All Posts byKaren Black


About the Author

Karen Black is a web designer & online marketing specialist who helps small businesses get online and market themselves more effectively and efficiently so they can get people to notice, remember and buy from them.

10 Tips To Help You Use Twitter More Effectively

10 Tips To Help You Use Twitter More Effectively

By Karen Black | Twitter

Social media can be a bit of minefield for business owners, and often a daunting prospect and throughout out blogs we hope to provide you with some helpful guides on best practice for using these channels.

This post focused on Twitter and the great thing about Twitter is that if you can enjoy texting and sending short messages (which the majority of us can handle) then you’re already half way there!

The key mistake is to think that 140 characters are your opportunity to sell, sell, sell!  Twitter is a conversation medium, its role is to encourage discussion and open the conversation to others.

So with that in mind here are some of our best practice tips for using Twitter

  1. Ensure others can find your conversation by including #hastags for relevant words only remembering to #keep #hashtags #to #a #minimum #to #avoid #annoying #your #audience
  2. Tag people, companies or associations into your posts by including their @username so they can join in the conversation
  3. Include pictures and videos to your tweet (embed them by using the camera icon)  – these have a 50% higher viewing and engagement rate
  4. Instead of automatically retweeting – copy the message and put RT @username: rest of the message at the beginning so people can see it comes from your twitter account and your branding is still at the forefront
  5. Be sure that you leave at least 17 character SAFE ZONE so people re-tweeting can add their comments to the message and keeps content in what’s being commented upon
  6. If you automatically reply to another @username only the people who follow you BOTH can see the message in their feed.  Don’t forget to use the period (.) or some text at the beginning of the tweet so everyone can see i.e. .@username continue rest of message
  7. Don’t be shy, engage in the conversation – reply to people who engage with you, or join a debate or conversation – it’s called Social Media for a reason!
  8. Sharing is caring – don’t forget to share other people’s tweets, news or announcements
  9. Grow your network – look for suggested people to follow as recommended by Twitter or use the Discover tool to see who’s talking about the same conversations, interests as you
  10. Create lists on Twitter and assign your follows for better and easier management of what you review and reply to

If you liked this post please share with others you think may find it valuable. Connect with me Twitter or sign up below for further tips.

10 Ways To Engage With Your Audience On Facebook

10 Ways To Engage With Your Audience On Facebook

By Karen Black | Facebook

Facebook company pages have restrictions, which is not only a rant within itself but ultimately mean that unless your audience is consistently engaging with your posts, they won’t continue to see your news in their feed.

Facebook posts therefore needs to be appealing in order for audience interaction to take place and we have therefore provided our top tips for how small businesses should use Facebook.

  1. Facebook is a personal social media network and therefore needs the right language and tone i.e. friendly, open and even humorous where applicable.
  2. Use visuals to stand out and even better if they’re branded and make sure you mix up media types i.e. links, images, video or audio
  3. As always don’t just view social media as a channel to just promote yourself and your products – remember that conversation is two way so ensure your posts are focussed on what the audience would appreciate
  4. Always reply and engage with comments – let your audience see that you’re part of the conversation and you’re engaged with them also
  5. Ask simple questions – keeping it simple will help generate responses
  6. Draw in others to the conversation and tag in other @users
  7. Sharing is caring – share content from other pages
  8. Change your Facebook cover page for seasonal activity or promotions to keep the imagery ‘fresh’
  9. Boost the reach of your key activity through boosted or promoted posts
  10. Get creative and run Facebook campaigns or use Facebook apps to run competitions

In order for your Facebook page posts to show up in the newsfeeds of those who have liked your page they need to be engaging with you. If people stop engaging with your posts then they will stop seeing your posts in their newsfeeds, so it is key to ensure you are trying to get people to like, comment or share your posts wherever possible.

P.S. As of January this year Facebook has said that any type of promotional posts will no longer show in the newsfeeds of your followers and will have to be boosted or paid for.

If you liked this post please share with others you think may find it valuable. Connect with me Twitter or sign up below for further tips.

The Easy Way To Tackle Your Social Media Marketing

The Easy Way To Tackle Your Social Media Marketing

By Karen Black | Social Media Strategy

It’s safe to say that being a sole business owner, or solopreneur, can certainly take its toll. Trying to set up and run a successful business is a challenge in itself, without then having to worry about how to learn new skills to promote yourself. Juggling so many new things at once, many businesses often don’t have the marketing know-how and feel swamped with having to work out the best channels and techniques.

However this simple step plan will help you map out how to approach your social media marketing to help promote yourself and your business.

The two key pillars to your marketing activity:  who are you and who are they?

The key thing to try and tackle is what are the company’s core values – what are the messages you want to communicate about your company, service or product? How do you want other people to talk about you? Once this is clearly outlined, this will become a solid core to your marketing activity and help direct your decisions in the right path, but also prevent you from wasting your time on the wrong channels or activity.

The second thing to determine is who is your audience? By researching your audience and understanding what channels are relevant to them, you begin to narrow down the multitude of marketing choices available to you as you only choose the channels they engage with.

Planning is key

As time consuming as it can be to learn new skills, the importance of planning your promotional activity is vital as trust me it ultimately saves time going forwards. Marketing takes time and focus and the best way to ensure you’re being consistent and growing your audience or customer base is to plan your marketing activity.

To help you get started, take a look at our plan below.

8 steps to creating and implementing your social media marketing activity

  1. Determine your key values and messages – what is your company, why should people be interested – what are your key words you want to use in your communications, what’s the tone you want to use?
  2. Determine your audience – who is your customer, what matters to them, where can they be found?
  3. Select the channels you want to use – it is better to do fewer channels consistently rather than many channels badly
  4. Set up goals and measurement tools – track progress, what’s effective, what’s not
  5. Create a schedule for content – plan several weeks even months ahead for content, tailor make each content strand for each channel
  6. Make use of automation tools – schedule posts leaving you time to be more reactive
  7. Create assets – artwork, branded imagery, photography to accompany posts. Get noticed with imagery and increase interaction, interest and engagement with followers
  8. Remember social media means being social – reply to requests, posts, say thank you to your customers

The great thing about social media marketing is that it gives you a direct channel to your current and potential customers. All great relationships are built on authentic communication, honesty and likeability and these factors need to be integrated into your social media activity. You stop liking someone if they’re not honest about themselves, trying to be someone they’re not or are only talking to you because they want something. Therefore by clarifying who you are and understanding your audience and their triggers, you can steer a conversation that will develop into good rapport, trust and on to sales!

If you liked this post please share with others you think may find it valuable. Connect with me Twitter or sign up below for further tips.


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