The Portrait of a Writer (1)

Wow, I came across fellow blogger Cristian Mihai today when he visited head in the clouds. What a talent! I love this post… The Portrait of a Writer. It’s very well written, and I wanted to share it with my readers.

Cristian Mihai

I began writing in my most vulnerable years. I was dumb and arrogant, as most teenagers seem to be, and I did my best to pour greatness into every sentence I wrote. But I was also lying to myself, writing about what I didn’t know, pretending to know, and I got caught and people could see that I wasn’t willing to let them in – I  was building this wall to protect my true self from anyone who would be searching for it behind my words. There was nothing that belonged to me in the stories I wrote.

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Social Media: What Do I Say? (Part 2)

In the last post, we discussed how to recycle quality content from other resources. As mentioned, this is a great way to continue to provide your fans and followers with compelling content while not bearing the load of always creating original content. It’s also a wonderful way to make connections on social media platforms and draw the attention of others.

Original Content
At some point, you will want to create original content as well. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds. There are several ways to quickly create engaging content to help draw your fans and followers into a conversation with you.

  • Successful case studies / testimonials — these are a great way to showcase what your business can do without saying so yourself. Customer testimonials or situations where you came through for a customer show other customers and prospects that you are a dependable business who will solve their challenges too. Check with customers before sharing specific information, such as their client names, order amounts or details of a project that may include proprietary business practices, etc.
  •  This / that questions — ask a question with two answers — this or that. For example, you see two new products at a tradeshow. Post pictures of both and ask your fans or followers whether they prefer product A or product B. It’s a great way to engage your fans and also garner feedback on what they like.
  • Pictures / videos — images are such a powerful way to break through the sea of text online and help to establish a human connection with your followers. Post pictures of your building, yourself with clients, product testing, at shows, etc. Don’t be afraid to mix in personal ones as well!
  • Quotes — inspiring or positive quotes can be a great way to make people smile and catch their attention. Quotes are often highly shared or retweeted, so they’re a great way to grow your follower base.

Don’t get overwhelmed with producing fresh content and stop updating your social media in fear of posting the wrong thing. Just use common sense when posting, and don’t be afraid to mix personal in with business. Yes, you have to be careful, but it’s a great way to show the person or people behind your business. Always remember…

People do business with people, not businesses.

They want to know who you are, what your hobbies are and the connections they have with you. Social media is a fantastic way to truly get social, and bring a human touch online and off.

Do you have other ideas on creating original content for social media? Please share in the comments. I would love to hear about them!

Jaime

Social Media: What Do I Say?

While hosting a series of interactive sessions on social media, the #1 question I received was about content. (Most) attendees understood the value of social media to their businesses, how these platforms could increase their search engine optimization and really help them develop relationships with customers, prospects and partners. “But what do I say?” is always what we circled back to.

Recycled Content
The good news is that you don’t have to necessarily create all of the content you’ll use. There are a plethora of great information sources available, depending on the type of content your audience is interested in. Not sure? Following are some great places to start recycling content for your social media platforms.

  • Your blog and/or website — fresh, interesting content ready made to push out to your networks!
  • Industry organization trade journals, websites, blogs, etc. — the leaders in your industry are probably putting out some great content, so reuse it. You’ll have content to share to your followers and fans while helping these organizations gain greater reach as well. [Note: make sure anything that you share is appropriate for your customers.]
  • Mashable — if your customers are on social media, chances are they are interested in it and technology in general. This is a leading site in these areas that generates interesting content daily.
  • Share other social media users’ content – find companies or individuals that provide compelling content and follow or like them. You’ll be able to share or retweet their information from your timeline or Twitter stream so it goes out to your followers or fans as well. Sharing or retweeting content is a great way to establish connections or be noticed by others on social media. Remember to thank those who are gracious enough to share your information.

Do you have other favorite sources for recycled content? Please share! We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Coming on Thursday… Social Media: What Do I Say? (Part 2) focusing on original content creation.

Jaime

Sports & Leisure: Scoring Points and Creating Fans

sports fans

Fun times at the Kentucky Derby!

It’s no surprise that fan is the root of fanatic. People are passionate about their sports teams, so why not make your brand an integral part? From game day giveaways to local team tie-ins, you can elicit as much passion about your company as the home team.

Becoming a part of game day is a great way to get involved with the local community. Brand popular giveaways, such as noisemakers, signs, stadium cups or lanyards, to hand out at the gate or pre-game tailgating events. Help fans become the 12th man by giving away branded rally towels or shirts to create a ‘black-out’ effect – a sea of black across the stands (or use any team color). Shoot t-shirts with your company’s message into the stands during stops in the action to keep the passion and energy high.

Not going to the game? Bring the excitement into the office. Make your employees the MVPs of a celebration honoring the local sports team or a season kickoff, complete with branded giveaways and merchandise. Pair this special day with a cook-off or potluck to foster team spirit and company pride within your organization. Reward winners or all participants with prizes to acknowledge their efforts. Giving branded merchandise to employees that they’ll use outside of work is an unobtrusive way to spread your message and potentially generate new business.

Don’t limit creating fans of your company to the field or the office. Branching out into leisure time activities is an easy way to build rapport with potential customers, who are everywhere – shopping at stores, strolling parks, attending community festivals, etc. Sponsor teams or leagues, donate branded giveaways for fairs or partner with fellow local companies to create programs that will benefit the community and generate goodwill about your company at the same time. For example, a casual healthy eating restaurant could partner with a fitness center to promote healthy living. Both companies promote the program (and each other) by offering discounted products and services (15% off a fitness center registration with a receipt from the restaurant), helpful information (healthy living tips) and rewards to encourage participation (a free ‘healthy eating set’ after working out at the fitness center 10 times). Not only does partnering with other companies help promote your organization, it can also help with advertising costs. Split the cost of co-branded merchandise, so it’s a winning situation for both companies and the community.

Don’t forget the face paint…

Jaime