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Which Social Media Channels Fit Your Target Audience [PLUS Tips for Writing the Perfect Instagram Caption]

You may have amazing products and provide great services. You also spend time creating good quality content. No matter how engaging or persuasive your content is, you won’t be able to achieve great results unless it reaches your target audience.

Most business use social media to engage with their fans and followers and even build a relationship with them. Considering there are several social media channels out there, do you ever wonder if you’re reaching the right audience?

Which social media channels fit your target audience? Keep reading to find out.

Twitter

Twitter makes use of hashtags that allows businesses to target people who are talking about and engaging with topics related to their business. This social media platform is ideal for sharing real time information, timely trends or live events, and will result in high levels share and engagement.

Use this social networking platform if your target audience is young adults. 24% of internet users log in on their Twitter account on a daily basis. Younger, more educated crowds aged 18 to 29 uses Twitter. 29% of college grads use Twitter and lots of it.

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest socal networking channel, with over 1.86 billion monthly users. Yes, Facebook is crowded, but it gives you the ability to narrow down that 1.86 billion users by gender, age, location, interests, marital status, employment, and income; thus, making it easier for you to reach the right audience.

Majority of the entire adult population is on Facebook. In fact, 88% of milennials and 62% of adults aged 65 and up use Facebook. As such, this would be a great place to start with your social media campaign.

Instagram

Instagram is geared towards younger millennial users. A hefty 38% of female internet users use Instagram. To make the most out of your social media campaign, make sure that you provide attention grabbing photos and high quality videos to your audience. Remember, content is king on Instagram.

LinkedIn

People tend to use LinkedIn for interacting with clients, influencers and other professionals. This is a great option for business whose products or services are highly specific to professionals. It is also ideal for B2B marketers.

Just like Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to target users based on gender, location and age. In addition, it also allows you to filter based on field of study, company industry, company size, degrees, job title etc.

So let’s say you find Instagram to be the way to market your business…

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Tips for Writing the Perfect Instagram Caption

Instagram may be all about compelling visuals. When it comes to gaining followers, the quality of your photos will be the differentiating factor. But if you want to capture the attention of your target audience, you need the perfect Instagram captions. It can be the key to having your posts seen by more people. This will improve engagement and lead to more likes and comments. Plus, it will help you build a strong online presence.

Here are some tips for writing the perfect Instagram caption.

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Use a consistent brand voice

Brand voice is one of the most important parts of any good Instagram caption. If you are a small business owner, who is looking to engage with your audience on Instagram, we recommend that you develop a brand voice and use it on all your posts. Practice consistency. Your Instagram caption should sound and feel like the rest of your marketing channels.

Use hashtags

Hashtags aren’t mandatory in your Instagram captions, but they do help. They provide an effective way of connecting with your followers, gain more Instagram followers and even build a relationship with them. Proper use of hashtags will make your posts more effective.

Think outside the box when adding hashtags. Instead of just saving the hashtags for the end, try incorporating them into the body of your caption. Also, use relevant hashtags to boost your engagement and get new eyes on your Instagram content.

Consider length

Although Instagram have a caption character limit of 2,200 characters, followers will have the option to “view more” for longer captions. You should stay within 125 characters to ensure that your entire caption will display in your follower’s feeds with the image. Make sure that every word is integral to the message you’re trying to convey.

For longer tweets, make sure that the most important part of your message is at the beginning of the caption.

For longer posts, make sure the most important part of your message is at the beginning of the caption. #InstagramClick To Tweet

Always include a call-to-action

Your captions are a great way to inspire people to engage with your business. As such, we highly recommend that you include a call-to-action to your Instagram caption. You can encourage them to comment, answer questions, use your hashtags, click the link in your bio etc. Your followers will be happy to engage with your business, you just need to prompt them to do something. Inviting them to like or comment can go a long way towards driving more engagement to your posts.

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How to Leverage User-Generated Content in Your Marketing Strategy

Users today are bombarded with ads. We see them on TV, on our way to work, even on social media. Because of this, people learn to tune out these advertisements. What they value, however, are the opinion and feedback shared by your clients and customers.

People who had great experience with your company are likely to share this with their family and friends. People value these feedbacks. In fact, they can affect the buying decision of prospective customers. If you are looking to attract potential customers and increase your sales, we recommend that you use user-generated content to your advantage.

Here are some tips on how to leverage user-generated content in your marketing strategy.

Run a contest

Running a contest is one of the easiest ways to capture the attention of your target audience. This encourages people to share their story or upload a photo of themselves. In return, you get free endorsements from previous customers.

Through a contest, you can gather some valuable insights from your customers while building a relationship with them. This increases brand visibility and can help you build trust with potential customers.

Advertise with reviews

Instead of flooding your social media accounts with advertisements and company blurbs, why don’t you just share photos or screen shots of customer reviews. This is a great way to show people who happy your customers are with your products. Plus, customers trust customer reviews more than branded content because they come across as honest and reliable.

Encourage engagement

To build a relationship with your target audience, encourage them to share user-generated content. Starbucks had one of the most successful user-generated content campaigns.

A few years back, Starbucks encouraged its customers to decorate their iconic white cup. As expected, people came up with their own unique designs and shared them on social media. They received over 4,000 entries in just 3 weeks.  The coffee chain used the winning design on their reusable cups.

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Twitter Hacks for Better Marketing

untitledAs marketers, creating compelling content through social media is the key to our internet success. But, without the ability to reach a large audience and attract followers, our content can be easily lost and forgotten. The world of social media is constantly changing, and staying on top of the latest tips and tricks to help make sure you stay present is crucial to your success. For many businesses, Twitter is the go-to platform for attracting customers, promoting products and services, and making sure people are actually noticing their content. Here are some useful hacks to make sure your Twitter posts are reaching the right people and attracting more customers.

Pinning Posts:

Pinning your Twitter posts can be used to highlight AND pin your key tweet. This is a great way to make sure your richest content has a longer lifecycle and is visible to newcomers. How do you pin a Twitter post? First, find a tweet you want to pin on your Twitter profile. This could be a post that received the most favorites, had the most comments, a retweet from someone who mentioned you etc. From there, click the three-dot icon that appears at the bottom of the tweet, next to the favorites account. From the drop-down menu, select “Pin to your profile page.” This can also be done through your mobile device! When you refresh your page, your pinned tweet should appear at the top of your most recent tweets.

It’s important to note that pinning the tweet does not add the tweet back to your follower’s newsfeed. Only people who look through your profile directly will see the pinned tweets. Pinning your tweets is affective because it helps direct newcomers to the content you feel grabbed the most attention. This leads to even more retweets and favorites with new followers, and overall more exposure to your Twitter profile.

Twitter Cards:

Major brands have been jump-starting their Twitter posts by using Twitter Cards. A Twitter Card allows you to decide how you want your content to be displayed within tweets and helps you stand out amongst the clutter. This leads to increased likelihood that customers will click on and retweet your posts. There are 7 different types of Twitter Cards that help your posts stand out and drive more traffic to your website.

One of the greatest Twitter Cards for marketers is the Twitter Summary Card. This allows marketers to customize the content description that appears in the summary before it’s posted. Whether you want to share your opinion, provide a short overview, or ask a question, the Summary Card makes it easy to eliminate the sometimes off-message default lines of text that appear with a particular link.

How To Enable Twitter Cards for Your Site:

  1. Using the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin, enable Twitter card meta-data from the Social>Twitter menu.
  2. Visit the Twitter Card Validator and enter the URL for your blog.
  3. Once your site validates, request that your url is added to the beta program. Twitter will likely have you validated in just a few days.

Organize Weekly Twitter Chats:

Twitter chats are directly tied to specific and original hashtags through which tweets are organized and tracked and are great for your overall Twitter marketing strategy. To have a successful Twitter chat, set a date and time when most of your followers will be online, then choose a hashtag. Keep your hashtag short and concise, but also memorable and unique. Before starting your Twitter chat, make sure you have staff to keep things running smoothly and to prevent your hashtag from being hijacked. There are various tools to help organize your chats such as Twubs, Nurph, and ChatSalad.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Twitter Marketing Results

1: Turn a Pinned Tweet Into a Feature Box

The Feature Box is an email form you place at the top of your homepage, which offers your website visitors a freebie in exchange for signing up for your email list.You can add a similar feature to your Twitter profile page by combining two of Twitter’s native features: a lead generation card and a pinned tweet. Simply create a Lead Generation Card that includes an incentive for people to opt in. Offer regular email updates, a special freebie or a subscribers-only discount. Pin the tweet to the top of your Twitter profile and you’re all set.

2: Communicate Less and Tweet More Links

A recent study by Dan Zarrella looked at the “reply rates” of about 130,000 random Twitter users and discovered that highly followed accounts tend to converse less. Keep in mind, the study results don’t suggest that Twitter conversations have a negative effect on your following, just that conversations aren’t what motivate people to follow you on Twitter. According to another study by Dan Zarrella, the way to get more followers is to invest more time tweeting relevant links to your followers, rather than communicating directly with them.

3: Ask Twitter Influencers for Help

According to BuzzSumo who recently studied the share counts of more than 100 million articles, when influencers share your content, the reach increases substantially. If one influencer shares a piece of content, it will get 38.8% more social shares. Three influencers double the social shares and five influencers quadruple them. It’s crucial to network with influencers and develop relationships with them. Then, when you have an important piece of content you’d like to get seen, you can ask the influencers you know to share it.

4: Use Twitter’s Recommend Feature

Recommend is a new feature of Twitter’s tweet button that many people don’t pay attention to. After a visitor tweets an article from your blog, the window recommends they follow you on Twitter, if they don’t follow you already. This is an excellent way to grow your Twitter account, since people who just tweeted your article are likely to want to follow you. Look at the code of your tweet button and make sure the recommend field contains your Twitter username. To double-check you’ve set up the feature correctly, ask a friend to unfollow you on Twitter and then tweet an article from your blog. If the recommend field contains your Twitter username, you’re all set.

5: Repeat Article Tweets

According to a study by Wisemetrics, the second tweet of an article gets as much as 86% of the performance as the first tweet. Clearly the performance will fade with each new tweet, but considering your followers are probably in different time zones, you still need to tweet your most valuable content more than once. Your new followers will appreciate it, since the content will be new for them.

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And finally! Here are some Tips for Writing Great Tweets!

Composing the perfect tweet isn’t easy.  With only 140 characters at your disposal plus million of users from all over the world generating more than 500 million tweets a day, it can be extremely difficult to get through the noise.

While there is no such thing as the perfect tweet, there are some guidelines to follow for writing one that will capture the attention of people.

Tips for writing great tweets:

Get to the point

According to studies, tweets with less than 100 characters get 18% more engagement. When writing tweets, make sure you keep it short, concise, and interesting. Get to the point. Make every character count. If you have a longer message to convey, we suggest that you include a link to a blog post.

Start interacting

If you want to reach more people, make sure that you interact with them. This can be done in many forms – by asking a question, retweeting other’s posts, responding to other users, following interesting people, engaging in conversations or sharing valuable information.

Command action

Recent studies show that tweets that command action receive better engagement and retweets. When writing tweets, make sure that you include a call to action. Whether you want people to follow you in other social networks, retweet your posts or enter your contest, you need to be clear about what you want people to do.

Use hashtags

A hashtag provides a way for new followers to find you. It is how you identify your content as relevant to a certain field or group of people. Make sure you include hashtags in all your tweets, but don’t overuse it.  You can use an existing hashtag or create your own.

Proofread

As a business professional, you want to make sure that your tweets are free from grammar and spelling errors. Your tweets will only be composed of 1 to 3 sentences, so make sure that you get them right.  Avoid slang and abbreviations.

 

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4 Simple Ways to Attract Customers to Your Small Business

In today’s saturated marketplace, getting ahead in the business world is tougher than ever. They need to amp up their marketing efforts in order to thrive and succeed. If you’ve tried different strategies, but you still haven’t achieved your desired results, don’t fret. We’re here to help you out.

Use these simple and inexpensive tips to attract customers to your small business. Try any of the methods listed below to see which one works best for you.

Identify your target audience

The first and most important step is to identify who your target audience is. Have a crystal clear picture of who exactly you are targeting. You wouldn’t know where to start looking if you don’t know the type of customers you seek.

You may have great products and a marketing campaign in place, but this won’t help you reach your bottomline without a composite of your ideal customer.

Online advertising is the way to go

Living in the digital world, most people spend most of their time online. They would log in to their social media accounts to get in touch with their family and friends. Some even rely on the internet to know what is happening around them. So if you are looking to capture the attention of your target audience, online advertising is the way to go.

Get listed on popular local directories, be active on social media, post blogs regularly and update your website from time to time. With all these strategies combined, you are guaranteed to build a strong online presence and attract a lot of potential customers to your business.

Start a contest

Everybody loves free stuff. This is why contests are always a big hit. It’s not just the idea of receiving free items that encourage people to join contest, but the thrill of beating others and winning.

Let’s say you’re in the wedding business and you sell wedding rings. Couples who are planning to get married will be very much interested in joining. But first, they need to share their love story in order to enter the contest. The couples that get the most number of likes wins. Contestants will need to share this with their family and friends in order to get as much likes.

Yes, you’ll be losing money since you’ll be giving away a pair of wedding rings, but imagine the kind of buzz this could create for your business.

Offer deals and discounts

Everybody is looking for a way to save money. People see deals and discounts as a great way to save money. This is one of the best ways to capture the attention of your target audience.

Since deals and discounts are offered for a limited time only, people are tempted to buy something even if they didn’t plan to. After all, it’s cheap, and the items would revert back to their original prices after a few days, so why not buy now?

Now before you jump into these methods to attract your tribe, make sure you also know where your audience is online!

Which Social Media Channels Fit Your Target Audience

You may have amazing products and provide great services. You also spend time creating good quality content. No matter how engaging or persuasive your content is, you won’t be able to achieve great results unless it reaches your target audience.

Most business use social media to engage with their fans and followers and even build a relationship with them. Considering there are several social media channels out there, do you ever wonder if you’re reaching the right audience?

Which social media channels fit your target audience? Keep reading to find out.

Twitter

Twitter makes use of hashtags that allows businesses to target people who are talking about and engaging with topics related to their business. This social media platform is ideal for sharing real time information, timely trends or live events, and will result in high levels share and engagement.

Use this social networking platform if your target audience is young adults. 24% of internet users log in on their Twitter account on a daily basis. Younger, more educated crowds aged 18 to 29 uses Twitter. 29% of college grads use Twitter and lots of it.

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest socal networking channel, with over 1.86 billion monthly users. Yes, Facebook is crowded, but it gives you the ability to narrow down that 1.86 billion users by gender, age, location, interests, marital status, employment, and income; thus, making it easier for you to reach the right audience.

Majority of the entire adult population is on Facebook. In fact, 88% of milennials and 62% of adults aged 65 and up use Facebook. As such, this would be a great place to start with your social media campaign.

Instagram

Instagram is geared towards younger millennial users. A hefty 38% of female internet users use Instagram. To make the most out of your social media campaign, make sure that you provide attention grabbing photos and high quality videos to your audience. Remember, content is king on Instagram.

LinkedIn

People tend to use LinkedIn for interacting with clients, influencers and other professionals. This is a great option for business whose products or services are highly specific to professionals. It is also ideal for B2B marketers.

Just like Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to target users based on gender, location and age. In addition, it also allows you to filter based on field of study, company industry, company size, degrees, job title etc.

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4 Ways to Use Pinterest for Marketing Your Business

Most businesses use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to reach out to potential customers and promote their brand. But if you are looking to extend your social media reach, you might want to consider adding Pinterest into your social media marketing campaign.

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. In fact, there are over 500,000 businesses with Pinterest business accounts. It has become the hottest ticket item for business marketing.

Here are 4 ways to use Pinterest for marketing your business.

Inspire your audience

Aside from feeding obsessions with gourmet foods and exotic destinations, you may also use this social channel to inspire your audience. If you are selling kitchen appliances, show them what an ideal kitchen should look like. Make sure that your appliances are included in that picture. If you own a flooring company, then feature beautiful homes with stunning flooring. Provide style inspirations for each room in the house. If they like it, it can translate to big sales.

Humanize your brand

Social media can help spread the word about your business. But people are less likely to buy from you if they don’t trust you. You can use Pinterest to humanize your brand and build a relationship with them.

Instead of bombarding people with advertisements about your product, try telling your story. Create a board about how you started. Pin old photos of your first office, company founders, your first holiday party etc. By telling your story and introducing the people behind your company, you are sure to build an amazing Pinterest following.

Contests and giveaways

Contest and giveaways are a great way to capture the attention of your audience and generate exposure for your brand. Everyone likes free things, especially if it’s valuable.

You can ask people to re-pin your pins that feature you products. If you include a link to your website, then this will help generate traffic to your site. Choose a prize that your audience will find interesting or valuable to encourage them to join the contest.

Interact with other users

Creating boards on Pinterest would be ineffective without engagement. Just like other social media platforms, Pinterest requires interaction. Interact with other users and re-pin their posts. This may encourage them to pin yours in return.

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Social Media Audit

When was the last time you took an audit of your social media presence? Did it include analyzing your competition? Performing a social media audit can help you to see where you are at, project where you are headed, and see how you can improve your presence. The goal of an audit to to make sure you are still working towards your larger goals and figuring out how you can tweak the daily management of your accounts to align more closely with your vision.

On your own accounts:

  • Make a list of all of your accounts
  • Check the About description and information. Is it missing anything? Has anything been changed?
  • Grab your network size numbers. Have the numbers grown in size since the last time you performed an audit?
  • Dissect the user comments and engagement. Are you getting more engagement? Is the engagement positive? Who makes up your network on each account?

In a social media audit you should ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. Where is my audience?
  2. Where is my audience active?
  3. Where is my audience searching?
  4. What niche social media sites are right for me?

Examine your social media profiles

Locate and document all your social media profiles, official and unofficial

  • “Why are we using this social account?”
  • “Why do we want to use it?”
  • “What are our goals for this social media platform?”
  • “Are our target markets using it?”
  • If you no longer have a good reason to use the account or you find that your target market is elsewhere, don’t hesitate to cut ties and focus your effort where it is better spent
  • Check for completion of all details on these profiles and for consistency in imagery and message
  • Follow up on your goals and compare performance today to performance one and two years ago

Next, take a look at your competition:

  • How frequently are they posting?
  • What is their network size?
  • Are they growing faster or slower than you?
  • What is the level of engagement with their fans?
  • Does anything stand out that they are doing well?
  • What can you learn from each account?

Examine those who do it well…

Find 4 to 8 niche influencers and examine how they manage their brand on social media. Observe the imagery and branding on each of their profiles and then:

Measure key metrics like followers and engagement

  • Branding: How does their overall look promote the brand? Can visitors get an accurate sense of their personality or culture? How have they chosen to use images in header and avatar?
  • Popularity: How many followers/likes does the page have?
  • Frequency: How often do they post? What do they do on weekends?
  • Engagement: What is the number of people talking about the brand compared to the number of fans?
  • Types of posts: What topics do they frequently discuss? What types of posts do they use: photos, questions, videos, chats, text? What is engagement like for each of these post types?

Where is my audience active & where are they searching:

Every minute, people are conducting millions of queries on Google, Twitter, and Facebook. If you are active on these social media platforms, then you have a chance at appearing in social media search results.

Any Niche sites? Just because 1 business gets leads from a site, doesn’t mean you will.

Social media audit - the number one thing you should do to measure success. When was the last time you took an audit of your social media presence? Did it include analyzing your competition? Performing a social media audit can help you to see where you are at, project where you are headed, and see how you can improve your presence. The goal of an audit to to make sure you are still working towards your larger goals and figuring out how you can tweak the daily management of your accounts to align more closely with your vision.

 

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Setting your Social Media Goals

Social Media Marketing is increasingly important for your business. It creates an avenue through which you can directly connect with your customers. Additionally, it forms a bridge between your business and your potential clients to make building a sales pipeline an easier and more effective task than some tactics of the past (e.g. cold calling).

Social media gives your company transparency and allows potential customers to more clearly understand the differences between you and your competitors. Social media is a way to create a voice for your company and a way to listen to your consumer’s concerns. The real-time data your business can collect through social media completely revolutionizes the connection between businesses and consumers.

Social Media Marketing Goals

Reasons why Social Media should be your secret weapon: Technology has transformed how entrepreneurs connect with their clients, customers and stay on top of the industry. Generally speaking, most businesses use social media to promote their business and boost their sales. Some even use it to make a difference and allow their business to grow. Now, entrepreneurs have to understand that this social media craze is not just a fad. As a matter of fact, it can be considered as a secret weapon if you know how to implement it correctly. Here are a few reasons why you should get on board.Before you begin to post information to social media channels, your business needs to define its specific goals that it is looking to achieve by leveraging social media. To effectively manage a social media campaign for your business, you must first be able to define how you are going to measure results. A goal of “increasing website visitors who view more than 3 pages” is an excellent goal.

Your social media campaign and its goals should align with your business’s overall marketing plan (which should tie in with the goals of your business). Once these goals are established, they will be used in every part of your social media strategy. Stay at a high level with your goals right now, you can make them more specific in the next section.

See a number of example goals below. These will get you started so you can write strong SMART goals.

  • Research and learning
  • Lead generation
  • Increase E-commerce sales
  • Increase store traffic
  • Increase brand or issue awareness
  • Reputation management
  • Get your Likes to talk about you (word of mouth)
  • Reach a youth audience
  • Promote an event
  • Build excitement prior to an event
  • Get people to take a particular action
  • Draw traffic to a particular online resource
  • Build your email list
  • Solicit donations for your organization
  • Get supporters to solicit donations for you
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Brand your staff as experts on a cause or issue
  • Get your constituents to talk to each other
  • Build a community around an event or topic
  • Get feedback from your constituents
  • Keep your supporters updated on events
  • Increase relevant visitor traffic and page rankings
  • Let supporters publicly support your cause
  • Disseminate information about an issue or topic
  • Recruit new members, advocates or patrons
  • Support a particular group of members, alumni, etc.
  • Tell stories about the work you do
  • Get press coverage
  • Connect with other like-minded organizations
  • Change hearts and minds on a particular topic
  • Gather photos or videos from supporters
  • Understand what people are saying about you
  • Keep up to date with a particular issue
  • Coordinate people in an action or a project

How will you Measure Success?

Now that you have identified the top three goals for your social media campaign it is important to set benchmarks so that you know if your campaign was a success. If your goal is to attract more people to your website, the success will be measured by an increase of people to the site which can be done by using Google Analytics. However, if a majority of these new people are leaving the site without taking action (i.e. placing an order or calling for more information) then it is hard to say if the campaign was a success. This is why it is very important to set specific foals (i.e. increase the number of sales by 10% annually through our website).

Instructions: Here, we will break down the goals into more specific, measurable outcomes. Below, restate the top three goals you defined above so they are:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Time-based

What are your social media goals?

Social Media Goal #1: _____________________________________________________________

Social Media Goal #2: _____________________________________________________________

Social Media Goal #3: _____________________________________________________________

Examples:

  • Realty Elite seeks to increase the number of leads from social media by 20% over the next 12 months through the use of valuable content, Facebook Ads, and client support. This will be measured monthly.
  • We want to increase our referral rate to 95% (a simple survey will measure this) by the end of this year so we will invite all former clients to our Facebook page.
  • We want to get picked up by 5 local media outlets by the end of this year so we are going to build a communications strategy and start executing in 30 days.

Setting your social media goals. Before you begin to post information to social media channels, your business needs to define its specific goals that it is looking to achieve by leveraging social media. To effectively manage a social media campaign for your business, you must first be able to define how you are going to measure results. A goal of “increasing website visitors who view more than 3 pages” is an excellent goal.

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10 Ways To Build Your Online Reputation

This post is updated from December, 2010.

Social media presents a unique opportunity for anyone to develop a personal or business reputation to build their careers, boost sales and increase relationships. The key is to leverage the tools of the Social Media to effectively build your online reputation. You need to understand what your goals and intentions are in order to be successful.

Here are 10 ways you can be successful in this journey, so you can achieve your short and long term goals rather than waste time:

1. Be aware.Continually listen to conversations happening across the Web related to your career or business and learn from the content you read, listen to, or view online. Social media success depends as much on listening as it does on publishing.

2. Be focused.Define your niche and focus the majority of your social media participation on conversations and content related to that area of focus. A focused brand is more powerful than a broad brand. Always lead with your strengths on the social media and be consistent in your content and conversations in order to successfully build your online reputation.

3. Be authentic.Your social media participation is useless if your content and conversations read like corporate rhetoric or a promotional brochure. Instead, be real and be human. Imagine you’re speaking with your audience in person rather than online and adjust your content and tone to match your target audience’s needs and expectations for you based on your brand promise. This is where videos can be a great tool for people to really know who you are.

4. Be trustworthy.Honesty is an essential part of building your online reputation using the tools of the social media. Transparency isn’t just a buzz word, it’s a strategic imperative, which should apply to your social media participation as well as all other aspects of your career or business.

5. Be meaningful.The content you publish on social media must be useful and meaningful to your target audience or there is no reason for them to read it or start a dialogue with you about it. Furthermore, if your content doesn’t add value to your audience’s lives, they won’t talk about it and share it with their own audiences.

6. Be “non-self-promotional.”No one will want to read your content or interact with you on the social media if your content and conversations read like a marketing pitch. Follow the 90-10 rule of marketing and spend 90% or more of your time in social media activities that are not self-promotional and only 10% or less on activities that are self-promotional. When you do want to directly try to get more exposure to build your online reputation, you can do so without annoying other people.

7. Be accessible and responsive.An important part of building your online reputation via social media participation is understanding that it’s not all about you. Instead, you need to spend a great deal of time acknowledging other people on the social media in order to build a relationship with them. In other words, they need to understand that you care about them, too. You need to respond to questions, comments on your blog, tweets, and so on.

8. Be reciprocating.You can’t expect people to reach out to you and share your content on the social media and not return the favor. If someone engages with you on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or another social media destination, then you can’t ignore that person — just as you wouldn’t ignore someone in a face-to-face situation. For example, you also need to leave comments on other people’s blogs, share their content on Twitter and Facebook, and more. You can’t operate in a silo on the social media and expect to be successful.

9. Be uncontrolling.The thought of giving up control and letting your content, conversations and name spread across the Web can be frightening. However, without the sharing of content and interactive dialogue that happens on social media, your online reputation cannot develop. You have to be willing to give up control and let people share and talk about you and your content in order for your online reputation to grow. Don’t worry about negative buzz about you, your brand, or your business. There is always a way to react to negativity on the social media.

10. Be involved.Don’t spend all of your time in one place. While quality is more important than quantity when it comes to building an authentic reputation online, you do need to spread your wings and be social. Focus on other avenues such as a blog, YouTube, Google Buzz, Backlinks, and much more. You need to use all aspects of Internet Marketing in order to see return.

10 ways to build your online reputation: 10 ways you can be successful in this journey, so you can achieve your short and long term goals rather than waste time.

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Putting Together a Social Media Schedule

This is updated from a post on Oct 26, 2010.

One of the most important parts of being active in the social media world is taking responsibility for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other internet marketing outlets you have. When we put our posts out and we like other peoples posts that is a good start to taking responsibility. When we send out Newsletters or email marketing campaigns we want other people to read them right?

Well it is a two sided road; I mean we all have to put in our efforts to read other peoples stuff as well. My tip for that is picking your inner circle of people and people you have made a power partner and start by reading their newsletters and/or emails. The same thing goes with our social media posts. We want people reading our post, tweets, events, questions etc. also emailing us wanting to work with us or learn more about what we do. We have to do that with others. The one thing I always say about social media is it brings people, communities, and companies together all over the world.

So how do we do that? It is easy . . . we put together a weekly schedule and then we implement it into our routine just like checking emails, and making calls.

Monday- Using www.Hootsuite.com schedule your posts to go out onto your Facebook personal page, Facebook business page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Ping.fm. Using my post before this one to help first create your strategy so you know what you need to post on your social media profiles and when. (Schedule an hour and a half to start)

Tuesday- Login to Facebook and add 10 people into your business list, research these people. Find people that have common interest or maybe looking for your services and put them into the business list you created. Then get onto Twitter or Twellow and search for your Keywords or location. You can search for people using keywords or type in keywords people would use to find YOU and add 50 people. (Schedule about 45 min to start, once you get the hang of it you can probably get it done in 30 min)

Wednesday– Spend some time on LinkedIn checking emails and finding people you may know and ask them to connect with you. (Schedule 45 min)

Thursday- Login to Facebook and add 10 people into your business list, research these people. Find people that have common interest or maybe looking for your services and put them into the business list you created. Then get onto Twitter or Twellow and search for your Keywords or location. You can search for people using keywords or type in keywords people would use to find YOU and add 50 people. (Schedule about 45 min to start, once you get the hang of it you can probably get it done in 30 min)

Friday – Repeat what you have done Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We are going to add another step into today, Once you are done adding people on Facebook and Twitter you want to go back to Facebook and go to your page, under your logo you will find a tab that says “Suggest to Friends” Click on that and then click the drop down tab to your list you made once that list pulls up on the top right hand side it will say “Select All” hit that and then send invitations. What this is doing is asking all the people you have been adding as friends to become a fan of your page!

Now this is what I do and share with people you are more than welcome to move it around however it works for you. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions of things that have helped you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Putting together a weekly social media schedule: ne of the most important parts of being active in the social media world is taking responsibility for your Facebook, Twitter, and any other internet marketing outlets you have. When we put our posts out and we like other peoples posts that is a good start to taking responsibility. When we send out Newsletters or email marketing campaigns we want other people to read them right?