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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.

Social Media

New Pinterest code of conduct pushes for mindful posting

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media sites have struggled with harmful content, but Pinterest is using their new code of conduct to encourage better, not just reprimands.

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Pinterest icon on phone with 2 notifications, indicating new code of conduct.

It appears that at least one social media site has made a decision on how to move forward with the basis of their platform. Pinterest has created a brand-new code of conduct for their users. Giving them a set of rules to follow which to some may be a little restricting, but I’m not mad about it. In a public statement, they told the world their message:

“We’re on a journey to build a globally inclusive platform where Pinners around the world can discover ideas that feel personalized, relevant, and reflective of who they are.”

The revamp of their system includes 3 separate changes revolving around the rules of the platform. All of them are complete with examples and full sets of rules. The list is summed up as:

  • Pinterest Creator Code
  • Pinterest Comment Moderation Tools
  • Pinterest Creator Fund

For the Creator Code, Pinterest had this to say: “The Creator Code is a mandatory set of guidelines that lives within our product intended to educate and build community around making inclusive and compassionate content”. The rules are as follows:

  • Be Kind
  • Check my Facts
  • Be aware of triggers
  • Practice Inclusion
  • Do no harm

The list of rules provides some details on the pop-up as well, with notes like “make sure content doesn’t insult,” “make sure information is accurate,” etc. The main goal of this ‘agreement’, according to Pinterest, is not to reprimand offending people but to practice a proactive and empowering social environment. Other social websites have been shoe-horned into reprimanding instead of being proactive against abuse, and it has been met with mixed results. Facebook itself is getting a great deal of flack about their new algorithm that picks out individual words and bans people for progressively longer periods without any form of context.

Comment Moderation is a new set of tools that Pinterest is hoping will encourage a more positive experience between users and content creators. It’s just like putting the carrot before the donkey to get him to move the cart.

  • Positivity Reminders
  • Moderation Tools
  • Featured Comments
  • New Spam Prevention Signals

Sticking to the positivity considerations here seems to be the goal. They seem to be focusing on reminding people to be good and encouraging them to stay that way. Again, proactive, not reactive.

The social platform’s last change is to create a Pinterest Creator Fund. Their aim is to provide training, create strategy consulting, and financial support. Pinterest has also stated that they are going to be aiming these funds specifically at underrepresented communities. They even claim to be committing themselves to a quota of 50% of their Creators. While I find this commendable, it also comes off a little heavy handed. I would personally wait to see how they go about this. If they are ignoring good and decent Creators based purely on them being in a represented group, then I would find this a bad use of their time. However, if they are actively going out and looking for underrepresented Creators while still bringing in good Creators that are in represented groups, then I’m all for this.

Being the change you want to see in the world is something I personally feel we should all strive towards. Whether or not you produced positive change depends on your own goals… so on and so forth. In my own opinion, Pinterest and their new code of conduct is creating a better positive experience here and striving to remind people to be better than they were with each post. It’s a bold move and ultimately could be a spectacular outcome. Only time will tell how their creators and users will respond. Best of luck to them.

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Social Media

Facebook releases Hotline as yet another Clubhouse competitor

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As yet another app emerges to try and take some of Clubhouse’s success, Facebook Hotline adds a slightly more formal video chat component to the game.

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Woman forming hands into heart shape at laptop hosting live video chat, similar to Facebook's new app Hotline

Facebook is at it again and launching its own version of another app. This time, the company has launched Hotline, which looks like a cross between Instagram Live and Clubhouse.

Facebook’s Hotline is the company’s attempt at competing with Clubhouse, the audio-based social media app, which was released on iOS in March 2020. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported Facebook had already begun working on building its own version of the app. Erik Hazzard, who joined Facebook in 2017 after the company acquired his tbh app, is leading the project.

The app was created by the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team, Facebook’s experimental development division, and it’s already in beta testing online. To access it, you can use the web-based application through the platform’s website to join the waitlist and “Host a Show”. However, you will need to sign in using your Twitter account to do so.

Unlike Clubhouse, Hotline lets users also chat through video and not just audio alone. The product is more like a formal Q&A and recording platform. Its features allow people to live stream and hold Q&A sessions with their audiences similar to Instagram Live. And, audience members can ask questions by using text or audio.

Also, what makes Hotline a little more formal than Clubhouse is that it automatically records conversations. According to TechCrunch, hosts receive both a video and audio recording of the event. With a guaranteed recording feature, the Q&A sessions will stray away from the casual vibes of Clubhouse.

The first person to host a Q&A live stream on Hotline is real-estate investor Nick Huber, who is the type of “expert” Facebook is hoping to attract to its platform.

“With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and BARS, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community,” the spokesperson added.

According to a Reuters article, the app doesn’t have any audience size limits, hosts can remove questions they don’t want to answer, and Facebook is moderating inappropriate content during its early days.

An app for mobile devices isn’t available yet, but if you want to check it out, you can visit Hotline’s website.

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Social Media

Brace yourselves: Facebook has re-opened political advertising space

(SOCIAL MEDIA) After a break due to misinformation in the past election, Facebook is once again allowing political advertising slots on their platform – with some caveats.

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Facebook open on phone in a wallet case, open for political advertising again.

After a months-long ban on political ads due to misinformation and other inappropriate behavior following the election in November, Facebook is planning to resume providing space for political advertising.

Starting on Thursday, March 4th, advertisers were able to buy spots for ads that comprise politics, what Facebook categorizes as “social issues”, and other potentially charged topics previously prohibited by the social media platform.

The history of the ban is complicated, and its existence was predicated on a profound distrust between political parties and mainstream news. In the wake of the 2016 election and illicit advertising activity that muddied the proverbial waters, Facebook had what some would view as a clear moral obligation to prevent similar sediment from clouding future elections.

Facebook delivered on that obligation by removing political advertising from their platform prior to Election Day, a decision that would stand fast in the tumultuous months to follow. And, while Facebook did temporarily suspend the ban in Georgia during the senate proceedings, political advertisements nevertheless remained absent from the platform in large until last week.

The removal of the ban does have some accompanying caveats—namely the identification process. Unlike before, advertisers will have to go to great lengths to confirm their identities prior to launching ads. Those ads will most likely also need to come from domestic agencies given Facebook’s diligent removal of foreign and malicious campaigns in the prior years.

The moral debate regarding social media advertising—particularly on Facebook—is a deeply nuanced and divided one. Some argue that, by removing political advertising across the board, Facebook has simply limited access for “good actors” and cleared the way for illegitimate claims.

Facebook’s response to this is simply that they didn’t understand fully the role ads would play in the electoral process, and that allowing those ads back will allow them to learn more going forward.

Either way, political advertising spots are now open on Facebook, and the overall public perception seems controversial enough to warrant keeping an eye on the progression of this decision. It wouldn’t be entirely unexpected for Facebook to revoke access to these advertisements again—or limit further their range and scope—in the coming months and years.

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