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Social Media Success Summit 2014 – Week 2

Last week was a doozy! Being sequestered in training for 5 straight days meant that I had to use every free moment to catch up on the Social Media Success Summit sessions. I won’t waste any more time, let’s get down to business.

Day 1 – Google + with sessions by Martin Shervington, Lynette Young, Rebekah Radice, and Ryan Hanley

4 Takeaways from the Social Media Success Summit 2014 - Week 2Honestly, Google+ is not my favorite form of social media. I’m on it, but I sure don’t use it very much, and definitely not to it’s fullest potential. These sessions got me really thinking about how much more I should be doing, especially since Google+ posts have such SEO power. Of the many tips that were given, here’s what I took away to try to implement in the immediate future (baby steps):

  • Create circles and engage with them
  • Start a Community, and work intimately with them as they will be your advocates
  • Use hashtags
  • Add your own images/graphics (don’t settle for the defaults)
  • *Bold headlines* ← I had no idea it did this!
  • Post your events to Google+ → They can be inserted into Google Calendars which may increase attendance

Day 2 – Facebook with sessions by Amy Porterfield, Jon Loomer, and Andrea Vahl

Personally, I use Facebook to post pictures of my daughter and “like” pictures of my friends’ kids. I use it in a limited way for business since I work for a B2B software company and don’t have a personal “Facebooky” connection with my audience. That being said, there were tips in this session that will be valuable moving forward:

  • Make the posts about your audience, not you
  • Write in a conversational way, as if talking to a friend
  • Don’t use Facebook to sell stuff, use it to build a community and grow an email list; nurture the email list so that you have prospects that can become customers
  • Use Facebook Insights! Andrea Vahl provided a handy schedule to implement:
    • Daily → Look at your Engagement
    • Weekly → Look at Reach and Competitors
    • Monthly → Take a deep-dive into Likes, Like Sources, Post Types, and Negative Feedback

Day 3 – LinkedIn with sessions by Viveka Von Rosen, Stephanie Sammons, and Melonie Dodaro

I use LinkedIn heavily for work; I manage a group and company page. Where I really fall short is managing my own profile. I learned through these sessions that there is a ton that you can do to attract people to your profile page. I’ve always treated mine as a resume, only updating it when I get a new job. Here are the handy tips that rose to the top for me:

  • Unify your branding between your personal profile, group, and company page
  • Use keywords in your profile experience, summary, and interests to attract more visitors
  • Make your profile personal, don’t be afraid to share details to attract like-minded people
  • Be yourself
  • Engage strategically; it’s not about marketing, it’s about building influence
  • Ask for recommendations and reciprocate

Day 4 – Twitter with sessions by Erik Fisher, Amy Schmittauer, and Jessica Northey

Twitter is hands down my favorite form of social media, so I was very excited for Twitter-themed Thursday! Here are the takeaways I found most valuable:

  • If you’re having trouble creating new content, curate it.
    • Try a tool like Buffer. I just started Buffer, and I’m really enjoying it!
  • Enable Twitter Cards
    • Add a bit of code to your website, and you can tweet links containing rich media which saves more of those 140 characters for relevant text.
  • Build relationships by treating Twitter like a cocktail party; mingle, engage, be human, be giving
  • Share only content that you want to be known for
  • Quotes and resources are great things to share; large retweet factor
  • Never be boring!

Here’s to an awesome week two. Today’s sessions on blogging were incredibly insightful — look for a recap soon!

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Social Media Success Summit 2014 – Day 3

As much as I’m enjoying these sessions, I’m sure glad we’re through with week one. I’m definitely going to need the weekend to let all of this amazing content marinate into my brain before week two starts up! Now let’s skip the chit-chat, and get down to business.

How to Take Control of Your Social Body Language to Maximize Your Social Brand, Bryan Kramer

3 Takeaways from Day 3 of SMSS14Bryan started his presentation with the stat that 93% of communication is based on nonverbal body language. So when you’re communicating on social media, that’s A LOT of posts you need to write in order to get people to know who you are. His main point is to be human (#H2H), and in his words, “fakers suck” because “authenticity is the most important factor to gaining credibility in social.” This is proving itself more and more true as I wade through the world of social media. Just be yourself and the rest will fall into place. And being funny doesn’t hurt either.

How to Streamline Your Social Media Activities with Proven Tools, Ian Cleary

The first thing Ian asked us was, “Do you dream of being on top of it all?” I think my eyes filled with tears as I shouted, “You bet your sweet @$$ I do!” at my laptop. Ian recommended loads of tools to help yourself get organized. Tools to auto-release your content, help you find content options to share, find websites to link to your site, and so much more. I have to say, I was shocked at the amount of tools he provided in 35 minutes. I felt overwhelmed and far from “on top of it all.” The thought of new tools, new passwords, more things to log in to totally freaked me out. But as with most things, trying new stuff is scary, and same goes for this. When social media is your career, you can’t settle into a rut or you will be as obsolete as Friendster. When you’re presented with a list of tools like Ian gave us, I recommend you pick one or two that address your pain points and give them a try. That’s the advice I’m giving myself and anyone else who came out of this session feeling as I did.

How to Find Out Where Your Ideal Audience Is Using Social Media, Neal Schaffer

Neal started his presentation by talking a little bit about social strategy and how important it is to understand your customer. By knowing what they are interested in, how old they are, and where they are located, you can target them on social platforms. He narrowed down the playing field by limiting the search to four of the twelve most visited websites in the U.S.: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. Something new I learned is that you can sign up for the advertising function on these platforms and utilize it to locate your demographics. Did you know that when you sign up for advertising on Facebook and Twitter that you get access to a snippet of code that you can paste into your  website’s tag manager and find who on Facebook and Twitter are visiting your site? Facebook and Twitter also have the ability to upload an email list and they will match the emails up with accounts on their platforms. Stuff that sounds both cool and creepy, but let’s face it, the internet can be creepy.

If you didn’t get a chance to listen to these sessions, I highly recommend you do so before next week. Thanks goodness for the recordings. I have a heck of a meeting schedule next week, so I’ll probably be listening to most sessions on demand. Daily recaps will probably turn into weekly recaps!

This post comes paired with polenta with sausage and mushroom sauce. #noms.

Social Media A’Poppin’ — Choose Wisely

Choose-WiselyIf you’re starting a social media program for your company, it can be quite daunting. There are so many different platforms. Do you sign up for all of them? Blindly pick 1 to start with? Cry and run away? Don’t do any of those things — instead, just stop and think for a minute, and read this quick guide to getting your company started in social media marketing.

Who are you trying to reach? Maybe you want to engage with current customers who need your support. Or you’re looking to find customers you have not yet been able to reach with your website alone. You might even be trying to build partnerships with other companies in related industries. What is the demographic you want to connect with?

Where are they social? Do some research. Are they heavily on Facebook, but not really on Twitter? Maybe they’re more business-oriented and mainly on LinkedIn? Perhaps they are extremely visual and big-time Instagrammers? Do they meet in communities on Google+? Don’t forget to look at Pinterest — they might be creating boards with your product!

Less is more. A lot of articles on the Web may make you think that jumping headfirst into every platform is the way to go, but I think it’s good to start small. Build a following, engage, and see how it goes. You may want to add another platform or two; you might also find that you’ve hit the sweet spot! Take it from someone who knows, managing more than five social platforms at one time can be crazy town!

This post was inspired by my giant bowl of Sriracha popcorn that I ate instead of dinner. We all have nights like that, right?