they often forget that Twitter users love imagery as well. A Tweet that contains a high-quality graphic or short video will be viewed more than one without.

Don’t believe us? Test it out for yourself. Which of the following do you find more appealing? 

We bet you picked the latter. 





4. Place hash tags in your company description on your Twitter profile.



Most people completely miss this one. It’s a simple, clear way to get your Twitter page found when people search the keyword you’ve hash tagged within your bio.

See the screenshot of our founder’s profile for an example. When Twitter users search the term #socialmedia or #marketing, Nicole’s profile will be considered as a possible result. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Tweet between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. EST, Monday through Thursday.

In general, these are the days and times that Twitter users are most active on the social media site. It’s as simple as that!

 

6.  Create a follow list. 

The tweets in your home feed are probably on all different topics, which can be overwhelming. It’s helpful to group your followers into lists by interest. This allows you to have a streamlined way of accessing only the type of information you want to see. To do this, create a follow list by clicking on your Profile, clicking “More,” then clicking “Lists.” Then, “Create a New List.”

Type in a name for your list and a brief description. Set the privacy settings, save the list, and you’re done.

Add Twitter users to your list by clicking on the gear icon next to the Follow button on any user’s profile. You don’t have to be following the user to add them to a list.

Choose “Add or remove from lists…” and check the list you want. Done! You now have a curated group of Twitter users. Viewing each List will allow you to see a stream of Tweets from only the users on that list.



 

7.  Start using #Discover. 

You’ll notice on the top bar of your Twitter page is a tab called “Discover.” Clicking this gives you an algorithmically-curated list of tweets that you should see, but that don’t appear in your regular Twitter feed. This is a great way to find new, trending content to share with your audience. Based on follows, mentions, interactions, favorites and retweets, #Discover gives you a list of the best of Twitter at that very moment. 



RELATED: Are you interested in trying advertising on Twitter? Find out how in this blog



Technology Knows No Age


Today we were reviewing the Yelp activity of one of our clients when we found this:



This man, who is over 100 years old, was not only using Yelp to find a restaurant, but he was using it via the Yelp app for his iPhone. This man is on the upper end of the technology-savvy spectrum, and he’s over 100 years old. This got us thinking about the older generations in today’s digital age. They are much too often dismissed in discussions of online branding. We hear comments like this one all the time.


"My business’ target market is over 60. We don’t need to be on social media!"

Excuses like this are naive in today’s digital world. Did you know that 1 in 5 Twitter users is over 50? Or that 2/3 of people ages 50 to 64 are now on Facebook? A 2013 study shows that people over 50 years of age are the fastest growing user group on Facebook. Reducing social isolation and loneliness and a strong willingness to be involved in their family’s lives are among the most important motivators for seniors to get involved in social media. Also participation in communities, creating new social circles and establishing new relationships online lead older people to use social media.

Our point is, don’t ignore the older generations in your online marketing efforts. They have a voice and immense buying power. We’ll leave you with this visual which looks at internet usage and trends among the older generation.


Technology Knows No Age


Today we were reviewing the Yelp activity of one of our clients when we found this:



This man, who is over 100 years old, was not only using Yelp to find a restaurant, but he was using it via the Yelp app for his iPhone. This man is on the upper end of the technology-savvy spectrum, and he’s over 100 years old. This got us thinking about the older generations in today’s digital age. They are much too often dismissed in discussions of online branding. We hear comments like this one all the time.


"My business’ target market is over 60. We don’t need to be on social media!"

Excuses like this are naive in today’s digital world. Did you know that 1 in 5 Twitter users is over 50? Or that 2/3 of people ages 50 to 64 are now on Facebook? A 2013 study shows that people over 50 years of age are the fastest growing user group on Facebook. Reducing social isolation and loneliness and a strong willingness to be involved in their family’s lives are among the most important motivators for seniors to get involved in social media. Also participation in communities, creating new social circles and establishing new relationships online lead older people to use social media.

Our point is, don’t ignore the older generations in your online marketing efforts. They have a voice and immense buying power. We’ll leave you with this visual which looks at internet usage and trends among the older generation.