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Growing Your Garden Pt.4: Predators

Dealing With Bugs and Other Predators

Aside from the bugs, there are other predators you have to consider. There are animals, like deer, for instance that can devour an entire crop of heirloom tomatoes or bed of tulips within 5 minutes.  Because of that, you have had to take up extra precautions, like putting up fences…TALL fences. If you live in the country you know you can’t leave your dogs outside to keep bunnies or coyotes out of the garden.  The chicken yard is covered in netting for the same reason.  You learn to adapt.

There will always be spammers, scammers, phishing exploitations, viruses and other threats to your social media accounts so you may need to erect some fences of your own.

In the social media world, you can’t even trust your real-life friends or respected advisers because THEIR accounts may have been hacked, as well.

Be extremely careful of the links you choose to click.  Sadly, the links that you receive in direct mail on Twitter or private Facebook messages are probably the most dangerous ones of all.  I never click on a single link that I receive in a Twitter direct message (which may be something to consider when constructing your own Twitter DMs – don’t add links; no one will click them.  In fact, most people don’t like Twitter direct messages at all.)

There are also a lot of fake accounts out there in the social media world so don’t automatically follow everyone back.  Be discriminating – it’s not about the numbers; it’s about the quality of your connections.  You want friends, fans and followers that contribute to the growth of your business (crop), or that you can serve in some way.  (I will say this about fake Twitter followers – they often have great quotes and I have been known to repeat them at times – but not as a retweet.)

Growing Your Social Media Garden Pt. 3: Weeding

When I was growing up, my mother always had a garden.  One of the worst chores or punishments I could ever receive was weeding the garden.  She also told my brother and I that if we didn’t help in the garden, we couldn’t eat from the garden.  The other part of that was that there was no option about about eating from the garden, so regardless, we were working in that garden!  Weeding is a necessary evil.

Luckily, removing weeds in social media, the sun isn’t beating down on your skin and there isn’t any extensive manual labor involved.  There are so many tools that assist with the weeding,  Privacy and security are just two reasons that wedding is necessary.

You should be concerned with who sees what you post and should never put yourself in danger.  Some sites track your exact location and may not be the best choice in regards to personal safety.  You can also disable the tracking feature on many apps out there.

Setting your privacy settings to meet your needs is another form of weeding.  With all of the customizable options you can be as open or hidden as you would like to be for the most part.  On some sites, like Facebook, if you have a profile, you are searchable, meaning that someone can see that you have a profile but it doesn’t mean they can see your information or your posts.

Weeding on Twitter is important because of the limits on your followers.  You want to make sure that you have reciprocal followers and that you aren’t missing out on the important content of the ones you follow.

Growing Your Social Media Garden Pt.2: Fertilizer

Just like most soil needs added nutrients such as peat, sand (if it has a lot of clay) and composted materials  in order to  produce a great crop, so does your social media.

Setting up your social media profiles correctly utilizing your keywords,  your website and other social media links, adding your photo and some interesting tidbits about you is a great nutrition for your social media platforms.  Social media nutrients also come in the form of content.

In 2012 we heard a lot about engagement, in 2013 the focus is on content, which will ultimately increase you engagement if your content is good.  Your own content can be tips for success in your particular niche or blog posts that offer valuable information to your readers.  Sharing  information from others that you trust is also another great form of content.  This is called curated content.  Just remember that you need to be consistent when posting your content!

A sales pitch can be a nutritious to your social media presence BUT only if you have cultivated a great relationship with your followers.  You don’t want to only use your social media as a way to blast your followers with promos, and sales pitches.

Growing Your Social Media Garden Pt.1: The Plan

Many people have a preconceived idea that when they launch a social media marketing campaign, they will wake up the next day to see they have hundreds of new fans and followers, and suddenly their busting at the pocket seams because the cash flow is unstoppable, all of this overnight. Maybe that is a little dramatic. In my experience they don’t expect all of that overnight, however, there is an unreasonably short expectation for this type of increase with social media campaigns.

I am not saying that no one has ever had rapid results, however, the amount of time and money put into making that happen is often not discussed either. If you are a small business owner launching your own campaign, then you will quickly find out a few things: 1.) Social media will demand more of your time than you can handle while trying to manage your business 2.) Minimal time will not be worth your time because you reap what you sow.

Hence, growing your business through social media is like growing a garden. There are so many things to consider for a garden and for social media alike: A well thought-out plan, the best tools of the trade that allow you to work smarter, not harder, the proper timing for planting and of course how to fertilizing and cultivating your seeds (prospects) and then your blooms (clients). Not to mention reputation management which is like weeding and killing off the bugs.

 

Part 1: The Plan

If you have ever had a garden, then you know you have to think about the seasons ahead of time. You have to have the right weather conditions to grown certain things and you have to make sure you the right space set aside, the seeds ordered in advance and the soil prepped before you can just start planting.

As with a garden, you should be sure that you don’t take on more than you can handle. It is better to start small and be able to give your seeds all the care they need, rather than spread yourself so thin you only have time to plant then come back and attempt to harvest.  In social media terms, this means examining each social media platform, its nuances and what type of businesses tend to hang out there.  In other words, who is your ideal client and which social media platforms do they utilize the most? You decide what will work best for you to reach your clients, and that you will comprehensively and extensively be able to manage.

If the planning phase is already overwhelming you, Warhorse Marketing offers consultations.  We can help you decide what will work best for your business and fill you in on how much work will go into making sure you have a happy harvest from the hours you will be sowing. The other alternative is to let Warhorse Marketing do the sowing for you, while you enjoy the reaping of the harvest!

Promote Your Way Up

Do you want to boost your Facebook engagement?  Are you wondering if promotions will help? The need to stay ahead of your competitors and to keep your brand in the forefront of people’s minds is a constant competition for anyone using Facebook.

The constant changes within Facebook and the push to use paid ads make it even harder to appear in news feeds, but there is hope!

79% of Facebook fans are more likely to purchase from a brand they have liked, so pursuing more fans and deeper engagement with existing fans is a huge priority!

While there are many core methods for increasing engagement such as creating highly shareable content, posting images and videos and posting succinctly at key times—a powerful method is to run promotions.

Promotions have the ability to draw visitors to a Facebook Page, and when used correctly, can be a very valuable tool to accomplish your business’s engagement objectives.

 

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/boost-your-facebook-engagement-with-promotions/#more-31300

Engaging Pins

People like to be engaged with images.  The good thing about Pinterest is that every new post is an image around which a lot of engagement can be driven. So there’s great potential to drive a lot of engagement on this social media network.  Here are 6 ways to drive more engagement with images on Pinterest.

#1: Run Competitions

People love taking part in competitions, whether it’s to win a coupon, money, get their two minutes of fame or just for fun.

On Pinterest, you can run competitions where the winner is the user who pins the best pictures or has the Pinterest board with the best collection of pins.

#2: Add Board Contributors

Fans like it when you recognize and reward them for their contribution. You can either give them something or make them a part of the product or brand they love so much.

This is something you can do on Pinterest. You can add contributors to your board as long as you follow them.

 

#3: Run Offers

Free, giveaway and discount are magical words that can get people running toward you even if you’re out of reach.

People love offers, especially if they find the product or service useful. Use the image-based nature of Pinterest to promote your offers.

To do this, you can either pin images of offers from your website and detail your offer in the description, or you can create images exclusively for Pinterest where everything about the offer is written on the image.

A good offer that a lot of people find interesting can get you a lot of pins, likes and repins.

 

#4: Get Into Your Fans’ Heads

People follow you for a reason—because they want something from you that might help or entertain them. So it’s your job to find out what they like and want, and you need to provide it. Usually it’s because they want to know more about something you offer.

A recent study by Facebook found that the images that are most shared, liked and commented on are related to the brand. So only share images that revolve around your brand and the lifestyle it provides.

 

#5: Add Several Images to Every Page

Pinterest only lets you pin pages where there are images (the images need to be a minimum size of 110 x 100 pixels). If there are no images of the appropriate size, your pages can’t be pinned and people who visit your site won’t be able to share them.

So make sure you add at least one shareable image to every page. A better option would be to add many wonderful images to every page, so your readers get to choose their favorite image to pin.

 

#6: Analyze Pins and Images

As mentioned in #4, you need to get into your readers’ heads and share images that interest them. Find the most shared images on Pinterest and get to know who’s sharing them. You need to do this regularly to improve your own Pinterest marketing strategy.

Playing by the New Rules

With every new year comes changes.  Some for the better, some for worse.  In the past month a lot of social media changes have come out in the news – changes to TOS, changes to profiles, changes to this, that and the other.  Today, I am going to give you a run down of new tools and rules for 2013.  Please, pay attention because these will affect you.

Facebook:

New Facebook Pages Cover Photo Policy – This one affects all of us. Starting January 15, Facebook Pages cover photos cannot contain more than 20% text, along with all the other restrictions.  Now is the time to take a look at yours and change it if needed.

Facebook Collections Is Coming Back – Seeing how well Pinterest is doing, Facebook is taking another look at Collections.  This allows pictures to have a “want” or “collect” button for people to start building Pinterest-like boards on Facebook.  There is a lot of potential from a marketing research standpoint, but still plenty of skepticism and speculation on the consumer side.

Charging To Message Beyond Friends?– Facebook is testing an option that will require you to pay $1 to message someone who isn’t a friend.  How many of you get those random messages in your “other” folder with marriage proposals or foreign people telling you they like your smile?  With this, they would have to pay to send you that message.

Facebook To Launch Changes To Timeline  – Facebook is updating the look of your profile.  Back are the tabs and gone are the boxes down the right side of your Timeline.  Also being tested – a single-stream of posts.  I have to say, I like this new look.  Of course, I loved the change to Timeline too.

Facebook To Try Video Ads – The Facebook newsfeed is already too noisy, so I hope this does not take.  We all still need to be aware this is on the horizon and if it does indeed stay, you will need to figure how this plays into your social media marketing plan.

Twitter

Updates To Sponsored Tweets – Twitter has updated the targeting with their sponsored tweets.

Download Your Tweets – Now you can download an archive of all of your tweets.

Twitter Joins Nielsen In Creating Social TV Ratings – How many of us already use Twitter when we watch TV?  Maybe we follow the hashtag associated with our favorite shows? Now Twitter and Nielsen will be creating social TV ratings to measure this.  My guess?  WWE will top this – they are blowing the social media engagement during their shows out of the park.

 

http://socialsolutionscollective.com/new-tools-and-rules-for-2013/

Make Your Pins Make you Money

As with any site, the more exposure received the better it is for your brand, in particular organic exposure. Organic is content seen by people on the site and is numbers or views that are not inflated with fake or irrelevant accounts. Although once upon a time where views came from didn’t matter, today in social media it does, and knowing what tool can help you gain exposure without hurting your brand is a valuable lesson to learn prior to using any tools.

Images have gained in popularity in 2012 and is continuing as we begin 2013, it most certainly looks to be a trend that is yet to fade into the past as visual content is not only popular by social users but by the algorithms within social networks as well as amongst image sharing niche sites like Pinterest.

Businesses have caught on to the latest trend in sharing images and are using them to relate to users on social sites but it has also become a terrific way to share your brand as well as products on sites like Pinterest, since they make it super easy for businesses by providing another way for people to click to your desired site in which images are being hosted.

Pinterest has done wonders in particular for blogs and for websites who have taken interest in creating supporting pages and picking proper images. Knowing how to properly categorize your pins and label your boards imaginatively along with a well written social description explaining the board, will help create a strong page rank for your board, since every board does and can have one.

With that said, it is not always easy depending on others to repin your pins and in some instances promoting pins can help further your reach.

An image promoting site, Reachli, helps content creators and sellers of goods measure their visually shared content with an array of tools. With the ability to promote through campaigns using Reachli not only will you be able to extend your brands reach but more importantly be able to scale the types of images that best suit your audience and hone in on those skills to strengthen your strategy and further your image sharing not only on Pinterest but elsewhere as well.

Being able to measure your efforts when sharing images in particular can help you not only connect further with like-minded people but potential customers as well and knowing what works and what doesn’t helps businesses weed out the unnecessary and instead use social sites for purposeful efforts and attain information that will make using those sites for your brand more beneficial.

Currently Reachli targets Pinterest but may expand in the future for more niche sites that target visual sharing into their insights. Reachli is ideal for your brand to be able to scale and strategize using measurable feedback that can help you target your audience better, which will then in return make for better connections when using social media.

 

Source: http://www.1singularsensation.com/how-reachli-helps-you-monetize-your-pinterest-pins/

Improving Your EdgeRank

Now you know about Facebook’s measuring algorithm, EdgeRank, you are wondering how to improve your page’s score.  If you are clueless about EdgeRank, check out yesterday’s blog “Do You Have an Edge(Rank)? to learn more about it!  Here are 6 tips and statistics straight from Facebook.

1. Posts between 100 and 250 characters get 60% more likes, comments and shares than posts over 250 characters. Keep it short and sweet.

2. Posting photo albums, photos and videos get 180%, 120% and 100% more engagement respectively. Posting a link as a photo with the article title and URL in the comment area will increase reach.  Be visual.

3. Asking simple opinion driven questions or fill in the blanks will bring 90% more engagement that the average post.  Ask your fans what you want to know.

4. Remember that 96% of your fans aren’t coming back to your page, so posting frequently is the only way to consistently reach them. Post daily.

5. Posts relating to, but not directly about your brand, perform best.  For example if you are a muffin shop, your posts should be about recipes and baking tips, not politics, religion or cats. Be relevant but not pushy.

6.Test out different times to find the best time for your audience and then stick with them.  Be timely in your posts, consistence is key.

If you need more help with reaching your fans on Facebook, contact Warhorse Marketing today. Our strategies and methods will help you post smarter, easier and better!

Do You Have an Edge(Rank)?

EdgeRank is the algorithm used by Facebook to determine where and what posts appear on each individual user’s newsfeed. The three variables that make up this algorithm are Affinity, Weight and Time decay.

Affinity measures the relationship between the viewing users and the creator of the story.  The closer the relationship, the higher the score.  This way your newsfeed will prioritize stories from let’s say your brother over some weirdo who added you a few years ago.  Affinity is one way that interacting heavily with someone will increase the chance of their stories appearing on your newsfeed but your stories won’t necessarily appear on theirs.

Different types of posts carry different weights.  The higher the weight, the higher the score.  In order, they rank 1. Photos/ videos 2. Links 3. Plain text updates.  Engagement also carries weight.  If you post a plain text post but it has several comments and likes, it will also carry a heavier weight.Also. by using new Facebook features, you will be able to reach more fans because Facebook assigns higher weight to encourage usage.

How old is the post? As a post ages, it continually loses value. This way your newsfeed will always remain fresh with recent news.  How quickly the post loses value or “decays” depends on the Facebook user.  If you only log in once a week, there is a chance of stories that are a few days old appearing on your newsfeed.

EdgeRank matters because 96% of fans never go back to a brand’s fan page after initial engagement.  Your posts are 40 -150 times more likely to reach your fans in the newsfeed than your page because 27% of all the time on spent on Facebook is looking at the newsfeed but only 16% of your fans will see your posts on average.

Now that you know what EdgeRank is and why it matters, the next step is to figure out how to improve your EdgeRank Score and get more of your fans seeing your posts! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog where will give you some tips for improving your EdgeRank score.