Social Media: Try it – You Just Might Like It!

pic from en.wikipedia.org
pic from en.wikipedia.org

Not long ago, I had the privilege of being a part of a educational event at a local university. It was my “job” to pretend to be suffering with pains similar to  having a bladder or kidney problem. It was up to the students to ask enough questions to determine the cause.  This was an activity far removed from my normal day, and one that I greeted with excitement, and even a bit of trepidation. After all, I am more of an observer, and prefer to avoid drama of any kind.

However, the day was actually quite enjoyable. I found that stepping outside of the box was more fun than anticipated and I got to meet some really great people.  And, even better, I found that with each new “doctor” I met, the more comfortable and easier the acting became.  I found I anticipated the questions, knew better how to answer and learned a bit about what it takes to train to be a physician.

My experience with acting is often how people feel about using social media or blogging about their company. Taking that first step and setting up a social media page might be intimidating. There are “all those” questions to answer, and the job of finding the right pictures. Then, you have to spend time each week posting things that are engaging and interesting. These tasks can seem daunting, so people often choose to merely observe other businesses on Facebook, Twitter or other platforms rather than get involved with the “drama” of social media.

But, just as I was a bit uncertain at the outset of my day of being a patient but later found it was actually a bit fun, those companies that take the plunge and set up a social media profile (or two….) usually find that while it may initially seem difficult, with practice it becomes a great way to engage with others. By using social media to promote who their company is and how others can benefit from using their products and services, they build up their customer base and develop a strong presence on the Web.

No,  the first few social media updates may not go viral (chances are, they won’t!) but with practice and perseverance, a social media page can be a strong tool in your marketing toolbox. So, don’t just sit back observe the social media scene, get out there and give it a go. You might just find that you like it.

 

Social Networking is Great!

vintage-social-networking1My, how the times have changed!

I love to network. There is something about the thrill of connecting someone who needs a website designer with a list of qualified, talented designers that makes me smile. And, I love it when someone contacts me and connects a friend of theirs so that I can write their blog posts, manage their social media accounts or write their website content.  Yes, that is what social networking is all about. And whether you use email or the telephone, networking is fun, and beneficial to all. So, if you are in need of connecting with a website designer, PPC campaign manager or other Web need, let me know. I will be happy to connect you with some of the pros I know.

Have a great day!

How Do You Get Your News?

funny-anti-social-media-jokeIn a bygone era, we had two ways to keep up with the world around us –the newspaper and the 6:00 pm news. Today, however, many of us keep up with local, state and world events using the Internet and our social media news feed. Consequently, it is vital that companies are sure to take advantage of this ever-changing news venues such as Facebook, Twitter and others.

As a company, it is up to you to see that your social media sites contain beneficial content that engages readers. Your posts might be made hourly, daily, weekly or even monthly, but whatever you choose, you want to be sure your news is staying in your audience’s news feed.

Of course, this maintaining a social media presence can take time and effort.  You can give admin rights to people with your company and ask them to be vigilant in showcasing your latest industry news and pics or you can choose to hire a social media management team who can help you maintain the pages, interact with those who ask questions on your social media page(s) and even help you build a larger following.

So, don’t lag behind the times and choose to only use print media, take advantage of the social media and scene and keep your name out there. If you need help with managing social media pages, contact Write Away Copywriting and ask about the rates.

16 Tips for Using Social Media to Build Your Business

Garfield

While there are many people out there who do not see the value of social media, as a business owner one cannot overlook its use.  Of course, for social media to truly effective, knowing a few basics about how to make the most of it is important.  These 16 tips will help make using social media easier and more effective.

  1. Always be sure the content is interesting.
  2. Don’t be afraid to post a controversial topic that is appropriate to your industry.  Just be ready to defend/explain your position.
  3. Remember that most people prefer pictures to lengthy text. In fact, 65% of people are visual learners.
  4. While numbers are important on social media,  keep in mind that engagement is even better.
  5. Be sure to occasionally signpost (link back) to your website via your social media pages.
  6. Ask questions and then listen to the answers.
  7. Be sure that your company profile is completely filled out, and that you have used keywords in the description.
  8. Don’t be afraid to try Pinterest – it’s not just a place for recipes, crafts and home decor ideas!
  9. Don’t begin Tweets with @whoever as this limits who can see the tweet. Rather, type it as .@whoever (note the period) as this allows everyone to see the tweet.
  10. Schedule posts on Twitter,  just before or just after the hour.
  11. Keep up with the changes on Facebook—especially those that pertain to business accounts.
  12. Be sure that your full street address is on Facebook, so that people are able to check in.
  13. Be careful about what you say to people, and don’t bad mouth competition, it’s just poor business.
  14. Facebook and  Pinterest, in addition to YouTube,  are great venues for posting videos about what your company has to offer, be sure  you are using them all.
  15. Post coupons on your social sites—it builds interest and income.
  16. Don’t over socialize…it is not necessary to be on every social media platform. Choose 3 or 4 that will suit your needs and put your efforts into those.

Social media is a great platform for business, so be sure you are not overlooking its power and potential.  Do the posts yourself or hire someone to do it for you, but whatever you do, do not ignore it.

 

8 Things Being Involved in Ministry Has Taught Me about Being a Business Owner

(image from dae-lee.com)

I have been involved in church ministry for over 2 decades. I have worked with preschool children,  elementary children, behind the scenes as an admin assistant, been involved with the music and currently work with the youth. And while the level of involvement, the responsibilities and the manner in which  communication is accomplished has changed over the years, much has stayed the same.

Recently, I was thinking about how often my ministry involvement and having my own business are alike. Here are my observations. If you have others to add to the list, I would love to see them!

  1. If you don’t have a plan for the day, the children/teens will. From time to time I get up and turn on my computer for the day expecting my workload to be light and thinking that I might take time to chill out. More often than not, those are the days that rather than simply working just a few hours, I end up with a full day’s work! (Not a complaint, just an observation.)
  2. You have to be flexible. Just because you have a plan, it doesn’t mean that the lesson prepared will be the lesson taught. In business, you have to be open to new approaches in getting a job done. After all, the Web and the way one does business is always changing.
  3. Mistakes happen; don’t dwell on them! Find a way to correct the problem and deal with it effectively and efficiently. Sometimes that great object lesson or game completely backfires and you have to be able to address the situation and move forward. In business, that idea that sounded so wonderful in your head might not be a great in practice. Be willing to step back, re-assess and move forward again.
  4. You can’t please everyone; sometimes you have to sign off on a project. This doesn’t mean failure, just the need to find a better way. Also keep in mind, that some people refuse to be pleased with a product/service. These people are always going to be there. Learn what you can in those situations and move forward.
  5. The client/customer must feel valued. Even if you cannot provide the exact service or product one might want, going out of your way to provide service with a smile is a great way to build repeat customers. In a ministry, you must make each person, from the team members to the people being served, feel like they matter…because they do!
  6. Everything eventually works out, It might not always be the way you envisioned it, but a solution can usually be found that pleases most of the people involved.
  7. It takes work. There is always something to be done. Whether it is planning the next meeting, writing another blog post, visiting with new clients or ministry team members, etc. Like in business, you can count on ministry taking time.
  8. There is always room for improvement. No business, regardless of its size, can’t be improved with more training, better procedures, etc. Ministry is no different. There will always be ways to make the space more inviting, help leaders to be stronger and attendees feel more welcomed and connected.

5 Ideas for Blog Posts

5 Blog post ideas for the tired blogger (pic from www.gapyear.com)

Having a blog on your website is a great way to boost your site’s SEO, but only if you take the time to post to it on a regular basis. In fact, many experts recommend posting at least once a week. But for many of us, that is a steep assignment as life and the daily needs of running a business can get in the way of blogging. For others, it might not be the time involved for blogging so much as having ideas for the posts.

If you fall into this latter category, then you are not alone. Write Away Copywriting has some ideas and tips for your next blog posts.

Be informed of the latest changes, new products, etc. in your industry so you can share that information with your readers.

Lessons learned about running your business are not only inspiring but lets others know that they can overcome obstacle, too. It also lends some credibility to you and your business.

Ongoing saga of what is going on at your company. Do you have a new product or service? Perhaps you have hired a new sales rep or expanded your service area. Letting your readers know what is going on helps them connect and builds loyalty.

Goals you are working towards also lets people know where your company is headed.

Surveys are a great way to get customer feedback or to ask leaders in your field for their input. Consider posting pictures with names and companies of the survey contributors, as way to boost link opportunities, as well.

Blog posts are a fun way to generate interest and excitement about what is happening at your company. They don’t have to be long, technical diatribes, just something that keeps site guests engaged and wanting to hire you or use your products. So, don’t let that blog page sit empty…write a blog post this week!

Being Number 1– Having a Web Presence is Important!

2012.05.02_seoWhether you are competitive or not, we all like to be in first place. But when it comes to SEO and being found on the Web, there is no greater pleasure than discovering that your website is listed in Google’s top spot….or at least being listed on the first page.  However, this does not happen merely because one has included their primary keywords through out their website, and set up several social media accounts. It takes work.

Having a top ranking webpage means spending time each week at your pc (or whatever mobile device you use) making social media post, interacting with others on the various social platforms, writing monthly blog posts, and ensuring that your site’s SEO practices continue to meet any changes that Google may send. In addition, it means making sure that your website is mobile device friendly -after all, well over 80% of today’s web user are searching the web on something other than their computer.  All in all,   being found on the first page of  Google -or even just keeping up with all the many actions needed to keep your social media followers engage- can be a large part of your week…or it can be a job that you pass off to someone else in your company.

For many large companies, they have a team of people who handle each of these aspects, so the sales persons, designers, marketers, etc. can focus on bringing more business. But if you are a smaller company, then you might find yourself deciding that things like social media and blogs aren’t really that important. This could be a costly mistake! Rather than overlooking blogs and social interaction too time consuming, contact Write Away about managing these job for you.  WAC is always happy to step in and help you keep your web presence on track. Contact WAC today to learn more.

 

 

Having Fun yet Staying Busy!

busy-calendarWhen one owns their own business, it is nice to stay busy. Consequently, it is easy to say, “Yes” each time someone asks if you can do something.  But sometimes I look at my calendar and I think, “My goodness, what was I thinking when I agreed to that many projects for this week!” It is then that I realize that I truly do love my job because no matter how daunting a calendar might look, I find that I love the challenge and the opportunity to learn new things. Yes, there are weeks that are busier than others, but I also love the feeling I have when on Friday afternoon, I look back and realize that my crazy busy week was also one filled with learning and adventures.

This month, I have been asked by a client to read the book, Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung.  In reading it, I have learned many tips that will help in both my business and personal life. Also as part of this month’s work, I was blessed to be asked by ClickReady Marketing to write about one of my other passions–cooking! So for a few days, I got to read -then write – about grilling, barbecue and seafood. Yes, I love my job!

So, while I have been busy with work, there are often times that the work feels more like play. Those are the weeks when I am especially glad that I don’t punch a time clock.  Rather, I am blessed to work hours that suit my schedule and fill my calendar with work I enjoy. So to all you who help send me work requests, thanks! You allow me to have fun while staying busy!

 

(Image from stickyegg.com)

It’s in the Cookies!

 

2014-01-12 21.28.43

I love Chinese food! From Moo Goo Gai Pan to Wonton Soup and Egg Foo Young to Spicy Orange Chicken, the spices and textures there comprise a well-planned Chinese meal. But, perhaps as much as the food brings pleasure, I love to open the fortune cookies and read their words of “wisdom”. (By the way, did you know that fortune cookies are not actually Chinese? Rather, they are based on a Japanese recipe and then made popular by Americans.)

Shown here are some fortunes I have received in recent months. No, I don’t base my work – or life- on the little slips of paper, but I must say these four have definitely given me something to think about.

What about you? Do these statements inspire you? What actions do you need to take? If your answer includes developing SEO web content, publishing blog posts, writing newsletters or making the most of social media, then talk to Jan at Write Away Copywriting to learn how to get started. I will be happy to help.

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