Today I want to talk to you about my boss. His name is Billy Strawter, Jr. a.k.a. Boss Bill, the founder of MILO Digital. I know I’ve mentioned him before, but I don’t think I’ve given him the credit he deserves. Introducing Billy in this blog was daunting to me because his larger than life personality and passion for the industry cannot be accurately expressed in such few words. But I’ll try…
If you’re in the business of social media marketing, how do you manage social media marketing tasks?
At MILO, we use Facebook Business Manager and Sprout Social to help us manage our clients social media activity.
Next to Buffer & Hootsuite, Sprout Social is a social media management platform that can help streamline workflows and ensure your content reaches the right audience at the right time. We’ve identified five tools that can help you integrate with the platform to maximize its capabilities. These tools enable users to find content efficiently, review social media analytics in real-time, and connect with the audience all within the same web environment.
It’s Valentine’s Day and you know what that means – it’s all about love today! Throughout the country, brands are making sure their customers are feeling loved in the digital world, but what about all the days that aren’t Valentine’s Day? Are you making sure customers are feeling the love year-round on social media?
Next to Facebook and Instagram, Twitter is another social media platform that brands and organizations can use to connect with their audience across the world.
According to a report by Hootsuite and We Are Social, there are currently 3.196 billion active social media users around the world. As of January 2018, their report lists Twitter at No. 3 behind Facebook and Instagram for the number of active users on the social media platform.
Taking a stand.
With the current political and socioeconomic climate of the United States, taking a stand is something that every father, mother, brother, sister, etc. is doing. Be it through the stickers on their vehicles or what they post and share on social media, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has not taken a stand on at least one issue lately. While it may seem like a controversial move, it is also important for brands to take a stand.
Think back to the last time you used your phone to search for something to do or something to eat nearby – did your search include the words “near me?” Chances are that it probably did, but it is becoming more common for the phrase to be left off with mobile searches.
Rolling with the Punches: How staying agile will make you a better digital marketer
The following is a cautionary tale for when digital marketing is separated or siloed from other pieces, like the ability to modify the website. This is based on my experience working on a digital campaign when a client refused to give access to their landing page and website. My hope is that the lessons that I learned will help you too.
All the players were on the field: our search ads were driving relevant traffic, social media was tuned in for customer service and our display ads were ready for retargeting, but when the time came to score, we couldn’t convert. It was devastating. The sign-up process on the client website was messy and made the customer jump through too many hoops. It was like driving the ball towards the goal and passing it back and forth between players without actually scoring. The unforgiving truth about the success of digital campaigns is that all of the parts need to work together or whole the campaign may fail. Your website, landing page, email, digital ads and social media must play as a team to guide the customer to the desired goal.
Key Takeaways: Identify your final goal and understand how all of the digital elements fit together to achieve it.Read More
AWRF Social Media Presentation 2013
When social media first arrived on the scene companies were scrambling trying to figure out how to take advantage of this new medium. While others were asking the question, “why should I bother? Especially when all people do is share pictures of what they had for dinner or their kids back to school pictures.”
What we forget is that social media is really nothing new. It’s something we’ve done since the days of AOL, America Online. Don’t you remember the 500 hour free cds and usernames like Kitty 902010? It’s really just a fancy way of describing how we communicate on the internet.
We know that Social Media isn’t going away. It’s the #1 activity on the web and when we pull out our cell phones, 91% of us are using them for social media related activities.
Here is a great example of the larger role mobile plays in our day to day lives. This is a picture of St. Peters Square in 2005. Nothing really to write home about. Fast forward to 2013 and you’ll notice nearly every person has a mobile device to capture the moment. But they aren’t just capturing the moment for their personal collection. They are sharing the moment in real-time on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. It’s what we call the real-time web.
So as business owners how do we take advantage of social media? With all that we have going on where do we start?
It begins with your website. Think of your website as your hub. Everything that you do should revolve around getting traffic back to your website. Facebook is not your website. Your activities on social media are the spokes that drive traffic back to your site.
Now if it’s been a little while since you’ve updated your website it may be time for a makeover. Sure we get busy, but we need to think of our website as our business card on the web. It’s the first impression we give when someone is researching our company. And with keeping mobile in mind it’s even more important that we take a mobile first stance to our design. What we like to call responsive. Responsive design allows your website to resize to fit whatever device someone may be using whether it be an iPhone, tablet, or desktop computer.
An example of recent redesign is the AWRF.org website. We wanted to put the social icons at the top for a couple of reasons. Number one was to share with people where they can find and two to let the search engines know what social media sites are connected to us. This way when someone searches out your company Google can return the social media sites as relevant results.
We also added an image that would quickly give a visitor an idea of what the website was about. You have roughly five seconds when someone visits your website to before they give up and leave.
Finally we made sure to have a clear call to action telling the visitor what we wanted them to do. All of these items were above the fold. Meaning when you visit from a desktop you can see all three items.
Now that we have our website in order we need a way to measure our efforts. It doesn’t make sense to put in all the work without understanding the return. One of my favorite tools is Google Analytics. Mostly because it’s free but also because it gives you great insights to how people are visiting your website and if the content you are sharing is working.
You can see how many people have visited your website. What country, state or city they came from. The amount of time they’ve spent on your site. All of this data will help you to understand how people are using your website. Don’t trust my word on going mobile, let the data guide you.
So we have our website in order and a way to measure our efforts. How do we choose a social network? It starts with connecting the dots with our traditional marketing goals. Who are the people we are trying to reach? Where do they spend their time? With over 200 social networks it can be overwhelming. Don’t forget forums they are great for niche communities and discovering conversations that can’t be found on more traditional networks.
Let’s talk a bit about blogging. Blogs are great way to easily update your static websites. For those who are a bit leary about the pressure to update often because of the name blog can name it something like news.
What are some of the things you can talk about? Stories of employees volunteering or doing good in the community. An employee spotlight. Share your company milestones. Customer stories and testimonials are great options. What about your frequently asked questions. Certainly you have customers that reach out with same questions over and over. Make them short blog posts. Blogs are a gift that keep on giving. Long after you’ve written a post you’ll reap the rewards of that content.
I’ve listed a few blogging platforms although my favorite is WordPress. It’s simple to update. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can use WordPress. Talk with the guys in your IT department about implementation.
As business owners you certainly wear lots of hats. Finding time to manage social media and digital marketing may be one hat too many. Where do you find the time? It’s a team effort. Look for subject matter experts within your organization that can contribute on a regular basis. Find employees that are active on social media. But make sure you put a social media policy in place to guide them on what is acceptable. What works for their personal Facebook account isn’t always what’s best for a corporate account. And be sure to make it a habit. Check your accounts first thing in the morning. Get in a routine.
Now that you have some pieces in place it is extremely important to listen. If you’re going to be involved you need to participate. This means knowing when a question has been posted about your company. Don’t let it sit for 2 or 3 days. Answer the question. You’ll know it’s out there if you take the time to listen and monitor your accounts.
I’ve listed a few tools to help manage your social media efforts. All of them are cloud based tools to allow you to manage from multiple devices from any location with internet access. Be sure to check out Bit.ly. It allows you to take a really long URL and make it tiny. You also have the ability to track where clicks are coming from and where your links are being shared.
Be sure to reach out if you have any questions. There are a couple more slides with additional tools and an example of how search engines return social media channels in search results.
Good news for non-profits. Google Apps, the cloud based productivity suite (think Microsoft Office) from Google. What can you do with Google Apps? The list is long:
Email: Get custom email address using your domain
Calendar: Schedule meetings, share calendars, meeting reminders
Drive: Store documents online, share them, access from anywhere
Docs: Create and share documents in real-time
Sheets: Spreadsheets with real-time editing and charts
Slides: Presentations with the ability to embed videos and real-time sharing
Profit Vs. Nonprofit
For a traditional business you would be looking at $5 per user, per month or $50 for the year. If you have a large non-profit organization, getting this for free could save you hundreds per year. Plus, you no longer need to update software year after year. Google Apps are automatically updated at no charge to your non-profit.
Cut the tether
An issue with many non-profits is the ability to pivot on the fly. Google Apps allows you to do this by cutting the tether to your desk. With mobile, iPhone and Android apps, you now have the ability to work from anywhere. Changes you make on your home computer will look exactly the same when you log-in at your work computer.
Work in real-time with your staff. Does this sound familiar? You create a Word document. You email it your boss. Your boss makes corrections then emails it back. You make the changes. Email…you get the point. With Google Docs you can edit in real-time with multiple people having the document open at the same time. In fact you can do this with spreadsheets and presentations as well.
Regardless of where you are, you can do this in real-time. Including different countries.
A change of heart
Google at one point only offered the free version of Google Apps for Nonprofits to those nonprofits with less than 3,000 users. Now, regardless of size you are eligible.
Description from Google: Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps you and your team connect and get work done from anywhere on any device. It’s simple to setup, use and manage, allowing you to work smarter and focus on what really matters.