Tag: Content Marketing

#PlanYourBusiness – The Benefits of Themes (Daily, Weekly, Monthly)

Keeping marketing materials fresh can be a challenge. When it comes to social media, it can be all the more difficult since the landscape changes rapidly. Nevertheless, it’s essential that your content stays on-brand, relevant and timely. While that may sound like a tall order, there is a way to simplify the task of developing content — creating themes.

When you design a series of themes to use on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, you provide yourself with a framework for your content. This enables you to focus on specific topics and to spread that focus across all the platforms you use. Focusing on specific themes can help jump-start your creative juices.

Before you start to develop a series of themes, remember that the most effective social media is consistent, engaging, and authentic. That means that your themes should work together with your entire business objective. It also means that you need to know who your audience is and what type of information will be most useful to them.

Before you start, take a quick inventory of:

  • Your audience: If you don’t know who your audience is then this is a great time to find out. Even the best content will miss the mark if it doesn’t target the right group.
  • What your goals and objectives are: For your content to be consistent and authentic, it needs to fit in with your overall messaging.
  • What tools you will use: Knowing how you will develop your content can help guide you in selecting themes that you can execute. It can also help you develop a plan for how to go about the job of actually creating the content.
  • What platforms you take advantage of: Each platform has unique requirements. Understanding how you will present the content can help you work more efficiently.
  • What your budget is: It doesn’t do much good to create a list of daily themes if you don’t have the resources to produce daily content. Be realistic about what your limitations are. Remember that you want consistency. If you only have time to post monthly, then be honest and open about it.

What themes are best for you will depend on your audience, your business, and your resources. Regardless of what your constraints are, focused themes can provide a valuable framework for developing your social media; they can jump-start your creativity and help you fully utilize each platform.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#PlanYourBusiness – Building Your 2019 Content Calendar

As we say goodbye to one year and wave hello to a shiny, fresh new one, it’s a great time to set about taming our wild and wooly world of social media. The best way to do that is by spending some quality time putting together our content calendar. If you are dreading this task, don’t!

Spending time now to create a comprehensive editorial content calendar will save you hours throughout the year and help you avoid those awkward moments spent staring at a blank screen looking for inspiration.

To get started on creating a comprehensive content calendar, take a few minutes to map out your strategy (yes, you are creating a plan to create a plan). Here five essential elements you should consider:

Your Audience

As a social media marketer, you know that it is critical that your content be consistent and authentic. To ensure that, you need to know who you are writing for. If you don’t know your audience take the time to find out more about them right now.

Your Goals and Objectives

Here’s that word “consistent” again. Your social media content should carry the same message that the rest of your content does and be consistent with your overall goals and objectives.

Your Timing

Should you post on a daily, weekly, monthly basis? That depends on what you want to achieve and how much time you can afford to spend, but it is something you should determine with a strategy in mind. Otherwise, you risk ending up with a haphazard approach.

Your Resources

Most of us have limitations on money, staff, and time. Balance your social media needs with the rest of the needs of your business and determine what your priorities are.

Your Platforms

Whether you use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other platforms is something you need to determine. Each platform has its strengths and weaknesses and is better suited to various populations and purposes. You may not need to be using all of these. Consider your audience and your resources and determine which is best for you.

Social media is a useful and powerful marketing tool but, left untamed, it presents an unpredictable set of challenges. You can (and should) control how you manage it. Dedicating a bit of time up front can save you a great deal of time down the road and ensure that you are not wasting your time.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#BePrepared – Don’t Steal Images Off Google!

We’ve all been there. A quick Google search and the perfect photo pops up. A couple of quick keystrokes and it’s all yours. Your troubles are over. But are they? No, in fact, post that picture and your problems may just be beginning. Using a photo that is protected by copyright without permission is stealing. So, before you “borrow that photo” consider the following.

  • Taking photos that don’t belong to you is not a victimless crime. Stealing a picture hurts the artist and deprives him or her of the royalties to which they are due. Remember, even though photographers may love what they do, it’s still a job and how they earn a living. Artists deserve to be paid for their work.
  • It can cost you. If you “borrow” a photo and you get called on it you are subject to fines. Sure, having that picture solves a problem but is it worth it if you end up having to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for it? Sometimes a copyright owner will be kind and simply send you a cease and desist letter. However, they don’t have to warn you first. They can simply send you a fine for illegally breaking copyright laws.
  • You don’t need to steal photos. There are many pay per use stock photo sites that charge a reasonable price for the pictures they carry. You can find some amazing images and pay their creator for the right to use them.
  • Free stock photography is a great option. Luckily, pay sites aren’t your only option. There are plenty of free stock photo collections you can take advantage of. Let’s talk about three of the best.
  1. Canva – You may only know Canva as a powerful graphic design tool. In addition to being an excellent site for creating fliers, collages, and infographics, Canva has a substantial library of free stock photos that can be used for both personal and commercial use. Plus, if you use the tool to create your designs, using the photos within the site is quick and easy.
  2. Pixabay – This site has over 1.5 million royalty free stock photos, and some videos, shared by their community of artists. They are public domain without licensing restrictions so you can feel comfortable using them for your business needs.
  3. Unsplash – Similar to Pixabay, Unsplash has a large catalog of royalty free images gifted by their community of photographers. While Pixabay is a great tool if you are seeking specific photos for a project, Unsplash has beautiful images fantastic for attention-grabbing designs.

Without a doubt, finding free stock photography that is high quality and right for your specific needs can be a challenge, and it is always tempting to take the easy way out and grab something that you find through a Google search. There are tools that photographers use to track their images online and, eventually, your actions will be uncovered. This happens nearly daily. There are many small business owners that aren’t even aware that what they are doing is illegal. Be aware and educated. There are plenty of legal alternatives and doing the right thing will save you a headache, and money, in the long run.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#FreshContent – Monthly Themes for Your Content

A key challenge for social media managers is keeping the creative juices flowing. Even the most imaginative content developer can get caught in a rut from time to time. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid finding yourself stuck. One great technique is to set a monthly theme for your content.

The beauty of themes is that they provide you with a framework for your content and can help you narrow your focus. Even if even if you have no shortage of ideas, themes can help you stay on track so that you post consistently.

So now that you are sold on using themes, how do you get started? No surprises here, you create a plan! Of course, that’s easier said than done. No need to worry though. Here are seven steps you can follow to build a successful strategy for incorporating monthly themes for your social media content.

  • Assess what currently works – Take a look at which platforms work best for you now and the type of content that is getting the most traction. Remember that your objective is to get people engaged. You want to do more of what is working best.
  • Restate your social media goals – It is always helpful to remind yourself of your goals. If your primary objective for social media is to strengthen your relationships with your clients, then a customer appreciate theme is appropriate.
  • Think about your customers – What type of content will interest and help your customers? Do they need information on your products? If so, a monthly “how-to” theme will work well. Could they benefit from getting to know your company better? Try a monthly “getting to know us” theme.
  • Brainstorm – Spend some time documenting a variety of possible themes. Get your entire team involved. Each one will bring a different perspective to the task.
  • Prioritize – Once you have a good list, prioritize the topics according to your goals and what is likely to be most successful in engaging your customers.
  • Decide how you will measure success – Set some targets so that you’ll know whether or not your theme campaigns are working. Useful metrics can include shares, likes, follows, conversions or whatever works with the goals you have set.
  • Rinse and repeatEvaluate your campaigns periodically to see what is working. Revise your plan to strengthen the themes that aren’t quite hitting the mark.

Working with themes won’t just help you keep writing, it will help your customers know what to expect. They’ll appreciate your consistency and come to depend on you for insight, inspiration, or a smile. Themes also give you the chance to incorporate content that is unexpected. One month you may focus on a technical topic, the next you might express gratitude or profile a customer or employee. The point is, you can take advantage of themes to keep your content fresh, engaging, and fun. So get started with themes now!

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.


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