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7 steps to elevate your social media presence [part one]

By now, it is old news that you should blog or be on Twitter, but now that you’re online and have an intermediate level understanding of social media, how do you take it to the next level?

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Maximizing actions to maximize results

One day I was having lunch with a dear friend of mine who owns a record label. I offered to help them with their social media efforts, because they are at the same stage of most of my clients: they know what social media is, the basics of using the different sites, and understand social media etiquette.

What they don’t get is how to maximize their actions to get the best possible results from marketing their content.

If you’ve reached the point where you have an intermediate understanding of social media etiquette, but aren’t sure how to make more of an impact with what you share, this article is for you, too. These are simple, testable tips you can try, first one at a time and then together, to get your message to reach more people, who in turn can also help you spread your message outside your reach.

Some of these tips may seem obvious once you know them. But it’s often the little actions we take that make the biggest difference – I just happen to know more of them because social media is where I “live” during my work day.

(We’re going to assume you already understand how to produce compelling content for your audience. So much hinges on sharing what your community thinks is awesome, rather than what might have blown the CEO’s skirt up.)

This week, we will dive into the first two steps to elevate your social media presence, and next week will dive even deeper.

1. Perfect Your Timing

There are two types of timing you need to master – the “rush hours” at the sites you use, and the time at which your audience gives you the best response. This step will increase the number of people who will see your updates because you’ll be posting at a time when most people are on.

For example, more than half of Facebook users log in daily. And some of their login patterns are predictable. People tend to log in:

– when they wake up
– when they first get to work
– at lunch
– after work

People also log in on weekends but that’s a little bit trickier to predict. It’s worth your while to coordinate your posts to these time periods, and test to see when you’re getting the best responses.

You may also find that there’s a specific time when your audience tends to read your newsletters more. My original audience was made up of entrepreneurs building brand new microbusinesses and startups. I went against the grain on an instinct once and started sending out my newsletters at midnight on weekdays. My click and buy rates doubled, all because I figured out that other young entrepreneurs were up working at midnight just like I was.

2. Bond and Blend

People aren’t going to buy your product until they buy into YOU. You’d be surprised how much people wanting to support your endeavor or your company’s mission factors into their buying decision.

How do you get people to buy into you or your company? Tell your company’s story. Tell their stories. It may sound corny, but Care. Care as much about what’s happening in their lives and spreading their messages as you do about them spreading yours.

It’s perfectly logical once you think about it. On the current version of the web, most people are gravitating toward content and people they care about. If you care about the same topics as your community, and your community cares about the topics you write about, it’s only natural you share each other’s content.

You can never hope to catch every single item, so you’ll often follow other people who are on top of their curation game in your favorite subject. And those people are looking for the same thing you are – more about what they love, and more people to discuss those same interests.

What’s often forgotten is that discussion is a two way street. You can’t just talk about yourself and all the great things you do — that’s broadcasting. People get deaf and blind to that quickly – on Facebook there are even many ways to stay connected to you and still ignore your updates completely.

This is easier to grasp if you pay attention to the language, mannerisms and customs of the community you’re seeking to lead. It can be the simplest thing that makes or breaks you.

We bookworms often hate grammatical errors and typos more. Poets love it when you can properly execute a masterful turn of phrase.

Technical people may love all the intricate details, certain types of executives may want an overview of the big picture.

This is an ongoing process – you aren’t going to have one research phase and then it’s over. Stay current and involved.

Next week, I will address how to get people excited about your brand and empowering them to evangelize and offer advice on some tools to equip your toolbox. Some advice will be contrary to what the gurus have told you, so stay tuned!

Tinu Abayomi-Paul is the CEO of Leveraged Promotion and a member of Network Solutions Social web Advisory Board. Her website promotion company specializes in reputation management, and engineering demand generation system for businesses, integrating search, expertise marketing and social media.

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Social Media

Don’t let your Instagram vanish without a trace – have a backup plan

(SOCIAL MEDIA) In a weird glitch, multiple Instagram accounts vanished out of thin air. Don’t be stuck up the InstaVanish creek without a paddle… or at least a backup in place.

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Poof, gone

Can you imagine being locked out of your own Instagram account for no rhyme or reason? Well, dozens of people just found out, and they are PISSED.

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Thankfully, we’ve got a solution to make sure you don’t lose out if it happens to you.

First, some context

According to coverage from Consumerist, “Several Instagram users began complaining about the disabled or deleted accounts on Twitter today [July 6], noting that they received no warning or explanation for why their accounts were no longer active. The affected accounts appear to cover a wide range of users, from business owners, to fan and personal accounts.”

Via Twitter, Instagram did acknowledge a known bug causing the issue and said, “we’re working to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

However, the response came hours after complaints began, possibly because the issue allegedly affected a very small number of user accounts.

Furthermore, while Instagram gave instructions to users on how to reconfirm their identities and recover their account, they aren’t guaranteed to work.

So, bearing all that in mind, we here at American Genius recommend backing up your entire account in order to preserve your content.

Use what they give you

If you still have access to your account, you can utilize Instagram’s recently-launched Archive function. This lets you take photos off public view without removing them from your account; only you will be able to see them.

However, this does you no good if you’re already locked out, nor does it save posts that are publically available.

For that reason, we recommend a third-party backup option for your profile content.

A’int no party like a third party

You have a few different options. Our favorite one utilizes IFTT (If This, Then That). Using this automation tool, you can write a conditional function that says if you post a new photo to Instagram, it will automatically be sent to a cloud drive, such as Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox.

Along with the benefit of multiple storage options, we love this solution because you can set it and forget it.

That being said, it is not a complete solution; IFTT will ONLY backup up new photos, instead of old ones. To backup your entire collection of old memories, Instaport seems to be a crowd favorite.

Instaport is a free service that lets you download a backup of your entire account.

Once you download this backup, you could upload it to your preferred cloud storage provider, then set IFTTT to send future backups into that same folder.

Better safe than sorry

Using these tips, you can avoid being a total victim of an Instagram screw-up. Hopefully, this recent one will resolve shortly.

#InstaVanish

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Social Media

How to quickly make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the masses

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Most of us have a love/hate relationship with LinkedIn, but no matter your feelings, you should be the one who stands out in a crowd – here’s how.

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Your LinkedIn is your brand. That’s it. Whether you are job hunting (or people are hunting you), or are showing off your business, insight, acumen, or simply networking; your profile on LinkedIn needs to stay appealing and not drive potential headhunters, bosses, clients, or networking groups bananas.

Let’s start with a three part list of what you MUST do, what you SHOULD do, and what you COULD do.

Here’s what you MUST DO (as in, do it now).

  1. Get a #GREAT LinkedIn photo. Nothing sells you like the right profile picture. No selfies. No mountain biking. Get a professional headshot. Don’t lie about your age. Wear what you wear when you’re on the job. Smile. People are visual.
  2. Simplify your profile. Cut the buzzwords. Cut out excess skills that don’t add to your vision or that don’t represent the kind of job you want. (i.e. most of us can use Outlook but few of us need to mention that skill because we don’t support Outlook). Focus on the skills that are important.
  3. Keep it current. Your LinkedIn should reflect your career and current responsibilities. Update the description. Add new projects. Change your groups as you change in your career and move towards new levels. Indicate when you receive a promotion.
  4. Extra, Extra! Headlines. Don’t use something lame for your headline. How would you want to catch a headhunter to look at you if you could only say 10 words? Make it standout. There are thousands of managers – but only one you.
  5. Custom URL. Just do it. Pick your own URL. It’s FREEEEEEE.
  6. Get the app. Make LinkedIn a part of your mobile life and check it more often than you do Snapchat.

Here’s what you SHOULD DO (Set aside some time at Starbucks and go do this in the next month).

  1. Tell your story. Your summary should bring to live the content of your career. Don’t leave that section blank. Spend some time crafting a cool story. Run it by your professional mentor. Send it to your English major friends.
  2. Connect. Add colleagues. Add partners from other organizations. Use connections to broaden your network. Synch your profile with your address book. Add people after a conference.
  3. Endorse your connections. Identify people you’ve worked with and give them the endorsements – which can get them to come endorse you!
  4. Ask for recommendations. Ask a colleague, partner, or manager to write you a recommendation to help advertise your skills.
  5. Add a nice cover photo. Again, visual people. Some more on that here.

Here’s what you COULD DO (If you’re feeling dedicated, what you can do to give yourself an extra edge.)

  1. Share your media. Upload presentations, videos, speeches, or projects that you can share. (Don’t violate company policy though!).
  2. Publish original content. LinkedIn has a vibrant publishing feature and sharing your original work (or content you’ve published elsewhere) is a great way to share your voice.
  3. Post status updates. Share your reactions. Share articles. Repost from influencers. Be active and keep your feed vibrant.

That’s a quick list to get started. So go start your LinkedIn makeover (and I’ll go do the same). Let’s get connected!

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Innovative widget places Instagram Stories right on your website

(SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS) Increase your social media reach with this neat new free to use Instagram Stories widget for your company website or personal portfolio site.

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Instagram Stories are a great way to integrate video into your marketing strategy. If you’re already investing time and money in this successful strategy, might as well feature Stories on your website too, right?

Well lucky you, Fastory recently released a free widget to add Instagram Stories directly to your site to feature your nifty marketing efforts on desktop. Even though mobile is still dominant with younger generations, desktop users need some love and access to Stories, too.

Fastory CEO Sylvain Weber noted the “widget is the only one fully based on the brand new Instagram Graph API (no private API, validated by Facebook himself).” This pretty much means Fastory is ahead of the game with the newly opened up API, and are basically development pioneers.

Drive awareness and build loyalty by spreading the wonder of your Instagram Stories far and wide with the Stories Widget. Simply log in to Facebook to get the widget, then sync your Instagram Stories stream.

Next, all you have to do is copy the provided HTML code and paste it on your website. Hooray, now you have a widget that automatically updates your website with your latest Stories.

Keep in mind you’ll need an Instagram Business Account for this to work.

If you have more than one business Instagram linked to Facebook Pages, just select the one you want to use from the drop-down menu when getting the widget code.

You can continue that process to select multiple Instagram accounts and generate widget codes for each of them.

Free for a limited time, you can also utilize the Memories feature, keeping a collection of your Instagram Stories on your site instead of having them disappear after twenty-four hours like usual.

All the Stories featured on your site also include a “follow us” button to encourage user engagement and gain you more followers.

Looking for help jazzing up your Instagram Stories? Fastory was originally created as an easy to use design platform to create and customize Stories.

Their mobile-first marketing suite offers drag & drop design featuring animated headlines crafted in Adobe After Effects, fonts from Google Web Fonts, and motion design.

Story creation and editing is collaborative with varying roles and levels of privileges. Plus, you can track visitors in real time to identify drop off points and areas for improvement. Contact Fastory for Story creation pricing information.

And on the free end of things, check out the Instagram Story Widget.

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