How To Get Engagement On Social Media…Ask Questions!

How To Get Engagement On Social Media - Ask Questions!A big topic of conversation around here is how to get engagement on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Another big “discussion” topic is how stupid it is to foster that engagement by asking inane questions.

My business partner is big on these. She is a question asking fool and I was actually skeptical that this would work. I wouldn’t answer silly questions on Facebook so why would anyone else…or so I thought! Come to find out I am compelled to answer some of these silly questions when she posts them and I KNOW that they are just to get engagement…sigh.

Why do you want engagement like this?

Since I have a trouble with this, I am sure you are asking yourself the same kinds of things…if I sell real estate or jeans or business services, why would I want to go off topic and ask questions that have NOTHING to do with my product or service? Here are the only things that I can think of to justify this:

  • It works. Because social is about more than selling, people DO respond. They WANT to share their personal thoughts and feeling so you get engagement. Which leads us to..
  • It matters that people talk to you. Most of the sites use an algorithm that measures how often someone talks to you and then serves up additional “views” based on those connections. Facebook is a huge one for this. If you can get a number of people to talk to you about something non-business related, you get more opportunities to talk to them about things that truly matter.
  • Custom messages. Last but not least in my book…they tell you things about themselves that you can use later to sell more! How cool would it be to take the answers to each of these questions and include them as tags in your database and then send customized messages based on their likes and dislikes? I haven’t done this (yet) but would love to hear if it is working for you!

So what kinds of questions should you ask? Rebekah was very nonchalant about this and said, just ask them “this or that”. She can come up with millions of them off the top of her head. I on the other hand do not have this creative bone so I made her give me some examples. I will admit, once we got started it became easier and more fun to “play along”. Here are some of the best ones we came up with…feel free to use them in your social media postings AND make sure to swing back around and let me know which ones worked best!!!

Questions to ask to increase interactions on social media

Cool questions:

  • Who was your childhood hero?
  • Who was your favorite teacher?
  • Who is your favorite superhero?
  • Winnie the Pooh or Underdog?
  • Guns and Roses or Metallica?
  • Alfred Hitchcock or Steven King?
  • If you had a million dollars what would you do with it?
  • What are you doing this weekend?

Sports:

  • Sox or Yankees?
  • Soccer or football?
  • Skiing or ice skating?
  • How bout them (insert home team)?

Food and Beverage:

  • Beer or wine?
  • Steak or chicken?
  • Vegetarian or carnivore?
  • Hotdogs or hamburgers?
  • What is your comfort food?
  • Pizza or tacos?
  • Chicken or egg?
  • Chips or pretzels?
  • Tootsie Rolls or M and Ms?
  • Donuts or Bagels?
  • Hot sauce on eggs?

Fashion:

  • Shoes or sandals?
  • Who has more fun? Blonds, Brunettes or Redheads?
  • High heels or flats?
  • Suit or jeans?

Locations:

  • Did you come from a big city or small town?
  • Cozumel or Paris?
  • California or New York?
  • What was your all-time favorite vacation spot?
  • What is your favorite hometown landmark?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do in (insert town name here)?

Technology:

  • iPhone or Android?
  • Mac or PC?
  • Twitter, text or talk?
  • In person meetings or Skype?

Personal:

  • Who was your biggest crush?
  • Who was your first crush?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Do you have any brothers or sisters?
  • Did you go to prom?
  • Have you ever smoked?
  • Have you ever skinny dipped?
  • Have you ever been on a blind date?
  • Have you ever missed an appointment?
  • Have you ever lied on a job application?
  • Are you married?
  • Do you have kids?
  • Do you mind telling people how old you are?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Would you let your kids get a hampster?
  • Do you have any allergies?
  • Do you go to the doctor when you are sick?

Weather or Location:

  • Summer or winter?
  • Spring or fall?
  • Live up north or down south?
  • What part of town are you from?

Favorites:

  • What is your favorite book of all time?
  • What is your favorite movie of all time?
  • What is your favorite album of all time?
  • What is your favorite rock band of all time?
  • What is your favorite Disney Movie of all time?
  • What is your favorite Broadway musical of all time?
  • What is your favorite black and white movie musical of all time?
  • What is your favorite quote?

Holidays:

  • How do you celebrate New Years Eve?
  • Open presents on Christmas Ever or Christmas day?
  • Does the Tooth Fairy come to your house?
  • Do your kids still believe in Santa?

Business:

  • What do you do?
  • Do you have a Facebook page?
  • How’s business?
  • What do you love most about your business?
  • Do you have a favorite customer?
  • Who was your favorite customer of all time?
  • What is your biggest business goal?
  • Are your goals written down?
  • Do you have a vision board?

Well there you have it, some questions to get you started getting engagement on social media…if you have more, please leave a comment below and I will add it to the list!!!

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Social Media Marketing – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest

Social Media Marketing - Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and PinterestSo today we are talking about social media marketing…that is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (YES YouTube), Pinterest, Google Plus and all the other social media properties!

The thing about social media marketing that is hard is that consistency is the key! You have to do things every day (or at least a couple of times a week), with a plan and a goal in mind. These are some of my observations about the different social media sites, suggestions for using them and notes about how the whole thing works!

Let’s jump right into the fray with…

Facebook Social Media Marketing!

Facebook is a touchy feely kind of site. You have a lot of inspirational posts, talking back and forth with other people AND broadening your reach with your business. What you DO NOT HAVE TO DO is sell, sell, sell. You might get leads from Facebook, but if you are drinking the Koolaid and thinking that you are going to put up a business page and then watch the orders fly in, you are probably going to be disappointed.

Facebook is for generating interest in your industry!

Things to do on Facebook:

  • Get friends (or subscribers) – people who see what you post
  • Post to your profile wall – we get LOTS of potential clients who do not want to use their personal Facebook for business, if you are a small biz owner, your Facebook profile IS for business!
  • Post to your business wall – these days this can feel like spitting into the wind for most of us, but is is still necessary for when a potential client comes to see your business, having a wall months out of date can mean losing them before you even have a chance!
  • Like other businesses with your business page – this is one way still left to grow your “likes”
  • Comment, Comment, Comment – because Facebook is social, you have to comment and share (not too much), but if you think you can be an island on Facebook, you will shoot yourself in the foot marketing-wise

Twitter Social Media Marketing

Twitter is the social media property that all our small biz peeps thinks is stupid. They constantly try and say that it is not necessary and that we should ignore it entirely. The problem with that strategy is that Twitter is the cornerstone of A LOT of other social media marketing. The other thing about Twitter is that it is an open network (meaning that computers can share your “stuff” without you even knowing about it!)

Twitter is for computers and immediate communication!

Things to do on Twitter:

  • Follow people – one of the easiest ways to get followers is to follow people, many times they will follow you back!
  • Post great stuff – I have my Facebook hooked to Twitter so when I share something on the FB it goes to Twitter too, my blog is also hooked there so I automatically post these posts to the Twitter
  • Share – it is called “retweeting” and it means sharing great stuff that other people post
  • Follow Fridays – these are a great way to spark conversations, generally they are just a reference to other people who you like following
  • Twitter Hashtags – understanding and using hashtags in your posts can mean an even great audience

Google Plus Social Media Marketing

I don’t find Google Plus to be a great social media network (hardly anyone I know is over there chatting), but that having been said, Google Plus is a great social network for search! The connections that you make there are invaluable for you showing up well in the search results..:)

Google+ is for search engine marketing!

Things to do on Google+:

  • Circle people – one of the easiest ways to get into circles is to circle people, many times they will follow you back!
  • Post keyword targeted info – I generally use my blog posts for this as that is my ultimate goal – to get people off of Google+ and onto my website!
  • Profile setup – this is one of the most important aspects of Google+, getting to put your keyword targeted links into the heart of the Google!

YouTube Social Media Marketing

YouTube seems like it would be a little strange to classify as a social media website, BUT there are the same “connecting”, “subscribing” and notification functions that occur on all the social media networks. That having been said, YouTube is primarily a way to get your videos into the mainstream of the viewing public!

YouTube is for video marketing!

Things to do on YouTube:

  • Post videos – the easiest way to generate subscribers is to post GREAT videos relevant to your industry
  • Subscribe to other people’s video channels
  • Build playlists of great videos in your industry with complementary video producers
  • SEO your videos well so they show up in YouTube AND Universal Search
  • Make sure to post them on your blog or website to increase exposure!

Pinterest Social Media Marketing

Pinterest, or something like it photo-wise, is the social media site of the future. Incredible growth and usage show that this model (of letting people “collect” information in a visual fashion from the internet) is very popular. If you are a small biz owner MAKE SURE you are jumping on this bandwagon TODAY! I guarantee within three years, most of the first contacts with you business prospects have online will be through a photo or a video!

Pinterest is how marketing will be in the future!

Things to do on Pinterest:

  • Post pictures drawing people back to your website or blog
  • Share other people’s pictures
  • Grow as a social network by following people and having them follow you back
  • Comment on other people’s posts

If you have made it this far down, I BET you are my kind of peep! One that likes marketing and is always looking for great new ideas…with that in mind, I recommend you check out my new marketing club:

Join our small business marketing clubJoin Our Marketing Club

We KNOW frustrating it is to find a great new marketing concept that you think will work for your industry, only to find out that you wasted your time! We give you industry based marketing ideas that you can use today to grow your business!!! Find out more about industry based marketing

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Pinterest Marketing – Video Training Course

Pinterest Marketing is on the lips of every small business owner these days. You hear about it, you know you are missing something, but do you REALLY need ANOTHER social network. Besides that, you don’t know how to make money using it and darn it, you aren’t spending any more time friending and liking and what-all without making some scratch on the other end!

This Pinterest Marketing video training course is designed for the small business owner in mind. It is NOT techy talk but real world marketing information that will make getting your marketing efforts off the ground with Pinterest and get you out WAY ahead of your competition!

What it is…

  • Over 20 videos walking you through what and how to post…even if you don’t have a website…even if you don’t have Photoshop.
  • Real world examples of WHAT will work for your business
  • How to sell on Pinterest without looking like a spammer
  • How to build connections and grow a following that wants to hear from you
  • Ongoing updates if something new comes along (okay we all know something new will come along – I will keep you in the loop!)

What it is not…

Please do not buy this if you are trying to figure out how to set up your account. My suggestion is that you go to the YouTube and Google “setting up Pinterest” and you can find LOTS of that kind of information there. This is a medium to advanced strategy guide that will help you get beyond “I have a Pinterest page” and into ACCOMPLISHING SOMETHING!

Oh, it is also not pretty. I could have built a huge membership site around it and charged five times as much, BUT that was not appealing to me and hopefully you will appreciate the price…just $19 for all of this Pinterest goodness! As I am always super honest, I assume that when people get in there and ask questions I will be making more videos to answer them…when that happens the price WILL go up and you will get even more great info for the same low price today!!!

There is close to three hours of training and over 20 videos all separated out into 5-10 minute segments so you can pop in and get EXACTLY what you need. Should you want to do them in one sitting, it is doable BUT mostly I figure you want to get it, find out what to do and get out!

But what is it REALLY like? Well here is the first overview so you can see what all the hype about Pinterest is…

yeah nice…but what does the REAL meat look like…what can you expect to learn…thought it would be fun to show you the surfing through the seasons video to give you an idea of the types of things we address in the course…marketing not hype!!!

Just a head’s up, in real life these are BIG files that allow you to go full screen and see LOTS of details!

Glyn said…”Tara Jacobson is the best! Helping us all to understand this strange new world of social media. Pinterest is my favorite now!”

Okay, still not sure…well here is the list of videos you will get…PLUS this is not one of those coming soons where I still have to make them or you get one every couple of weeks, pay and you get access to them all immediately!

  • Pinterest Overview
  • How To Follow People – General Friend Finding
  • How To Follow People – Using Email Notifications
  • How To Follow People – Strategic Friending
  • Setting Up Boards – Variety of Interests
  • Setting Up Boards – Naming Conventions
  • Setting Up Boards – Don’t Spam / Spotting Spammers
  • How To Pin – Easy Peasy Repins
  • How To Pin – From The Web
  • How To Pin – Advanced Using Your Content
  • What To Post – Popular On Pinterest
  • What To Post – Surfing The Seasons
  • Design – Using Filters
  • Design – Using Filters Dark
  • Easy Design – Free Photo Tree Quote
  • Easy Design – Free Photo H&B Quote
  • How To Make Quotes – Paid / Free Picture
  • Medium Design – Hard Luck
  • Medium Design – Boats
  • Advanced Design – Photoshop
  • Advanced Design – Photoshop Sales Banner

BONUS PINTEREST MARKETING VIDEOS

  • Gut Checks – What To Post and Finding Things Out
  • Finding Out What Is Hot From Your Email
  • Pinterest Success Without Photo Shop
  • Pinterest Marketing Even If You Have No Site!
  • SEO for Pinterest – Just The Facts

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Pinterest Marketing – Damn I Almost Screwed Up Big!

So Pinterest Marketing….a really neat, visual marketing tool and I want to make sure I am using it to its fullest potential. With that in mind, I saw the COOLEST plugin the other day (Social Metrics Pro). What it does is show me how widely each of my posts has spread…YAY!

Social metrics pro - Pinterest Marketing

So what the heck is all the red about? Red is the color of the posts that have zero to 4 links on the social media. I check Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Stumble Upon. Now, I run a social media marketing company, so you would think that my boxes would all be green and that I would be sunning beside a beach on Bora Bora. Not quite! I did do this for one of our big clients and HIS boxes are all green and beautiful, the cobbler’s kid and all that.

So, how did I almost screw up my entire small business marketing empire you ask?

Questions for a social media marketing expertTHIS is a good pin for Pinterest…it says what the topic is about and has some repins and likes on Pinterest. Going forward, I will be designing the photos for my blog pages to be either pretty, a success quote that matches the topic OR the title of the post so that I can share it to Pinterest and get some repins and likes…turning more of my boxes green! see it live on my How To Evergreen Marketing Pinterest board

Funny Realtor Postcards - Realtor MarketingTHIS is a picture from an old post about Funny Realtor Postcards that I want to pin on Pinterest. It has a number of problems, starting first with the fact that it is a small photo that will NOT look good on the Pinterest. Also, it DOES NOT have a call to action to tell anyone there is a post behind it OR that it is about realtor marketing (one of my other main keywords along with small business marketing and entrepreneur marketing).

First a note about your blog posts….if you have been doing this as long as I have, you probably have A LOT of blog posts. Some are rock stars, pulling in tons of hits from the google or social media and some that are meh. I have to say that some of my off the cuff, just had to get the word out posts are MUCH higher ranking than ones that I spent hours researching and pouring my heart and soul into. You find out which are which by checking your Google analytics.

NOW, do I feel like this is sometimes a self fulfilling prophecy? SURE! But numbers don’t lie and when I am going back to make pictures for these rock star posts to pin on the Pinterest (YEP – we are FINALLY getting to how I almost screwed up), these are the guys that I am going to target first!

So, I have this nice little post, chugging along, getting hits every month with a picture in it. What was my first thought? HMMMM should take down the dinky picture, beef it up and re-launch the post to the internet via Pinterest with the BRAND NEW PICTURE! WHEEEEE GREAT IDEA….

Don't make this fatal pinterest marketing mistake

There was something not quite right about this, but was not sure what…SHIT! All of the pictures from my brilliant posts are ALREADY in the google. They are on the google search results for images and COULD be the reason for the great response. Never the less, I NEVER want to take anything down that is in the google helping in its own little way (it is the cumulation of all those bits that make for LOTS of visitors).

SO, easy peasy, DO NOT take all of your old pictures out of your posts. Add new, call to action, clickable photos to the ones that are rock stars and then pin the new pictures! FIRST BIG DUH of the day!

Second DUH came when I realized that I was going to be one heck of spammer if I did ALL of posts on one day. This is a marathon and not a sprint. Updating old posts, adding pictures and pinning them will be a process, one that should take weeks, not days to get you the best results.

Hope this helps AND if you like what you read, please leave me a comment and let me know how you found this post…google, twitter or PINTEREST!!!

PS – Can you guess which picture I used to pin it? This is how you have to start thinking in the post video and picture marketing world!!!

Social Media Marketing – What Social Media Platforms Do You HAVE To Do?

Social media marketing is getting out of hand! I say that KNOWING that there is not enough time in the day for small business owners to Pin, Post, Friend, Follow and all the other bits that are required to get anywhere at all with social mediam marketing.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_work3.html#B953AZXmw5BozJBx.99So lets break it down two different parts, the actual “stuff” to send and the growing big networks.

I tend to think that growing big networks should ALWAYS come first. I have over 50K first person connections on social media and so when I tweet, people retweet, when I post something, I get likes and follows and other great things.

My best social media nerd friend and I (not to name any names, Rebekah), have a seriously funny thing we say to each other when someone comes to us wanting to make $15,000 a webinar like Chris Brogan does. To make $15,000 a webinar, start by using gotowebinar.com, then set up a landing page, then BE Chris Brogan. HUH? You aren’t Chris Brogan? Then chances are you are not going to make 15K right out of the gate!

What people like Chris and I know is that having big networks makes it easier to do everything. You have more people to talk to and share and it more fun when others are playing along with what you do!

The downside of big networks is managing OVERWHELMING amounts of notices, emails and connections. Yesterday I was at an event and told someone I get between 1,000 and 2,000 emails a day. They were like, really you meant a month right, NOPE, per day! I get twitter notifications, I get facebook notifications, I get messages from my blog(s) and from my clients. I am signed up to email newsletters and message boards and talk back and forth on them about marketing and things that interest me.

Choosing to have big networks means managing these communications in a way you can live with. I miss things occasionally and have to apologize for that. I regularly check into actual sites to see if someone talked to me and I miss the message. I HAVE to limit my phone calls, intro meetings and one-on-ones to people who want to hire me or my company. In some ways, having big networks means having LESS real engagement and more surface engagement with lots of different people.

One of the main ways that I handle this is to have my AMAZING assistant talk to people. I hear all the time what an asset she is to my business and people all just LOVE Shell. Seriously, it is SO much better to have a real person for them to talk to who is not me!

What Social Media Platforms Do You HAVE To Do?

Let’s start with the standard small business marketing disclosure. If you are a mega corporation with millions of dollars to spend on advertising, do them all. If you are an itty bitty company with just you, do what you can and if you are just doing for fun, not profit, you are reading the wrong blog. We are here for small biz marketing and that is what you will get!!!

So let’s talk about these one at a time and how they effect different types of business:

Facebook: Facebook is now a standard marketing channel that you have to have to appear normal and functioning. I am sad that this is so since B2B and some mid sized companies struggle to get great interactions their business pages BUT never-the-less, you HAVE to have a biz page at the least. In a perfect world you also HAVE to use your personal profile. Humans like to talk to humans more than businesses and you really shoot yourself in the foot if you don’t utilize you profile.

Twitter: Twitter being an open source product means that computers are SUPER happy with Twitter. Your posts, if keyworded right, can spread throughout the twitterverse and reach further than you ever thought possible. It is also relatively easy to get followers on twitter, making it less of slog to get big numbers. You need to do the twitter.

LinkedIn: If you are going B2B, are the head of your company or your division and LIKE to talk to people one on one and grow relationships, LinkedIn is for you. This one is hard to farm out to a social media marketing company as it requires real connections and technical knowledge to succeed. I am not a huge fan of LinkedIn because of the onsey-onsey-ness of it all. (our company does not help with LinkedIn marketing)

Google Plus: I waxed elquent the other day about google plus and why it matters to have people in your circes in my post, Google Universal Search – How Google+ Effects Small Business Marketing, so I won’t go into it much here except to say that there IS a value to circling people, plus oning posts and engaging on G+, which puts it in the big three for me!

YouTube: YES YouTube is a social network AND a video sharing site. They are owned by google so it is vital to have videos AND they allow you to subscribe and interact with other people on YouTube. Imagine how your videos views would go up if you had a large following of subscribers! YouTube is a MUST do in today’s social media landscape.

Pinterest: Pinterest is a media darling, BUT I do think that it is going to be force to be reckoned with, for SOME companies. I find it to be the most effective with B2C and smaller companies at this point. So do we ignore it for big guys? NOPE! What if you could have been one of the starting users on Facebook years ago. What about Twitter? One of the reasons I have so many followers is that I have been on there a L-O-N-G time. So YES, get on the Pinterest, start some boards and start getting followers now, while it is still in it’s infancy!

Klout: A twitter addon that greatly increases interaction and allows you to target key people in your industry.

What NOT To Do Social Media Marketing Wise

I joined a website called Empire Avenue about a month ago and messed around with it a bit. It seemed to have a good premise and was great for finding people to connect with…BUT I HAVE to do it every day or my score goes down. I am a speaker, coach and trainer. I have a family and don’t work on the weekends. I am okay with consistency BUT not FORCED consistency at all costs. I am probably going to abandon it as having a lot of Empire Avenue connections DOES NOT directly equate to lots more targeted REAL social media connections.

Every couple of days I get a message from ReferralKey.com that asks if I want more business. This is a site, sort of like LinkedIn that allows people to connect. So if you find something that is sort of like (fill in the blank), DON’T do it! Just join the one that it IS instead. A site that is like Facebook, with FourSquare and dollop of Twitter has very little chance of competing with the ACTUAL sites that ARE like that!

HOW TO GET HELP

Okay, so if you are a small business owner and need help with all these sites, I am happy to say that we can help! Give me a jingle today (727-415-9165) to find out more (I PROMISE an actual person will call you back!!!) or visit our social media marketing page to find out more about our services!

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