Monthly Archives: August 2019

Aug 26

3 Social Media Strategies to Make the Most of Every Conference

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3 Social Media Strategies to Make the Most of Every Conference

One of my early clients when I started doing social media consulting was a lawyer in Phoenix who concentrated on helping businesses work through mergers and acquisitions. We met up when I was in town for a conference. 

“Now that I’ve made partner, I need to make it rain,” he told me. “I’d love to get in front of those businesses that have some kind of financing who are just starting to think about selling in the near future.”

The new law partner knew that he wouldn’t get a lot of opportunities to run into these kind of business leaders, since they weren’t the types to go to the monthly Chamber of Commerce mixers. He needed to make good on his once-a-year interactions with these entrepreneurs at industry conferences.

The advice I gave him is the advice I give to anyone who doesn’t want to be just another face at a conference:

 Use social media to distinguish yourself before, during and after the conference. 

Here’s how to use social media to make the most of those networking opportunities:

Before the Conference:

The speakers at industry conferences are great resources with whom to connect. But if you wait until after a speaker gives her talk, you’ll probably have to wait in a long line to introduce yourself. Since almost every speaker list is made public before a conference, there’s no reason to wait until the conference to connect with these influencers.

Research conference speakers on social media, connect with them on LinkedIn (send a note providing context, of course), and then start posting about those speakers on your channels. Tag them, like them, and promote them to your audiences. Those speakers will notice, and they may even seek you out at the conference. At the very least, they’ll be more likely to recognize your name.

If you’re someone who likes to prepare for conferences by doing some research on the attendees and speakers so you know who to seek out during networking breaks, then this should come naturally to you. The research is an easy task to delegate to a personal assistant, and the posts take only a few minutes to create.

At the Conference:

If you want people to remember you after the conference, there are two things you should do while you’re there. (Obviously, this is in addition to introducing yourself to the people you researched and connected with ahead of time.)

​​1. Take a picture with the people you want to remember you. 

If you meet someone and you have an enjoyable conversation that you think could one day lead to a business relationship, ask them to take a photo with you. It will help you remember who you met and when — let’s face it, a week after a conference it’s hard to distinguishing the people you talked to and what the conversations were — and it will be useful for conference follow-up.

2. Live tweet the conference. 

You may be thinking, “Nobody really reads conference Twitter hashtags, except the conference organizers.”

...Except the conference organizers. If you want to make an impression on the conference organizers, who are likely influencers in your industry, show them some love on Twitter. Since conference hashtags are woefully underused, if you tweet three or four times during each session you attend, you’ll likely draw the attention of the conference chair, who is probably also the person in charge of booking speakers for the next year.

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Sometimes when we plan out or social media activity, we get obsessed with trying to optimize our activity to get the most number or views or the highest engagement.

But if you’re strategic about it, that one view on social media may be the only one you need.

After the Conference:

Before the conference high wears off - during that one-week honeymoon period - be sure to follow-up with all of your new connections. This is a great time to post those photos you took with the people you met, especially on LinkedIn (because of its business-focused nature). Tag them and introduce them to your network, while sharing something about their work that will be relevant and provide value to your audience. 

Then, put a note in your calendar to check in on these connections in three months, and six months, and nine months.

Lastly, put a Google News alert on the company’s name, or the individual’s name. If they get good press, you should be the first one sharing their stories and promoting their achievements.

Being active on social media should never replace getting out in the community and meeting the doers in your industry, but it’s an excellent supplement. Used strategically, social media can help you maximize the time and effort you put into growing your network, and will provide you with influence long after the in-person meetings.

How will you make the most of your next conference? Which of these strategies can you see yourself using right away?

Aug 19

Permission to Post: NASA doesn’t need a social media policy, and neither do you.

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Permission To Post: NASA Doesn't Need a Social Media Policy and Neither Do You.

Like many businesspeople, it didn’t take me long to see the value in posting on social media. You and I know our customers will look for us on social media before making a phone call or stopping by our offices. What better way is there to stay top of mind with your target audience than to go where they’re already paying attention and participate in the conversation?

But still, so many companies play it safe. They’d rather leave their social media profiles blank than post something that could harm the business’s reputation. Noting the potential negative impact of improperly used social media accounts — just look at the reaction to many of President Trump’s tweets — companies forbid their employees from posting anything work-related on social media.

Often, they’re waiting until they can write a policy that will minimize the potential for corporate embarrassment via social media.

Here’s the thing: You don’t need a separate policy governing how your employees will represent you on social media...

 You already have one.

I recently listened to a podcast featuring John Yembrick , the social media manager at NASA. Yembrick oversees more than 500 NASA-affiliated social media accounts. If any organization was going to face a roadblock to posting on social media, I would have expected it to be NASA — it’s a massive government agency with dozens of layers of bureaucracy to wade through to get new policies passed.

On the podcast, Yembrick said he had no trouble gaining approval to build out NASA’s social media presence, and authorizing hundreds of NASA employees to post on NASA’s behalf.

If you work at NASA, he said, you already have a NASA email address, a NASA business card, a NASA office phone, and in most cases, a NASA cell phone. The organization already has a detailed communication policy that governs how employees will represent NASA in person, over the phone, and over email.

Your existing communication policy? It applies to social media too. NASA didn’t need to create a separate policy for social media. It simply told its employees to follow the same standards on social media that they follow in any other situations.

Allowing your employees to post on social media on your behalf might feel like a dangerous move. But at any given moment, any one of your employees could say something in an in-person meeting, or during a speech, or in a mass-email that would make your company look bad. But you allow them to speak on your behalf via those platforms because it’s crucial to their job and you trust them to represent you well.

So how do you convince a reluctant CEO that your company needs to be on social media? Start by relieving them of the burden of creating a social media policy. Your company’s existing communication policy is enough to guide your employees in getting started posting on any social platform.

Another reason some of the companies I consult with are reluctant to establish a brand presence on social media is because they’re afraid of opening themselves up to public criticism from dissatisfied customers.

It’s a very real possibility: Just look at the social media accounts of the largest airlines around the U.S. With frequent weather and technical delays, airlines always face complaints from frustrated customers. But the best brands see the public forum of social media as an opportunity to showcase their outstanding customer service. Instead of only engaging with frustrated customers via private message, proactive brands will respond publicly and offer to help, provide an explanation, or make the situation right.

Sure, you’ll have interactions with customers who refuse to be satisfied, but your loyal customers watching the exchange can recognize when a customer is being unreasonable. You’ll gain more respect when you handle a difficult situation well than if you try to hide the complaints.

Even if you’re not on social media, customers will find ways to express their frustration about bad experiences they’ve had with your brand, whether that’s on Yelp, or on Google Reviews, or on their own personal accounts. If you’re already on social media, you gain the advantage of being able to respond and potentially convert a dissatisfied customer into a delighted customer. Start having those conversations in your sandbox instead of all throughout the Internet.

And getting back to my earlier point, the policies that govern your private response to customers are the same ones that should guide your public response. After all, with a few clicks of a button, a customer could screenshot your response and share it to social media, making it public anyway.

Taking this approach to social media should cross one more thing off your company’s marketing and advertising to-do list. You don’t need to write a social media policy because you already have one.

So start posting!

Aug 12

Maximize the Impact of your Corporate Sponsorships With Social Media

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Maximize the Impact of your Corporate Sponsorships With Social Media

Ever wondered how you can use social media to show the good you're doing for your community?

Utilizing tools such as social media before, during, and after corporate sponsorships events will help to gain the attention of the audiences you want to reach. Highlight your involvement by showcasing the work that the nonprofit organization has done. The organization itself will benefit from the added awareness that you are doing on their behalf, while you demonstrate your engagement.

Amplify your efforts by following these tips for before the event, during, and after.

Before

In advance of the event, compile a List of the Following Social Media Account Handles:

  1. The Host Organizations
  2. Speakers or Dignitaries
  3. Other Sponsors
  4. The Venue

These social media account handles will be used during the event to engage with audiences who wish they could attend the event. Additionally, they will be used to show speakers are being listened to and hosts of the event are feeling appreciated.

Following the event, the social media account handles can be used to provide a big take away statement from the speakers and thank everyone involved for attending and/or speaking.

Create your Event #Hashtag

This hashtag should be utilized during and after the event. The creation of a hashtag can create great public awareness of the event and the people involved. The hashtag also has the ability to connect yourself as an individual to the event for future inquires.

Hashtags that are created should be creative and positively represent the event. Utilizing hashtags can increase engagements with the social media posts. 

Post on Social

Sample: Were thrilled to join @sponsor and @sponsorB in supporting @event with @guestspeaker. Look forward to seeing you there! #eventhastage <link to URL of event>

Promote

Instead of simply hoping people will see your sponsorship, let’s make sure they do. Using social media ad platforms, advertise your posts to audiences interested in the organization, cause, team etc.

Platforms for posting include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. 

When posting ensure that you are including the date of the event and scheduled time frame.

Before posting consider creating an Ad Budget and analyzing your audience. By gaining a deeper understanding of who should see your post, you can set an audience in ad manager programs. 

During the Event

Take photos and videos of your staff/ clients/ business partners attending the event. While the event is happening, post the content on social media while tagging the handles from the sample above.

Tagging those whom are at the event increases the probability of your social media posts to be viewed by others.

Post-Event

 Using the script from the sample, post facts about the event (attendance, money raised, significant news, etc.) Spend money to promote this post to the target audience as well.

Ensure that ‘thank you’ statements are made and those individuals responsible for a great event feel appreciated. Engaging with those who were also at the event is a good way to reach new audiences. Liking, retweet, and other engagements with posts utilizing the hashtags associates yourself with the event.

Download our two page guide to help you prepare with amplifying your own message.

Aug 01

Feeling like business is slow in August? Here are 5 ways to maximize your results.

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Feeling like business is slow in August? Here are 5 ways to maximize your results.

In many of our businesses, August is a slow month. People take their final opportunities to goof off while the weather is warm and our kids are yet to start school.

Before the post-Labor Day rush back to work, pick one (or more if you’re especially ambitious) of these strategies to implement to before things pick back up in September.

1.) Adopt a modern marketing strategy.

Distill your customer/prospect interactions into digital form as often as possible. Whether it’s video, audio, written, or a combination of all three, modern digital marketing allows us to create a repository of content that will benefit your target customers WITHOUT you having to be present. This opportunity for leveraging your knowledge is the most significant shift in marketing that there has ever been.

2.) Create checklists to “know what success looks like.”

Why? You and I can work 24/7 since there’s no longer a definition of a proper work day. Without checklists, small business owners have a very, very hard time of knowing when they’re on-the-clock and when they’re not. Create a realistic daily checklist, and once you’re done, you can allow yourself to leave work feeling great.

3.) Create a “not doing” list.

In addition to the must-do checklist in #2, create a list of things you could be doing but chose not to do right now. Why? 2 reasons -

a.) It forces you to reconcile the best use of your time right now. By knowing what you’re not doing, you’re telling yourself that the things you ARE doing are the most important and high-value items.

b.) A “not doing” list helps assuage that gnawing feeling of “what am I forgetting?” Until you empty your head — so to speak — on a list, you’ll miss things.

4.) Use the checklists from #2 to create a series of systems for others to follow.

Think to yourself, “If I was a brand-new person working in my business, what would I need to do step-by-step to complete this task/project?” Why is this important? All of us are subject to the Curse of Knowledge; we know our businesses so well that we think to ourselves, “Doesn’t everyone know this?” Nope, they don’t. These step-by-step systems will prevent employee/contractor issues in the future since they’ll know what’s expected of them.

5.) Create a company organizational chart, but create the chart based on roles, and not on people.

Spell out each respective function in your business and — even if it’s currently just you — put the name of each person responsible for that function. For example, if one of your company’s roles is Accounts Payable, designate that role as a position on your organizational chart and write the person’s name. Why is this important? Most people don’t realize how many hats they’re wearing until it’s spelled out visually. When it’s time to grow, confidently hand the least-important roles to staff/contractors using the systems from #4 and checklists from #2.

What other ways have you created systems to help your business development efforts? What did I leave off of this list?

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