Executive Social Media Training Workshop: What Every Executive NEEDS to Know About Social Media

Executive-SM-Workshop

We recently ran a workshop for executives on social media marketing. Most of the executives in our training program were older and weren’t actively using social media. They are busy.

They know that their friends and family are using social media, but they don’t have a big interest in it personally.

They do, however, realize that social media is changing business.

They may not want to use it for themselves, but they need to understand how it impacts their business.

Here are some key insights for executives about how social media is changing business.

1) Everyone is on it.

While you may not use social media, your employees, suppliers, customers, investors, prospects, media, board of directors and every other stakeholder is probably using social media in some way. This means that you can’t afford to ignore it. It is here, it is real and it is big (and growing). Since it is so broadly used you need to understand the implications throughout your business.

2) Marketing should include social media (and it probably has a better ROI).

Almost all marketing plans now include some consideration of social media (or at least online marketing). If you aren’t taking advantage of social media as a marketing strategy you are missing out – over 90% of businesses use social media for marketing. Your marketing plans should definitely include social media – it is the #1 online activity of adults and it is one of the top things we do with our phones. Marketing is an eyeballs game, and the eyeballs are on social media.

3) Social media touches every aspect of your business.

Social media isn’t just about marketing strategies – it impacts all aspects of your business… it should be a part of your strategy for a few business areas including:

  • Customer service
  • Recruiting
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • PR
  • Research & Development

4) Data and targeting capabilities are HUGE.

Most executives are SHOCKED to discover the targeting advertising opportunities on social media. It will blow your mind. You can target more accurately on social than on any other medium. Check out the behavior and retargeting opportunities – these can be game changers for your business.

5) It isn’t going away and it isn’t a moving target.

There is still an impression that social media is constantly changing so investing in it may be a poor choice since the target is always moving. This just isn’t true. I’ve done social media since 2007 and the fundamentals are the same. Why? Because people don’t change. Social media doesn’t change as frequently or as quickly as people think. Set the right strategy and your plan will be future proofed.

Find out more about customized executive training.

It Isn’t Digital Marketing. It’s Marketing in a Digital World.

Marketing-in-a-Digital-World

People often talk about digital marketing as though it is a silo – different from the rest of marketing. They think in terms of channels when building a marketing plan – building the plan for television, print, radio and then of course digital.

The challenge is that we aren’t doing traditional marketing and digital marketing. We are marketing in a world that is digital.

People spend more time on their phone than watching television.

We look at our phone within 15 minutes of waking up.

We use devices to solve almost any problem, do research and find information.

The world we live in is digital and you are simply marketing in it.

What this means for marketers is that we need to first think of the problem we are trying to solve and then think about the tools that will best solve it. The tools should match how people are influenced and how they make decisions.

Social Media Tip 06242015Rather than thinking about marketing in channels and silos we should think about marketing as trying to solve problems and determine the most effective way to solve those problems.

Digital should be a part of every strategy upfront, because it is probably the largest medium influencing purchasing behavior. People don’t think in terms of channels. They don’t really think at all about your marketing – most of it happens subconsciously.

When you build your marketing strategy, don’t think in terms of digital marketing versus traditional marketing. Think about the problem you are trying to solve and the touch points that you can use to solve it. Consider where your audience spends their time and meet them there.

How to Improve Your Digital Marketing Skills in 2016

How-to-Improve-Your-DM-Skills

Business professionals and marketers need to keep their skills sharp, now more than ever. As digital marketing is constantly evolving, it is vital to continue to learn.

But how do you stay up to date on the changes? How do you keep your skills sharp?

It sometimes seems overwhelming to stay on top of digital marketing, but the reality is that it isn’t as difficult as you think.

With a small investment of your time and $$ you can keep your skills sharp. Make the time to invest in yourself. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing, that we forget the importance of learning and practicing. Prioritize investing in yourself and your skills or you’ll quickly find that your skills are stale and out-of-date.

Here are a few simple things that you can do to keep your skills sharp (and improve them) in 2016:

1) Attend a digital marketing conference.

Seriously. Attend a digital marketing conference. This is where you’ll learn from experts and expand your knowledge base. Conferences get you energized, allow you to network with other smart people and get the latest on industry trends, tools, strategies and approaches.

2) Read a few books.

Read a few good books about digital marketing topics that you want to learn more about. Books tend to go into more depth than blog posts and are usually based on facts, data and research vs. opinions. Since publishing times are long most books aren’t going to be good resources for breaking news or trending topics, but they are good for digging into an area that you want to improve your knowledge around.

3) Subscribe to some blogs.

Choose A FEW blogs and subscribe to the RSS feed. Make it a priority to read a few blog posts or trade publications at least every other day. This will keep you up to date on new content and give you quick posts on new topics.

4) Attend a training.

Formal training is great because it provides structure around learning something new. It is usually more comprehensive versus a conference or blog post, meaning that you’ll learn a topic from start to finish. Digital Marketing Training is a great way to continue to advance your skills. I teach a 4 Day Digital Marketing Boot Camp and I learn at least 10 new things every time I teach the course, plus I have a long list of things that I can improve upon.

5) Follow great social media accounts

If you are already using social media personally try following some professional content. I get my best news from social media and enjoy seeing a mix of personal and professional content in my streams. Follow a few accounts to get breaking news and inspiration in your social media news feeds.

Who Cares What the Next Big Thing is in Social Media?

Who-Cares-Blog

People often ask this question – “What is the next ‘big thing’ in social media?”

The question is usually asked by marketers or social media marketers who are hoping to gain insights that will allow them to beat their competition to the next big site. The idea is that by getting in early they’ll have an advantage over competitors.

Trying to choose the next big thing is a big waste of time.

Why?

You are Guessing

First, you don’t actually know that this next big thing will actually be worth your time. Remember Ello? Or brands on Vine? Or even Google+? Trying to determine the next big thing is a gamble and you may waste valuable time and resources trying to get in early.

Nobody is There Yet

You don’t need to beat your audience to a social network – you want to meet them there. If you get on a network too early, chances are that you won’t get any real ROI because your customers are not using it yet. Meet your customers, don’t beat them.

Your Biggest Opportunity is Optimization

This is my primary issue. Your biggest opportunity is optimization of your existing social networks. The largest social networks – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. – are where your biggest and most obvious opportunities exist. If you have already nailed them, have optimized your content and are getting results then maybe move on to something new. For example, Pure Michigan is one of the top global tourism boards on social media and has a tremendous presence on the big sites. It makes sense for them to experiment with SnapChat and other tools.

Most of us will get bigger bang for our buck by optimizing what we are already doing.

Don’t get sucked in with shiny objects and jump on every new network. You’ll waste considerable time and resources. Focus on the big places where you can really play to win and get in front of your customers.

3 Tools to Streamline Your Social Media (You’d Be Surprised What’s Worked for Us!)

Last week, Boot Camp Digital hosted a social media lunch and learn class in Cincinnati called “10 Tools to Streamline Your Social Media.” I was able to sit in on the class in which Krista shared some of Boot Camp Digital’s favorite secrets to getting a successful Return on Investment from social media. The best part about the class was that most of the tools Krista shared were unique tools that you would probably never even think of!

While I’d love to share all 10 Tools, and the bonuses, that Krista focused in on, we unfortunately can’t give it all away! But I will share 3 of the tools in the hopes that you will benefit from them in your own marketing efforts! If you’re looking for more explicit training on some of the most popular social networks, like Pinterest or Facebook, you can check out our 90-minute social media online training programs.

#1: Tweet Reach: Ever feel like you’re spending hours of your time trying to find the right way to market on Twitter? Tweet Reach will help you figure out what’s working and what’s not, so you can stop wasting time tweeting things that are having no effect on your target audience. It shows you the number of impressions you’ve made, how many accounts you’ve reached, how many Retweets you received, and more! Definitely check out this awesome website if you’re looking to optimize Twitter for your business.

#2: SlideShare and Scribd: According to Krista, “these are the two sites I love the most in social media right now.” SlideShare allows you to share PowerPoint presentations you’ve given, and due to the popularity of the site, you can easily use it to show others that you are an expert in your field. Scribd is primarily for sharing PDFs (whether it’s a free report or a how-to guide, etc) but you can also share slideshows through that. Be sure to use keywords in your titles to optimize your presentations and help with the SEO of your business or brand.

#3: Rapportive: This is an amazing plug-in for G-Mail. I can personally attest to the fact that it is AWESOME. Basically, when you open an e-mail between yourself and someone else, Rapportive will pull up said person’s social media accounts in the side bar. So if you’re emailing with a new colleague or someone you met at a networking event, you can immediately connect with them on LinkedIn, Twitter, or whatever other site they’re willing to share… without even leaving your G-Mail page! You will quickly become the ultimate social networking ninja. *Sword not included.

So although I couldn’t share all of our secrets with you, these three tools should get you on the right track to making the most out of your social media efforts!

Keep in mind that our upcoming online Pinterest training program is guaranteed to teach you not only how to navigate the explosive site, but how to optimize it and get the most out of your marketing efforts. You can also check out our Google+ for Business online training if you’re looking to get ahead of your competitors and learn how to market your business or brand to Google+’s 250 MILLION users!

Happy networking!

Cincinnati Social Media Seminar – Social Media Planning for 2012

We are so excited to invite business professionals to our final Social Media Lunch Session this year on December 16th, 2011!  This time we’ll be talking about the most popular social media trends heading into 2012.

  • Have you set new goals for your social media strategy in 2012?
  • Are there any new tools on the market that you need to consider?
  • What are the most important stats and updates in social media that you should be aware of before the new year comes?

This session will cover:

This social media training will cover the biggest and most important changes and shifts from 2011 as well as trends to look for in 2012.

  • The key trends to be aware of as you plan for 2012
  • Key tools that can help your social media in 2012
  • How to set goals and objectives for your social media plan
  • Trends to watch in 2012
  • How to build a social media plan
  • BONUS: As an extra bonus you will receive a planning template for your 2012 social media plan

This session will cover EVERYTHING YOU NEED to get started planning for 2012 and the BIG TRENDS TO WATCH AND PLAN FOR.

Details about this Social Media Lunch Session:

  • Topic: Social Media Planning for 2012  ***REGISTER NOW!
  • Date: December 16, 2011
  • Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
  • Investment: $27 ***Lunch is included!
  • Special Offer: Buy 4 Lunches Get 1 FREE
  • Location: Boot Camp Digital,  1600 Main Street, M1, Cincinnati OH, 45202

Social media is constantly changing and brining new tools and online marketing solutions to businesses.  As a result businesses that are looking to grow, not only need to keep up with new changes, but also have to stay ahead of the curve on social media.  The goal of this Social Media Lunch Session is to provide business owners, marketing professionals, ad agencies and other business managers with the latest updates in this quickly changing environment.

Lunch Value:

  • Educational presentation
  • Case studies/Examples
  • Q&A
  • FEE lunch
  • Networking opportunities with other business professionals interested in Social Media

Social Media continues to evolve and what used to work just a year ago might have a very small effect today.  Each new tool, new service or new concept in social media opens up new opportunities for marketing your business. During this social media training program we will explore the most important social media trends in 2012 and what they mean for your company.  We’ll also provide you with a template for your social media marketing plan!” says Krista Neher, Boot Camp Digital CEO.

 HURRY UP!  Register NOW!

20 Ways to Utilize LinkedIn to Help Your Business

LinkedIn is a very valuable business resource.  By utilizing LinkedIn in your marketing strategy you open up a lot of new opportunities like driving traffic to your website, online lead generation, connecting with your clients and building an online community around your brand.  As obvious as it could be to some professionals how they should present their company on LinkedIn there is still a big number of companies on the market who completely ignore social media tools because they are unsure of how to utilize such powerful resource like LinkedIn in order to grow their online visibility and build better relationships with clients.

Below is a list of 20 ways to promote your business on LinkedIn.

1. Create a company page filled with important information about your business, products and services.

2. Make sure the top employees of your company are present on LinkedIn and are linking to your company’s website and LinkedIn company page through their page.

3. Include pictures of your products and services as well as a photo on your personal profile.  Show real faces behind the brand.

4. Demonstrate the key characteristics of your products by adding video on your company’s LinkedIn page.

5. Connect your LinkedIn company page to your Twitter account and company’s blog for cross-promotion of your tweets, new blog post and other company news feeds.

6. Share your industry knowledge by answering a question posted in LinkedIn Question & Answers.

7. Join LinkedIn groups relevant to your industry and participate in conversations – this will help you grow your network as well as introduce yourself as an expert in your field.

8. Don’t be shy to ask your clients to provide testimonials for your products and services on your LinkedIn company page.  This will help you build trust in your brand throughout the online community.

9. Promote your social media channel by adding LinkedIn icon (with URL) to your email signature, brochures, flyers and other marketing materials.

10. LinkedIn is a great tool for market research.  Use it for testing your new products or analyzing your competitors.  It can help you improve your marketing strategy by utilizing the information you find.

11. Showcase your company’s portfolio by adding a presentation to your personal LinkedIn account.

12. Share valuable information about your company and interesting industry articles.

13. Occasionally post special promotions, deals and discounts for your products and services.

14. LinkedIn is a perfect place to find new talent for your organization.  Use the opportunity and post all new job listings on your company LinkedIn page.

15. Check your contacts and their connections, see if it would be beneficial to network with some of them.  Ask your contacts for an introduction.

16. When meet somebody interesting in real life, take a moment and connect with them on LinkedIn in order to stay in touch and expand your network.

17. Want to get more followers on LinkedIn?  Add a “Follow us on LinkeIn” button to your company website.

18. Experiment with a targeted LinkedIn Ad campaign.  You can customize it by selecting industry, company size, region and many other characteristics that describe your target audience.

19. Creating a company-branded LinkedIn group for your clients and partners where you can generate industry discussions can be very beneficial for your business and help expand your brand awareness.

20. Be active on LinkedIn to showcase your personality, demonstrate your expertise and with all this – promote your company.  Check in on your LinkedIn account on a regular basis to answer questions, see what’s going on and participate in discussion groups.

Do you have any other tips on how to promote your company on LinkedIn?  Feel free to share them with us!

Mariya Newman

Follow me on Twitter (@MariyaNewman) and add me on LinkedIn!

 

Social Media Strategy: Lead Retention

It’s one thing to generate new leads, it’s entirely another to retain those leads after their first experience with your internet marketing efforts.  Most consumers do not purchase a product or believe in a brand after just one visit to a company’s website or social media page.  Often it takes several visits from a potential consumer for them to feel comfortable and interested in your product or service.  While social media is a great way to generate new leads for your organization, the real objective is to build a long term loyal customer base.  If your social media sites are all about promotion and not about education, your lead retention is likely to be low.

Here are 3 tips in creating social media sites that not only attract new leads, but also ensure they will be back for more.

1.  Don’t Over Promote Your Products or Services

  • There is only so much product promotion that any of us can take and we usually only take it if we have to.
  • Consumers are not driven by promotional content, they are driven to find solutions to satisfy their needs.
  • Consumers do not seek out promotional content on purpose.
  • Web and social media sites that only promote how great their products are offer limited reasons for a consumer to need or want to revisit their sites.

2.  Create Learning Opportunities Through Educational Content

  • If consumers learn something valuable to them while surfing your sites, they are likely to come back for more information in the future.
  • Educational content gives you the opportunity to show off your market expertise and build credibility. Consumers like to buy from companies who know what they are talking about.
  • Educational content helps with SEO (search engine optimization).  Ask yourself how many times you have searched the internet for the answer to a question.
  • Learning about how or why something works is much more interesting and verifiable than reading why a product is the best when stated by the company who is trying to sell it.

3.  Collect and Publish Reviews of Your Products On All of Your Sites

  • Consumers trust reviews from other consumers more than anyone else recommending a product.
  • Reviews and testimonials allow prospective consumers to feel confident and educated when purchasing your product.
  • Bad reviews afford you the opportunity to correct problems that your consumers are having and showcase your attention to the consumers wishes.
  • If your sites offer objective reviews of your products, then your consumers are less inclined to leave your site and look for reviews elsewhere.

The best type of business is repeat business.  Repeat customers are showing brand loyalty and likely doing so because they feel some positive result after purchasing your product or service.  Repeat customers are also more likely to share their positive experience with other consumers.  The same holds true for retaining leads on web and social media sites.  If you offer content that is helpful and interesting to your leads, they are likely to feel positive as a result of interacting with your sites and will often be back for more.  The main goal for any of us in social media marketing is to increase high quality traffic to our different sites and convert that traffic into business.  It is easy when establishing social media content to instinctively promote our product repeatedly to show how great our company is and why people should do business with us.  However a quick analysis of our own buying patterns reminds us that we do not usually buy a product or service because the company selling it told us how great it is.  Instead we put value in companies that help us understand how to use their product, answer questions we have, share interesting information with us and tell us exactly what other consumers think about their product.

Creating content that educates, informs and explains is much more likely to foster repeat visitors than content that promotes, promotes and promotes.

What do you think?  Share with us company websites that you visit on a regular basis and why you continue to go back to them.

Mariya Newman

Follow me on Twitter (@MariyaNewman) and add me on LinkedIn!

 

Social Media for Realtors: 3 Ways Social Media Can Help

84% of Real Estate Agents are using Social Media.  So, how does one stand out from this crowd and attract more clients?  Here are 3 key ideas on how to use Social Media to promote yourself as a great realtor without overselling.

Build Relationships Online

Use social media as a networking event where you can meet new people, participate in conversations and share some information about yourself.  After creating several accounts on social media websites make sure to keep them up to date and engage your audience.  By interacting with your community and providing useful information you have a good chance to create online credibility and be noticed.  According to the National Association of Realtors, last year 89% of homebuyers looked up their houses online before contacting an agent and only 45% attended open houses.

With social media you will build better relationships with your potential clients before they even meet you in real life.

Share Good Quality Content

A common mistake for most realtors is using new listings as a main topic for their social media interaction.  Spamming your audience and advertising yourself non-stop are not going to get you anywhere.  Focus on engaging your customers with industry news and expert advice.  Let good quality content be the main part of your social activity and you can naturally promote yourself by adding occasional listings.

A great way to establish yourself as an expert in your community is to participate in groups and conversations on Facebook and LinkedIn by answering somebody’s questions about real estate and sharing your opinion.

Be Creative in Showcasing Your Listings

Social media is a perfect tool to inform people about new listings and showcase properties.  There are a lot of ways to be creative and not annoying in doing that.  Homebuyers are actively surfing the Web to find their dream house.  Video allows realtors to show off properties and get the buyers interested before they ever visit a listing.  Social media sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook make it quick and easy to post videos giving your potential buyers the preview they are looking for.  According to ifographic from Mashable (see below) 73% of homeowners say they are more likely to list with a realtor who will make a video about their selling property.

Below is an infographic form Mashable on social media use in the real estate industry.

Check out these interesting statistics and share with me how you use social media in your real estate practice!

Mariya Newman

Follow me on Twitter (@MariyaNewman) and add me on LinkedIn!

 

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