Monday, March 13, 2017

8 Ways to Get Noticed on Social Media Today

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / iqoncept

There's a lot of noise on the social media channels and getting noticed can seem a task akin to pushing a large bolder up an icy slope in gale-force winds blowing down off of the mountain. But it's not as hard as you think. Here are several tips to help you get your business noticed today.

Post the Easy Shares

There are certain types of posts that a large number of people respond to. These include:
  • Funny posts
  • Statistic or data posts (if it's from your business, even better)
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Dramatic images
These sorts of posts are easy because not only are they popular with most audiences, you're not creating them, merely curating them. A quick search will land you several. You can auto-schedule them for times throughout your week.

 Use Images

This is easy if your business is a restaurant but if it doesn't lend itself to images, you can still be creative. Use pictures of your community, the weather, your team, your pet… just give people something to look at.

Ask Questions

Social media shouldn't be your business shouting into a bullhorn at other people. You want to create an environment in your social media profiles that is conducive to conversation.
To do this effectively, apply what you know about starting conversations in the non-virtual world? Begin by asking questions.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags help people find conversations and topics they're interested in. Use hashtags for your industry, business, town or whatever applies to your posts.
If you notice a hashtag is trending on one of the social media platforms use it but be respectful of your audience. Make sure your share is related to the hashtag. People don't enjoy a hasthtag hijacker who uses a trending topic on a post that is completely unrelated.

Think Mobile

If you're sharing something, make sure it can be viewed on a mobile phone. Mobile is becoming the way to access social media and the Internet. Don't tease your audience by sharing something they can't see.

Remember It's About Them, Not You

A good conversationalist does not make it all about him/her but creates a dialogue instead. A great conversationalist learns quickly the interests of the person he/she is speaking and turns the conversation to those. A safe topic is the other person since most people find themselves incredibly interesting. The same is true of good social media practices. The conversation needs to be about your audience 80% of the time. You can occasionally (20% of the time) mention something about your business directly.

Give Them Reason to Follow

The key to getting more shares is getting more followers. If they don't see your content, they can't share it. Most people follow brands and businesses for discounts or coupons. Keep this in mind and offer discounts to your followers or give them information before anyone else sees it, this could be a product preview or access to early buying opportunities.

Use Evocative Headlines and Teases

Imagine you ran a pool company and you wanted people to click on your URL in your social media post. The best way to do this is to use a teaser or appeal to the audience’s natural curiosity. Like this:

"Doctors say if you have this condition, swimming is the best form of exercise for you."

Your audience will wonder, What condition? Do I have it? Maybe I need to swim more.

Click.

Present the reader with a problem, allude to the fact that the clicking on the URL will tell them how to solve it, and then sit back and watch the interest grow.
To improve your social media reach for your business, remember social media is no different than how you build a relationship offline. You want to be a good conversationalist. Talk about something other than yourself; involve the person you're speaking with, have a dialogue, not a monologue; and don't dominate the conversation. Social media takes work, just like building an offline relationship, but a consistent presence and caring attitude will take you and your business far.






Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and MemberclicksShe’s just your average bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.



Monday, February 27, 2017

5 Ways the Chamber Can Help Make You a Better Networker


Networking opportunities are everywhere. You no longer must leave your house to be able to network, but studies now show that online networking doesn’t hold the same power as in-person networking. Networking is critical to landing a job, learning about opportunities before they are broadcast, and getting more sales for your business.

You need to do it, even if you hate it, and one of the easiest most effective networking groups is the chamber. But the chamber does more than just introduce you to others. It offers very strong networking tools and opportunities. Here are several things you probably didn’t know about how you can improve your business networking with chamber membership. 

5 Ways You’ll Improve Your Networking Skills with a Chamber Membership


According to HubSpot, 85% of people “say they build stronger, more meaningful business relationships during in-person business meetings and conferences.” Chambers facilitate this on a weekly basis in some form or fashion, but there are a host of other ways they can help you improve your networking. Here are 5 ways the chamber can make you a better networker that you might not have thought of.

1.             In Person Events

The chamber offers a host of in-person events from formal networking events to informal member mixers. There are even opportunities to sponsor events and showcase your business location.

2.             Networking Assistance

If you’re like most people, you’re not a natural networker. It’s something you do because you know it’s necessary, but not something you enjoy. The chamber is rich with experience and advice on how to improve your networking skills. Check to see about networking courses or training. Also, don’t be shy to admit to the chamber staff that you’re struggling with networking. They can easily keep an eye out for you and help introduce you to the people who can make a difference in your business. You don’t get this kind of service from an online group.  

3.             Leads and Mastermind Groups

Some chambers offer leads groups where business professionals from the community bring leads for one another and help the members grow their businesses. These groups are often more targeted than the open networking events for the entire chamber membership. Getting to know a select group of business associates in your industry or a complimentary one, can help your business take off.

4.             Thought Leadership Opportunities

Many chambers offer members the opportunity to share their knowledge in the form of educational sessions. This can position you as a thought leader in your industry and helps with networking after the event. People will naturally want to discuss the materials you presented.

5.             In Sight, On the Mind

Most people are extremely busy these days, particularly business owners. While social media can be a very effective tool for keeping in touch, it’s too easy to miss people’s posts there. At an in-person event, on the other hand, you come face-to-face with someone and they’re immediately on your mind again.
When you’re an established acquaintance and people know, like, and trust you, they are more likely to buy from you and refer you to others. Plus when they know you (from having met you in person), your social media posts will be more meaningful to them.

A Final Word About How the Chamber Can Make You a Better Networker

Networking is painful for most of us but having an organization that specializes in it can help you get the training and assistance you need to get more customers and grow your tribe. Chamber membership is a pretty small price to pay for that.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.


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Tuesday, February 28, 2017



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Friday, February 3, 2017

Business Stories that Appeal to Millennials

3 Types of Business Stories that Appeal to Millennials



© Can Stock Photo Inc. / kanzefar
If you’re looking to increase your business sales among Millenials improving your storytelling is a good start. Telling your story effectively imparts a more human side to your business. It’s also memorable and develops an emotional connection between your business and your audience.
Most sales gurus will admit it’s the emotional side of the brain that drives purchasing, so storytelling gets your business where you want to be.

Effective Types of Storytelling for Gen Y

The following types of stories will improve your connection to Gen Y but they should never be used disingenuously. Use what fits your business. Don’t alter your story just to get likes or shares, or customers.

Saving the World

Compared to their cynical Gen X predecessors, at least 39% of Gen Ys polled believe they will do something in their lifetimes that will contribute to the world becoming a better place. Telling a story of how your business connects others and helps them help the world will appeal to this generation.
However, if you’re going to flavor your business story with a saving the world tone, make sure you tell it by how you are helping your customers do it not by your own super powers. Taking a more humble approach will attract this tech-savvy generation. Boldly making heroic claims will turn these uber-eager world changers off.

To Thine Own Selfie be True

It seems contradictory that at the same time they claim to want to make the world a better place, they are also eagerly capturing nearly every breathe they take in selfies. This generation of do-gooders is different than the Boomers in that they see a very individualistic role of how each will save the world. It’s an I will save instead of a we. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to work in group, quite the contrary but they want their individual contributions recognized and lauded.
If you’re looking to appeal to this generation, show them what is in your business, product or service for them. Tell your business story as it involves them and their future success, beauty, or meeting of individual goals. Cast your Gen Y customer as the hero of the story. She’ll take it from there.

A Life Fit for Instagram

Millennials have a strong notion for how life should be. Studies have shown that even though many of them graduated during a very difficult time economically, and many of them remain living with their parents much longer than previous generations, they’re also more apt to spend money on an experience than things. That’s good news for businesses like coffee houses and restaurants.
Telling your business story as an exciting service or experience will appeal to this group. Lacking in a large income does not discourage them from partaking in the finer aspects of life. They want what they want, which isn’t a starter home or a starter car. Showcase your business as a means to getting the life they want, or as a part of that life, and it will draw this generation in.
If you’ve been looking to reach Gen Y, telling your business story through social media and the Internet will get their attention but you need to use a business approach that they’ll find appealing. In some ways, these young people have a lot more figured out. They know it’s important to give back, be kind to yourself, and enjoy life’s adventures while you have the time and interest, even if you don’t have the money.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chamber's and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Memberclicks.
She’s just a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.