All About Social Media

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Post With Meaning Or Mean Post?

Visibly Media, social media like and dislike emoji

Social media channels are wonderful communication tools from which we can learn from others’ thought leadership, experiences, beliefs, motivations and passions. Each page we create on our website has its own visiblity, thanks to Google, but can achieve greater visual impact by posting to social media channels.

This revelation can be either a positive or negative experience, depending on the person utilizing these means. I’ll explain.

In the past year, more and more people are taking to social media to post some of the most hateful, hurtful, and harmful messages I’ve ever read or care to read. Quite a few have had little to no provocation and were resolved with either suspending or firing the poster.
As a small business owner, you must have either guidance or control over posts about your company by employees, contractors, suppliers or partners. I prefer guidelines vs. control, personally. I would rather positively encourage than negatively micromanage and discourage posts. This brings out some of the best posts I’ve read, because employees, et. al., have been given freer rein to explore not just their expression, but their own thought leadership as well.

So, why, then, are people paying the price for this with their jobs?
When I post one of my blog articles, or just make a post, it’s my viewpoint. Now, to that argument, as a solopreneur I can do that – no harm, no foul. However, if I were to go to work for another business, my comments could be construed as views representative of that company as well. This is what trips people up.

For example, if your company is working on a new product or service, you wouldn’t want to post about that and tip the hand of the competition, right? The same goes for “on the fly” posts you haven’t talked about with your employer and could become a pain point for the business.
Back in 2012, you may remember reading about a former CFO of an Tucson, Arizona business who was fired after ranting at a Chik-Fil-A employee in the drive-thru. No, he wasn’t upset about his chicken sandwich; rather, he was upset over the founder’s views on a particular topic during an interview. This business professional drove to the nearest Chik-Fil-A, ranted in the drive-thru and videotaped the entire monologue, then uploaded it to his YouTube channel after he got back to work.
I just Googled the reference: as of early 2015, the man was still unemployed and on food stamps.
Here are a few quick post tips:

  1. Breathe. Your post needs to be timely, but don’t get caught up in the moment and make a rash, improper judgment call.
  2. Read it twice. Don’t look for just grammatical errors; how will the post will feel to your readers?
  3. Stick to the facts. People should absolutely post their passions, but, be careful this doesn’t spill over too much into your words, lest you wander off into the weeds of the “I don’t know” zone. Worse, readers may think you’re arguing with them instead of conversing.
  4. Words have meaning. Is your post satirical? Mean-spirited? Theoretical? Would you say it like that to a person, in person? Would you want them to say it back to you?
  5. Teach. What we pass on to the next generation can be gold or dung – the choice is ours.
  6. Ask for an opinion. Another set of eyes as a reality check may save embarrassment.

What will your next post be written about? Choose your words wisely.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Looking for a strategy for blogging ideas or keeping an eye on your competitors? Click here and let us know how we can help you.

Facebook: Create A Live Video From Your Browser

It’s no secret Facebook fans enjoy live video, but, for some, using their smartphones and Facebook Live could be a bit intimidating. Facebook is now allowing users to create a live video from their browser! This is something relatively new, and, in my opinion, long needed. I expect this to be a game-changer for Facebook marketers; given a choice, going live using either your mobile device or computer browser can create and support an effective marketing campaign.

I created a Facebook Live test to see where the links go, and, to see how easy this would be for the average user. For this test, I used Google Chrome (my favorite browser) with my Windows 8 laptop. I am pleased to report I was able to start recording in less than 60 seconds! For my Apple fans, I’ve asked a friend to help me test in his browser of choice, again, to see how easy this is for Apple users.

  1. Click the three dots to see the options up by your Status Update/Create A Post.

    Visibly Media | Facebook Live | click three dots
    TIP: You may only see these three dots if you’ve not done a live video yet; once you have, the Live Video option will be available as a Status Update.

  2. Visibly Media | Facebook Live | from Chrome browser

  3. Check the option to either be Public or Private. The Public option appears to be the default. This could affect who sees your video post.
  4. Click the Live Video option (left column, 3rd option down).
  5. Click blue button in the bottom right-hand screen marked Next.
  6. You’ll see a preview screen before you go live. Once you click the blue Go Live button in the bottom right-hand corner, you’re all set and going live!
  7. Visibly Media | Facebook Live | go live video broadcast

  8. When you’re done recording, click the blue Done button in the bottom right-hand corner. You’ll see a black screen next, indicating your broadcast has ended. The video will then be saved and available on your Timeline.

Visibly Media | Facebook Live | live video broadcast ended

That’s it! Pretty easy, right? Three questions remain for me to answer:

  1. How easy is this going to be for Apple users, and what are the steps?
  2. Can this video be saved to my business Page timeline instead of my personal side? This may not be necessary, as I can share my new video from my personal timeline to my Page timeline.
  3. Will Facebook allow a reverse camera angle at some point? This goes to those marketers, like me, who like using live screen demonstrations.

My next test will be tomorrow, from my tablet. Stay tuned!

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Hashtags: #marketing #smm #Facebookmarketing #smallbusiness #strategy #visiblymedia

Your Marketing Needs Your Support!

Visibly Media Marketing | Tucson Festival of Books | chicken sandwichesSupporting your own marketing is a demonstation of believing what you’re selling. Business owners: did you know your marketing needs your support? Not just those of your staff, contractors, or suppliers, but also your own? Yet, all too often, business owners find themselves limited on time and make choices about their marketing they may come to regret. Let me give you an example:

This past weekend I attended the Tucson Festival Of Books with my author, Keith Mueller, to meet fans and sell his new book, “Journey To The Black City”. We were handed a hot pink flier from one of the food purveyors; on it was a short menu of choices and prices for food and drinks, and a short paragraph at the top written for those stuck in their booths: send a text to their number (on the flier) with your order and booth number, and they would bring it to you.

What a great idea! We could stay in our booth and talk with new fans, sell his book, and still get food and water! I put this new concept to the test around 11:15 Saturday and ordered 2 bottles of water. I received a reply straightaway, confirming and indicating someone would deliver right away. So far, so good.

Unfortunately, this is where the good news stops. Keith and I waited almost 3 hours, then gave up on the idea someone was coming by. We had actually left the booth, one at a time, picked up lunch and drinks, and came back during this time. Ultimately we decided if this person did finally show up, we would politely decline the order.

What are the takeaways here?

  1. Support your effort(s). Whether it be in print, blog, video or social media, your business should support your efforts, period. In this case, the food purveyor should have hired more help to meet a potentially critical demand, and clearly failed to do so. I don’t know if anyone else tried to order anything from this tent, but, if they did, hopefully they got it in a timely manner.
  2. Get buy-in. Give your employees a copy of your ad or flier and make them aware of what the special is, especially when it’s time-sensitive (both in delivery and over a certain number of days). Make your expectations clear.
  3. Stock up. If you’re offering a tangible good, like a sandwich, make sure you have enough supplies to make enough sandwiches, plus extra for buffer. Additionally, in this case, the business owner should have hired at least 10 temporary workers to run deliveries during the festival.
  4. Roll up your sleeves. If you’re short-handed, dig in and do some of the work yourself. If you’ve run low on supplies, go pick up more. Not only will your employees thank you, your customers will know you really care about the quality and timeliness you advertised.
  5. Own your word. Stand by and deliver what you’ve promised. This is so critical, yet so overlooked, and goes directly to supporting your plan. Protect your business’ – and your own – credibility.
  6. Do a “lessons learned” sit-down with everyone involved. Talk about what worked and what didn’t. Make needed adjustments before trying again.

Business owners may be in the business of risk, but strategic planning can help reduce the amount of risk involved. If this local eaterie can learn from its mistakes and try again in the 2018 Festival, they stand to make more money by capitalizing on both need and demand with a captive audience. That is, of course, assuming the other food purveyors don’t pick up on this idea first.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Image courtesy of a Fox News article.

Pocket Now Recommending Articles To Read, Save

Pocket, a popular online bookmarking software, is now offering users the ability to read and save articles the company recommends.

Pocket logo-online bookmarking This online bookmarking software gives the viewer the ability to read articles, then save them for future reference. Pocket uses tags, either recommended or created by the individual user, to both save and access articles.

When I clicked on my Pocket bookmarklet to save an article this morning, this is what I saw:
Pocket recommends articles for reading, saving

Three articles recommended to me by Pocket. A bit of research indicated these recommendations may be given based on how I currently use Pocket. The program also displayed a smaller version when I tried to “pocket” another article:
Pocket offers exploration to recommended articles for reading, saving

I can also recommend articles to read on Pocket. These recommendations show up in my Pocket profile and followers’ feeds. Cross-posting to my Twitter and Facebook news feeds? No problem. The program does caution, however, that political articles may display as Recommended, and their filtering system currently can’t filter for views or bias. To manage the articles you see, click the three dots in the upper-left-hand corner. manage article views in Pocket, click three dots

Currently Pocket offers browser extensions for Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. For those using Mozilla Firefox, the extension is built in to their browser.

Looking for a strategy for blogging ideas or keeping an eye on your competitors? Click here and let us know how we can help you.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Image courtesy of a Fox News article.

How Casual Should Article Writing Be?

old-fashioned lace with flip-flops

How casual should article writing be?

Casual writing for articles seems to be in these days. As a marketer and writer myself, I coach my clients to be conversational with their writing to make it easier for their audience to read, digest, remember. However, there is a difference between “conversational” and “casual”.

Lately, it seems readers don’t have to look very far to find abused conjunctions, such as starting sentences with the word “and” or “but”. My all-time favorite abused word (very tongue-in-cheek!) is the word “so”. There are also plenty of examples of other conjunctions, such as “aren’t”, “don’t”, “can’t”, and so on. At one point, I read an article from an online news agency that had the word “must’ve”! If I can find this article again, I’ll update my post with a link.

The worst offenders, in my opinion, are the writers who write as they text, or, don’t bother to check their spelling at all! Here is an example of a news article about the horrible stabbing of a USC professor by a student. The article is from Fox News, and yes, with a typo. While grammarians may argue with me on the use of “had” vs. “has”, you can’t argue the misspelling of the 2nd circled word. As of the date of this post, the word “according” has not been corrected.

USC student stabs professor, article typo from Fox News website

5 Tips To Write Better

Just how casual or formal should our writing be? It depends on both your writing style and your audience. If your writing is too formal and your audience is more laid back, you run the risk of the article not being read. If your writing is too casual and you’re trying to attract the upper-crust C-Suite in LinkedIn, that might not work well, either. Your writing must strike a balance between both.

Here are 5 points to think about:

  1. Simple, straightforward. Remember, your article will show up on a mobile device. That means the information should be straight, to the point content that is both snackable and shareable.
  2. Cut the tech-speak. Save the tech-speak for technical documents. If you’re going to use an industry-specific term or phrase, be sure to give a definition or explanation for it. Your audience will thank you.
  3. Be consistent. If you use contractions, keep using them. If you switch from writing longer articles to shorter ones, let your audience know. TIP: Try long-form with short paragraphs and short sentences.
  4. Speak-Write. Write the way you speak for a more natural tone and style. Visualize having a conversation with someone over coffee or a beer. Write like you’re talking to that person.
  5. Ask a friend to read it back to you. Does it sound the way you intended? Is the meaning clear, or clearly missing? Is there any tech-speak you missed?

The more you write, the easier the writing becomes, and you’ll be able to nail down your casual or conversational style more quickly.

Ready for a review of your articles or website? Click here and let us know how we can help you.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Image courtesy of a Fox News article.