Every week here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com we give you a list of our most recent resources with our Weekly Top 5: your lessons, infographics, webinars, and articles. We’ve gathered all those resources from 1st quarter to 4th quarter of the year into one GINORMOUS list for you, making it uber-easy to find what you need to grow your business using social media marketing.
As 2015 comes to a close, we wanted to gift-wrap our best advice in a tidy package — our most popular articles, case studies, infographics, and interviews from this year — making them easy for you to find and use.
2015 was a year bringing great change to online marketing, including:
Facebook rolled out photo carousel posts, a unified experience across all devices, and the safety-check feature
Twitter increased their 140-character limit and added emoticons
Instagram now offers advertising
Pinterest rolled out buyable pins to those using major shopping carts
LinkedIn bought Lynda.com and Slideshare.net, becoming a more comprehensive business-to-business platform
It can be tough to keep up with all the changes, and even more challenging to identify which of all those new features are truly relevant to your business.
What Will You Get in This Guide?
The Best of the Best of 2015: Social Media Articles, Case Studies, Infographics and Interviews is a comprehensive look at the state of social media for small business owners, crowdsourced by your peers.
This guide offers the most popular content we published on our blog in 2015, and gives you a choice of how to consume it:
Want a deep dive into a topic? Check out the ultimate guides.
Just want a quick overview? Download the infographics.
Learn better by watching? Review our best videos of 2015.
Like to listen to your favorite podcast while you work out? Listen to our most popular interview.
No matter what business you're in or how you like to learn, you'll find something here for you.
These 10 articles on social media marketing cover overall strategy to individual networks. Mastering social media is a continual process, one that never stops. So even if you "knew it all" last year, what works for your brand this year is completely different.
After 25 years of computer training, and over five here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com, I've found there's a common thread running through the journey to grow, improve, and innovate: the feeling of being overwhelmed with the constant change in digital marketing.
These articles are address that challenge, and are the most popular here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com for 2015, as identified by organic searchers from Google:
I'm a huge reader, and I enjoy interviewing the great minds whose books I've read, whose workshops I've attended at conferences, and bringing you the little-known voice you might not have heard of previously.
These interviews cover a broad range of topics most relevant to overwhelmed business owners: how to be uber-productive, what it takes to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, the rise of visual content, and even getting over 70% of your business from Twitter:
Case studies are the powerhouse of content: they prove that success is possible using online marketing, and teach you exactly how to get results.
Because we focus on small business owners here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com, you won't find the usual Starbucks, Domino's, or REI case studies. Instead, you'll see those small brands that are the backbone of the U.S. economy: photographers, consultants, retailers, artists, yoga teachers, heating & air brands, jewelers, gyms, and more.
These case studies are the most popular here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com for 2015, as identified by organic searchers from Google:
There's no better way to learn than from someone who's been successful achieving what you need to do.
In 2013, we published a comprehensive list of 13 social media marketing case studies exclusively for small business (all featured SMOC members).
As we close out 2015, I wanted to share even more, all-new case studies: 15 for 2015.
Each of the case studies below features tactics that work exclusively for small business. Each is unique: some offer infographics, other video, others checklists. But all of them offer lessons you can immediately take away and use today:
Every week here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com we give you a list of our most recent resources with our Weekly Top 5: your lessons, infographics, webinars, and articles. We’ve gathered all those resources from 3rd quarter of the year into one GINORMOUS list for you, making it uber-easy to find what you need to grow your business using social media marketing.
Click on the infographic to download your own full-size pdf version
<< Click on the infographic to download your own full-size pdf version.
“Tag — you’re it!”
In a nutshell, that’s what a social media tag does: allows you to notify a friend or business you’ve mentioned them on that social network.
No, they’re not “it,” but they been talked about. And curiosity will prompt them to check out what you’ve said (good or bad).
Every major social network offers the ability to tag: who you can tag, how you do it, and the effect it has is what this guide is all about.
A tag is not a hashtag: a tag identifies a person or brand and notifies them they’ve been mentioned in a post. A hashtag is a word or phrase describing the content or context of your post and helps people find it.
In the tweet shown below, I’m linking to an infographic on how to use a Google search to find anything online. I used the tag @Google to notify them I mentioned them in my tweet; I used the hashtag #search to increase the visibility of the tweet:
@Google “taps” them on the shoulder to say “you’ve been mentioned;” #search helps people find the tweet
See the difference? A tag notifies one person/brand directly; a hashtag allows a wider group of people to find your content.
1. Tags is a @ symbol used before a name
A tag is the “at” symbol (@) preceding a person’s or brand’s name on a social network. For example, if you wanted to tag Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, you would use @Tim_Cook (Apple is conspicuously absent from Twitter, however). You’ll see over 17 screenshots of tags in this guide (scroll to see them).
2. Tags can be a person’s name
You can tag a person on every social network using the exact spelling of their name on that account. And their account name may be different on various social networks. I’m @mariapeagler on Instagram, but @sm_onlineclass on Twitter. Most social networks will display the person’s account name and avatar as you type, so you can select the correct one.
3. Tags can be a business’ name
All major social networks allow you to tag a business in your posts. However, many limit the ability of a brand to tag a person for privacy reasons (I give you all the details later in this comprehensive guide).
4. Tells them of your mention
A tag tells the person/brand that you’ve mentioned them in a post and identifies you as the person who did it.
5. They get a notification
When you’re tagged on social media, you get a message in your notifications area identifying who tagged you; click on it to see the post itself.
6. Gives people a “heads up”
A tag is literally a “heads up — you’ve been mentioned” courtesy. Social media can be a noisy, overwhelming place, and tags notify users of they’ve been named in a post in case they’ve missed it.
7. Tags are public; notifications are private
Because tags are visible in a social media post itself, anyone who has permission to see it will be able to see your tag. However, the notification you receive from the social network is private.
8. Works on personal & business accounts
Tagging works on both personal and business accounts for every major social network (Slideshare is an exception currently. However, since their purchase by LinkedIn, I expect tagging will be added as a feature soon).
You can tag Twitter users when you mention them in a tweet. A specific type of mention is called a reply. The difference between the two? I clear it up in #10 and #11
10. Mentions is a tag in tweet body
A Twitter mention is when you tag someone in the body of a tweet. When you tag another Twitter user, they’ll get a message linking to your tweet in their Notifications tab.
Mention example: I tagged author Ekaterina Walter in the body of this tweet; she got a msg linking to it in her Notifications tab
The Power of a Mention: I tagged Evernote in a tweet, which notified them. They saw it, retweeted it, and over 400K people learned of my brand in just one day.
Want to mention someone at the beginning of a tweet, but it’s not a reply? You can do that too: just type a period at the beginning of the tweet, like this Pantene did here:
11. Replies begin a tweet
A Twitter reply is usually a response to someone else’s tweet. Use a tag at the beginning of a reply; by doing so, the only people who will see it in their timeline will be those who follow both you and the other user.
Because I tagged @Ross_Behrens at the beginning of this tweet, only Ross and the people following both of us will see it
12. Use tags in tweets or photos
You can tag someone in a tweet or by tagging them in a photo you upload to Twitter. Here I uploaded an infographic to Twitter and tagged the business I featured in it by clicking on Who’s in this photo?:
13. Search Twitter using tags
You can search for a user’s tag natively on Twitter or by searching for their tag on Google. Searching for @RisingStarRes on Google search returns Lynda Spiegel (see her tag in #12).
14. Use “via @WSJ” to credit
An easy way to credit the source of content or a link in your tweet is to end it with “via @username.” So the tweet “On ‘Big Bang,’ hiding jokes are a science http://on.wsj.com/1PT0T5J via @WSJ” tags the Wall Street Journal and also gives them credit. While they use their own shortened & branded URL, most brands don’t, and this is a simple way to source them.
15. Use mentions as testimonials
An easy way to provide a public testimonial is to tweet it and tag the brand in it. Easy for you to do, and great publicity for the brand. In the tweet below, @thedreamregister offered a testimonial about her membership with Socialmediaonlineclasses.com and tagged us in it:
16. Tag up to 10 people in a photo
Tagging people in your photo? You can tag up to 10 of them on Twitter.
In Socialmediaonlineclasses.com, you get classes on every major social network, infographics, webinars, and 1:1 coaching with me. I hope to see you inside Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.
17. Use @ in caption text
The area below the photo in Instagram is called the caption, and this is where you can tag a person or brand using the @ symbol.
18. Can use anywhere in caption
You can tag an Instagram user anywhere in the body of the caption; unlike Twitter, it doesn’t matter where it appears. The effect is the same: the user gets notification they were tagged on a post.
19. Can tag people in a photos
You can also tag other Instagram users in a photo by clicking on the image and adding their username, as shown below:
Tap the screen to add a tag to a photo on Instagram
20. Use tags to link to other Instagram accts
Old Spice created a simulated game by tagging its other accounts in an image and setting up the scenario in the caption:
Instagram created a game-like post by setting up a simulated environment and tagged its image with its other accounts as the game’s next steps
21. Tag users & add emojis
Add some extra life to your Instagram captions by tagging another user and adding emojis to reinforce your message. Instagram users love their emojis, and it gets the conversation going.
22. Use tags to showcase products
If your brand offers multiple products and each has its own Instagram account, tag them in your images. Those tags will act as a hyperlink to take users to the product accounts.
23. Host a Follow & Tag contest
Want a simple contest for Instagram? Require users to 1) follow your account, and 2) tag a friend on your post. That both gains new followers for you and generates more visibility.
24. Tag wisely using post etiquette
Instagram tends to have a lot of spam tagging and hashtags, so set yourself apart by being different: only tag those people, brands, or influencers who are relevant to your account. Don’t tag Oprah in hopes she’ll see you and promote your next book.
25. Can tag people from profile
Facebook allows you the most freedom in tagging on your personal profile: from here, you can tag both people and brands.
26. Can tag only business from biz page
From your business page, you can tag only other businesses, for privacy reasons. Remember that your Facebook posts are public, and your fans may not want their clickable tag appearing in your post.
In this Facebook post, I tagged the authors of a post I shared. I was able to tag Orbit Media Studios’ business page, they saw the post and responded to it, as did my fans. Notice this post didn’t get a huge reach — only 21 people. It didn’t need to, because it reached the right people through social media tagging:
27. Can tag people in photos
From your personal profile, you can tag both people and brands in a photo. You cannot do either from your business page. However, the UEFA Champions League cleverly gets around that restriction by telling its fans to tag themselves in this photo:
While you can’t tag a person from your business page, you can suggest your fans do it themselves
28. Can tag in comments
Tagging is also available in post comments. While you cannot tag a person from your business page, people can tag their own friends in a comment on your page or even your ad. It’s an easy way for them to share content.
Men’s Health magazine suggests tagging a friend and liking their page. From the 55,000 Likes and almost 5,000 comments, I’d say it’s working:
29. Groups can tag their members
Facebook groups allow its members to tag each other in comments, so they get notifications of when they’ve been mentioned. In large groups, this allows members to stay engaged when there are far more posts than they’ll ever be able to read.
30. Fans can tag friends in comment
An easy way to get more visibility for your posts is to encourage your fans to tag their friends in the comments on a post. SHAPE magazine does this in their squat challenge:
31. Ask fans to tag you biz in contest
Tag contests are popular on Facebook too. Good Morning America had Garth Brooks surprise a Mom at her front door on Mother’s Day, and an easy way to promote the story was by suggesting fans “tag a mom you love in the comments.” While that didn’t enter them in the contest, it did increase the viewership of and buzz around the story:
GMA gets greater visibility for their Mother’s Day contest by encourage fans to “tag a Mom you love”
32. Notifies you when tagged
No matter who does the tagging, you get notified in your Facebook menu when you’ve been tagged. It’s a smart way of cutting through the noise on Facebook to say “you’ve been mentioned!”
33. Tag using the @ symbol
Tag people and brands on LinkedIn using the @ symbol, as you do on other social network.
34. Tag in status updates or comments
You can tag LinkedIn users either in a status update or in comments on your own or others’ status updates.
35. Tag a person in your network
LinkedIn limits you to tagging only those people you’re already connected with in your network.
36. Tag a business
You can tag any business having a page on LinkedIn — no restrictions.
37. Tagged name gets notification
The LinkedIn account you tagged gets a notification in the upper right of their Main Menu.
38. Tagged name links to profile
When you add a tag to your LinkedIn status update, that tag becomes a clickable hyperlink.
39. Reply to people who tag you
It’s good etiquette to reply to people who tag you on LinkedIn. They’re providing engagement, and you want to add your voice to the conversation and say “thanks!”
This robust conversation on LinkedIn uses tags to directly address the participants
40. Great way to start conversation
Tagging is an excellent way to start an intelligent conversation or ask for input on LinkedIn.
41. Tag using the @ or + symbols
Google Plus allows you to tag other users with either the @ symbol or the + sign.
42. Can also tag using email
You can also tag someone on Google Plus using their email address. As you enter it, an autocomplete list will appear, and you can select their name from it.
43. Can tag people & businesses
You can tag both people and brands on Google Plus. You can also tag people who are not in your Circles.
44. Can tag in posts/comments
You can tag Google Plus users either in your posts or in comments (on your own post or in other’s posts).
45. Tag people in Google Photos
Photos or images you upload to Google Plus are managed by their Google Photos application, which allows you to tag both people and businesses:
46. Feature called Tag People
While Google Photos calls this feature Tag People, you can also tag a business in a photo, as shown below:
47. Tagged name gets notifications
You get notifications you’ve been tagged in an image in your Notifications icon at the top right. By clicking on it, you can see the images as well approve or reject any mentions you don’t want:
48. Choose where to receive notifications: desktop, mobile, email, sms, or push notifications
Google Plus has the largest number of notifications options of any social network: you automatically get notifications on desktop and mobile, but you can also have them delivered via email, sms on your smartphone, or by push notifications.
49. Tag using the @ symbol
Pinterest allows you to tag other users using the @ symbol: to tag me, you’d use @mariapeagler.
50. Tag in pin description
You can tag other users in the pin description, shown below the pin photo:
I was able to tag Marybeth because I follow her on Pinterest
51. Tag in pin comments
You can also tag other Pinterest users in comments on a pin. While it’s unlikely to be as robust a conversation as you would have on Twitter or LinkedIn, those users will get a notification of your tag and see your mention.
52. Can tag followers
Pinterest allows you to tag people who you follow. As I type @marybeth, Pinterest displays followers whose names match that and allows me to choose from them.
53. Can also tag businesses
Want to tag a business on your Pinterest pin? No problem! You do need to follow them first: you can tag only those brands you follow.
54. Notifies you when tagged
As with other social networks, Pinterest notifies you when you’ve been tagged either in a pin or a description.
55. Great for contest entries
Run a contest on Pinterest and require entrants to tag your brand. You gain a new follower and get notified they’ve entered your contest.
56. Cuts through visual clutter
Pinterest is overwhelming to some users because of all the visual stimulation (an artist friend says there’s just too much to look at!). So getting a notification helps to cut through the visual noise and gives a user a “heads up” when they’ve been mentioned.
57. Be innovative to grab attention
How can you be creative in using tags on social media? Can you create a “game” like Old Spice? What if you tag people or brands you mention in a blog post? Start small and have fun!
58. Tell a story using tags
Use tags to tell your brand’s story: tag your clients when you include them in a case study. Tag your vendors to recommend them. Tag influencers to say how they’ve inspired you.
59. Host contest; entrants must tag you
Tags serve multiple purposes for contests: they gain new followers for your brand, reduce the workload (since you get notifications), and gain greater visibility for your brand.
60. Use your tag in branding
Use your tag in your branding across the web. Every infographic I do (including this one for social media tagging) includes my Twitter account tag @sm_onlineclass. Make it easy for people to tag you.
61. Give credit with a tagged shout out
Impressed with an article? Tag the author. Shared a great story? Tag the person or brand it’s about. Had a great experience at a restaurant? Take a photo of your meal and tag them on Instagram. Tagging is the EZ button for testimonials and reviews.
62. Use tag on your products
Can you include a tag on your product packaging (or the product itself)?
63. Use on SWAG giveaways
If you give away promotional freebies, be sure to include your social media tag on your products. It’s a reminder of your generosity and the product/service you offer.
64. Tag relevant influencers (wisely)
Yes, I included this one before, but it bears repeating: if you’re tagging an influencer, be sure you have sufficient reason to. Don’t spam them. Be helpful, be relevant, and be authentic.
What’s your social media tag?
Click HERE to download the full-size infographic[/ninja-popup]
Every small business can brand themselves and expand their influence using social media tags.
Go through this post again and identify which tactics best fit your business. You don’t have to completely change the way you market your brand; instead, simply start using a tags in your social media posts, visual content, and contests.
Use this infographic as a “to do list” of tactics, and experiment with a few to see which ones generate the most buzz and results for your brand. Don’t forget to let me know which ones worked for you, using the hashtag #smtagprimer.
Do you want over a billion people seeing your family vacation photos?
Didn’t think so.
Do you want over a billion people seeing your business page?
So what’s the difference? That’s what you’ll learn in this post (and I share a little-known tip at the end).
Facebook’s 1 billion users also make it the United Nations of social networks. Which begs the question, “Who exactly among those 1 billion people sees what I’m doing on Facebook?”
If you’re a business owner who has a Facebook page, here’s a primer that clarifies who sees what you do on both your personal profile and your business page, and how you can control all of it, at any time. What follows is an infographic and a deeper discussion of each section:
Personal Profile vs. Business Page
Your personal profile is your personal account on Facebook. You can have only one personal account, and it’s from here you invite people to be your friends. You can have up to 5,000 friends.
You also have Privacy controls on your profile. You control who sees your posts, photos, and when you comment on a friend’s post.
Your business page is where you market your business on Facebook. You create your business page from your personal profile, and you can have unlimited business pages (although having too many gets cumbersome to manage).
When someone clicks Like on your business page, they become a Fan, and your page has no limit to the number of Fans it can have.
You also have no privacy controls whatsoever on a business page. That’s as it should be, since you’re marketing here. It’s not where you share your vacation photos!
How-To Tip: if you are planning to use Facebook only for business and not socialize using your personal profile, you have little chance for success. The people who use Facebook to the greatest success use it for both personal & business. If you’re not on Facebook consistently, you won’t generate much interest here.
Who Sees My Personal Profile?
Everyone can see your name and headshot (called your profile photo) on Facebook. Beyond that, you are in complete and total control of who sees your personal information.
You can make your personal profile completely private, share it with your friends, with your friends and their friends, or customize who sees your profile.
Who is a friend on Facebook? Someone who you’ve invited to connect and they agreed. Or someone who invited you to become a friend and you said “Sure!”
Facebook friends require permission to access your profile. Your friends see your posts, your photos, and pages you like.
You can also override the privacy settings on any post as you write it using the Audience Selector.
You can also review your past posts using the Activity Log from your Timeline. It shows you your previous posts and who you shared them with.
Anytime you need to change your Privacy, go to the Settings gear icon on the Facebook main menu, and select Privacy Settings.
Who Sees My Business Page?
Business pages don’t require your permission for people to view them: anyone can see your page.
People who Like your page are called Fans, and they will see your business posts in their NewsFeed.
The number of fans who see your posts is called Reach. In 2015, Facebook reach is in the single digits for the average business page. The more a fan engages with your posts, the more consistently they’ll see your posts.
Why is reach so small? You have limited space in your Facebook NewsFeed: most people like 150 brands on Facebook. If they saw posts from every brand, there would be no room for their friend’s posts.
Facebook also limited your reach once it went public and needed to generate higher revenues. So it makes sense to use Facebook ads, which done wisely, is the cheapest advertising you’ll ever do. You also get detailed metrics of who your ad reached and who clicked on it.
Also, when your fans engage with your page by liking it, commenting on it, or sharing it, their friends will see your page. The higher your fan engagement, the higher your reach.
The best engagement, in order, is a Share, a Comment, and a Like on your posts. When a fan shares your post, their friends see the post in its entirety. When a fan comments on a post, their friends see the comment and a link to your business page. When they like your post, their friends see that they liked the post and a link to your page.
When I Like a Post, Who Sees It?
As you’re scrolling through your Facebook NewsFeed, you can click Like on a post to show you enjoyed it, agree with it, or just found it hilarious.
But who sees that interaction?
When you like a friend’s post, people who are friends with both you & your friend see the post. However, if you’ve set your Privacy Settings to Public, then anyone can see it.
When you like a business post, your friends see it (or whomever you’ve identified in your Privacy settings). When people visit that business page Timeline, they’ll be able to see that you liked that post as well.
What’s My Timeline?
Your Timeline is one main page all about you. Its a collection of what you’ve shared on Facebook, including your:
family, workplace, and other personal information you’ve chosen to share
pages you’ve liked
Your Timeline cover is the large photo that appears at the top. Your profile photo is your headshot.
What’s My NewsFeed?
Your NewsFeed is your Home page on Facebook. Whenever you login, you’re taken to your NewsFeed, which displays one long page of posts, photos, and videos from your friends and businesses you’ve liked.
It’s also here that you’ll see ads in both the NewsFeed and on the right side of the page.
Your Action Item
Action Item:Want to see your page as others do? You can! Go to your Timeline Cover, click on the Settings gear icon, then View As. Facebook will then let you choose to see your Timeline cover as the public does or as a specific person.
Now you have a much better grasp of what happens when you engage on Facebook, where those interactions appear, and how you can best use Facebook for both personal and business. Bookmark this post and the infographic so you’ll have a go-to reference whenever you’re wondering “who sees what I’m doing on Facebook?”
Every week here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com we give you a list of our most recent resources with our Weekly Top 5: your lessons, infographics, webinars, and articles. We’ve gathered all those resources from 2nd quarter of the year into one GINORMOUS list for you, making it uber-easy to find what you need to grow your business using social media marketing.
Lawyers, dentists, accountants, waste management and funeral homes are businesses you’ll see in every town across the United States.
Sexy? Absolutely not.
But . . . when you need them, you REALLY need them.
So how can you market an unexciting brand so people think about YOU first when they are ready to call, inquire, or purchase? That’s what you’ll learn in this post.
1. Grab People’s Attention
Even “sexier” brands have routine procedures and policies they have to explain — like airline safety procedures. Did you pay attention to this speech on your last flight?
No one ignores David Holmes, a Southwest flight attendendent who raps the normally monotonous speech:
Give your business the rockstar treatment. Even if you’re not in a sexy industry, you can treat it like it is.
Quilting is as far from sexy as you can get. As an author of an award-winning book on quilting, I treated my audience to an exciting treatment of my quilts: a music video. I gathered almost 100 photos of monthly quilted table runners I designed and set it to music my son arranged on GarageBand:
I gave my fans a behind-the-scenes glimpse of my creative process, from my original drawings, color palettes, and design journals, to the finished product for each month. No grannies in rocking chairs, only rockstar treatment of an unglamorous topic.
How can you do this for your brand and your industry as a whole?
2. MAKE Your Brand Exciting
Your mission is to provide your audience with an experience they cannot get anywhere else by combining your brand’s personality with the special sauce that makes your products/services unique. That formula looks like this:
BP + SS = EM
Brand Personality + Special Sauce = Exciting Marketing
Pawn Stars turns the grimy pawn shop business into a fascinating story of history and commerce
Ever watched Pawn Stars? The cable series truly makes a pawn shop look like a fascinating place where unique treasures come in every day. Pawn Stars has made celebrities of the Harrison family and their Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, NV: Rick, Corey, Chumley, the “old man” Richard and their experts who provide historical perspective and valuation to each.
The truth however, is far from that. Most pawn shops are a sea of dusty video gaming systems, outdated jewelry, and power tools.
PBS’ Antiques Roadshow takes a more high-brow approach to the same topic: old stuff lingering in your basement. Their auction experts provide historical background of items you haven’t thought about in years. The clincher at the end of each segment? How much items are worth. Sometimes they’re worth nothing, other times you’ll learn a blanket is valued at over $100K.
THAT will get your attention.
3. Have a Sense of Humor
Funeral planning is last on everyone’s to-do list. But Speaks Chapel produced humorous 30-second YouTube videos that really make you think about it:
Notice there’s nothing inappropriate or morbid about this video: the humor is appropriate, and certainly gets to the point: it’s your funeral, and if you don’t plan it, someone else will.
And it likely won’t turn out to be the funeral service you had hoped for.
4. Be So Useful People Can’t Ignore You
Dave Hax’s YouTube channel provides videos demonstrating travel and lifestyle hacks. His video showing how to peel an avocado literally changed my life. I never realized it could be so easy, and I remembered his channel because the tactic was so unique:
Provide a valuable solution to someone’s real life problem, they won’t care if your brand is sexy. You helped them at the time when they needed it most.
5. Provide a Tangible Resource
Provide something tangible people can take away and use later. My infographics offer a one-page guide to topics people need in social media marketing. My audience bookmarks, downloads, and prints the infographics.
They’re even used in college courses.
Can you say “instant credibility?”
6. Make No Apologies
How do you promote a topic no one wants to talk about? A colleague in my community handles waste management for large events. Portable toilets aren’t high on anyone’s discussion list, but she has a wonderful sense of humor about her product, and she’s clear about the service her brand provides: they take care of the stuff you don’t want to.
National brand Waste Management makes their marketing all about people: their employees, their customers and their families. They’re telling a story and humanizing their brand.
Facebook post shares a video of a typical 10-hour day for a Waste Management driver
They also provide recycling and environmental tips:
The key to getting people to pay attention to your brand is to be creative: offer up your brand in a way no one has done before, and you’ll definitely get noticed.
BP + SS = EM
Brand Personality + Special Sauce = Exciting Marketing
3. Is Your Offer Right for Your Audience? [CASE STUDY]
No one wants to hear this: maybe what you’re offering isn’t right for your audience. Learn from SMOC member Lynda Spiegel’s pivot in this case study. She started earning more revenue immediately once she fine-tuned her offer to a more lucrative market — How a New York City-Based Business Pivoted for Greater Revenue:
In Socialmediaonlineclasses.com, you get classes on every major social network, infographics, webinars, and 1:1 coaching with me. I hope to see you inside Socialmediaonlineclasses.com.
5. Does Your Website Need Fine-Tuning?
Our social media services clients often need a bit of tweaking to their websites to make them more user-friendly and helpful to visitors. This doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated, as you’ll learn in this brief video:
6. Generate 100K from Social Media Referrals [CASE STUDY]
8. Get More People into Your Brick-and-Mortar Store [CASE STUDY]
Stittsworth Meats in Minneapolis does an admirable job of using social media marketing to drive sales, and they do it quite simply. No complicated lead generation system, just down-home neighborly posts. Learn how they do it in this post — Social Media for Local Business Case Study:
9. Invest in a $50 Facebook Ad [CASE STUDY]
If you’ve improved your website, created a reputable personal brand, and have the right offer, you’re ready to invest in a small amount of advertising.
I love the resilience of Bradley Cumming in this case study. An SMOC member, Facebook gave him a few technical SNAFUs when he tried to buy an ad. But he didn’t let it stop him, and boy is he glad. He ended up making over $600 from a $50 ad (that’s 1,200% ROI for you math-heads). Learn how he did it in this post — How to Generate 1,200 ROI on a $50 Facebook Ad:
10. Get Leads Using LinkedIn
If your website is ready to make sales, then you can start sending traffic to it to generate leads. LinkedIn can be especially lucrative for this (as you saw earlier in Lynda Spiegel’s case study). Learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for leads in this post — 5 Ways to Rock Your Profit to Generate Leads:
11. Use Slideshare to Generate Sales
Bet you didn’t see this one coming, did you? Slideshare is a social network for presentations (as in PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Presentations), so few people would imagine it can generate sales for you.
Whew! You just got 13 unique ways to get more sales using social media marketing, no matter what type of business you have — online, offline, B2B, B2C — it doesn’t matter. The commonalities for earning your audience’s trust, making them a credible offer, and getting them to buy from you are the same.
You did bookmark this post, didn’t you? Because you’ll be returning to it often to review where you are in your marketing journey, what improvements you can make in your process, and learn from these courageous business owners who shared their stories with me.
Which is your favorite tactic? What did you find was the biggest change you need to make to get more sales with your social media marketing? Tell me in the comments below:
I’ve waited quite a while to debut this, as I wanted it to be the best social media certificate available anywhere — university, private, online, offline — at an affordable cost.
So here are the details:
What is the Online Social Media Certificate?
It’s an online certificate program designed for people who want to be professional social media managers, for agencies who need training for their new hires, for consultants who want to add social media marketing to their services, and anyone who wants proof they are on the leading-edge of what works in social media marketing today.
The certificate program includes 56 hours of classes, webinars, articles, and a final exam. The entire curriculum is shown below (click to download the PDF):
The all-inclusive program includes classes on EVERY major social network, webinars on strategy & management, case studies, mobile marketing, visual content, and more.
Plus, you get 1:1 coaching with founder Maria Peagler, who will mentor you in your studies and in landing your dream job and/or clients.
Finally, once you pass your final exam, you can be listed in our social media certified consultants directory.
How Long Does the Program Take to Complete?
Our certificate program contains 56 hours of instruction in multimedia classes, video webinars, articles, and infographics. However, it’s completely self-paced. How long it takes you to complete depends on your skill level and experience. Some people take two hours to complete a class, others need two months. You go at your own pace. You have one full year from your date of enrollment to complete the program.
How Much Does the Program Cost?
The online social media certificate program at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com costs $897, which is all-inclusive: the entire curriculum, coaching with founder Maria Peagler, and your final exam. I’m proud to offer a superior training program at an affordable cost that doesn’t place an undue burden of student loan debt on our members.
What is Required to Earn My Certificate?
To earn your certificate, you must take a final exam which is approximately 100 questions, and score at least 75%. You have only one opportunity to take the exam and pass it. You can purchase additional opportunities to take the exam for $150 each.
How is Your Certificate Program Different Than Those Offered Elsewhere?
Excellent question, and I’m glad you asked! Our program is unique in these ways:
entire curriculum is up-to-date with what works NOW in social media marketing, not six months ago or last year
you get 1:1 coaching every month with founder Maria Peagler
you learn how to get ROI on every major social network for your clients
you learn from a teacher who DOES social media marketing every day to earn her full-time living
you learn search engine optimization, mobile marketing, visual content, and other topics not covered by other programs
all this at a cost not requiring you to take out student loans
Why Do I Need to Renew My Certificate?
Because social media marketing changes so quickly, it’s imperative that your skills reflect the latest tactics, techniques, and strategies that work for social networks as they operate now, not as they did last year. And employers and clients need to know that your skills are up-to-date.
Most major certifications require retraining, including CPR, lifeguarding, and other critical skills.
When you renew your certification for $150 each year, you get access to the entire curriculum for an additional three months so you can update your skill set.
When Can I Start?
Right now. Our program is live, and you can proudly earn & display your certificate within 30 days when you enroll today.