Perfecting the Balance of Content on Social Media

So you have your social media strategy in place and it’s time to create the editorial calendar. While your business might have a lot of events or company news coming up, finding the perfect balance between news, business and personality is crucial in order to really engage your audience. Still a little confused? Follow along as I give you a run-down on how to create the perfect social media content balance that will wow your fans and keep them coming back for more.

50 Percent News

The truth is, people love to be in the know as far as what’s happening in the news. Depending on the industry you’re in, use each morning as an opportunity to follow any developing stories in the news. Search for specific keywords that relate to your industry that hone in on what your readers would be interested in reading.

The key to posting news articles on social media is to create a captivating sentence that will grab people’s attention. Next, make sure you include the full URL in the body of your post, so users know exactly where they’re being directed to when they click on the link. Finally, it’s always beneficial to include an image or video with news articles as opposed to just letting the link post below.

30 Percent Personality

Both users and search engines like to know there are humans behind a brand. Some great examples of brands with personality on social media include Taco Bell, Oreo and Dunkin’ Donuts. If you look at their Facebook pages, you’ll notice that they focus their content on the fans, which in turn has allowed them to really connect with them on another level.

While all three of these brands still focus on their branding, it’s in a personable and fun way where users can grow an emotional attachment to the brand. This is done by asking users personal questions, responding in a timely manner and wording content specifically to entertain users.

20 Percent Business

Of course with any business you need to spend some of your time promoting your brand on social media. While this should be the least of your focus, find creative and subtle ways to promote your business with insider pictures of your staff on your weekly outings, what’s happening in the office or even sneak peeks of new products or services that are rolling out soon in an effort to generate awareness and excitement. People might not be favorable of this type of posting on a daily basis, but when you balance it out with industry news and genuine personality, fans will eat this type of business information up!

When it comes down to it, having the perfect balance of content on social media is like having that perfect ratio of both peanut butter and jelly on a sandwich. Too much of one ingredient can be a recipe for disaster, but if you balance each ingredient properly, you’ll understand how so many brands have found success with their strategic social media campaigns.

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Technology Then and Now – A Look Back at The 90′s

Believe it or not, there was a time before the iPhone, Facebook and Twitter existed. In fact, there was even a time before YouTube, Instagram and even Pinterest! As hard as it is to remember what it was like 15-20 years ago, each of these technologies and social media networks we use every day were something else in our lives. Since I love the 90′s (as everyone else should) and love to reminisce, I think it’s time to take a trip down memory lane and remember what life and social media was like back then!

Before YouTube…

ha ha ARGHCan you remember what you used to watch for entertainment before YouTube? If you guessed TV programs such as America’s Funniest Home Videos, you were right! This television show from the 90′s had everything that YouTube has, well except for an awesomely geeky host – Bob Saget. Whether it was a funny home video of babies, puppies falling asleep on camera or grandparents falling down, you could always count on this show for a good laugh, very much like you can now count on YouTube for one.

Before Facebook…

el camino highschool reunion (rented Lambo in foreground)Long before Facebook existed, people had to connect and reconnect on a different level. This was generally in person, at reunions or school, or anywhere else in public. In the 90′s, we didn’t have the distractions of constant Facebook updates to look at, we received a phone call if someone wanted to tell us they got engaged and everyone’s lives were far more private than they are today.

Before the iPhone…

payphoneLong before the iPhone was mainstream and even before cellphones were a must have for every age, young and old, people communicated in different ways. Yes, that’s right, people used their house phones and pay phones to make calls. I would have to admit this is among the most challenging technologies to remember life without – mainly because people, including myself, have grown to be so attached to their cellphones that living without one again is not even an option.

Before Instagram…

Disposable Camera SwapI’m going to take a trip down my very own personal memory lane, to the times when I used to be obsessed with taking photographs at school – on field trips, during school lunch and whenever else I could sneak pictures in with my friends. Rather than snapping a picture and uploading it to Instagram for the world to see, I would have to take my film out of my awesome camera (not even digital yet, mind you) and bring it to the local store to get developed. After an hour wait, I would finally get to look back at my pictures and decide whether or not they were worth scanning to put in an online photo album for friends to see. Growing up to see the world of photography be transformed into something so quick and instant has really been among my favorite changes to see, especially with the quality of photography changing dramatically as well. But to think… an hour wait to get pictures developed? Ha!

Before Twitter…

Newspaper sea blueBefore Twitter existed and everyone received their news in 140 character tweets, the world had to wait until journalists published stories in the paper to hear about what was happening in the news. While now most of us jump on Twitter and keep pressing refresh for constant updates on an event, tragedy or disaster, prior to Twitter and social media sites, TV, radio and newspapers were the only three outlets to receive news, which made it difficult to get frequent updates on what was happening in the world.

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Social Media 101 for College Graduates

someecards.com - Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and find out their profile is public, I'm like a kid in a candy store. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!Ah graduation season. The best time in a young person’s life; between leaving a place of independence and stepping into the real world for your first chance at building your professional career. While many college students are currently preparing for the real world at this point (hopefully), most seniors are more focused on acing their final exams before graduation as opposed to cleaning up their act in the online world.

So, what’s the problem here? Well… since just about everyone has an online history, that means that everything you’ve done, especially in the past four years in college, is probably readily available with a simple Google search. Before beginning your full-time job search, here are some critical steps you need to take in order to clean up your online presence.

Understand your privacy settings

The first key step to preparing your online presence for the professional world is to have a good understanding of what your privacy settings are. Not only are there a variety of settings on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but you need to think back to any profile you’ve created online throughout your entire life. While that might be a hard task to tackle, it needs to be done.

Another important tactic when changing your privacy settings is to make sure you don’t completely block out anyone from seeing anything about you. It’s important to find that happy medium between showing just enough about you for potential employers to see but not everything. Employers like to see that you’re involved in social media and have a positive presence, but we don’t want to see anything inappropriate that could show bad judgement. Keep it classy and find your happy medium.

Make appropriate updates to your profiles

Once you’re about to graduate from college, I would hope that you have a composed resume ready to go. With that said, everything that’s written on your resume should also be reflected in your online profiles. From your age to where you’re graduating from, make sure that your profiles are fully updated. By having social media, it’s also a great way to endorse your skills. Whether you’re a designer and upload images often or you’re a talented writer and like to share your latest blog posts, use this to your advantage!

Be aware of your content

The most important thing I learned in my senior year of college was to be extremely cautious of what I was posting to my social media channels. Not only is it important to monitor what friends are posting about you, but you also need to be aware of your tone in the content you’re posting. I hate to break it to you, but employers don’t want to see you complaining about how much you don’t feel like studying for your next exam or worse, how difficult it is for you to work on a group project. Think of it in terms of the professional world. Would you want to hire someone who complains about having to work hard or work with others? The answer is no, so don’t portray yourself that way.

Change profile pictures

You might love your sorority sisters to death, but once you start job searching, it’s probably a good idea to change your profile picture to one of just you. Having a profile picture of just yourself will help curious employers identify who you are, as opposed to trying to guess from a group of people. If you don’t have any pictures of yourself that you think would be appropriate for the professional world, have a roommate or family member take a picture of you.

The Internet is an amazing place, and as hard as it is to believe that employers are actually looking for you online, it’s happening. With that said, it’s time to stop pretending that you’re invisible online and start realizing how much about you is lurking out there in your online portfolio. Finally, congratulations to all those graduating in 2013 and good luck!

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Your Brand and the New Google+ Cover Photos

If you’re not on Google+ yet, you should be. If you recall in a previous article, I mentioned the reasons why Google+ is an important social media network to be on in 2013, and with recent changes to their platform, there’s no better time than now to jump in. One of the most recent changes you might notice is the increased size of cover photos on profile and business pages. Rather than the previous 180 px cover photo size, they are now sized at 2120 x 1192. While this dramatic size change is forcing brands to replace their old images with new ones, finding the perfect image to fill this rather large space is important for your brand. Make the most of your Google+ cover photo by following the tips below.

Show off your company

As a consumer, when you’re looking to use or purchase from a company or business, what’s important to you? When it comes to their online presence, people love to see businesses that are active on social media who show their personalities through content and visuals. Personally, when I see a company promoting employee satisfaction and showcases a positive working environment, it correlates to a higher level of trust with the brand.

This is why the new Google+ cover photo size is perfect for showcasing your employees. Whether it’s a team picture with everyone wearing the same t-shirts or a goofy picture showing a peek of the brand culture, use this cover photo to paint a positive image of your company and the people who work there.

Highlight services or products

Another great option when coming up with ideas for your newly sized Google+ cover photo is to highlight the products or services that your company offers. This is a perfect opportunity to draw attention to something your company is most proud of or the newest product you’re currently working to promote. It doesn’t have to be a single product either. A personal favorite of mine to follow on Google+ is Taco Bell who kills it with their social media marketing, especially when they have a new menu item coming out, such as the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco.

Announcements

Because the new cover photo is so large, brands have the opportunity to really get creative with imagery. Teasers and announcements are some of the best ways to make use of this additional space, especially if you need to include a short message or tag line. Announcing something visually is perfect for anything from an upcoming album release, new product introduction or even a highly anticipated event announcement. If this is the route you plan on taking, just be careful of one thing – once your event or announcement is over, don’t forget to take down the image and replace it with something more relevant and timely.

Brands that take advantage of the massive real estate space that Google+ now offers in their profiles are definitely doing it right, and it’s evident with their fan base. As Google+ is growing at a rapid pace, being ahead of the curve is going to help you succeed in your efforts to engage and interact with your target audience and demographic. By following the tips above, you have a fighting chance to have a seriously awesome Google+ profile. Remember to be creative, be relevant and showcase your company as positively as you can and you’ll see the positives that can result from it.

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