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I’ll Check My Schedule

social schedule

Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and all our social media tasks can be overwhelming. Managing to write, post, tweet and share it all only to discover that it’s on the wrong days, at the wrong times for maximum impact is just disheartening. For this reason, I decided to piece together a primitive social media calendar and begin to organize this chaos.

I knew that creating the social media calendar would help me get the most bang-for-my-buck when I spend my time posting. I also felt it would help me work with more purpose, focus and regularity. The first step in this process was to create the most effective social media schedule based on the platforms that I implement most frequently.

Because this gets a little wonky when you implement multiple social media tools, I wrote things down as I went along, in order to share the process. Perhaps you too, will find this type of organization useful in your blogging endeavors. In general for bloggers, social media managers and small businesses, this type of calendar provides for optimum scheduling of:

  • Blog posts, contributions by guest authors
  • Gathering, creation and sharing of other content such as ebooks,  infographics, Instagram, etc.
  • Posting and sharing on Facebook
  • Creating finding, pinning and re-pinning content on Pintrest
  • Creating, managing and participating in group conversations on LinkedIn
  • Creating blog content for LinkedIn
  • Reading, tweeting and retweeting on Twitter

I began with a schedule of best days and times to post based on social media platforms/target audience. You may want to make several calendars, one for each client, or one for each platform based on your usage and volume. You may be on more platforms than I have included here. I am not on Google+, but I included it because it is on my 2015 social media plan. Another blog post I suspect.

Platform Good Days/Times Yucky Days/Times
Facebook 1pm-4pm peak: Wed. 3pm-4pm 751 million mobile FB users check early/not during work day 8pm-8am avoid weekends
Twitter 1pm-3pm begins building after 11am Mon.-Thurs. use goes up on weekends short tweets are better ask for re-tweets use 2 hashtags/tweet 8pm-9am traffic fades after 3pm avoid Fri. after 3pm
LinkedIn 7am-9am or 5pm-6pm 12pm-1pm peak: before & after business hours, Tues.-Thurs. 10pm-6am traffic fades 9am-12pm 1pm-5pm avoid Mon. & Fri.
Google + 9am-11am traffic builds after 9am peak: during work hours 6pm-8am traffic fades after 5pm avoid evenings
Pintrest 2-4pm or 8pm-1am traffic builds after 12pm peak: Sat. morning appeals to fashion stylist, home decorators, party planners, DIY’s, health products, foodies, etc. visits last over 16 min., longer than other platforms 5pm-7pm traffic fades after 5pm avoid late afternoon
Blog Mon., Fri. and Sat. at 11am posts regularly and consistently post links to blog as previously detailed 11pm-8am

 

Content marketing has a lot of moving parts that all come together at different times. Creating and using a social media calendar is a critical element of an effective strategy.

I used a great deal of information from many super infographics, blog posts and articles, consolidating it into the table above, focusing only on the platforms that I utilize. I am certain this information is changing as I write this, so if you have more, better or conflicting information that could expand our knowledge, please share with the group. We all do well when we combine what we know.

Good luck with your social scheduling.

Thanks for Reading!

Linda Amerigo
V.P. Social Media Marketing
Technology Instructor
Universal Sports Education USE
mailto:[email protected]
www.amerigoconsulting.com

Inside The LinkedIn Lines

stay-inside-the-lines

LinkedIn is a very valuable, useful and powerful platform, whether you are trying to land a job or you are networking for the purposes of Internet marketing. You have access to every type of person in any industry just by spending a little time on this network. The world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn is now an effective publishing platform too. If used as directed (by those who have learned), it is a consistent source of new connections, information and options.  But, if you color outside the lines, it won’t be nearly as satisfying or rewarding.

The way you tell your story on LinkedIn depends on whose attention you’re trying to attract. Whether it’s potential customers, new business partners, human resource managers, job candidates, or  useful business contacts, understanding your audience will help you tailor your LinkedIn profile to speak directly to them. Regardless of your audience, you must avoid having an unfinished profile. Left incomplete, your profile can send a message about your credibility, that you just don’t care, or that you don’t follow through with things.

While the majority of LinkedIn users showcase their professional experiences and make job search connections, the true value of this platform has become; building credibility, growing your network, and establishing thought leadership. If you’re new to LinkedIn or moving from resume building to business building, some of this advice may seem obvious, but some you may need to experience the hard way to learn.

Do not put anything but your name and professional credentials in the name field of your profile. Don’t put ‘LION’, LinkedIn Open Networker, your email address or what you do. LinkedIn can, and will, suspend or cancel your service.

Don’t post an inappropriate picture or leave your profile with no picture. The first thing people will see is your picture.  This is your opportunity to make a good impression.  Make sure your picture portrays the image you want to be associated with.

LinkedIn is a professional platform, and you must remember that when sharing information. Vacation pictures, your children’s precious moments, and relationship issues are not appropriate. Stay professional, offering business discussions, events, and opportunities. Connect with someone to stay updated on what they’re doing, or someone you just met at a company for which you’re interested in working. In essence, your profile is meant to function as a virtual business card.

Don’t engage in cross social media platform promotion on LinkedIn. Often users with updates that link their Twitter accounts to LinkedIn will flood their profile with tweets. Your professional contacts should not hear ultra-frequent Twitter updates that may not be suitable for the LinkedIn platform. You can activate your Twitter account within LinkedIn to send information out, such as your blog posts.

Remember to be discrete. Just because you can see those who have viewed your profile, doesn’t mean you should hunt them down and ask why. Don’t post about this activity or send in-mails to question why.

When requesting new connections, take the time to get to know your potential connections and personalize a message to them. Include something specific that you could only know because you did research on the person. Let them know why you feel it would be a mutually beneficial connection.

Be aware that when using a third-party app or mobile to send connection requests, a personalized note may not be an option. After making a new connection, be certain to send a follow-up note. In your communication include your email address so people can contact you directly.

Having your Activity Broadcast activated lets your connections know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies. Don’t notify your network every time you add things to your job descriptions or fix a spelling mistake in your profile. Shut notifications off unless you have something important to broadcast, otherwise people will begin to block you.

Connecting with people in order to send them a sales pitch will ultimately back-fire. Build credibility and earn trust first. Always put your email address in any post you make on a group. This allows people to privately contact you.

Post only when you have something useful or of value to share with your network. No spamming, over posting or junk posts. Never send unsolicited, promotional direct messages through LinkedIn to people you don’t really have an active relationship with to get them to opt in, or promote something for you.  This also applies to group messaging and posting.

When posting press releases and other marketing materials consider whether your posts are really relevant to a group or your LinkedIn followers, and whether or not you’ve already shared this information. People don’t like to see irrelevant information or the same thing over and over again.

Status updates are, but if you’re posting more than 10 updates before your connections have arrived at work, you may be over-doing. Three updates per day could be enough; if you have more, consider spreading them out throughout the day.  But, don’t disappear for periods of time either. Be consistent with your activity on LinkedIn, as too much time in-between updates interrupts relationship building, even if it’s once per week.

One of the best ways to participate on LinkedIn is by joining Groups. There are thousands of Groups covering as many topics.  You can gather information,  establish authority by answering the questions of others’, share articles you’ve read or written, or create your own group.

One of the best ways to participate on LinkedIn is by joining Groups. There are thousands of Groups covering as many topics.  You can gather information,  establish authority by answering the questions of others’, share articles you’ve read or written, or create your own group.

When joining LinkedIn Groups, start and follow conversations that interest or are relevant to you. Participate in the conversations that you are reading and enjoying. Remember, if you want to develop a network you must reach out and make the effort.

Joining LinkedIn groups requires that you be very certain to find the rules for that group and follow them carefully. It will help you to avoid unpleasant emails from group owners and getting called out as a rule breaker (yikes).  Or worse yet, you could be shut out from group communications without warning, explanation or knowing for how long. This is called being SWAMmed.

S.W.A.M. is short for Site-Wide Auto Moderation and  means that if one LinkedIn Group Manager blocks a person from their group, all future posts from that person to any other group will be placed into a moderation queue and not automatically published to group’s members. For individual group members who find themselves the subject of this type of block, it can be a painful and time-consuming exercise to ensure that future posts will be seen by other group members. Currently the only course of action is to contact the manager of each and every group to which you wish to post content, and request that they un-restrict your posting permissions for their group. You’re very unlikely to find out which group manager blocked you, or why, because LinkedIn never discloses details of which groups have blocked an individual. Your may only contact group managers one by one to request reinstatement of normal auto-posting status.

When sending in-mail to groups, never allow contacts to see each other’s names and email addresses. Uncheck the box at the bottom of the group message that allows this to occur. When receiving in-mail, try to respond within 48 hours, even if it is just to acknowledge the message.

Note: Never post negative, emotionally charged, politically controversial, or religious comments on LinkedIn Groups.

LinkedIn is a great hub where all of your contacts,  links and information can be organized and posted, if you just stay inside the lines. For more on LinkedIn crime and punishment not included in this post, read: 50 Shades of Grey on LinkedIn.

Don’t let these insights scare you away.  Rather, let them empower you with knowledge that you don’t have to earn the hard way.  The availability of such a powerful social network requires a new set of rules. Once you become familiar with the way LinkedIn works, you’ll be able to build your network of professional relationships and take advantage of plentiful resources and options the platform has to offer.

If you have learned a LinkedIn “don’t” or “must” that we should add to our collection, please share it here as soon as possible. It is my hope that we should all use LinkedIn to its’ fullest extent, furthering our own potential in the process.

Connect with me on LinkedIn today!

Linda A. Amerigo
mailto:amerigo[email protected]
www.amerigoconsulting.com

 

Make Blog $$$

ways-to-make-money-blogging

Make Blog $$$

Like any other business, blogging has the potential to make $$$, if you can provide a product or service to your target audience that solves their unique problem. Your blog can be one of the most powerful marketing assets you have, when you remain focused on the topics your target clients want most.  You can start selling coaching services, equipment or books you have written, etc., by gaining a blog following.

 

Below are some ideas for making blog $$$:

Your Knowledge and Skills: The selling of knowledge is a very large part of monetizing a blog. Increase your credibility as an authority, and then sell quality information to that market. This can take the form of e-books, audio, SlideShare presentations, YouTube videos, Webex tutorials, or a combination of all things. Package them, or just sell them digitally. If you author the products yourself, then you keep 100% of the profit. Your blog is a place for you to market yourself and promote the knowledge and experience you have.

Consulting or Coaching:  Another way to make blog $$$ is to build your reputation, brand recognition and an audience. Make $$$directing traffic into offline services consulting or coaching.  Establish credibility into offline lectures or tutorials which you get paid for.  This can be a great opportunity for more networking as well.

Product Sales: Bloggers can gain a high level of trust and loyalty from their readers. This makes blogs the perfect platform for launching products. A blog with targeted traffic can make blog $$$ by selling products directly to readers.

Products often include; ebooks, membership websites, courses, equipment, video games, training services, accessories, etc. As long as the product you market is closely related to your blog’s topic, it will sell. To get an idea of what you could sell to your readers, take a look at similar blogs within your niche and see what they are selling.

Email Marketing: The ultimate marketing tool for bloggers. It allows you to instantly deliver your message directly to the inbox of readers. This makes it a more powerful marketing tool than Facebook or Twitter. Put a Mailchimp box on your blog today.

Affiliate Programs:  A large number of online shops and services offer an affiliate program to website owners that pay commissions to those that generate sales for them. The affiliate program usually pays a set fee or a percentage of the overall sales price.

Membership Programs:  A growing trend in online income right now is to create a membership program with a leveled structure, providing quality content for free to your audience, and a premium-level program to those willing to pay for it. Charge a monthly membership that creates and online community and provides a steady income stream. This is a popular platform for athletic/fitness sites.

Direct Ad Sales: Banner ads and in-text ads are often used on blogs to generate revenue. Considering this method, selling the ads directly could result in more cash in your pocket. Advertising space can be sold directly to advertisers. Blog owners normally charge advertisers a fixed fee or charge per thousand impressions of the ad (cost per impressions are frequently referred to as CPM). For example, an advertisement with a CPM rate of $3 would cost $300 for one hundred thousand impressions.

Advertising Networks: An alternative to selling advertisements directly is to display them from an ad network. Google Adsense is by far the most popular for bloggers, however there are many alternatives such as Chitika, Kontera, and BurstMedia to name just a few. Advertising networks normally pay on a per-click basis or a CPM basis. Due to this, income generated from advertising networks will vary month to month

Banner Advertising: You can run network advertising from a variety of different sources such as, Adsense, Kontera, IDG, and more.  You can also direct sell ads and use network ads as filler for unused inventory.

Paid Posts:  One way for an advertiser to increase sales is to pay for a review on a suitable blog. You can generate additional income, reviewing other’s products and sites on your blog. A sponsored review refers to a review that you have written about a product or service for a fee.  A paid post refers to an article that an advertiser has written and wants you to publish it on your blog for a fee.

Job Boards: Some sites have job boards. One way to take advantage of your traffic is to launch a dedicated job board, classifieds or marketplace. They are easy to set up and allow people to advertise, buy and sell items. Once job board has become successful, you can charge users for posting ads.

Build It & Sell It: You can always build a blog, build an audience, and then sell it. Some businesses buy blogs, re-brand them put their marketing teams to work on them and sell them again

Please remember that in order to implement any of the above, you must consider the following:

Traffic is a Requirement: You can’t earn blog $$$ without steady traffic, and advertisers won’t buy ads spots on your blog unless they see reach. Optimize your blog and increase your social media presence.

Enough Content: Many bloggers begin putting ads on their site before they have generated enough traffic. Make your blog rich in high quality content and market it fully in advance.

Target Audience:  Writing to your target clients is really important as it can help you connect with your readers and increase your conversion rate. Advertisers are willing to pay you when you are marketing to a targeted audience.

Design: The initial and often overlook issue is creative design. Consider the placement, size and format of ads, and how changing these things affect blog $$$. Rotate ads frequently if your readers are returning often, but that doesn’t mean every time they come to your page things should be different.

After you have determined what problem you will solve, start offering it to your target audience. You can begin today! You will learn more about the problem and your audience as you write and receive feedback.

Tell us what problem you are going to solve!

Blog Happy!

Linda A. Amerigo
Instructor, Technology for Sports
Universal Sports Education, LLC.
[email protected]
http://www.amerigoconsulting.com/

#hashtageasy

 

Hashtags

 

A hashtag (#) is simply a label used to search for social media updates. It could be a trending social media topic such as #facebookfriday or a specific label such as a social media marketing campaign name. On most social networks, clicking on the hashtag will reveal other similarly tagged items.

Hashtags got their booming beginning on Twitter, but their popularity has grown across multiple social platforms and used wisely, can help get your message out by engaging your target audience. You can implement hashtags within Pinterest, Facebook and Google+ as well as Twitter. Consider the following when posting your content:

  • Use Pinterest hashtags to mark, as well as search for content. Click on the hashtag in a pin description to navigate results that contain the exact hashtag, including pins with the same word or phrase in the description.
  • When clicking on a hashtag in Google+, the search results will include the original hashtag as well as posts with similar tags and keywords. Google also offers the option to search within Facebook or Twitter.
  • Hashtags can be used with photos shared on Instagram to help discover new accounts and gain new followers. Tumblr posts have a special “Tag” section. These tags function like Twitter hashtags, organizing posts by topic, and the hash symbol is inserted automatically.

Choosing hashtags that your fans are searching for:

Use relevant hashtags: See what hashtags other businesses in your field are using. If you’re promoting your sports photography business, you will want to use hashtags like #gamedayphotos and #teamphotos so users will find you when they search for those keywords.

Follow trends: See what hashtags are trending and make use of them while they can support your marketing campaign. Do not use high traffic hashtags that have nothing to do with your brand (for example, including #ESPN in a tweet about Olympic ice skating), you will look like a spammer and it will cause issues with your credibility for future posts.

Create your own hashtag: Create a special hashtag for an event or campaign, select one that hasn’t been used before and remind everyone to use it in related tweets and messages. Include the tag in any promotional materials. There is no preset list of required hashtags. Create a brand new hashtag simply by putting the hash before a series of words and you have created a hashtag. Below is a list of examples to help you build your hashtag mojo:

 Don’t forget to share your favorite use of #hashtags with us here.

Happy Hashtagging!

Linda

[email protected]

www.amerigoconsulting.com