Content Curation in 3 Easy Steps

Last time we talked about what content curation is, and why you should care. Now that you care, let’s talk about the easiest ways to curate content. I’m going to start with the easy ways because there are an ever-growing number of tools and services you can use to curate content. So it’s impossible to cover every potential place you could go or method you could use. The advantage to what I’m going to show you today is that (1) it’s easy, (2) it’s fast, and (3) it’s the entry level stuff that every online business owner should be doing. Before we get started on how to set up your content curation system, let’s review the “why” again real quick. Your purpose in curating content is to provide your audience with the best, most up-to-date, and highly relevant information on your market that there is. Your goal is to find the sources that have the best content already gathered. Unless you want to work full time at content curation – which of course you don’t – you’ve got to find the quickest way to get this done without compromising quality. You can get started with effective content curation in 3 easy steps.  Step 1: Twitter Search Twitter is a great place to curate content. There’s a lot of quality content there. The key to doing it effectively is to identify what keywords are relevant to your market. This requires having patience and playing around with it a little bit. Identify 2-3 keywords or keyword phrases and set them up as Twitter searches. Keep the 1-2 searches that are returning the...

The Right Way to Use Automation in Social Media

To automate or not to automate has been the subject of much debate since I began using social media. "You have to automate if you're going to have time to do anything else in your business," many have said. "But automation in social media means you aren't engaged with people," the purists argued back. And, perhaps the purists had a point, at one time. But, with the realities of social media these days, and the number of tools available to assist in your automation, you would be crazy if you were posting on all of your social media networks in real time. And, it would be impossible for you to have a profitable business without working 24/7. What those who argue against automation in social media miss is this hugely important rule: Automation does not equal absence. You can't schedule all of your content for the day at 7:00 a.m., close your social media networks and come back to check them again at 9:00 p.m. But you can schedule your content and still engage. Let's look at how. How to Schedule Everything      Your Posts Either the night before, or first thing in the morning, schedule all of your tweets, LinkedIn and Google+ business page posts for the day through Hootsuite. Schedule all of your Facebook page posts using the Facebook scheduler.  Plan your posts for your Google+ personal page and Pinterest. I know you probably don't use all of these social media networks daily, and I'm not suggesting you must, just pick the ones you use.      Your Engagement Again, either the night before or first thing...

The Social Media Numbers Game: Is Bigger Really Better?

In much of life you may be judged by the company you keep, but in social media, you are judged by the numbers you keep.  The more fans, followers, and friends you have, the more successful you are deemed to be in social media.  The more connections you have and circles you are in, the greater number of people you are presumably influencing. Makes sense, right? Well, maybe. Sometimes the Numbers Lie One of the problems with focusing on your social media numbers is sometimes the numbers lie. It’s always possible to manipulate the numbers game. In fact, if you’ve been engaged in social media for any length of time at all, you’ve likely seen it done. You can buy 1,000 “targeted” Facebook fans for about $100-$200. Non-targeted fans are much cheaper. You can get 5000 Twitter followers for next to nothing. But, there are so many problems with these “too good to be true” answers to the social media numbers game. First of all, you will almost always be amazed to find that the people offering you these great deals have a couple of hundred fans/followers, at most. Which means they aren’t going to deliver you what they’ve promised either. Second, even if the promise is fulfilled, the engagement level of these new folks – yes, even the targeted ones – is going to be little to nothing. The payment is merely for following. You’ll be lucky if even a few of these new followers ever see your posts in their stream or news feed. People who are a fan of buying Facebook fans like to argue that no one will “Like”...

Procter and Gamble’s Olympic Lessons in Online Branding

If you watched even a moment of the 2012 Summer Olympics, you were undoubtedly exposed to the Procter and Gamble “Thank You, Mom” campaign. It was all over, to say the least. Even as a single mom, my first thought upon seeing that the company had branded itself as the “Proud sponsor of Moms” was “what about dad?” It became quickly apparent to me that dad had no place in the “Thank You, Mom” campaign. If this offended me (and it did), I wondered how it must be effecting families made up of a mom and dad? And how about those single dads out there? I imagined widespread boycotts of Procter and Gamble products, apologies from the company for forgetting dad, and a general “flop” of the campaign. Obviously, I was in need of some online branding lessons, because I couldn’t have been more wrong. As I started to look around online for reactions to this bold campaign, what I saw was 95% positive. People were gushing about how “heartwarming” the commercials were, and how you couldn’t watch them without shedding a tear. And make no mistake about it, this campaign was all about moms. If you have any reservations about this, just check out the company’s popular Facebook and Twitter presence. The word “mom” or “moms” appears 5 times in the cover photo alone. The slogan “Proud Sponsor of Moms” says it all. This is a marketing campaign for moms. Twitter tells the same story: As you can see, the mom lovefest was popular. The Facebook Page gathered 769,758 likes. And 35,298 followed on Twitter. And again, the response...

Social Media: 3 Reasons You Should Post More Often

Last time we talked about how to know whether you’re posting enough, or too much, on your social media networks. Today I’ll give you some guidelines for finding that “just right” spot for your business. For starters, you should be posting more often to all of your social media networks. I’m sure they’re out there, but I’ve yet to find someone who posts too much. I can’t tell you how often to post, exactly. That will depend on you, and your audience. But here are some good starting points. On Twitter, tweet once every 60-75 minutes. On your Facebook Page, post once every 3-4 hours. Share on Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ twice a day. You’ve likely heard numbers much lower than this. And while there is some room for variance, “experts” who are advising you to post much less than this are wrong. How often to post on your social media networks is not a matter of opinion. Instead, you must take your direction from the fact of how social media operates. These 3 social media facts make a strong case for frequent posting. 1.  Oh So Few People are Seeing Your Posts The numbers are not a secret here. At most, 16% of the people who have “liked” your Facebook page are seeing your posts. Some estimates put this percentage much lower, dipping well into the single digit range. It doesn’t really matter. Fact is, very few people are seeing your posts in their news feed. And various studies confirm that 95-99% of your fans will never go to your Page. So, if they aren’t seeing it in their...

Social Media: Are You Posting Enough? Or Too Much?

How many times a day should you tweet, update your status, or otherwise share on your social media networks? Let me tell you upfront that I’m not really going to answer that for you. But, I will tell you how to answer it for yourself. It can be challenging to hit that “sweet” spot. You need to post enough to make people notice and remember you, but not so much to make them feel like you’re stalking them. There’s no magical formula for this. It’s going to depend on you, and your audience. So, how do you figure out the answer for you? Let’s start with this general rule: It’s easy to post not enough content, and hard to post too much.  Let’s look at what that means. How Little is Too Little? I was watching a webinar sponsored by HubSpot the other day. I love HubSpot. They consistently produce good resources. But, one of the presenters on this webinar was talking about how to put together a content calendar. His recommendations for a small business? 4 blog posts, 8 Facebook posts, and 16 tweets. Is that per day you’re wondering? No. In fact that’s what he recommended for the month. Now that is a clear example of not enough. We’ll take a look at the unique needs of the different networks next time. But here’s an important thing to keep in the front of your mind when it comes to all of your social media activity: No one reads all of your posts. No one even sees them all. Okay, maybe 3 people who really love you make it a point...