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The Inference Of Our Words and Social Media Posts

woman posting to social media from mobile phoneThe inference of our words and social media posts can either push your brand forward, or come back to bite you. A recent co-post by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Sharon Day caught the ire of the social media communities, particularly Twitter. At first, the post seemed fairly harmless, but the inference of the language is what led to a Twitter firestorm.

Take a look at this excerpt from a national news outlet via mobile phone: (insert screen capture here, please click to expand):

twitter mobile post by RNC

Twitter mobile post by screen capture, courtesy Fox News article.

One would like to infer that Priebus and Day were not referring to the new president-elect as a new “king”. Unfortunately, what else could possibly be understood from these words?

Words have meaning. We’re taught this as children when it comes to name-calling of others. We’re also taught that “names will never hurt me”. That’s a pretty good visual of conflicting views, don’t you think?

Oh, no? “What does this have to do with business?”, you might ask. More than you think.

What Your Meant vs. What Was Assumed

We all know what the word assume means. In this post, we could assume that both Prieibus and Day meant the birth of the Christian Son of God, Jesus. It also could mean literally what the post says – that the president-elect is a new king in America. Yet, the scope and meaning may have been lost or confused because: 1) it was rolled into a political post from political leaders; 2) other than wishing Americans a Merry Christmas and the presumptive meaning of renewed faith for the season and the incoming president-elect, the meaning of the post is not entirely clear, leading to assumptions that may not be entirely accurate.

Think back on our recent presidential election cycle. Go back to the name-calling by both presidential candidates. One intended to separate himself from his competitors. While this purpose was accomplished, the unintended consequence was the assumption, by many people, he will continue this sort of langugage as president — not a great way to gain allies.

The other, while trying to accomplish the same, also had the unintended consequence of isolating and separating herself from about half the voting population and inferring they were “bad people”. Not the best way to get people on your side.

From this post, could political adversaries conclude that the election means we now have a new king rather than president? Yes, it could — and apparently, they did just that. The bigger questions: 1) is that what you truly meant to say; 2) why wasn’t your message written more clearly; and 3) how does this message relate to your brand?

Now, think of your own messages and posts for and about your business. What could your competitors conclude? What will your intended target market and audience conclude? Was this your intention — what you meant to have happen?

Watch Your Langugage!

Before you hit the Post or Publish button on your next status update or blog article, stop and read your words again.

  1. Is the language appropriate to the topic or your audience? Could you have chosen words that clearly stated what you meant vs. choosing words that make you seem important or educated? Will your audience have to look up any of the words you’re using in a dictionary?
  2. Is the message appropriate to the topic or your audience?
  3. Will your message attract or isolate readers? Was this reaction deliberate? If not, how will your audience reach a more informed understanding?

  4. How does this message relate to your brand? If it doesn’t, why are you posting it? Is your brand experimenting with a new direction to capture a new audience? Are you venting a frustration or celebrating a victory of a situation that your brand did not participate in directly?

Your intentions for your posts and articles should match your brand’s mission and vision statements. Choose your words wisely, lest you get “caught up in the moment” and post something you may regret later.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Image courtesy of a Fox News article.


Facebook: Why Can’t I Share A Post To My Page?

Finding Facebook, Visibly MediaThe answer is: you CAN share a post to your page! A friend in my AmSpirit Business Connections networking group asked me about this; I also stumbled across this question as a rather frustrated post in the Facebook community section. I found out what was happening with the posts, and am sharing here to help someone else be less frustrated.

As most of you know, if you created a Facebook page, you are automatically the admin (it’s always a good idea to have a backup admin!). You can assign different Page roles to those who need different levels of access, but as the business owner, you should retain the admin (highest level possible). Depending on your Page’s settings, anyone who Likes your Page can post directly. The problem most folks are having is, the posts aren’t showing up (hence my friend’s question).

I started my investigation by sharing one of the posts from my personal profile to my Page. Below is a screen capture of a check-in I did to my AmSpirit Business Connections networking group.

Facebook, sharing page visitor posts1, Visibly Media

In order to share this post to my Page:

  1. Click the Share link under the image.
  2. Click the next Share link you see, should one appear. If it does appear, it should have three dots to the right.
  3. Make sure the first pull-down menu says Share On A Page You Manage. If it doesn’t, click on the arrow and select this option.
  4. Next, make sure the second pull-down menu directly below displays your Page (especially if you manage more than one). If it doesn’t, click the pull- down arrow and select the correct page.
  5. Change the third pull-down menu to the right so you are Posting As yourself. The default option is your Page.
  6. Add a little note to make it fun!
  7. When you’re done, click the blue Post button, and it’s good to go!

Facebook, sharing posts to page, change settings, Visibly Media LLC

Now, if you go check your Page, you may not see the post you just shared. It’s there, trust me – it’s in a different place, and I’ll show you in two more steps. Trust me! (Click the image to make it bigger.)

Facebook, sharing personal profile post to page3, Visibly Media LLC

  1. On your Page, look at the navigation to the left under your logo/page name. Click the link that reads Posts.
  2. Under your Page banner to the right, you should see a block that reads Visitor Posts. This is where your post ended up instead of the News Feed.

In short, Facebook has once again managed to confuse many users and moved our Page’s Posts to a new spot on the page. I agree with most: just show the posts in the Page Feed! Sadly, not going to happen. The reason the Page Posts was created was out of response to Page admins complaining about their Page feed getting bogged down with posts. Nice problem to have for those looking for interaction, but the complaints continued, and this was Facebook’s solution.

Please let me know if you found this article helpful. If you have other questions regarding Facebook or other social media, please download my checklist or drop me a note – you may get featured on my blog!

(A big THANK-YOU to my friend, Amy Geils of The Streamlined Office, for her awesome Facebook question!)

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Why Your Hashtag “Strategy” Stinks and How To Fix It

Hashtags thrown against the wall.Your hashtag “strategy” stinks. Know why? You don’t have a real strategy. You don’t know what goals/results you’re trying to achieve, what expectations you have for the campaign and/or the hashtags, and what activities you’re going to utilize to make these outcomes a reality.

Here’s a quick background on hashtags. Hashtags were born on Twitter back in 2007 by Chris Messina as an idea to track conversations around a specific subject or interest. From this basic idea came the Twitter chats (learning and collaboration); movements, causes and disasters (i.e., #OccupyWallStreet, #LetsJoinHands, #JapanEarthquake); product sales (i.e., #SamsungS7, #iPhone7); events (i.e., #Rio2016, #Olympics); and social awareness (i.e., #BlackLivesMatter, #IceBucketChallenge, #BringBackOurGirls).

Business owners and brands know how to create a hashtag, for the most part: they start with the # sign and use a word or series of words with no spaces after it. They know they should either use one in a campaign or create one, but they don’t know which ones will get the most strategic visibility to meet their goals or how to create one that ties in to their campaign’s goals. Instead, some business owners create a hashtag that no one understands what it’s being used for, is what I call an “inside acronym” or “tech term” (used only within their industry or business), or is only relevant to that subject (which is good) but not being talked about by anyone else, including themselves (which is bad).

When creating a marketing campaign, you first decide what product or service you will showcase based on the goals of your company’s current business plan. You must decide the purpose of this strategy (i.e., what part of your marketing funnel you’re trying to target: product/service/brand awareness, client acquisition (new revenue), or client retention (marketing new products or services to an existing customer base). Once this is decided, goals and expected outcomes/results are planned to measure what your efforts should bring against the reality of what really happens.

Then, you decide how the campaign should be run: offline only (i.e., newspaper/magazine or radio ads, presentations, EDDM, etc.) online only (email to specific lists, social media, blog articles, webinars, etc.), or a combination of both. After you decide this point, you can determine whether or not a hashtag will be useful to your purpose.

Use An Editorial Calendar To Schedule Hashtags

Now that you know how your next marketing campaign will be presented, use your editorial calendar to plan out an entire month of blogging and social media posts, including hashtags. Here’s what you want to measure:

  1. Keyword vs. Phrase. Is the hashtag a keyword or phrase? Add a category to your calendar and monitor which one gets better results.
  2. Industry-specific. Are you targeting a specific industry for the Awareness or Consideration stages of your funnel?
  3. Use.How do you know that industry is using that hashtag? Is the prospect you want to do business posting content using it?
  4. Lone Wolf. Is your competitor or prospect the only one using that hashtag?
  5. Engagement. Both your competitors and prospects may be using the hashtag(s) you use. However, are they engaging with posters (posting a response or reply!) or just clicking the Like/Heart link? Mind you, I know sometimes a Like/Heart is okay, but if that’s all you see in their news stream you might rethink your own strategy.
  6. Social Media. List which social media channels you will be using to communicate your message and the hashtag(s). Pay close attention to both voices on each platform: your own voice (a.k.a., the company’s), and the channel’s.
  7. Save the date! Each post and its related hashtag should be scheduled consistently to maximize:
    • Google’s ability to capture your posts,
    • measuring what I can “consistent frequency”,
    • maximizing the number of eyeballs that will be reading it.

The hashtag(s) you choose to use can determine best visibility by day and time, and also by conversation. The last thing you want to do is attach a hashtag to your posts that has nothing to do with what you’re talking about! That means each hashtag must be researched to ensure both potential visibility and audience capture. Two good methods I use:

  1. Hashtags.org. This tool gives you a free 24-hour snapshot of the best time of day your chosen hashtag should be posted to Twitter, as well as about 5 snippets of conversation using this hashtag. If you don’t see a heartbeat (as I like to call it), the hashtag could either be so new no one is using it yet, or one you’re trying to brand to your organization (i.e., company name). Why Twitter? Two reasons: (a) hashtags were born on Twitter and the platform has fully supported this from day one; and (b) reporters use Twitter to look for interesting stories, media releases or company updates.
  2. Social media channels. OK, sounds like a d’oh!, right? You’d be surprised at how many business owners miss this simple step! There may be well over 500 social media channels, but they each handle hashtags differently. Check the channel you want to use to see how the hashtag is performing: (a) how long has this hashtag been used, and (b) what are the conversations around this hashtag?

If you’re using a different tool to measure hashtags and it’s working well for you, please comment to this article or on the social media channel you found this article.

Every business owner and social media manager should perform a social media audit at least once a year (larger companies should consider 2x/year). to ensure their strategy matches the goals of the business and marketing plans, and also ensure consistency with post frequency, voice, and engagement per channel. Download my social media checklist to get your audit started. No time? No problem! Fill out this short form and our experts will get your audit started.

To your success!

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.


LinkedIn: Should You Connect To Anyone With A Pulse?

Connecting To Everyone On LinkedIn?An article posted on Social Media Today about accepting all LinkedIn connection requests caught my attention. The article suggested ignoring LinkedIn’s recommendation to “only accept invitations to connect from people you know” in order to grow your network and gain more visibility, more reach on this social channel. The article did suggest not connecting to “obvious” spammers — which I completely agree with — but, you can’t always tell who is a spammer until you’ve accepted the connection request and find an immediate sales pitch in your InMail.

Spray-And-Pray Connecting

When I work with clients, I teach them to follow LinkedIn’s advice and connect to those they know. I then ask my clients by what criteria would they determine they “know” someone before asking permission to connect. Think about it. Why would you connect, and then share your connections, with a complete and total stranger? Would you give this unknown individual you just connected to after meeting at a business event for, say, 10 minutes, complete access to your financials if you’re looking for an investment recommendation or strategy? Probably not. Then why would you connect this way just to grow your network? So you’ve added 200 people to your connections – how well did that strategy work for you? How well do you know and trust them? “Spray-and-pray” tactics such as this rarely work and may not bring you the actual benefit you’re looking for without connecting to an actual strategy. Connecting just to grow your network is NOT that kind of a numbers game.

Strategically Connecting

Grow your network strategically by starting with those you’re already connected to. Why? The trust factor is higher. If you’ve done your homework, you know these people from digesting their website content, conversations (social media, email and offline), their articles and thought leadership musings, and answers to others’ questions. You’ve checked their connections and found some commonalities, along with some you would like to connect to directly. You’ve checked out the groups they are members of and viewed some of their posts. You also may have found them using other social media platforms and looked at who follows them. After all this, you’ve sent a personalized connection request because you understand this is a real person and not a number.

Commonality Connecting

As you do your due diligence on LinkedIn, you will find folks through your 1st connections that may belong to the same group as you. You may find a college alumnus, a set of skills you both share, or a common certification. You may find you support the same non-profit or cause! You may decide, then, to connect through any one of these commonalities. The trust factor has been built in by the commonality; now you just need to know more about the person. One way to get this done is to ask the person to whom you both have a common connection to tell you more about this person. Finally, ask your connection to introduce you to the person you want to connect with. A warm introduction from someone you know will go much farther than a cold push-button request.

Grow your network strategically, build know-like-trust and give/receive referrals. Be the resource and expert you expect yourself to be.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.


Blogging Strategy: Consistent Frequency

blogging layoutBusiness owners sometimes struggle with their blogging strategy, specifically with frequency and quality of their posts. They know blogging should be an important part of their marketing strategy, but they don’t know how much time should be committed to this process. Some don’t stay with the process because the ROI takes time to surface. Others don’t want to sacrifice quality for urgency.

I teach my clients to go for consistent frequency. This can be done in 3 steps:

  1. Write what you can support. If your business is low on active clients, the tendency is to “ramp up” your blogging efforts. This can become a difficult strategy as you start picking up clients and running low on time. Start out with what you can do when you are busy and build on it; in other words, start with that end in mind.
  2. Use an editorial calendar. Scheduling your posts ahead using an editorial calendar will help you see on what topics your articles are based, potential article overlaps, articles that can be expanded on, and upcoming holidays (if your blog is more B2C or retail-based). You can also see on which social media channels you have scheduled each post, for which day(s) and time(s), thus avoiding unplanned overlaps.
  3. Use a social media scheduling tool. Not every social media channel has a built-in post scheduling tool; this means you have to post your articles natively on the day and time you have on your editorial calendar. Using a tool such as Hootsuite (this has a mobile app!) or Social Ally USA will help you schedule your posts to the appropriate social media channel(s), for the day(s) and time(s) outlined by your editorial calendar. BONUS: Both Hootsuite and Social Ally will allow you to keep track of activity on each of your channels, and suggest content for posting.

If you find your active client base is shrinking, don’t react to it. Proact to it, strategically.

Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.

Ready to start using content marketing in your business? Contact me for a complimentary consultation!