Using Twitter to Promote Events

Twitter for Events

Leveraging Social Networks

We are working with an exciting new event organization that hosts expos for app (applications) developers.  In preparing to launch their campaign, I’d like to share with you some ideas for leveraging Twitter if you are doing events. Social media has made connecting with potential participants, supporters, and vendors easier than ever. Though Facebook is still a powerful force for social networking, Twitter offers more advantages for engaging with people before, during, and after. There are some incredible tools available, that when used effectively can take your reach and engagement through the roof.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of Twitter for an upcoming event:

  • Preparation – Get your strategy defined at least a month before the event. This is important because you are going to need those weeks before to connect with your audience, build excitement, increase engagement, and meet your goals for attendance and sponsorship.
  • Find your Tribe – Every industry has shakers and movers. Find the top players in your industry, the thought leaders, the popular kids, and connect with them on Twitter. Go beyond page likes and actually engage with them. Designates some of their more fitting tweets as a favorite, retweet their posts, @mention them in your tweets (as long as it makes sense to do so), and respond to their tweets using the same hashtags they are using. Essentially, get in the conversation and make yourself known.
  • Reward your supporters – Your attendees, sponsors, and vendors are going to make or break your event. Show them the love by linking to their pages and engage with them the way you are with industry leaders. If you are having a large event, it may be challenging to engage with everyone, so be strategic.
  • Create a Hashtag – Each event should have its own hashtag to group discussions together. This will help you stay on top of the activity surrounding the event, build a community with the event as the common denominator, and make communication more broad and efficient.
  • Use Resources – Check out these tools to help you set up and manage your Twitter campaign for your event: Tweetdeck – a Twitter dashboard that allows you to stay on top of tweets, like a control panel. Twubs is a platform designed specifically for Twitter engagement for events. Use Storify after the event to create a story version of your campaign.  Check out hashtracking for analytics on how well your hashtag is performing, and adjust where needed.
  • Bell Curve – Think of your campaign like a bell, where you get the energy and excitement about the event going up more and more as the event comes closer, then full scale during the event, and coming down and tapering off after the event.
  • Automation – tools like Hootsuite can be useful for scheduling tweets throughout the campaign. Do not rely too heavily on this, though. It is still critical to be on the site, responding to people and engaging responsively.
  • Get Creative – Include in your strategy some fun ways to engage your event supporters. Contests, give-aways, questions, images, highlight individuals, and surprises are fun ways to increase engagement, get people excited about the event, and expand your reach way beyond your audience.
  • Be Inclusive – Don’t stop at the obvious supporters to promote at your event, give a shout out to the venue, caterers, musicians, internal coordinators, volunteers, and anyone who has a hand in the outcome of the event. People appreciate being recognized and using a public platform like Twitter is a great place to do that.
  • Deal with the bad and the good – If there are questions, complaints, or negative comments, address them immediately and do the best you can to resolve it.

Twitter is a great platform for promoting events. Using these resources and strategies correctly will contribute to a great outcome. Let me know if you have any questions about using Twitter, social media, or digital event promotion.

Tips for Meeting the Increasing Demands of Digital Marketing

Staying on toStrategies for Staying on top of Social Media

Business owners often struggle with a never-ending “To Do” list for running their companies, and it seems to be getting longer all the time. Digital marketing, in all its varied forms, is becoming increasingly important as your target audience is searching for and finding products and services like yours on the internet. Marketing experts, like us, can help you sort through all of the possibilities and develop an effective strategy,  employing a mix of social media, blogging, email marketing, Facebook advertising, Pay per Click, local SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and review site management, to grow your client/referral base. With all of these resources available and requiring attention,  how can you stay on top of Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin multiple times a week, not to mention a weekly blog, email campaigns, videos creation, and reputation management?  If you recognize the value these activities will bring to your business, but don’t have the funds to hire a professional or outsource it, consider these tips to make it work efficiently for you.

6 Tips for Digital Marketing Management:

  1. Search for Resources – The number of resources available to help businesses manage their digital marketing is amazing, and more coming on the scene all the time. For example, a platform called Falcon Social allows you to combine your online platforms into one for efficient management. Another service call Wishpond allows you to create landing pages.  Periscope allows you to stream live video to anyone all over the world.  is a cool tool that helps you construct posts for your social media and BombBomb is a video platform for dynamic email campaigns. These are just a couple of ideas; there really are more tools available than you can reasonably master.
  2. Schedule it – Schedule tasks which add value to your business and honor that commitment. You may want to choose a time of day each day, or get into an every other day routine for engaging in social media.  If you use an automation tool like Hootsuite , you can schedule your posts for the entire month if you want. Just make sure you go on your social media sites regularly to engage with others (it’s not just about churning out content). Facebook also has a scheduling function now, so you can create your post and set the day/time you want it to appear on your wall.
  3. Limit your time – The internet can be a rabbit hole, in part because there is so much good and interesting content being presented (you want to be someone who also provides quality content). It’s easy to get sucked in and lose track of time. Before you know it an hour, or hours have past and the rest of your “To Do” list is falling behind. If this is a problem for you, try limiting yourself to 15 minutes at a time and interact on all your platforms. If you decide to write a blog, spend no more than 2 hours per week writing, editing, optimizing, and posting it. Find some times of the day that are easier for you to focus on this, for example, first thing in the morning before you start your work, or at night while relaxing in front of the television.
  4. Strategic connections – Think about who you want to connect with before you go online and go right to find them. Look for people, organizations, and industry leaders who you want to associate with and interact on their platforms. Like their Facebook pages, follow them on Twitter, request a connection on Linkedin. Once you are connected, it is easy to maintain the relationship by liking, commenting, and sharing their posts as appropriate. You can do this on your Facebook business page by clicking on your “Home” button, scrolling down your newsfeed to see the posts from your connections and interaction from there.
  5. Don’t overdo it – It is possible to do too much and too often on social media platforms. Some social media novices get carried away and load their platforms with posts, reposts, shares, and retweets. This can have the reverse effect where you end up annoying your target audience and they may disconnect from you.
  6.  Other sites – Resources like Yelp, online directories, and your website require regular attention too, though not as often as social media interaction. Check on, manage, and update all your online platforms regularly.

If you are having difficulty staying on top of your digital presence, even after practicing these tips, you may want to consider hiring a professional marketing company to handle all of this for you.

If you have any questions or would like help with this, please Contact Us for a complementary consultation.

Political Posts on Professional Sites?

Posting PoliticsBe Real About Your Intentions When Posting Politics

This week was Super Tuesday where I live in Virginia. The political climate is heating up and we have 8 more months before the next Presidential election. This  blog is my perspective on the expression of political views on social media. Like many Americans, I experience the intensity of radically different views on social media and long for a time when people could disagree without so much personalization and venom.  We hear blame for this adversarial climate laid on the media, the “other side”, movement toward extremism, or even a reflection of our declining civilization.  Regardless of the root cause, social media has become a welcoming stage to play out political drama.

Never before have average people had so much access to information (valid and invalid), and a free platform on which to express themselves to untold numbers of like-minded and vastly different people. For instance, it is common for those of us using Linkedin to have over 500 contacts in our network. I can’t imagine reaching 500 people, other than paid advertising or public speaking, any other way.  On Facebook, the viral effect involves not only the potential for hundreds of your closest friends seeing your posts, but also the contacts of anyone who shares your post, as well as your comments on other people’s or page’s posts can be seen by the multitude of their friends. It’s enough to make your head spin. But while our brains are revolving around this idea, our culture is evolving, or devolving as the case may be, before our eyes.

I used to caution business owners to avoid posting anything political or provocative on their social media sites, for the risk of alienating people who think differently.  Though I still believe this is sound advice, I get the impression a culture is developing that renders people dismissive of others’ views and overly righteous about their own positions. If this is true, people are less and less concerned about alienating others, even in a business is context. Clearly I am speaking of trends and culture shifts; there are a great majority of professionals who maintain a more neutral stance in their public voice.  However, I am seeing more evidence of personal positioning on professional platforms.

I’m seeing more political posts on professional platforms, like a recent Linkedin post had a bold endorsement of one of the Presidential candidates, complete with large photo and a clear attack on the “other side”.  Some people responded with support and others with a differing view. The dialog (such as it was) became snarky and futile. I had to wonder about the purpose and outcome of such a post. Some could argue that we are political creatures and to express our views makes us more human on these somewhat impersonal forums. Could be true, but how much of yourselves do you want to display to the world in a space that does not inherently encourage respectful discourse? When deciding to post something that may provoke negative responses, you may want to ask yourself if the content being shared is information that others would find beneficial, or is there an element of propaganda with the intention of eliciting support or criticism.

I don’t trust the flimsy ground of the internet to hold a space for true understanding.  Face to face,  person to person communication is where the sharp edges of conflict can best be smoothed. As humans we are wired to respond differently, more respectfully, in the presence of opposition. We tend to be more open and less aggressive and adversarial when we are engaged in personal communication. Political issues are highly personal and have become charged with a great deal of emotion. In an earlier post, In Support of Digital Civility, I advocate using social media, particularly on professional platforms, for sharing only content that adds value to others, refraining from comments on controversial posts, and take disagreements offline. I love social media, but one on one  is where we truly connect as real humans and not just a name with a profile, who can be shot down with a clever barb, or dismissed with the click of a mouse.


Getting Your Message out on Linkedin

Linkedin PublishingLinkedin Publishing

I’ve been focussed on Facebook for a while now – time to turn our attention to another platform where you and your business can shine. Linkedin has upgraded their publishing platform to allow a full article, an image, links, and tags. It is designed to highlight Linkedin member’s original content. This feature has not been made available to all Linkedin users yet, but it will be soon.

You will know if you have this option if you see “Publish a post” as another option next to “Share an Update”. When you click on this link a word processing feature will pop up and there you will be able to upload an image – strongly recommended, Write your headline – critical to capture the interest of your audience, and write the body of your article. You can hyperlink words and phrases to other URL’s and add tags at the bottom. Tagging your article assists Linkedin display your material to the right audience, and better allows members to find your post while searching categories.

The publishing feature is far more powerful than simply sharing an update. By displaying your entire work directly on the site, rather than a brief introduction and link to a blog, readers are more likely to get your entire message. The image, links, and tags also make the post more engaging and visible. This is a great opportunity to showcase your expertise and position yourself as an industry leader. Your published posts will be shown to you connections on their notifications tab. Even if they don’t read your material, you will be top of mind if you use this feature correctly.

Some things to keep in mind about Linkedin’s publishing feature

  • It is intended for original content. If you want to share an article of value to your audience, write a thoughtful and substantive introduction and summery, linking the article as a reference. This demonstrates your knowledge of the subject matters and shows more initiative than only sharing content from others.
  • Don’t use this feature to sell your products and services.  Posts that are heavily promotional in nature may be excluded and your account may be flagged. Just like with all forms of social media, think of giving before receiving.
  • Share your insights, advice, success stories, horror stories, and anything that can add value to those who are interested in your industry.
  • Linkedin will show distribute your article to the Linkedin members who are most likely to want to see it, based on their profile, interactions, and engagement on the platform. The higher the quality of the content you provide, the more likely you are to have your work displayed to greater numbers of people who are active on Linkedin.
  • Your article will be available through searches, not only on the Linkedin platform itself, but through online searches.
  • This is a great alternative for those who do not have a blog, but want to create their own content. Your posts can be shared in Linkedin groups, on other social media channels, or through email.
  • Remember to engage with others on their posts. By liking and commenting on the posts of people in your network, you reinforce your connection and increase the likelihood that they will think of you when your service is needed.
  • Be consistent. Commit to a regular posting schedule, write your articles, and publish routinely. I recommend publishing a unique post between 1/week and 1/month.
  • Focus on quality over quantity. Unlike blogs where SEO is a factor that drives article length, Linkedin and its members reward valuable content, even in small doses. Sometimes less is better.

I hope these Linkedin publishing tips have been of value to you. Please let me know if you have any questions or check the Linkedin Help Center for answers.

Promoting Events on Facebook

Facebook eventsUsing Social Media for Successful Events

If you are holding an event, training, or gathering, you may want to announce and promote it on Facebook. You can do this on your personal or business page, or better yet…both. Here are the instructions from Facebook’s Help Center (with some modifications for clarity) to direct you through setting up events on your page.

To create an event on your business Page

  1. Go to your Page, then click Offer, Event + or Event, Milestone + at the top of your Page’s Timeline in the post box
  2. Select Event
  3. Add details about your event, add a photo, and put in date, time, and description. Events on pages are public
  4. Click Publish, or click the down arrow on the blue publish link to schedule the post for a later date

To create an event on your Personal page:

  1. Click the down arrow next to “more” just under the cover image
  2. Scroll down and click on Event, then click on Create Event
  3. The event will default to a private event, so that you will need to invite attendees. If you would like the event to be public, click on the down arrow at the top that says “Create Private Event” and click on the option to make event public
  4. Fill in the event name, details, location, time and date. Keep in mind that you must include an event name and time
  5. After you publish, Tap on Invite and your list of  friends will come up. Tap the names of the people you want to invite and then click Send Invite
  6. You can click on the option to let guests invite other or to show the guest list

You’ll be taken to your event where you can share posts, upload photos, invite more guests and edit event details.

How do I control who sees or joins my event?

When creating an event, the host can choose between the following privacy settings:

  • Private Event: Visible only to the people who are invited. You can choose to allow guests to invite their friends. People who aren’t invited cannot view the event description, photos, Wall posts and videos.
  • Public Event: Visible to anyone on or off Facebook. Anyone can also see the event description, photos, Wall posts and videos.

Note: Once you create an event, you won’t be able to change the event’s privacy settings.

To see who’s responded to an event invitation, go to the event, then tap Going, Maybe or Invited to see who’s responded.

To see who’s declined an invitation, go to the event on a computer.

To keep an accurate count of who’s attending an event, hosts of private events are able to update a guest’s RSVP. To update a guest’s RSVP to an event you’re hosting, find the person’s response or search for their name, and click to update their RSVP.

Note: For private events, hosts and other guests are able to see when you’ve viewed an event invitation.

How can I add photos or video to an event?

Hosts can add a main photo for the event from a desktop computer. To add a photo or video to an event’s Wall:

  1. Tap Post >
  2. Select a photo or several photos from your phone’s library or tap the camera icon in the library to take a new photo or video
  3. After choosing your photo or video, write something about it, tag people or add a place. Then tapPost
  4. If you are posting an event on your business page, and you want to include other businesses, at @Facebook Name to tag the business

If this is a public event, anyone who views the event can see its photos and videos. The photos and videos posted on private events are only visible to people who were invited. Hosts can remove photos or videos from their event.

Promoting your events on Facebook is a great way to increase attendance, visibility, connections, and digital reach. Let me know if you have any questions.

Connecting Business to Business

@Leveraging Facebook for Deeper Networking

Here’s a lesser known trick to build and strengthen business connections on Facebook. I talk a lot about social media being a dynamic and interactive place. It is difficult sometimes to know how to create that kind of presence with other businesses, especially when they are your target market (B to B). Those of us using Facebook to present our business online, and connect with our audience, are challenged to create a community around our brand that includes our business contacts.

Facebook does not allow business pages to interact directly with personal pages. When an individual likes your business page, you cannot reach them directly through messaging, email, or interacting on their pages. You can, however interact freely with other business pages through the “Like”, “Comment”, or “Share” feature on their posts. This is an excellent strategy to grow your audience by paying attention to and supporting others; when giving is primary to taking.

In addition to this approach, we highly encourage businesses to include another tool to increase your connectivity. Mention, through a clickable link, the businesses who’s relationships you want to strengthen, in your Facebook posts. This is how it works – when you publish a post on your business page, in the introduction type @ Facebook Page Name of the other business.  As long as your page has already liked their page, their Facebook page name will populate as you type it in.  It works the same was as tagging  your “friends” on your personal page. When Facebook recognizes the page name it comes up as an option to click on, making it a clickable link to that business page directly in your post. Using this approach appropriately will forge stronger relationships with other businesses through their Facebook pages.

Using @mention in your posts has 2 outcomes that can be more powerful than liking, commenting, and sharing posts: 

  1. The other business gets a notification on Facebook, and email if that setting is enabled, that their page was mentioned by your page. This is a link that takes them to the post where their business was highlighted. They can interact with the post on your page, increasing the communication. This can happen with the “share” feature as well, but the other business’s page is not highlighted so distinctly, so it doesn’t create as clear a call to action to click on their page as when the page name is linked in the post. Also, a shared post is simply that, which is nice, but says nothing about the business who’s post you are sharing. Mentioning their page gives you the opportunity to enhance your link something positive about that business.
  2. Your audience will see the other business tagged with a link to the other business’s page, and  if you do it correctly, includes a reason to want to go to the other business page and connect with that business.

This is good for your business because it is good for the other business; it demonstrates good will to others and your audience who may benefit from the link you shared. If the other business is similarly inclined (hopefully they are), they should do the same for you on their page, drawing their audience directly to you and reinforcing the bond between your businesses.

Make sure the post and business tag you are publishing on your page make sense and are relevant to your industry, business, or community. Here is an example for how a business page can use this to a very positive effect:

A mortgage lender posts a home listing from one of the realtors who could refer homebuyers. In the introduction to the listing the mortgage lender adds @Super Realtor.  The lender’s network can click on the link to the realtor and check out their page and the listing, and connect directly with the realtor to get more information on the house. The realtor is notified that @Savvy Mortgage Lender mentioned their page and promoted their listing on their Facebook page. @Super Realtor is grateful for the recognition and expanded audience and is likely to return the favor, either on Facebook or through direct referral. @Savvy Mortgage Lender’s Facebook audience has a direct link if they are interested in that house.

If the business you tag doesn’t respond, even with a Thank You, that may mean they aren’t paying attention to what is happening with their page or may not know what to do about it. It probably isn’t personal. If that happens you may want to follow up with an email or message to let them know you’d like to share content and invite them to share any of your information on their page.

If anyone ever interacts with or tags your page, always acknowledge, appreciate, and where possible, reciprocate. It is considered bad form to ignore your audience online, so be sure to be one of the good ones…or hire a professional to do it for you. When I do this for my clients and the target business responds, I am far more likely to continue promoting their page for my client, as opposed to the ones who ignore the recognition and I stop engaging directly with those pages.

This kind of networking can be effective for any business, even those that serve individuals. Businesses typically don’t operate in isolation and benefit from other business connections as referral partners, vendors, or support companies.  Give this a try and let me know how it works for you.


Promote Where You Can

Email Signatures Are you using your email signature to invite people to your social media platforms?

Most of us use email a lot and it is still the #1 form of business communication. Every time you have an email exchange with a client, prospect, partner, vendor, or any other contact, you have an opportunity to showcase your digital presence.  By putting icons linked to your social media sites below your signature line, you are inviting your contacts to take your connection further online.

Here is my signature line with all my sites linked so anyone I email can go to my sites.

Andrea Howard
Social Media Maxima – President


The icons are links that take the reader directly to your page and look more impressive than a text address.  They should be simple, easy to follow, clear, and each one a working link. Having this on your email reflects your professionalism and that you are active in the digital space.

I don’t recommend this if you don’t have social media platforms or If your presence isn’t that impressive.  You should have a consistent presence and an attractive site if you are going to invite people there. Check out a previous blog on how to make your Facebook page look great.   If you aren’t quite ready, you may want to wait until you can show off your platforms proudly before you announce them to the world. I have seen emails with social links, but when I click, there is nothing there…leaving a bad impression.

When you do have social media platforms to be proud of and you want to invite engagement, follow these steps to get your sites linked. There are different instructions for various email servers, so here it is for outlook and the most common resources. If you don’t use either of these, check with your tech support folks or google the instructions.

Instructions from Microsoft Office for Adding Social Icons to Email Signature

Instructions for Adding Social Icons to Other Email Servers

(Including gmail). Click on the email provider you use for more specific instructions on creating a signature line, and follow these instructions for linking an image to your site.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Keeping Prospects on your Website

PRI’m working with PR consultant, Chris Volz, and asked him to take a look at some websites and offer recommendations from a public relations point of view.  This blog is his perspective on how websites should best be constructed to produce a positive outcome. Websites are the public’s view into most businesses now, and usually their first encounter. It stands to reason that the first, and ongoing impression of the company, should be favorable to the public. These suggestions are appropriate for any business to assess their website.

From Guest Blogger, Chris Volz:

Old time PR and “Bounce Rates”

“Bounce rate is the percentage of visits that go only one page before exiting a site.” Google

The average person will spend 10-15 seconds on your website before moving on. Counting how many people visit your website is useless if the visitors move on in seconds without taking action. You have to hook them quickly with the information they seek and delivered how they want it . Most websites don’t do it.

Years and years ago when being trained in PR, one of the things you had to learn was how to write articles for newspapers. The entire story is in the first paragraph, everything after that is detail. This is not unlike how people digest information online now. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned over the years that apply to web design and development for business:  

Know your Public

Understand the demographic you are trying to reach and use the the appropriate language, artwork, and design for your web pages and social media platforms.

Know your Product Inside and Out

Know the benefits, advantages, pro’s, con’s and what makes it unique. Know it well enough to explain to a child briefly and make them smile about it.

Be brief

You may have reams of fabulous content. NO ONE WILL READ IT.  The main pages (Home, About, Services, etc.) should be limited to the most critical aspects your public wants and needs to know to do business with you. Save your industry expertise for blogs, white papers etc.

Be organized

Your website should flow in a way that makes sense. It is surprising to still see so many sites with content that is out of context. As an exercise, print all the pages of your website and put them on a wall. Does everything flow from one item to the next easily and clearly? Have someone who is not familiar with your company do this exercise with you and see if there are any missteps. You may not be able to see poor organization on your own website, but your audience will.

Be Professional

You are a professional… In your field. You are not a professional at web design, SEO, marketing, social media platforms. Chances are you don’t tune up your own car – for many of reasons.  Don’t tune up your own web site, social media etc. and don’t give the job to your niece in college because she “…is online all the time and understands it all”. Be a professional, hire a professional.

Be User Friendly

Again, this is where it helps to have someone else look at it. Old rule – “You can’t proofread what you write”. Let someone else walk through your site and see if its easy for them. Of course its easy for you, its your baby, but it might frustrate the heck out of me.

Make it easy

You want the contact, the customer, the sale.  Is your website designed to reach that goal? Are there clear calls to action? Is it clear and easy for people to do what you want them to do – call, come to an event, take advantage of a special, etc.? Is it written with your prospects as the audience or you?  If someone stays on your website at least 15 seconds, you have a better chance of converting them into customers. If your site is unappealing or cumbersome, they bounce!  

I hope you found these PR website tips helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Are you Using Instagram for Business?

InstagramInstagram is Great for Visual Products and Services

Instagram is a relatively young social media platform, but it has been increasing in popularity, especially with the under 30 crowd. Though it has a lot of users, many people in business do not know what it is or how to use it.  It is a great social media platform for businesses with highly visual products and services. Instagram is a photo-sharing app to be used on a smart phone. Accounts can be set up and managed from a desk/laptop, but images are shared through mobile device. On this social media platform you have the option to follow people, post pictures and text, and interact with others about their pictures. Because Instagram has become so popular, with a multitude of eyeballs, it is a great time for businesses with visual content to get involved and leverage all that reach.

Suggestions from Instagram to make the most of it for your business:

Account name – Choose an account name that is your business name or as close to that as possible, so your company can be easily identified.

Profile photo – The best profile image is your company’s logo. it will show on on most phones as a small circle – 150 x 150 pixel image.

Text – Use relatively short captions, hashtags to group your content (no more than 3) and ask questions to get your audience engaged.

Commenting & liking – Just like with Facebook and Twitter, don’t just post images/video, engage with your community about their posts and comments. Use location tags and Photos of You to connect with others.

Tagging – Include the location of your photo or video when appropriate and use the Add People feature to tag others to reach a broader audience.

Image tools – Use the editing tools available in the app  (like Hyperlapse, Layout and Boomerang) to create interesting effects.

Search & Explore – Use the “Search & Explore” function to find people, locations and posts relevant to your brand. Also explore trending hashtags and top accounts in your industry.

So why is Instagram so popular?

Easy to Set Up – Go to the app store for your phone, download the app, register by either putting in a username and password or logging in through Facebook. You will want to set up your profile like any other social media platform, with a profile image and basic information.

Sharing Photos:  pictures can be taken through the Instagram app or pulled from your phone’s cameral roll.  A caption or description can be added, so your viewers know what you are sharing. The image will go on your page and you can also share it on other main social media platforms.

Social: Connecting with others is a main feature of this app. Like with Twitter, you follow people and then see the pictures they post in your stream. You can like and comment on their photos too. Because you photos will be public, you may get questions about the picture from anyone. This tends to be a more relaxed community.

Connecting with People: Instagram allows you to follow your current connections on other platforms easily by brining up the list of your connections that are also on Instagram with a “follow” button.  Instagram will also suggest users you may want to follow.

Amazing Pictures –  There are beautiful images on this platform. You can also follow people who post images of things of interest to you, such as dogs, landscapes, ocean life, etc.

Instagram is easy to use and fun.  Because there are so many people on the platform outside the U.S., you can interact with and learn a great deal about other cultures and countries. Though Instagram is not big on building brands, it is great exposure for your business if you have products and services that present well as images. If you have questions or would like help with your social media, please contact us.

Setting Social Media Goals

Goal SettingGetting Clear on What You Want

There are several ways that social media can be good for your business, but let’s start with the assumption that small business’ primary goal for engaging in social media is to get customers and make more money. This is a goal for all business, or we wouldn’t survive. Though participation is digital marketing is not a necessity for most business survival, it may be key to the company’s strength and growth potential.

There are a lot of resources to help people make goals and different goal setting models. The most popular one is the SMART system,  where your goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic (or Relevant), and Timely. This is certainly a good method if it suits you. There are also other systems, such as OKS – Objectives and Key Results, BSQ – think Big, act Small, be Quick, or BHAG – Big, Harry, Audacious Goal. A good description of how to use these paradigms related to social media can be found in this article from Buffer. Any of these, or other structure for organizing your goals, can be used. The main thing is to organize, write down, assess, and revise your goals as a tool to set and measure progress.

Before embarking on any goal setting journey, you would do well to have a good sense of your WHY. Referencing our blog from August entitled “Know Your Why“, grounding in your purpose will shape your best actions toward achieving your goal. Knowing your why is more than setting goals, it is keeping the focus on the big picture as a framework for achieving what you want.

Assuming that your overarching social media goal is to increase revenue, let’s look at some of ways social media objectives can support that goal, albeit sometimes indirectly, but still related. Though revenue is the main goal for business to engage in social media, it is not the only or even necessarily the best. Because inbound marketing is not advertising, establishing a plan of action as if it were may lead to disappointment. Goals related to, for example, maintaining a dynamic online presence so when people check you out online, you look professional and impressive is a legitimate, but not direct income generating goal.

Objectives/Actions – here you get more specific about how you are going to accomplish your goal. Your objective establishes the answers to What, Who, When, and Where.  This is the foundation for your action plan.


Why; We want our business to have an impressive presence online, to be a clear and public reflection of the best we have to offer, add value to our audience, and create a community around us.

Goal: Engage on industry-appropriate social platforms to increase business opportunities, referral sources, client base, and revenue by 20%.


  1. Set up social media platforms and manage with regular posts of interest to target audience (as defined from the last week’s blog on “Developing a Kick-Butt Marketing Strategy for 2016“)
  2. Identify key referral sources, connect with them on platforms = like, share, retweet, and comment on their posts
  3. Reach out specifically to those new connections to meet, exchange business, and/or create opportunities based on synergy
  4. Establish a social media advertising campaign and budget to increase page reach to identified audience
  5. Measure success of ad campaigns and adjust message, targets, or budget accordingly
  6. Develop a social media mindset which includes healthy bragging about the company, engaging with customers through images and reviews, asking for people to engage on social platforms, and take every real-life connection online to and work it there.

There is little doubt that if the objectives were carried out consistently and effectively, the goal defined above would be achieved. The details of the plan should include elements like who is going to be responsible, how are they going to get content, what type of specials to promote, what to offer when you ask for connections, etc.

If you aren’t getting the results you were hoping for, it is important to do an analysis before determining that social media doesn’t work. For example:

  1. Look at the goal to make sure it is reasonable. In the example above, the goal was set to raise revenue by 20%. Is that realistic for an initial social media campaign, in that industry and business?
  2. Are there enough funds dedicated to advertising to get that return?
  3. Is the offer being promoted compelling enough to capture interest and bring customers in?
  4. How is the revenue tracked on the back end to make sure all leads coming from Facebook are tracked?
  5. Has there been adequate outreach both in and online?
  6. Are there any other areas on social networks that could be improved to get a better result?

Goal setting for social media can be as simple or complex as you want. You can get very detailed with editorial calendars and checking insights daily, or not, based on your business approach. The important thing is to have a plan based in reality, get a sense if it is working, be flexible to adjust as needed, and be dedicated and consistent with your efforts. I always caution people not to get too focused on a goal of “get more revenue”, without also giving value to the other benefits of having a rocking internet presence. Those things cannot be quantified with a dollar amount of return, but their value can be immeasurable.

Please let me know if you would like some help with setting actionable goals on social media.