Friday, April 8, 2016

5 Things I’ve Learned in Social Media

I have had the great pleasure of meeting amazing people all over the world because of the industry of social media. Each of the relationships may have started online, however, many of them came offline and I now have more meaningful connections, friendships, and business partnerships because of social media. I wanted to share with you a few things I’ve learned from social media.
We know you want to know! By implementing these simple things you too can see how social media can help you in your business endeavors and much more!
1. Reach Out and Say Thanks –
Everyone would love to hear that they have made someone’s day. The next time you are reading an article on someone’s blog or you see a sentence in someone’s tweet that really speaks to you, reach out and say THANKS to that person. Whether you send an email, a personal note, a DM (direct message) or you post it publicly on their wall, everyone loves to be appreciated. Far too many people only take the time to reach out to someone if there is something negative to say.  So even if it is the service at the fast food place that happens to be your lunch for the day, reach out and say THANKS! Not because you want to get acknowledgement, but because it might just be what someone else needs in their day to keep them going.
2. Research Your Influencers – 
As in any field you want to make sure the people that you think are great and influence worthy are all they say they are.  Have you ever read an article on a blog post and just felt that it was scam-like or not really a ‘tested theory’ but more so someone just blowing smoke? Sometimes it might feel that obvious and other times it might really seem much more difficult to tell.  I’ve found that once you put yourself into the industry you are seeking to learn more about, you can really start to see certain people popping up all over the place and ‘doing a great job’ or as being an ‘influencer’.  The reason it matters is because you want to ultimately have great people to look up to and learn from within your field. Specifically in social media, I love checking out about 5-10 websites every single day of people that are ah-mazing and I know they are credible, trust-worthy and putting out consistently great content. If you are just following someone as an influencer because someone told you so, it doesn’t really give you the edge you really should have by knowing the ‘why’ they are great.  So, dig down into google, check around and really get to know the people that are out there doing amazing things. Trust me, the research will pay off in the long run because you’ll feel confident in the people that you are connecting with as influencers.
3. Not All Social Media Platforms Are Created Equal – 
You may just use some of the social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest but you don’t even know what Instagram is or even more so, how people are using it for business. Maybe Twitter intimidates you.  Or maybe you find yourself in a conversation at lunch with someone and you say, “I got twitted today” and everyone looks at you like you have three heads.  There’s a lingo, there’s value and there certainly is a purpose for all the various social media platforms.  For instance, Twitter is extremely powerful for using targeted searches to find potential clients by joining conversations that are already taking place. It is also great for reaching out to and making connections with influencers. Instagram is great for all visual graphics because it has a focus on one photo and allows you to bring stories to life through beautiful pictures. Whether you want to sell something, offer a service or give tips, encouragement, etc.. And the list goes on.  But what is true is that you need to focus first where you really want to get strategic and really be on social media and do it well.  It is far better to do one thing such as Facebook and do it consistently well rather than doing Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram sporadically and with little clarity of what you are on social media for in the first place.
4. Hashtags are Powerful –
If you don’t think that the pound sign has any significance we’ll make sure that you know that is NOT THE CASE.  In social media, when you use the pound sign (called hashtag from this point forward) in front of a key set of words (with no spaces between) it is very powerful because it allows you to search and focus on specific things. For example, if you want to make a post and put #ColumbiaSC in it because that is the city/state that you live and you are a local hair salon, that might be a smart strategy to not only see who else is using that hashtag so you can join in on some conversation but also because it would allow for someone else that is searching that hashtag to find you. Hashtags are found among most social media platforms (especially Twitter and Instagram) however hashtags are really not encouraged to be used on Pinterest. It might seem overwhelming but before you give it a try maybe think of a hashtag and keyword on a topic that matters to you or your business and type it in the search bar on Twitter for example and see what you find?
5. Money can be Made for Your Business Using Social Media –
I know it is true because I have done it myself since 2011. I used Facebook primarily to launch my first company to a booming website filled with amazing family-friendly information for a small community near Fort Knox, Kentucky. We’re talking about a town that has 30,000 people in it and a greater surrounding area of maybe 125-50,000 people. It started with a Facebook page and then once I had the website developed I simply had a strategy to make 80% of every single Facebook post I made have a link going back to the website.  Today, 4 years later, I’ve been able to have this as a profitable business since 30 days of the business launching and use content marketing to attract the community and thus monetizing the brand via local businesses and non-profits that want to advertise to that very targeted audience. I’ve also personally, of course, launched Sweet Tea Social Marketing as well where I can help small and medium business owners that want to have help with their social media so they can see great results for their business.  Just via the social media platform of Linkedin alone, I was able to secure a $10,000 client. It is one thing when people use hypothetical ideas to tell you that social media can grow your business. I’m not here to tell you theory. I’m here to tell you via hustle, strategy and pulling up my sleeves and daily being in the trenches of seeing what works and what doesn’t work, social media is a powerful resource in marketing to grow my businesses and it can do the same for you.

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