8 Questions to Consider Before Posting on Social Media

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Before you hit the send button to post a status or send a tweet, are you sure your message is sound? It is easy to mindlessly send something on social media without thinking twice. All the dashboards and apps make posting simple, sometimes ‘too’ simple. Posting content or sharing on social media without consideration of guidelines necessary for utmost value and engagement from your prospects could hurt your company in the long run.

We’ve taken in account our own experience with social media content creation and management, as well as taken inspiration from Forbes Social Media Etiquette:12 Step Checklist and Social Media Marketing Checklist to create an 8 question social media checklist that every social media post should be evaluated upon.

The Social Media Checklist

  1. Is the message informative or interesting?
  2. Is the post, tweet, or update too wordy?
  3. Does the URL work?
  4. Did I use the right industry keywords, trends, and hashtags to maximize views?
  5. Have I posted too frequently today?
  6. Did I proofread and use spell check?
  7. Would I feel comfortable with anyone seeing this?
  8. Did I incorporate an image, video, infographic, etc?
  1. Is the message informative or interesting?

We’ve found that the most valuable social media content is either informative or interesting. Your goal is to create or share content that will get the target audience to like, share, or comment under your post. Companies that use social media as a tool to inform or entertain the audience are much more likely to engage with prospects. Engagement with your prospects is key for creating leads and sales down the line. To determine if your post is informative or interesting, here are some things to consider.

  • Is the content interesting enough for prospects to comment on or share?
  • Will others care about it or is it only me?
  • Is there added value for prospects reading this post?

2. Is it too wordy?

There’s been plenty of research on the perfect length for social media posts. Generally these lengths are ideal:

  • Twitter
    • 71 to 100 characters
  • Facebook
    • 40 to 55 characters – We’ve seen longer posts do well in certain situations but typically, stick to a shorter format. It will be refreshing to your prospects who are accustomed to being bombarded by long posts on Facebook.
  • Google+
    • 60 characters

We recommend these lengths because in most cases, the shorter and more concise the post, the more likely it is to be shared. This is especially important on Twitter because if you post a tweet of 100 or less characters, the person retweeting can also write their own input. Also, shorter lengths make your prospects more likely to read your posts when scrolling through their feed.

3. Does the URL work?

Always double check to make sure your link works. This is key, otherwise you will appear to your prospects like you are not detail oriented. Also, it is important to evaluate whether or not the link is appropriate for the message you are trying to send. Does it add value to your prospect? If not, don’t post it!

4. Did I use the right industry keywords, trends, and hashtags to maximize views?                                                          

In many ways this question must answer this: Things to keep in mind:

  • Is this post too ambiguous?
  • Will my prospects understand my message?
  • Am I using too many abbreviations in this post?
  • Am I utilizing current trends and industry keywords?
  • Am I using appropriate hashtags?
    • Using too many hashtags or irrelevant hashtags can make you sound like a teenager. It’s best to stick to using trends and industry terms.

5. Have I posted too frequently today?

Social media frequency and keeping a consistent social media presence is important for developing and maintaining relationships with prospects and customers. However, if you post too much, you can annoy your followers. The topic of the appropriate amount of your social media posts is highly researched and here are the findings:

  • Twitter
    • 3-5 times per day
  • Facebook
    • 2 times per day
  • LinkedIn
    • 1 time per day
  • Google+
    • 3 times per day
  • Pinterest
    • 5 times per day
  • Instagram
    • 1-2 times per day

6. Did I spell check and proofread?

It happens to all of us. You accidentally put “there” instead of “their” or forget a letter. This of course looks sloppy to your prospects so always spell check before posting.

A trick we do in our office is reading our social media content aloud before posting. Many times, your ears can pick up on things that your eyes cannot, so use them!

7. Would I feel comfortable with anyone seeing this?

This is a very important question to consider. Once you post something on social media, it’s there for life. A company’s sharing history can be searched and found easily. Also, screen shots can be taken of content immediately, so make sure you think before you post. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Could this post potentially offend someone?
  • Is this well thought out or am I writing this in the heat of the moment?
  • How would I feel seeing this post/tweet/update in a month, a 6 months, a year, etc?
  • Does the post/tweet/update I’m sending fit with the organization’s guidelines, brand and marketing strategy?

8. Did I incorporate an image, video, infographic, etc?

Visuals are the most important factor in social media, according to research by  Wishpond and Hubspot. If there is a way to incorporate images, videos, infographics in your posts, do it. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000 x’s faster in the brain than text, meaning when your prospects are scrolling through social media, they are much more likely to interpret and retain the information provided in your visuals, than information in written messages.

  • Using images on your Tweets increase the likelihood to be retweeted by 150 %
  • Tweets with images get 89% more favorites than those without
  • Posts with images receive 94% page views than those without
  • Businesses who market with infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t
  • Videos on landing pages increases average page conversion rates by 86%

Using a social media checklist is a great way to create awareness of what you are posting and how you are portraying your business. It is a easy step that can help you create a social media presence that is in line with the image you want to portray to your prospects and customers. Simply print out our 8 question checklist and review it when you’re about to post, tweet, or share.

For help with social media strategy and implementation, contact us at (330) 963-3664 or RobFelber@felberpr.com

 

Social Media to Drive B2B Sales

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Consumer brands have been using social media for years. Collecting likes, creating conversations, providing incentives, and creating contests to engage the customers with the brand. Meanwhile, B2B brands have not been as quick to join the social media bandwagon. In the B2B workplace, social media is just as important as it is with B2C. However, B2B social media comes with its own unique set of challenges. It must go beyond gaining more followers, getting likes, and engaging in simple conversations. It’s all about building lasting relationships.

  1. Create a stream of continuous social engagement.

The first step to a successful B2B social media campaign is getting over the idea that posting once or twice a week is engaging your target audience. It is important to maintain a stream of continuous engagement. One touch to your target audience will not suffice. It is essential to have a continuous conversation and nurture the prospective client through the sales cycle. This process cannot happen with one 90-day campaign. Instead, plot out a series of engagements throughout the calendar year. This gives your prospects time to get to know you and warm up to your business and the products you sell.

  1. Be where your buyer is.

When you consider creating a social media strategy, it is unwise to think about a single network like Facebook or LinkedIn. It is important to keep in mind that your prospects are everywhere, and your social media campaign should cater to that. No matter what social media platforms you use, the brand experience should be consistent. Also, going mobile is key.  People are browsing the internet, reading emails, and interacting on social media on their cell phones more frequently with every year. It is important that your campaign is not only mobile accessible, but appears and feels like it was made for mobile. Bad mobile experiences cause prospect drop out.

  1. Attract B2B prospects with B2B incentives.

Attracting B2B prospects is different than B2C prospects. Social campaigns during their inception were focused on the B2C market, and involved extensive giveaways and product deals. These of course don’t work well in the B2B environment. B2B environments are less transactional and take more time to cultivate.  Incentives or discounts allow for you to see results immediately, whereas in the B2B environment, the buy occurs later. This is because B2B’s typically are working on a more extensive and complex sales cycle, which requires a good amount of education to the potential buyer. By posting and sharing relevant and interesting content, you are building a sense of trust and reliability with your customer. Your customer will grow to respect you as a knowledgeable person in the field and will be more likely to make a sale down the line.

  1. Measurement and Return on Investment

Let’s face it: tracking is key. You track your calls, forms on your website, and your purchases. It is essential to track your social media efforts as well! That way, you can adjust according to how your target audience responds. In social media, it’s not about hits. It’s about conversions. Nothing happens until someone sells something. In our next addition, we will speak more in depth about the importance of utilizing analytics in your social media plan.

Social media campaigns are the best way of creating better-qualified leads in the B2B environment. By implementing a social media strategy, businesses can gather data on their prospects and current clients and tweak digital marketing efforts if necessary. This allows for B2B’s to adapt to what their customer base wants and needs. That way, B2B’s have the time necessary to cultivate lasting relationships with potential customers and conduct more sales down the line.

Social Media for Manufacturers: Worth the Hype?

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Let’s be honest: the typical customer of a manufacturer isn’t the most social media savvy person on the internet. Still, we know that social media is a necessary part of the modern business world, but it is really worth all the hype? The answer is yes, but only if it is used wisely.

Facebook

Facebook at first may seem like a tough sell for manufacturers because the most successful company pages are typically B2C businesses. Since Facebook is a non-professional and personal network, it isn’t the first place people think to go when buying machinery, however, Facebook should not be ruled out by manufacturers. Facebook has a great influence over a business’ ability to drive traffic and also give the business a more “human” touch.

By creating a Company Facebook page, businesses can be found in simple searches. Likes on Facebook help determine how easy it is to find your company in Google searches. Facebook is also a great tool to follow industry partners, competitors, and potential customers. Posting regularly and building online rapport with your target audience is a way to give a more trustworthy, human face to your company .

Google+

Google+ is an incredible tool that allows businesses to enhance their search results by using social credentials and gaining influence. By posting articles to the company’s page, you can enhance your ranking on Google and your search listing. The key to making yourself stand out from your competitors is posting visual content. It’s true that pictures speak louder than words and visuals, especially personalized images, can greatly enhance your popularity online. Google+ Communities is an excellent platform to interact with the target audience and your industry. Through Google+ Communities you can participate in discussions, gain insight on competitors and your industry, and form relationships.

Twitter

Twitter is arguably the most influential micro-blogging platform in the world. Utilizing Twitter gives manufacturers a means of engaging with millions of Twitter users worldwide. Twitter is a great way for manufacturers to reach out to members of the niche industries in which they belong. It is easy to engage with the target audience by sharing relevant content and interacting with the them directly. By using hashtags, you can tag your tweets to specific conversations and subjects, making your company more noticeable online. Also, you can search hashtags and find potential clients, leaders in the industry, and trade groups to follow.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn by far the most influential way for manufacturers to connect with their target audience. Creating a company page is an easy process that takes little time. Invite your marketing, sales, and other employees to join the company page. Your employees are your brand ambassadors and will help you market your company and drive traffic to your company page.  Once your company page is up and running, it is important engage in industry groups. Make sure that you are participating in discussions and sharing relevant and engaging content on your page. There should be a balance between post about your company and relevant industry content. Nobody wants to be bombarded with a company continuously promoting themselves.

Social media is an integral part of any inbound marketing strategy. Utilizing social media allows manufacturers to stay up to date on their industry and generate sales leads. It also gives manufacturers an easy and inexpensive means of reaching out the target audience. Through the use of social media, manufacturers can build relationships and create lifelong customers, allowing their businesses to continue to grow.

 

 

Are Your Prospects Puppets?

When was the last time you gut-checked your marketing strategy with the question “What do we want them to do?” Think about your strategy. Whether you are using traditional push techniques such as direct mail and print advertising or pull tactics such as search engine optimization and trade shows, do you really know what you want your prospect to do when the interact with your promotion? What behavior are you expecting (desiring)?

Of course our prospects are not puppets (mine certainly would take offense to the characterization). I use the analogy to demonstrate that you are in control of your marketing plan (the strings) and when you pull them you want (and should) expect a planned reaction. Often I hear “we want sales or we want leads.”

Yes, in business we need to complete sales. Think hard about your sales process. You will rarely make the sale at a trade conference, but you can certainly begin the relationship. Your goal may be simply “we want pre-identified and pre-targeted attendees at a conference to come to our booth for a demonstration.” Hence, the dance begins. Then, you can book a follow up engagement, another step in the process and ultimately lead them where you want them to go.

Another example is social media pull. Is your goal to drive sales through the website or simply to further develop prospects by having them opt-in to your content? Content is king. You know you have good material but you need to have an audience for content to achieve your goal. To keep your name recognition high, you want them to opt-in to your emails and other communications. Ask yourself again; when we use this particular tactic, what do we want to happen? Your choice of marketing tactics and the measurement for success will now be much clearer.

What would I like you to do? If you find this article valuable, please share with two of your colleagues.

Rob Felber – President

Felber PR & Marketing

Kent State Student Earns YouToo Social Media Scholarship from Akron Area Chapter of Public Relations Society of America

(Congratulations to our former intern Cindy Deng)

News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Kent State Student Earns YouToo Social Media Scholarship from Akron Area Chapter of Public Relations Society of America

 

Kent, OH – April 12, 2014 – Last week, the Akron Area Chapter of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Cindy Deng, a senior public relations major at Kent State University, from funds raised at its award-winning YouToo Social Media Conference.

YouToo Scholarship applicants must be full-time students majoring in public relations or communication and currently attending Kent State University, a member in good standing of the Kent State chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and serving in some capacity to help prepare for the YouToo Social Media Conference, which is held at Kent State each April.

 

A committee of professional judges review applications and rank candidates based on the following criteria:

  • 30 percent on participation in PRSSA or other extracurricular activities
  • 30 percent on overall quality of writing and presentation samples
  • 20 percent on grades in the major
  • 10 percent on classes taken in the major
  • 10 percent on faculty recommendations

Deng’s dedication and hard work in the field of public relations has brought her many great opportunities and honors. She served as PRSSA Intercampus Liaison for the 2012-2013 school year and is currently the PRSSA president for the 2013-2014 school year. Deng was also invited to participate in the 2013 PRSSA Bateman Case Study competition where she and four other PRSSA members developed an anti-bullying campaign at a local secondary school. This February Deng was awarded the David L. Stashower-Marcus Thomas, LLC, Rising Star Internship Award by the American Advertising Federation-Cleveland Education Foundation.

 

In addition to her PRSSA involvement, Deng served as a mentor for the Provost’s Leadership Academy where she guided and assisted freshmen members in developing a research project they can present to the provost and then develop and implement on campus.

She has also interned at Felber PR & Marketing, a PR and marketing firm in Twinsburg and worked as a communications assistant for University Libraries at Kent State University. Deng’s interest in PR stemmed from her admiration for journalism in high school where she was a reporter and editor of an award-winning school newspaper, The Orbiter.

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The Akron Area Chapter of Public Relations Society of America is part of the world’s largest organization for public relations professionals helping to advance the profession and the professional. Its nearly 115 local members represent business and industry, counseling firms, independent practitioners, military, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.akronprsa.org. The award-winning YouToo Social Media Conference is a professional development workshop hosted annual by the chapter.

Media Contact: Jennifer Kramer, jlkramer@kent.edu330-672-1960 (o), 330-714-8302 (c)

Are you ready for Manufacturing Madness?

Are you ready for Manufacturing Madness?

Felber PR & Marketing is a proud sponsor of the

Smart Business Evolution of Manufacturing Conference

Thursday, February 20, 2014 at the

Advanced Technology Training Center at Cuyahoga Community College

 

The 2014 Evolution of Manufacturing Awards recognizes Northeast Ohio manufacturers that best demonstrate their ability to adapt to the changing world and take manufacturing to the next level.

Click here to register for the event.

 Warm up your free-throw arm….we have a fun night planned for you!

Social Media Meets Tradeshows: a perfect match

So, you have heard social media builds brand, creates buzz about your company and can add communication channels directly to customers. Did you know you can greatly enhance this process around a trade conference or special event?

We have found that the social media activities that utilize these three principles yield results:

What to talk about, who to follow, who to retweet (repost).

What to talk about and how you say it matters. First, make sure your message corresponds with the reason for attending and/or exhibiting. Are you introducing new products, holding demonstrations at your booth or targeting a specific attendee? Consider short posts such as Demonstration: floor coating for contract mfg. facilities, booth 312, 3 pm. Or, see the Wonka 2000 at booth #4511. The latest in confection development. You can also promote special drawings, traffic building programs or key events such as press conferences and speaking engagements.

The next tactic is specifically designed to expand your social media universe (or in old terms, your audience). We suggest following all journalists and media participating in the conference. Simply following them puts your firm (and your Twitter handle) on their radar. Also, see who else is posting. Target the circle of influence folks. Yes, they exist here too. These are the ones that are posting relevant material, have many followers and that others have also chosen to repost (their content). You may not want to follow competitors, but other noncompeting exhibitors at the show are great. They will appreciate the follow, may follow you back and even consider reposting your content.

So, this brings us to reposting. In the Twitter-verse, this is called Re-tweeting (the original post being a tweet). Facebook, LinkedIn and even Google+  have joined the game as well. We use any and all of these properties during our client’s social media campaigns. Want more followers (audience)? Be the organization that actively retweets others content. If they are having a press conference at their booth, retweet it. They will appreciate it and most likely return the favor on your posts. This applies to coveted media who are also posting at the conference.

Bonus: How in the world do you know who is posting what during a 72 hour event? Ever seen this #? It’s called a hashtag (as in this blog post is #informative). A hashtag is used to create a simple search tool for those in the know. Check the conference website and I bet they have established one for the show. They are free, no one has to register them and they can be about anything. We created #commercialmaintenance for our client @Bldg_Maint. We add this to posts and people are starting to adopt it for their post. Setup a search and you will see every post for your conference (if they are using the hashtag). Note, those in the know and ones on the cutting edge, a small population, will be here. You will be playing with the top communicators in your industry. Lastly, and most importantly, you need to be monitoring these activities hourly during your conference. We have many tools we use to do this for our clients and often coordinate this tactic so they can concentrate on their speaking engagement and the visitors to their booth. Happy tweeting!

Rob Felber, President of Felber Public Relations & Marketing is responsible for the development and implementation of measurable advertising and public relations campaigns for manufacturers.  RobFelber@felberpr.com or (330) 963-3664

So, you want to purchase wire service distribution for your press release?

Remember those humorless military twins in Good Morning Vietnam?  These military intelligence drones were constantly redlining or editing the news that shock joc, Adrian Cronauer, portrayed by Robin Williams, wanted to read on the air. The reports came across the tele-type or wire service. While your news may not turn the tide of a war or soften the image of the US to the public, you nonetheless want to try to get your message in as many of the right places as possible.   

A little thing called the Internet

Modern day wire services have a tremendous advantage over their predecessors; a little thing called the Internet. No longer are you limited to a copy boy/girl sitting inside a news room waiting to tear freshly printed headlines of the big black box printer in the corner. The advantage is the rapid impact on your brand’s search engine optimization or “find-ability” on the World Wide Web. Think Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Wire services now automatically push your news to their partner news associations. This and the “lasts forever” factor of the Internet make your news stay around longer than the print edition of today’s newspaper (assuming you did not run over that paper on your way out the driveway this morning).  Herein sits the issue. Is it “wire worthy”

If you are looking to impact search and search alone, the simple answer is yes. If your motives are deeper, such as garnering a feature story, reporter site visit or fostering a stronger relationship with an editor, then you might choose a more personal follow up.

What do you really want to happen?

 While not the main subject of this article, note that sending a release is not the only way to build name recognition via media. The easiest way to look at this is to examine your release goal. What do you want to happen when someone/anyone reads this release? Do you want simple regurgitation of your copy, the reporter to call for an interview or to be featured on their cover? Wire services are good for getting targeted media to be more aware of your firm, but consider “servicing” the release or what we call old fashioned follow up.

All services offer distribution options for you to choose. Is your news specific to a region, state or country? Specific targeting also exists by industry sector, type of news outlet and reporter titles. Choose carefully, as the more you expand your reach, the more you impact your budget. The services also provided ever-increasing data about your news, who is seeing it, from where and even what browser they are using. This data is an absolute must share with your SEO Team.

You get what you pay for

While it would not be fair to compare and contrast all the service choices, know that you often get what you pay for. More established services with editorial teams and 24/7 customer service are some of the factors to look for while choosing pay to play distribution. Ask them what they do to impact the optimization of the release. How often is their journalist database updated? Do they proof read and even make editorial/grammar corrections? What about their security policies (many of the services have been duped into releasing invalidated or downright detrimental news). If they are strict with you, it’s for your own protection.

Can you accomplish your goals without a wire service? Certainly. It all depends on the tactics and tools your publicity team is choosing to employ.

Rob Felber, President of Felber Public Relations & Marketing is responsible for the development and implementation of measurable advertising and public relations campaigns for manufacturers.  RobFelber@felberpr.com or (330) 963-3664

 

 

 

 

September’s Learn & Connect — Competitive Advantages in Manufacturing

Register through Eventbrite

September 24th, 2013

7:30-8:00 Registration & Networking

8:00-9:00 Speakers

9:00-9:30 Networking

Are you a manufacturer always looking for new strategies to gain a competitive edge?  Join us and bring your business cards because everyone –Genus Solutions, our partners, and attendees – will be ready to Learn & Connect.  Our goal tomorrow is that each person to leave with new information and new contacts that can improve and grow their business.

Speakers:

Rob Gilmore, Kohrman, Jackson, Krantz P.L.L.

‘Protecting Your Company’s Confidential Information’

Rob Felber, Felber PR and Marketing

“10 social media tactics you can do in 10 minutes a day – to build your manufacturing brand and get new customers.”

Chris Isble, Genus Solutions

“Improving Customer Experience = Closing More Sales Selling Engineered-to-Order (ETO) Products”

This group is geared to manufacturing decision makers.

Have questions about September’s Learn & Connect — Competitive Advantages in Manufacturing? Contact Genus Solutions