Kick these 5 lazy Social Media habits

Digital Maids Create Better Social Media Content

 

Create better content by kicking these 5 lazy Social Media habits

The amount of online content is crushing all of us, particularly on social media.  On Facebook alone, 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded every 60 seconds.  This explosion of content impacts both the businesses using social media for marketing as well as the users they are hoping to reach.

If you are a content marketer or small business owner managing your own social media pages, it can be tempting to take a few shortcuts in the hopes getting your content out ahead of the pack.  However, not all shortcuts are created equal.  Resist the urge to sacrifice quality!  Just like you, your customers have only 24 hours in their day.  Don’t clog their social media feeds with subpar content.   Reward their attention and time by giving them your best.  To up the quality of your content and overall social media presence, avoid falling into these 5 common lazy social media habits.

Retweet without reading

According to a recent study, 6 out of 10 social media users share links without reading them.  Yikes!  How can you expect to be influential if you don’t know what you have shared beyond the title?  Some organizations are considering ways to combat this type of thoughtless sharing.  For example, Facebook is currently looking into letting users know how widely a link has been read when it is shared.  If you’re going to share, first read the article, and even better, offer your Followers value in the form of adding your key takeaway or insight.

Not formatting images

The optimal image dimensions for posts in Facebook’s newsfeed differ from Instagram or Twitter.  In fact, each social media network has its own recommended height and width for sharing images.  Take the time to format your images accordingly.  Apps such as Canva and PicMonkey will help simplify the process.  Ditto for copy and captions.  A caption crafted for maximum Facebook exposure probably won’t play well on Twitter. Take the time to write in the style best suited to the platform your Follower are using.

All thumbs up and hearts, no comments

Yes, liking other users post is an important component of engagement and building your online community, but go the extra mile or keyboard stroke and comment or react.  What about the image or post initially grabbed your attention?  It is also worth noting that Facebook now ranks reactions higher, which impacts your Insights.  So let other users feel your engagement.  With persistence, what goes around comes around! 

Auto sharing

You know those Twitter accounts that simply automatically share all of their Facebook status updates?  Do you read them?  Chances are, no one is reading yours either.  Creating and posting all of your content for one social media channel and then auto sharing it to all of your other networks should not be your sole strategy.   In some ways, it’s not respecting the other networks and its users.  A social media scheduler such at Hootesuite or HubSpot can help you create and schedule unique posts tailored for each of your networks.

All media, no social

Social media is two words.  Many businesses focus so much on the media, they forget the social piece.  When you receive a lot of comments on your Instagram post, do you take the time to respond or acknowledge? Not every post has to be an overt promotional sell.  Take the time to share gratitude, a personal side, or humor.   Ultimately, the attentiveness that is required to be successful in real life social situation holds true for thriving in social media.   

Like all forms of marketing, social media works best when you heed even the smallest of details. 

 

5 Quick Ways to Give Your Site a Weblift

Originally posted in October 2014, updated January 2017

Digital Maids 5 Website Content Update TipsIf the idea of adding “update the company website” to your to-do list seems daunting and time consuming, it’s probably the reason why you keep putting if off for another day.  However, each day that you delay puts into a motion a vicious cycle. You continue to not give the attention your website needs to be a positive online experience for your visitors and stay SEO friendly, while the content updates continue to pile up, requiring even more time.

When the first impression of a website is one of stale content, no one will spend a lot of time on your website.

Break the cycle of content neglect by taking a few minutes to perform the following 5 updates. None of these updates require an extended amount of time to perform and will create a fresh updated look for your site that both visitors and search engines will value.

Continue reading

Instagram Caption Tip

If your marketing strategy opts for longer captions on your Instagram posts, be sure to break up the text with line breaks.    Large, long blocks of text can be tedious to read on Instagram, and your Followers may end up skipping over your well-written caption.

See below on where to find the Return button on an iPhone to make your Instagram captions as visually appealing as they are creatively written!

Instagram Caption Tip Digital Maids Marblehead MA

BONUS!

Add hashtags as a comment to present a clean, easy to read caption.  When you Share you Instagram to photo your other social media channels, the hashtags will stay, and your great caption will be shared.

 

Customizing your LinkedIn Profile

Make it easy to connect on LinkedIn by customizing your public profile URL

What’s easier to remember, www.linkedin.com/in/sheilaheff or www.linkedin.com/in/sheilaheffernan-21a1b836 ?

Ditch the assigned numbers and make your LinkedIn profile more memorable and shareable by customizing your profile URL.

Select Profile>Edit Profile>Update your public profile settings.

LinkedIn Tip Digital Maids Marblehead MA

BONUS!

Don’t forget to add your customized link to your email signature!

 

 

Facebook Image Sizing Cheat Sheet

When you manage a Facebook Business Page, knowing the right size and dimensions for your images goes beyond just your profile picture.  How will your images display when you create an Event, share a link, or sponsor a story in the news feed?

This comprehensive Facebook Image Cheat Sheet, courtesy of TechWyse, is a huge time saver for Page Managers.   When it comes to Facebook,  high quality visual content is vital.  Be sure your images display to their maximum potential both on the desktop and mobile.

 

[ Source TechWyse Internet Marketing ]

Facebook Places in place of Yelp?

Digital Maids Facebook Places Screenshot

Facebook Places facebook.com/places

 

Whether you’re a frequent traveler, occasional traveler, or infrequent traveler, you’ve probably used Yelp to help acclimate yourself on where to go and what to do.  And why not?  It’s a convenient, easy to use tool for getting quickly up to speed on a new area or destination.   Increasingly, performing some type of online research regarding any type of travel related activity, including dining, lodging, and shopping, is the new norm.  According to a recent study on American consumerism, Americans not only use the Internet to stay connected to work, family and friends, 57 percent use social media networks for recommendations.

However, there are many that would prefer to see recommendations and reviews from people they know and opinions they feel are bona fide – friends, family, colleagues, neighbors.   Who hasn’t read a review on Yelp and paused momentarily to consider its authenticity?  Yelp continually tweaks its algorithms to ensure posts from trustworthy reviewers appear first, and it does offer the option for users to connect their Yelp profile with their Facebook account.  But in most scenarios you don’t actually know the person providing the review. This may cause you to pause yet again and wonder if you share the same likes and dislikes as the reviewer.  What if their idea of spicy is not your idea of spicy?  The pausing continues.  The wondering continues. Can you trust this review?

This is where Facebook Places, Facebook’s location based check in service,  can provide recommendations, reviews, and Check ins a more reliable, familiar setting  – they’re from your Facebook friends, which, hopefully, is people you know and trust, even if you’re not entirely sure of their definition of spicy.

To start, go to https://www.facebook.com/places or simply enter the destination in your Facebook search box:

digital maids facebook places screenshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immediately, you will see which of your Facebook friends have Checked in to your destination, as well as a variety of activities organized by category, including Eat, Drink, and Sightseeing.

 

Digital Maids Facebook Places Screenshot

 

On a mobile device, it will appear something like this:

Digital Maids

To delve deeper, select “See More”:

Digital Maids Facebook Places Screenshot

 

From here all the pertinent categories will be listed on the left, and all subcategories can be filtered and further searched and refined.

Digital Maids Facebook Places Screenshot

You can easily click to a Business Page of interest, providing more opportunity to scan posts, upcoming events, menus, or Page reviews from the Facebook community.

In short, Yelp has great breadth and reach, and is ultimately easier to navigate.  But Facebook Places is a viable addition for those who don’t like the anonymity sometimes associated with a Yelp review.  For extensive consumer research, add both channels to your online investigating arsenal to get an informed opinion.

Business owner tip:   Don’t forget to make it easy for Facebook Places to find you.  Be sure to 1) use the Check in option in some of your posts (see screenshot below), 2) make sure your business category is up to date, 3) confirm your Page has been verified by Facebook and 4) enable user reviews and Check ins.

Digital Maids Facebook Places Screenshot

 

Do you use Facebook Places?  What are you feel are its pros and cons?  Comment and let us know.

Three helpful tips for Facebook Page admins

“Change is the only constant in life” – Heraclitus

Words to live by, and no one understands this observation more than a social media manager.   Like all 21 “relevant” social media channels, Facebook never stops tweaking, updating, and altering its features and functionality.   If you manage a Facebook Page or Pages, this means how you interact and use your Page today could very likely be different tomorrow.

Here are three recent changes Facebook recently made to their Business Pages to be aware of:

 

Liking another Page as your Facebook Business Page

You’ve probably noticed that Facebook revamped its settings in regards to how you access the newsfeed of your Business Page.  You no longer login as your Page to view the newsfeed of your Business Page like you do your personal newsfeed.   Now you select “View Pages Feed” to view, like, and interact with Pages your business has liked or is following.  This link can be found under the profile picture.

Digital Maids Facebook Business Page Tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To like or follow new Pages as your Business Page, go to the Page, and select the three dots located at the bottom right of the cover photo.  From that drop down menu, select “Like As Your Page”

Digital Maids Facebook Business Page Tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you manage multiple Pages, you will see another drop menu.  Select the correct Page and save.

This recent update may have been made to reduce multiple logins, but it is a significant modification for businesses that regularly network and interact as their Business Page, and has not been well-received by the Facebook user community.

 

Instant Replies

If your Business Page receives numerous private messages, it’s always a good practice to acknowledge to the sender that their message has been received.  Instant Replies does just as the name implies – sends an automatic reply to any initial messages.   Given that’s it auto reply, be sure to add a personal tone to your message.

To turn on Instant Replies for your Page:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page
  2. Click Messaging in the left column
  3. Below Instant Replies, click to check the box next to Enable Instant Replies to quickly respond to initial messages
  4. Below Your Reply, enter your Instant Reply message
  5. Click Save

 

Digital Maids Facebook Business Page Tips

 

Note that Instant Replies should never fully replace authentic interaction with your audience.  They should be considered an initial acknowledgement of the message.

 

Boost your Call To Action

Looking to book an upcoming event or simply let prospects know how best to contact you?  If you have already set up your Facebook Call to Action (CTA) button to reflect this prompt, you can now promote your CTA button.   Select the arrow located at the end of your CTA, and then select Promote.  From there, you will see all the familiar ad options and fields, including budget, audience, and duration of promotion.

Digital Maids Facebook Business Page Tips Call To Action Button

What’s great about this feature is that in some scenarios a timeline post can’t effectively communicate what your CTA has already communicated – yet the only people seeing it are the ones who proactively visit your Page.   By promoting it, the CTA appears in your targeted audience’s newsfeed.

 

What else is new?

What recent Facebook Business Page changes have you noticed, embraced, or both?

 

 

 

With so much social media, can I ditch my website?

If you arewebsite vs social media a small business owner managing multiple social media channels – a Facebook page, or Instagram and Twitter presence, for example, in addition to your company website, you may wonder, does my company still really need a website?  Facebook in particular continues to improve the functionality and overall look and feel of their business pages, all in the hopes to keep you posting in their space.

Two criteria must be considered when making these kind of decisions for your small business.  Money and time.  Is it within the budget?  Is it worth my time?

Although it is tempting to turn off the website and take it off your to do list, especially within the context of these two questions, there is still value to be found in maintaining a company website.

 

CONGESTED NEWSFEEDS

If it seems crowded on the social media scene, it is not your imagination.  Facebook recently reported nearly 1.5 billion million active users.  Twitter, often aptly compared to an endless cocktail party of mixing and mingling,  has similar high numbers, 307 million users.

Given this extraordinary potential reach, having a consistent presence that is an extension of your brand is an essential piece of any comprehensive content marketing strategy.   And if you are to B2C organization, an active social media page sends a strong signal to your customers that you are accessible and responsive to their needs.

However, the possibility to reach millions of potential customers comes with staggering competition.  Facebook alone has 50 million business pages.   This partially explains why Facebook is constantly tweaking its newsfeed algorithm, and that Twitter may soon follow suit.   It is an ongoing effort to not overwhelm and ultimately turn off its users with content deemed worthless.   For businesses hoping to gain exposure through their Facebook business page, the continual shake up of the newsfeeds means that even your followers will most likely not see all of your posts.

HAVING YOUR OWN ADDRESS

Most small businesses owners I have the pleasure to work with have a strong sense of purpose when it comes to managing their work and envisioning their product.   Most often, this drive and commitment is what brought them to take the risk to go out on their own.   It is also why it can be difficult to alter that vision in order to fit into the prescribed parameters of a social media platform.  Cover photos are impactful and will surely raise brand awareness, but maybe not all the images you want to showcase are ideal for a 851×315 layout.

With over 21 “important” social media channels constantly evolving and surely more on the way, there are vast opportunities to broaden your reach.  But your website, that domain you bought, is just that – your domain.  Reward your users from the moment they enter it with robust, informative content.  Take advantage of not having to conform to the constraints of another platform to really communicate to users your value and distinctiveness.

SEARCH

Although search within social media platforms are becoming smarter, your potential client is still most likely trying to find you through a search engine.   And when you comb through all the tips and infographics on how best to boost search engine results (SER), when does a consistently updated company website not make the list?

 

BEST SCENARIO

1) A regularly maintained Facebook or [insert your customers most you used social media channel(s)] that reflects your content marketing strategy and brand + 2) a consistent landing page + 3) an easy to register for mailing list will create some content continuity for search engines and people both on and off of social media.

What do you think?  Is it worth it to maintain both a website and social media presence?

5 Free WordPress Plugins I’ll Use Again

Why do user reviews play an important role in determining which WordPress plugin is the right one for your website? To save one of life’s most precious commodities:  time. In most instances, you need a plugin to perform a specific task for your website,  you need it up and running quickly, and you’re working with a limited budget. After researching for the optimal plugin most suitable for your site, a significant amount of time has passed, and you still haven’t decided which plugin you should use.  Many WordPress admins are all too familiar with this type of scenario. And with good reason. There are a lot of plugins to investigate. According to the WP Plugin Directory, there are 41,000+ available plugins, which can make finding the right one to suit your website needs overwhelming.

If you are managing a WordPress site on a tight budget, here is a short list of free WordPress plugins I have had success with in the recent past.   Look for this list to be added and modified on a regular basis. None of these plugins slowed the performance of the website or required code. The versions I used are free, if you have had experience with other versions of the same plugin, please share in the comments.

 

tablesTables by Supsystic

When you need to display content within tables without code, consider Tables by Supsystic.   It’s easy to enter content and offers many types of display options, including row captions, highlighted rows, hyperlinks, text wrapping, and bordering for the entire table or row. It is also responsive, providing optimal viewing on all types of devices.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/data-tables-generator-by-supsystic/

 

 

shareAdd to AnyShare

Making it simple and easy to share your website content is a priority. Not only will users expect it, social sharing is also great for SEO. The Add to AnyShare plugin allows you to do that, and setup takes only a few minutes. Customization options include choosing the size of social media icons, selecting from up to 100 social media outlets, and displaying icons at the top or bottom of your page or post.  There is also a horizontal or vertical floating option – having the share buttons stay in a fixed position as the user scrolls.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/add-to-any/

 

 

ultimateauctionUltimate Auction Pro

I have only used this plugin once, and found the set up to be quick and painless. It is also worth noting that the developer, Nitesh Singh, is extremely responsive. Given that auctions are by nature time sensitive events, it is a huge bonus that the developer understands this and responds to inquiries in a promptly manner. Some of the great features of Ultimate Auction Pro include multiple photos or video for each auction item, PayPal synchronization, and automatic email notifications to bidders if they have been outbid. Users will have to register to your website in order to participate, but the plus side of this is that it detracts spammers.  When you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to share profits with a hosted auction site, consider Ultimate Auction Pro.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/ultimate-auction/

 

loginredirectWordPress Login Redirect

Having subscribers login into to your site and go directly behind the scenes is not ideal – it’s actually a little disorienting.  WP Login Redirect automatically redirects subscriber level users back to the homepage of your website after they’ve logged in. Why should a users first impression of your site be the admin panel? This plugin does not offer a lot of buzzes and whistles, it simply performs one function very effectively.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-login-redirect/

 

displaywidgetsDisplay Widgets

This is such an efficient, handy plugin, allowing you to customize your sidebar page by page. For example, you may have a text widget announcing a new event or product that you want to display on your homepage, but not the actual event/product page, because the text will look redundant appearing in both the main body and the sidebar. Display widgets can help with this by giving admins the ability to select which pages a widget should display on, creating clean, unique pages throughout your website.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/display-widgets/

 

What WordPress plugins have worked for you? Please share.

Video Comes to Facebook’s Profile Pic

Facebook will soon make available 7 videos as part of their profile picture options. The feature will enable users to upload short – one second longer than a Vine – videos.

facebook-gif-image-540x334

Videos will only upload through the Facebook app. Facebook is also adding additional feature to the profile picture, including temporary pictures, and a shift in the layout with a centered profile photos plus big sections for photos and friends.   Recognizing the success of same-sex marriage rainbow profile pictures, Facebook said in a post, “It can be a visual status update to let your friends know what’s going on in your life today, or it can be your statement of solidarity for a cause you feel strongly about.”

How will you use the expanded profile picture features to improve your page?