Check this checklist to make time for your social media

Does your marketing work better when you use a social media checklist?

I know that when I have a list of things to do, a checklist makes it easier for me. Some people use a digital version. I still like a paper and pencil type of list. OR I put things on my calendar and assign it a time.

Using a checklist for your social media tasks might work best using the calendar method. That way you can dedicate specific time each day, week, month or quarter to getting the things done for your business including your social media checklist.

Some of the things you might want to do would include getting posts out for your business. I like to keep the 70 / 20 / 10 rule for social media posts. 70% of your posts should be content regarding your industry. 20% of your posts should be your own content regarding your industry (like posting this post). Only 10% of your posts should be promotional in nature. That means if you have a 5 posts in a week, 3 should be content you find somewhere else, 1 should be your content and 1 could be a promotion. If all you ever post is sales, people will tune you out. Try to post witty, useful or informative items. don’t always be selling.

Use the tools on your checklist to help you maintain your posting schedule, monitor your goal achievement, check out what the competition is doing and where you will go next.

If you have any questions, or would like assistance in setting up your personalized checklist, I would be happy to assist. In the meantime, you can download this pdf version of the image above – social media checklist

The original inspiration for this article came from this source.

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Career Day Presentation

Have you ever given a Career Day Presentation?

I am reminded of the commercial on television where the parents are career day presentationgiving a career day presentation and the fireman dad comes in his gear. All of the other dads have a look of uh-oh, he is going to get all the questions.

I guest lecture to a Masters program Marketing class. It is a cake walk compared to trying to keep the attention of a group of high school students.

Giving a Career Day presentation to high school students can be challenging. Some of the go-getters are totally engaged and ask great questions. Then there is the class either first thing in the morning or right after lunch, where all the kids do is snooze.

I am going armed with video in my presentation – it has catchy background music and cool facts. I will be using Prezi for my presentation – not just words, but lots of graphics and movement. I will have giveaways – everybody likes a good tchotchke.  I may even pull out a fun (in my opinion) quiz the kids can take and win a prize – everyone likes the chance to win a prize right?!

My biggest challenge will be that the kids are almost as savvy in my field as I am. They use the latest social media tools. Facebook to them is passe. Snapchat is rage – this week. All the time I hear, if you need to learn how to do something on the internet or a smartphone ask a teenager. The advantage I have over a teenager is the marketing experience I have gained over the years, the comparison for new technologies to old ones AND I can have my selfie-stick in the classroom!

Career Day presentations to high school students are about what you do to interest them in what they might want to do can be challenging. Not all students are college bound, as not all jobs require a college education. Helping those students understand the value of all types of careers is what will keep the world going round.

Wish me luck, watch for the pictures on my Facebook page!

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Where do you use your social media?

I use my social media on many devices.

When I ask this question during one of my presentations – “What are the top two reasons why people buy a smart phone?” I often get the response for social media. While that is a good answer it isn’t correct.

I sit at a desk a good part of my day. I use my desktop for quite a bit of my social media updates etc. I often use my smart phone, a tablet, or a laptop.

One of the things that I have noticed all too frequently is that I don’t see the same thing in my Facebook feed on my mobile as I do on my desktop, tablet or media - Facebook is slow

Quite often my desktop version of Facebook is very slow to react, so slow in fact that I often kill the tab and sometimes don’t reopen it. (See the picture.) Sometimes, I think Facebook is trying to push people to use mobile so they Social Media - Facebook Failmake the desktop version slower and slower. (Now it could be the fact that I have 20 tabs open at any one time and three browsers, but…)

Some platforms like Instagram don’t even let you use it from a desktop. Twitter is an on the go platform. Pinterest is a tablet and a glass of wine or cup of coffee type of platform. LinkedIn is often used on a phone or tablet, but has so much more functionality on a desktop or full laptop.

Where do you use your social media the most? Does it suit your need for speed, or is it more like the tortoise? If you are in business, do you have the right tools to use to enhance your process, are you keeping up with your audience, or better yet, is your audience able to keep up with you? Do you posts get seen? Better yet, are you getting the reactions you want from your posts?

If you were answering no to any of these questions, it may be time for us to have a chat about how you use your social media.

(By the way, the answer to the first question is 79% buy it for phone calls and 78% buy it to read emails.)


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Build a Social Media Policy

Do you need to build a social media policy for your business?

Recently, I prepared a presentation for an organization on creating a social media policy. What I found was that most of the relevant information was from 2009-2011. That is how long it has been since social media policies have been important to have for your business.

So let’s take a look at the key components and a few resources to help you create a social media policy for your company.

Why do you need a policy?social media policy

A social media policy outlines what is or isn’t allowed for your employees. You have other policies and procedures that provide corporate guidelines. The social media policy provides the guidelines for how your employees will communicate with the world. A policy will set boundaries and provide a baseline for now. It can be changed as issues emerge.

Because your social media will portray your company culture and your brand, you want to ensure that whatever is presented on social media platforms is going to represent your company and carry your message out to the customers AND competitors in your industry. You also want to ensure that social media will fulfill your company objectives about how you will secure leads and generate sales.

How to develop your social media policy

  1. Decide who will help you create it – will you create by committee? Will HR create it? Will IT or Operations create it? Ultimately, whatever you create should be approved by your corporate attorney to ensure that you are not violating any rules.
  2. Select the aspects that need to be represented in your policy – what channels, who can have access, and possibly perform a SWOT analysis of your company’s use of social media.
  3. Be specific about the Can’s, Can’ts and Should’s. If they are not allowed to talk about new products until a specific department releases the news, spell it out.
  4. Consider the following points:
    1. Who can use social media in company on behalf of the company
    2. When can they use social media – on company time or on personal time.
    3. Who approves what is posted on social media – specific departments, the IT department, HR department, the CIO, the marketing department
    4. How will the employee represent themselves – is the employee “on” 24/7, when they are representing the company does their “handle” include a portion of your company name, like @deetime2mrkt. It is always best to maintain a professional representation of yourself on any social or on-line communication outlet.The Internet Remembers
    5. What ethical standards will be followed by the employee – are they already in place for the company? If so, the social media policy should remain consistent with your ethics policy.
    6. Who/how will you manage brand consistency – will you provide training? will each department ensure compliance? Is someone monitoring on a daily, weekly, monthly basis?
    7. Will you use disclaimers? If an employee is required, if someone posts a comment that is not congruent with the company stance, you may not be held liable for those comments.

Consider these items for inclusion in your policy, as long as you define what they mean:

  • Resist the urge to lash out in public. Take it off-line.
  • Respect proprietary information.
  • Know internal policies before posting.
  • Be timely, but pause and re-read before replying.
  • Use common sense.
  • Play nice

Can you fire someone for complaining about the job on social media?

The answer depends upon what they are doing. This USAToday article explains some of the rulings from the National Labor Relations Board. Here are a few of the highlights from the article.

  • It is illegal for an employee to be fired for a post about working conditions, whether it’s pay, hours, assignments, difficult supervisors, dress code, or any other issue. 
  • Posts that damage a company, disparage its products or services or reveal trade secrets or financial information are actionable. But if they include criticism of related working conditions, they might not be.
  • Posts cannot encourage others to be insubordinate i.e. work slow downs.
  • Griping or insults by one person with no connection to working conditions are NOT protected. You cannot “dis” your boss’ appearance or speech.

The Answer

  • Create a social media policy, including examples, spelling out what employees can and cannot post.
  • Review your policy with an HR specialist or attorney to ensure it is not violating any laws.
  • If you are not sure whether a post is actionable, check before you act!

Would you like to review some examples of policies before you write yours? Here is a link that has about 240 company policies that you can read.

Would you like a great starting point? This tool provides a social media policy creating wizard

As always, if I can be of assistance to you in your social media needs, please contact me!

Here are other resources and links to social media policies that I used as research for this article:

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It’s a Numbers Game

Do the Numbers Add Up?

Recently I was asked by a colleague to help her with a debate she was having with a coworker about posting frequency.  Here is the advice I offered:It's a numbers game
How engaged is your audience? The frequency that you post depends upon the engagement level that you see. It also depends upon the type of post you are making. If you are constantly pushing promotional items, the audience will disengage. For example, if you are a B2C business and you are sharing pictures of people you will probably build your engagement level. Videos these days are the rage on Facebook, especially if they are short and make someone laugh. Use it to your advantage.
My rule of thumb is 70-20-10.
  • 70% content in your industry from other sources
  • 20% content from your industry that you create
  • 10% promotional information
The exception to that rule is if there is an event coming up, that 10% may rise to about 25% especially closer to the deadline for registration or the event itself.
Here is the tricky part – the frequency. Because of the algorithms, the more often you post, especially on Facebook, the higher the likelihood of your audience seeing it. The algorithms have dropped to about 3% of the posts you put out actually make it to a followers news feed. That number, at one time, used to be 16% of your followers would see your posts. If you want higher engagement with fewer posts, you have to make sure that all of your posts hit! This won’t happen. Try to arrange some “ringers” who will like and share your posts. This could drive the engagement rate and up the % of your followers that will see the posts.
Here is what I suggest to the “average” business user:
  • LinkedIn – 3-5 times per business week
  • Google+ – 3-5 times per business week
  • Twitter – as often as you can, link from Facebook, Pinterest, and feeds from other sources
  • Facebook – 1-3 times throughout the day for your business week. If you are a restaurant, that might mean Tuesday -Sunday, for a CPA firm Monday- Friday
If you are following the 70/20/10 rule, you should build the engagement level as well as find out what kinds of posts are drawing the engagement.
If you use a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite, you can use the auto schedule features they offer to pick the best time for follower interaction.  But remember that as frequently as you post, you need to have someone checking to see if people are engaging with you. If they comment, you need to be able to respond, SOOOOO don’t post more frequently than you can manage to check back and follow-up if necessary.
It really is just a numbers game.
This 2014 article from FastCompany sums up more details that you can use as reference.
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