Before You Promote Your Event on Instagram…

I’ve been hanging out on Instagram a lot more lately (follow me here!), and I’ve noticed a big problem that small businesses and coaches are running into with event promotions – especially since so many people are now hosting online events.

Due to Instagram’s algorithm, you can’t be sure that your event announcement will be seen before your event happens! Your followers have no ability to see posts in chronological order, as they can with Facebook (the Most Recent option for the Newsfeed), Twitter (option to “See Latest Tweets first”), or LinkedIn (option for “Recent” instead of “Top”).

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Before You Share Old Blog Posts, Do This

We’ve written before about the importance of re-sharing old blog posts to make sure you get enough mileage out of them. Of course, it’s a waste to work hard on something for several hours – or even days – and then forget about it once it’s been posted.

However, it’s important to remember that you can’t just repost links to your old blog posts without rereading them. Sometimes a typo will be missed in the initial post that you’ll be better able to catch after several weeks or months.

Aside from typos, here are four other things you should look for before re-sharing that old blog post. Continue reading

For Event Promoters: A simple fix to prevent wasted time and energy

As part of my business, I also manage a blog for a client. To create new content for this blog, I often have to research events using websites and social media. A big waste of my time occurs when an event listing contains no information about whether there is an entrance price for the event.

IMG_7867When I need to find out whether or not there is an entrance fee, and if so, how much it costs, I usually have to contact the event organizers or the exhibition hosts. If I am doing my research during normal business hours, I can typically call them. If I am researching outside of normal business hours, I have to send an email, or message them on their Facebook page.

Either way, it takes time for me to contact them. On their end, the person answering the phone or responding to emails has to take the time to reply with the information I need. Continue reading

Should You Consider a Selfie Station to Promote Your Business?

I’m not usually a selfie-taker, but there have been some selfie stations that were just so funny, I couldn’t pass them up. There was the time I posed inside a reproduction Baker’s Dunk at an old Silesian castle (#torturemuseum). Perhaps you’ve been known to stick your head through a picture of a jouster at a Renaissance Festival (#renfair), or stand inside a large speech bubble in a major city (#BeBerlin) – or even to simply pose with a costumed mascot at a sports game (#GoNats). All of these are ways businesses and institutions use to get someone else to do the marketing for them.

Small business owners have limited resources when it comes to online marketing – limits both on staff hours and funding available to dedicate to promoting the business on social media. However, this doesn’t mean they have to resolve themselves to being hindered by these limits. Continue reading

Tips for Sharing Quotes & Memes to Your Business’ Social Media Channels

Sharing inspirational quotes and memes is part of what makes social media … well … social. However, there are some tips to keep in mind when you are sharing quotes and memes on the social media accounts for your business.

Make sure you promote yourself.

quote example

I see many small businesses, entrepreneurs, consultants, and coaches caught up in the circle of sharing advice by famous people, or by big name business competitors. Instagram is filled with quotes by folks like Gary Vaynerchuk and Elon Musk (who, quite frankly, don’t need all that extra free exposure).

Don’t fall into the trap of always promoting the wise words of others – especially if you are sharing gifs and graphics that feature a competitor’s website! You’re pretty much driving your potential clients to them.

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Things Small Businesses Can Learn from Street Artists about Standing Out on Social Media

It’s a noisy marketplace out there on social media. When you post on Facebook or Twitter, it can seem like a leaf falling in a forest. Yours is just one among thousands of posts happening across the internet at any given moment.

How do you stand out?

Graffiti and street artists have a similar problem, so there are some great tips we can learn from them to help us stand out on social media. Continue reading

Stand out from Competitors by Taking Your Own Stock Photos

Nowadays, instead of pictures being worth 1000 words, social media has come to rely on pictures having space for at least a handful of words.

I’ve seen a lot of discussions lately on use of images to catch the eyes of people scrolling by on Facebook or Twitter. Many of those discussions also warn about the danger of scooping images off the internet and using them in your own posts. Ask my friend about that danger. He had to pay a sizable sum to Getty Images because he made that blunder last year. Now, he himself takes many of the photos he uses for his business.

There are many sites where you can access free images, but I’m not here to talk about those. One of the problems I’ve noticed with those sites is that you start to see the same image in posts by dozens of other people. Continue reading

Exorcise the Ghosts of Businesses Past

Everyone is talking about the KonMari method for cleaning your house, but how can you KonMari your business? Here’s a tip… get rid of social media accounts for businesses you no longer have or products/services you no longer offer!

Companies don’t always go out of business because they have failed. Sometimes, an owner wants to retire and there’s no one who wants to take over the business for them. Sometimes, an owner has simply found or been offered a better opportunity.

Unfortunately, former or potential customers don’t always get the memo that a business no longer exists. The internet has a long memory – especially if the company does not delete its social media presences.

Often, Facebook pages or Twitter accounts remain and stagnate. Former or potential customers are unsure if the business is gone, or if it is still around and just inactive on social media. Some businesses establish a social media page and then never update it at all, which adds to the “Are they out-of-business, or are they just not active here?” confusion. These ghosts of past businesses are frustrating for customers. Continue reading

How Copy Editing and Branding Go Hand-in-Hand

When you are establishing and maintaining a brand identity for your business, you need to pay close attention to your text across all of your digital and physical marketing materials. Consistency is of utmost importance in making sure potential customers have a clear understanding of your brand.

brands-floodAs a copy editor, I’ve seen the common problems small businesses have when they are trying to establish their brand identity and gain recognition among potential customers. But it’s not just small businesses that have problems maintaining consistency in their business marketing materials. Every established business goes through staff changes – and when staff changes, it may take new employees a little time to memorize the branding identity manual carefully crafted by their new employer.

This is why it’s crucial to have a good copy editor review your materials. Here are the key branding elements I focus on when I am copy editing for businesses. If you have a copy editor on staff, they need to ensure the consistency of these elements.

1 – Consistency in references to your company name.

Every person in your company – especially every person on your marketing team (including the interns who post on your social media channels) – needs to know the rules for spelling, punctuating, formatting, and capitalizing your company’s full name and common name. Even if they do know the rules, mistakes happen, and this is where having a copy editor review your website and brochure text can help.

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