Is Social Media Working for You?

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By Erin Jay, Flynn Media 

This guest blog is from my good friend and networking expert Biba Pedron, also known as the Connection Queen. I was a member of Biba’s networking group Biba4Network when I lived in New York City. She is an amazing businesswoman. In this blog, Biba offers savvy social media advice for those of you who are trying to figure out how to best use this new medium. Thanks Biba!

Many of my clients, both French and American, wonder how I can write on multiple blogs plus Facebook, LinkedIn and other sites everyday in both languages. It must look like I spend all day, everyday managing my social media because I hear some clients tell me “Biba, I am not like you, I don’t have time to spend hours everyday on social media!”

In reality, I don’t spend hours a day, it just looks like it because I have a system. In fact, I only spend 15 minutes a day, both languages included. Then I need just a couple of hours a month to write articles for each blog.

As solo-entrepreneurs, it is very important to maintain a presence and give people the feeling that they see you everywhere. Your job is to appear as an expert in your field to gain more and more credibility. You can have the best product or program in the world, but if nobody can find you, you also have the best secret in the world as a result no one will buy from you.

How to create a system to use social media effectively without wasting your time?

1. Determine your niche and target market. I say it all the time, but before you start anything in your business you need to determine your niche and target market, so then you will be able to know how to communicate effectively. You can’t sell to just anybody. It is very important that you know your target market very well, to know their challenges, their pains, their obstacles, to be able to become their problems solver and to be seen as an expert.

2. Constantly communicate with your audience, your contacts and your clientsThrough Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, but also by publishing articles on your website, your blog and article directories (most of them are free, so no excuses). One of the secrets is to know how to recycle your work. You should be able to work once and use the information to generate money multiple times.

Example – One simple article can be posted as an article but can also become a podcast, a base to do a video, or become a free report. And multiple articles can become an ebook or a course. Each time you write an article, try to see all the possibilities you can use it. What are the various media that will attract your audience? Some people prefer to read, others to listen, others to watch a video (millions of people watch videos on YouTube every day, so make sure to integrate this in your business).

Make the habit of spending at least 15 minutes a day on social media to post new information. Make sure to deliver valuable content, don’t sell each time. Use the 80/20 rules, inform 80% of the time and promote a product or service 20% of the time. Use quotes, retweet other people’s valuable information, post resources, inform about your events or teleclasses each time you add a new post on your blog. Show people how you can help them to solve their problems.

3. Combine networking and social media – When you meet people at an event, the next day connect with them on social media. Invite them to join you on Facebook, Linkedin and twitter, to be able to communicate with them on a regular basis. So even if you don’t see each other for a while, you will be still informed on each others businesses. Also invite them to sign up for your newsletter. Always make sure to drag your contacts from social media to your own list. You never know what will happened to your account or page, if for some reason your Facebook account is deleted or blocked for example, you will be still able to communicate with your own list.

When you get the chance to schedule a live meeting with somebody that you met on social media don’t hesitate. I work mainly via internet and social media on my various businesses but there is always a special extra when I can meet people face-to-face, it brings a little plus to the relationship. This is not only for the people in your city but if you travel try to connect with your contacts, or if they travel take time to meet them. Go “from Facebook to face-to-face”.

Always make sure to develop a relationship with your contacts for them to get to know you, like you, trust you and know that you will be there to help them and will be their problem solver. When you build a strong relationship, they will know that you are the expert in your field and when the right time comes, they will contact you and nobody else. It is always more effective to attract people to you because you are known as an expert instead of chasing them and begging them to buy your products or services. Then you can be assured that you will have loyal customers for life and raving fans who will send you like minded referrals.

Want More Tips To Get More Clients, Make More Money & Get More Time For Yourself ? Download my 3 Free gifts:
-A series of 6 videos “Marketing Made Easy”
-A 60mn audio “Networking Made Easy”
-My ebook “15 Ways to Instantly Skyrocket Your Networking Results”

At http://www.theconnectionqueen.com

Note: PPRA is composed of many distinct organizations and individuals, each with different perspectives and specializations in diverse areas of public relations. Many of these members’ websites feature blogs with valuable insights and advice, and we would like to make this content available to you. Periodically, we will repost content from member blogs. If you would like to see your company’s blog considered, email Stephen Krasowski at skrasowski@rmahq.org.

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#PPRAMemberMonday

 

 

 

 

 

Nicole Cashman is the President and CEO for Cashman and Associates. She has been a PPRA member for 20 years.

Twitter @CashmanAssoc

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/cashman-&-associates-public-relations-&-special-events/

Facebook @cashmanandassociates

A Philadelphia native, Nicole Cashman began her career at Drexel University where she earned a B.S in Design and Merchandising with a minor in Marketing, along with completing a Co-Op internship with the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store in New York City. Her success in retail continued with her role as Public Relations Director for Bloomingdale’s in New York City, where she managed communication and event initiatives for the New York metro region and Boston. She was then recruited as Director of Public Relations & Special Events for 28 Strawbridge’s stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

Nicole blazed the industry trail for lifestyle public relations and special events agencies in the region with the opening of Cashman & Associates in 2001. Her attention to detail, zest for hospitality and innate ability to market brands to influential consumers and deliver benchmark worthy campaigns, paved a new path for women entrepreneurs in the field.

PPRA: Who are your clients and what projects are you working on right now?

NC: James Beard Foundation, Tropicana, Live Nation, Starr Restaurants, Brandywine Real Estate Investment Trust, AKA

PPRA: What is the favorite part about your job?

NC: My favorite part of my job is mentoring and teaching the younger members of my staff. I also love being the de facto creative director involved in graphic design and branding projects.

PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment at your job?

NC: My latest and greatest accomplishment is landing a Fortune 50 company that I have been trying to work with for the past 20 years.

PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?

NC: Advice I would give to my fellow entrepreneurs is to make sure your business is ran professionally. Seek advice from other professionals outside of what you do, hire a good attorney, accountant etc.

PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?

NC: The Devil Wears Prada

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

NC: My favorite spot in the city is a cozy table with my husband in the bar’s lounge at Barclay Prime.

PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?

NC: Wiz and American cheese with light fried onions.

PPRA: What was your favorite childhood book and why?

NC: My favorite childhood book is the The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein because it is a tale of ultimate sacrifice and generosity. The Giving Tree is a story and a lesson that I want to pass along to my son.

Getting Ahead with Influencer Engagement

By Paige Knapp, Devine + Partners

Can we level with you for a second? Sometimes, standing out on social media seems impossible among all of the digital noise.

We’re up against a lot these days. New and constantly changing algorithms that purposefully limit the reach of brand pages as a response to fake news. Lower visibility, over-saturated feeds, and increasingly-skeptical audiences. Millennials are heading out, and the illusive Gen Z is moving in. Twitter was “supposed” to disappear years ago, and instead Vine has already died and been reborn….kind of. Is your head spinning yet? Same.

We’ve been harping on this for some time – you may remember our podcast episode dedicated to this topic – but we feel confident that there is an answer to all many of these pain points.  They’re called influencers and we call our practice – influencer engagement.

Instead of throwing hundreds of posts at the digital wall and seeing what sticks, influencers offer a route to cut through the clutter and directly reach the audience you want to engage. And, while you’re at it, you get the endorsement of a voice that these users trust. It’s like word-of-mouth, except on the internet, and probably a lot more visual, with a few emojis sprinkled in.

Engaging influencers can feel complicated and confusing at first. How do you identify them? Are these relationships earned, or paid? How much messaging input is too much before content feels forced, and not organic?

Woof. Overwhelming? Sure. But influencer engagement is the new frontier, and a bit like the wild wild west. Some of these questions will never have concrete answers but instead of waiting, just jump in. Start slowly and build a larger program over time. Influencer engagement can be simple and low-barrier. Trust us, it is worth your time to dig in. Recently, team D+P engaged a key set of influencers for our  client, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. We invited them to the venue for dinner and a show, no strings attached. Here’s what we gained, and what you stand to gain, too.

  1. New and expanded relationships. Our target list included three categories: members of the media, bloggers across our local region, and strictly social media influencers. For those we know and have worked with before, this was a new kind of touchpoint to build on past interactions. For others, reaching out to invite them to our event was a great way to kick off a new relationship. For everyone, it was a time to network with one another and enjoy an evening under the stars together. Win, win, win.
  2. Shareable content. In this case, we simply wanted to expose the group to the Mann and a great night out. No sharing or posting required. Even so, the group spontaneously created and shared plenty of fabulous, well-messaged content throughout the night. We were able to monitor, share and save the posts. This is fabulous fodder for the client’s own social media to share now and down the road, and shows that the influencers’ audiences were hearing all about the event, but through the unique lens of someone they know and trust.

3.

3. Getting in early to a new audience. The downward trajectory of traditional media is clear which is why D+P is creating new strategies to reach audiences. The rise of social media creates a demand for instant information. Finding and cultivating valuable, like-minded influencers, outside of just having your own brand platforms, is going to be key as the media landscape continues to shift. Instead of playing catch up, you’ll be leading the pack.

There is real return on investment – both immediate and long-term – when engaging with influencers. Now is the time to get on board. If you are ready to engage social media influencers, shoot us an email at resteasy@devinepartners.com.

Note: PPRA is composed of many distinct organizations and individuals, each with different perspectives and specializations in diverse areas of public relations. Many of these members’ websites feature blogs with valuable insights and advice, and we would like to make this content available to you. Periodically, we will repost content from member blogs. If you would like to see your company’s blog considered, email Stephen Krasowski at skrasowski@rmahq.org.

 

Why You Need to Invest in Public Relations

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By Buchanan Public Relations

As companies strive to expand their digital footprint, and with presence on social media a growing priority, it’s never been a better time to invest in public relations. BPR President Anne Buchanan offered nine good reasons in a Public Relations Global Network blog post last week.

“You don’t want your first interaction with the media to be when your company is at its worst,” says Ms. Buchanan. “Investing in regular public relations ensures that crucial relationships are already in place when you might need support.”

Still need some convincing? The BPR team offers even more reasons to invest in PR:

“PR professionals are ideal communications consultants. We can help a company see potential impacts from all angles and determine the best messaging for the most favorable outcome. We’re hyper-aware of sensitive issues and language that can elicit negative emotions, which can help a company avoid unintended snafus. And we can inherently understand the most impactful and meaningful messages within a story to help it best resonate with the audience.” – Megan Keohane, Assistant Vice President

“Despite what some websites and blogs may tell you, PR is not something a CEO can do herself. In addition to it requiring a special set of talents, relationships and experience, it takes an exceptional amount of time away from running the company. It’s important to not only invest in PR, but to invest in an agency or PR practitioner who can help you do it well.”– Nicole Lasorda, Vice President

Every company has a unique story to tell. PR raises awareness around that story in creative, inspired and innovative ways that might otherwise go unseen.” – Lauren Force, Account Coordinator

“A strategic public relations program can position your company as the expert in your subject matter to prospective clients, existing clients and peers.” – John Reynolds, Senior Account Executive

“An organization should invest in PR because it’s one of the best ways to cultivate and protect its story. If companies don’t invest in PR, they risk having the media and general public write their own version of their story – which may end up being the exact opposite of how those organizations want to be portrayed.” – Jen Tedeschi, Account Executive

Note: PPRA is composed of many distinct organizations and individuals, each with different perspectives and specializations in diverse areas of public relations. Many of these members’ websites feature blogs with valuable insights and advice, and we would like to make this content available to you. Periodically, we will repost content from member blogs. If you would like to see your company’s blog considered, email Stephen Krasowski at skrasowski@rmahq.org.

8 Powerful Email Copywriting Techniques

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By Kaleigh Moore, AWeber Communications

Anyone who’s ever written a marketing email has asked themselves these questions:

  • How do I get my subscribers to open this?
  • How do I get them to take action?
  • Did they even *see* me in their inbox?

Not getting the results you’re after might make you want to visit your subscribers one-by-one and personally remind them to read your emails and click your links.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do anything so drastic. By following some basic rules of copywriting, you can dramatically increase your email engagement and get subscribers to take action.

Here are a few best practices you can start using in your email copy right away.

(Want to start sending amazing emails to your subscribers today? Try a 30-day free trial of AWeber. Test out our  ridiculously easy-to-use Drag-and-Drop editor and industry-leading deliverability.)

Use a Conversational Tone

Your goal is to communicate. This starts with everyday language, short sentences, and short paragraphs.

Famous writer Elmore Leonard said: “If it sounds like writing, rewrite it.”

That’s a good rule. Your copy should read as close to spoken English as possible. It should be easy to read and easy to scan. Big words don’t make you sound smart — they make you sound like someone trying to sound smart.

So how do you know if you’re writing conversationally?

According to Copy Hackers, a conversion copywriting site, Dr. Suess is a good example of how to use short words and short sentences in a way that captivates the reader.

If you need more help simplifying your writing, check out Hemingway App. It flags overly complex sentences and assigns a reading level to your writing (the lower, the better.) This post, for example, reads at a sixth grade level. That’s about where you want to be writing.

Avoid Jargon, Buzzwords, and Acronyms

Jargon, buzzwords, and acronyms are an epidemic these days — especially in the world of tech and startups.

Jargon and acronyms can alienate readers who don’t know what you’re talking about. You might as well speak gibberish to them. Instead of using these overly technical terms or abbreviations, be sure to use simple, easy-to-understand language and to spell out terms before you use them in acronym form.

As for trendy buzzwords: Try to think beyond them. Words like ‘pivot’ and ‘disruption’ are becoming cliches that make people tune you out and take you less seriously.

Instead, take the time to come up with simple alternatives:

  • Cohort = customer group
  • BoFU = Bottom of the funnel
  • Virality = popularity

This is really just the tip of the iceberg, though. Forbes has a list of the most obnoxious startup jargon — like ‘rockstar’ and ‘hacking’ — while TechRepublic suggests we stop using these 10 Buzzwords, like ‘curation’ and ‘freemium’.

Write a Killer Subject Line

Headlines have always been the foundation of good copy. In email marketing, your subject line is what gets you opened and read. Without a good one, you’ve got nothing.

When writing your email’s subject line, think about:

  • Personalization: By personalizing your subject line, you can increase open rates by 50%, according to Marketing Dive. That might mean incorporating a subscriber’s first name in your subject line to make the message feel tailor-made.
  • Curiosity: Evoking a sense of curiosity in the the reader can get that person to click through and open your email. Ex: Want a chance to win $100?
  • Scarcity: Promoting limited time or quantity items can create a sense of urgency around your email that piques interest and drives conversions.

If you need more help figuring out a home-run subject line, here are 6 subject line formulas that will improve your open rates.

Know the Medium

One reason that email remains the number one marketing channel is that it gives you the power to talk directly to your audience. You’re leaving money on the table if your copy doesn’t reflect this.

Why “batch and blast” with the same generic message to everyone when email gives you the power to personalize, segment, and automate? After all, automation can increase leads, conversions, and revenue…and it can save you time.

The stats prove it: Automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than other marketing messages, according to Epsilon Email Institute.

And here at AWeber, we saw a 118% increase in open rates when we segmented our audience. We sent smaller groups of subscribers the exact information they were interested in, instead of sending our entire list the same exact content.

Set up automated emails that help make every email you send relevant, interesting, and timely. Click here for your crash course in email automation.

Write for People (because businesses can’t read)

The term B2B is misleading because you’re not writing for businesses — you’re writing for decision-makers within a business. Humans, in other words.

This is why we take the time to come up with buyer personas that reflect our customers’ unique needs. These people have emotions, so don’t just throw statistics at them. Don’t just use logic to appeal to their minds. Aim for the heart and connect on an emotional level.

In your emails, use emotion-based principles like reciprocity, commitment, and social proof (to name a few) to make an emotional plea to your readers.

Agitate Problems, Then Solve Them

Whether you’re outlining single email or an entire campaign, this is your formula:

  1. Identify a problem (P)
    Ex: Need an easier way to open cans.
  2. Agitate that problem (A)
    Ex: Isn’t it frustrating to use a hand crank can opener? It’s slow, hard work.
  3. Present your solution (S)
    Ex: With the electric can opener, you can open aluminum cans in seconds with no effort.

TV infomercials absolutely nail PAS. A voiceover identifies a problem: “Do you always end up making way too much pasta?” Then a montage in black and white agitates the problem with people tripping over big tangles of spaghetti in the kitchen. Finally, we get the solution: A happy family eating just the right amount of pasta, thanks to the Pasta-Matic.

Obviously, there are other reasons not to copy what infomercials do, but they give a larger-than-life example of this formula in action. The key is to be relevant. There are millions of problems out there, and most of them don’t matter to your reader.

The problem has to be real, not just an excuse to talk about your product. In an email, your copy needs to express a genuine understanding of what this problem means to your potential customers — and then swoop in with a simple solution.

Don’t Be Too Salesy

You don’t have to be salesy just because you’re selling something.

Email readers have a good sense for “salesy” tactics (like when you try to get them to click on a CTA with misleading copy), and 9 times out of 10, it will alienate your audience. These days, people have zero tolerance for interruption, pressure, tricks, and manipulation. The reason: Research shows online attention spans are shorter than ever, and therefore most people have developed a strong detector for these time-wasting tactics.

But you still want to sell to them. What can you do about that?

Simple: Tell stories instead.

Storytelling is the opposite of being salesy. You can still drive traffic, convert, close, and all of those nice things without resorting to cheeseball tactics. The great thing about storytelling is it’s actually less work than being salesy. You don’t have to resort to tricks and hacks. You simply communicate in a way that’s clear and interesting.

Stories (be it personal, fictional, etc.) are how our brains evolved to learn new information. According to science, we’re hardwired to take in stories. By harnessing this powerful form of communication, you’re putting tens of thousands of years of evolution on your side.

Parting Wisdom: Don’t Stop Learning

A final catch-all tip: never stop learning. Writing is a skill that takes time and practice to master.

And continue to read content by great writers. We recommend Ann Handley’s newsletter. She’s an author and AWeber customer who sends interesting, smart, and beautifully-written stories in her newsletter Total Annarchy.

For copywriting tips, sign up for AWeber customer Henneke Duistermaat’s Enchanting Marketing emails.

For the basics of grammar and composition with books like Eats, Shoots & Leaves and the classic (but always relevant) Elements of Style.

Want more copywriting and email tips delivered to your inbox? Sign up for the the AWeber blog newsletter and get actionable email-specific advice week after week!

Note: PPRA is composed of many distinct organizations and individuals, each with different perspectives and specializations in diverse areas of public relations. Many of these members’ websites feature blogs with valuable insights and advice, and we would like to make this content available to you. Periodically, we will repost content from member blogs. If you would like to see your company’s blog considered, email Stephen Krasowski at skrasowski@rmahq.org.