Social media is all about interacting with others, especially as a business. Your goals should include engaging with customers, building relationships, and staying at the forefront of their minds. That is how you achieve repeat and referral business. Using proper social media etiquette is just as important as the other elements of content creation and engagement. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to acing social media etiquette.
Separate Your Personal and Business Accounts
Most people primarily use social media to stay in touch with friends and family. Of course, many businesses use social media to raise brand awareness, drive traffic to their websites, and even generate sales. Perhaps you find it annoying when friends use their personal accounts to promote their businesses. By running separate accounts for your business, you are respecting your friends who are only interested in what’s going on with you. On the other hand, using your business account for personal use could make your company appear unprofessional.
Avoid Misrepresenting Your Company
There are many good reasons for a business to establish a positive social media presence, such as reputation management, growing a base of devoted customers, and gathering feedback. However, it is critical that you represent your company openly and honestly online to build trust with your audience. Even seemingly minor embellishments to make your company appear better can cast significant doubt on the overall integrity of your business.
It makes sense that you may get annoyed if someone disrespects your business or leaves a negative review on your social media channels. But keep in mind that you are speaking for your organization before you react and respond. An explosive or negative response could give prospective clients an unfavourable impression of your business. Before responding, take some time to collect your thoughts. Remember to be as gracious and kind as you can when handling critical feedback. Making that extra effort helps to build and maintain trust with current and prospective customers.
Refrain From Sharing Too Many Posts
Regardless of your social media goals, delivering value to your audience should be top of the list. Some businesses make the error of thinking what is valuable to them is also valuable to their audience. As a result, they exclusively use their social media platforms for advertising and sales. Being informative versus annoying is key.
It matters how frequently you publish on social media, and your profiles may be affected in various ways depending on how often you share posts.
Neil Patel states it well in an article from Forbes:
“If you post too infrequently, your audience will forget that you exist and you will quickly fade into the deep dark recesses of their minds. However, if you are posting too often, you will become a complete nuisance and they will dread seeing your posts overcrowding their feed.”
Always Review Your Posts for Grammar and Spelling
This past April, we explored the topic of grammar in our blog post, “Grammar & Brand Messaging for Your Business.” We mentioned that improper grammar can completely affect the interpretation of what you are trying to communicate. In other words, your company’s overall message is at risk of being confusing and even completely misunderstood. Because business social media accounts are public, many more people can see any mistakes. Simply double-checking a post before you send it out can save you a lot of embarrassment!
Over To You
We hope these pointers will enable you to engage in more fulfilling social media interactions. Are there any you would add? Please keep in mind that if you need help creating and managing social media for your business, we are available to help.
Have you ever found yourself staring at your screen, wondering what to write, but the words just won’t come to you? Or perhaps you’re creating a post for social media that you believe to be original, but you can’t help but feel like you’ve written it before? If so, you might be experiencing what’s commonly referred to as “writer’s block.”
What is writer’s block? When writers are stuck for ideas, it is known as writer’s block. It affects writers at all phases of their careers, and if ignored, it can prevent you from writing for days, weeks, or even months.
The good news is that you can avoid writer’s block and keep your writing fresh! Here are some ideas for “beating the block” and staying in the zone.
Keeping content ideas fresh
Every content writer faces the challenge of keeping their content fresh, informative, appealing, and on brand. It’s essential to give your readers the kind of content they want. Consistently doing this will have a significant positive impact on your readership. What’s new? What has changed? Think about offering a new perspective to your readers.
If you’re stuck for ideas, give one (or all!) of these a try:
#1.Be the customer. Take a step back and observe your company from a customer’s point of view. What questions do you have? Share answers to those questions in your writing.
#2. Solve a problem. When you are networking or talking with other business owners, what are the common topics of conversation that keep coming up? Do they want to learn more about topics like cash flow, marketing, how to handle challenging clients, or how to target a particular demographic? What problems can you help solve?
#3. Discover what’s happening in the world. Take a few minutes to browse social media, respectable news outlets, YouTube, and even TikTok! Or, if you find yourself with even more time to spare, binge-watch a popular TV series, attend a concert, or spend an evening at the movie theatre. Find out for yourself what people are talking about right now and incorporate it into your content.
#4. Take time to prepare and plan. Make a “special-days” calendar or check out fun holiday ideas from sites such as HootSuite. Tuck away testimonials from emails or recommendations from social media. These great reviews make uplifting content to easily inject in an e-newsletter or in social media posts.
#5. Do you think you’re funny? Try your hand at creating memes! We subscribe to imgflip.com and have a lot of fun (and even internal company competitions) developing memes.
#6. Go behind the scenes. Show your readers who you are. Humanize your brand by taking candid shots of staff at work, celebrating your team members’ birthdays, and sharing staff recognition.
#7. Create a poll or survey on social media and ask people what they want to hear about. Current Revenue Canada regulations, deadlines, or news? Trends on social media? The Pantone colour of the year if you’re considering rebranding or refreshing your website? Everyone has an opinion and they’re usually happy to share it!
#8. Build a list of FAQs. Which questions do your clients, readers, or prospective consumers often ask you? Make a list of the questions and respond to each one, providing examples when possible. You can also create a few case studies.
#9. Interview experts within your industry. Interviewing someone within your field is a great way to establish an emotional connection between your company and its audience. The content you capture during the interview has the potential to supply material for your blog and social media for some time. You may even consider recording your interviews and converting them into podcasts for even more content. (https://www.myobontario.ca/podcasting-101/)
#10. Become a savvy content curator. There will be days when you’d rather not reinvent the wheel, and that’s fine. As you know, there is already a ton of content out there on the internet. Look for interesting, relevant, and timely posts and share them with your followers from time to time.
Over to you
We hope these suggestions help you get your creative juices flowing again. Do you have a tip to add to this list? We’d love to hear what works for you when you’re experiencing writer’s block.
If you have been using GIFs for a while, then you’re already aware of their power to spice up your online conversations. Although they’re considered to be light and funny like memes, GIFs are becoming a growing trend for business marketing in recent years.
You may be asking yourself, “Why should I utilize GIFs for my business”? In a nutshell, GIFs are a quick and easy way to add eye-catching animations to your social media posts, emails, landing pages, blog posts, and more! Here’s what you need to know about implementing GIFs.
What Is a GIF, exactly?
GIF is an acronym that stands for Graphics Interchange Format. Merriam-Webster defines GIF as “a computer file format for the compression and storage of visual digital information; also: an image or video stored in this format.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/GIF
GIFs were invented in 1987 by Steve Wilhite, a U.S. software developer, to use animated images that did not have excessively high file sizes. So, GIFs have been around for more than 30 years—longer than the internet itself!
In the simplest terms, it’s a small graphic that moves like a video, but plays on a loop.
The advantages of incorporating GIFs into your business content
Now that you know what GIFs are, the next step is learning about their marketing capabilities. Here are three benefits you may be interested in:
#1. They grab more attention than images.
GIFs have eye-catching motion and more energy, which makes it easier for your content to stand in social feeds, emails, ads, and more. GIFs are perfect for quick-moving social media feeds because they often last for a few seconds. This means they can quickly grab your audience’s attention while effectively communicating your brand’s message.
#2. Your customers love them.
GIFs are more popular than ever! They are also a great way to insert popular culture into your content. Perhaps you’ve seen some GIFs from your favourite TV shows – The Office, Schitt’s Creek, or Friends. Chances are many of your customers like those shows too! This incorporation will allow your followers to engage with content they can relate to. GIFs are also easy for people to share onto their own social media accounts or in emails.
#3. They are mobile-friendly.
GIFs can be used instead of videos, which might slow down your site’s speed and negatively affect the user’s experience. With their smaller file sizes, GIFs will help maintain a fan’s video engagement without requiring a significant bandwidth.
Ways to use GIFs for business
Before using GIFS, you should first determine whether they will be relevant to your audience. However, for most brands, they will be well-received, particularly if you are targeting a tech-savvy demographic. You also need to determine what mood, or vibe you want your content to relate – GIFs can be excellent for conveying a feeling when you pick the right one!
Social Media Examiner offers fantastic ideas to consider for incorporating GIFs into your marketing strategy:
When it comes to using GIFs in your company’s branding, you have more possibilities than you might think. Naturally, you’ll want to share them on social media. You may also consider adding them to emails, blog posts, and even your website. Here at MYOB, we occasionally sprinkle GIFs into our clients’ content. We also recently updated a client’s website with GIFs for their “Meet the Team” pictures. https://verto360.com/about/ The unique GIFs not only enhance their website, but also add a humanizing touch.
How to make GIFS of your own
Now comes the fun part – making a GIF! It turns out they’re quite easy to make and much simpler than creating video files.
There are numerous apps available for creating your own GIFs and many are free. With the help of these tools, you can upload photographs and make a GIF from scratch. You can use interesting extras like text overlays, filters, backdrops, graphics, emoticons, and other customizations in addition to your own photos. Perhaps you already have a video that you want to turn into a GIF? There are video-to-GIF converters online as well.
If you’d prefer not to make your own GIF, there are dozens of GIF search engines and libraries that house billions of them. One of the most popular sites is Giphy, which has more than 700 million daily users — and those visitors watch more than 11 million hours of content on Giphy every day. (https://giphy.com/about)
Over to you
GIFs can be a terrific business marketing tool and a fun way to bring energy to your content and messaging, and they’re here to stay!
If you’re interested in learning more about how we help businesses grow through social media and content, we’d love to talk to you about it! Feel free to call or contact us through our website.
Since its beginning in the early 2000s, podcasting has developed rapidly and steadily. So, by now, you are probably aware of podcasts. You may even listen to at least one of them on a regular basis. Check out these statistics from 2021 to get a better idea of the popularity of podcasting:
Nearly 12 million Canadian adults (38% of the 18+ population) have listened to podcasts in the past year.
Nearly 9 million Canadian adults (29% of the 18+ population) listen to podcasts at least once a month.
Have you been thinking about starting your own podcast? Although it may seem complicated, podcasting is simpler than it appears!
What is a podcast, exactly?
A podcast is essentially a collection of spoken articles or audio episodes that are all centered on a single topic or theme. People can subscribe to the podcast using a podcast listening app on their phone and listen to episodes on their headphones, in their car, or on smart speakers anytime they choose. Podcasting allows you to take your favourite show with you and listen to it whenever you want. It personalizes shows and makes them available on demand.
This is what distinguishes podcasting from broadcasting and is one of its benefits. Unlike broadcast media, a podcast listener will not hear messages from your competitors. When they tune in to your podcast, they are solely listening to you. And, unlike other kinds of media, listeners typically devote their full attention and time to podcasts since they deliver your content in a way that is easy to consume. This can certainly help strengthen brand loyalty for businesses in highly competitive industries.
Podcasting provides a unique way to expand and engage an audience along with numerous other benefits. Podcasts are helping businesses from around the globe with boosting revenue, increasing brand awareness, and providing an updated content marketing channel. Now is an ideal time to start a podcast, whether you’re a brand, a hobbyist, a non-profit, or someone with a message to share.
How does one get started with podcasting?
Before you begin your podcast, take a step back and consider “why”. Ask yourself questions such as what do you want the world to know about you? What are you hoping to motivate your audience to do?
Here are a few reasons why people start podcasts:
Create fresh content
Grow a new or existing audience
Once you have determined your “why”, it’s time to find out if there is an audience that is interested in your podcast idea. What type of podcast listener are you looking for? What demographics, hobbies, social media platforms and behaviors do they have? This will help you decide what type of content you wish to share and whether you are sharing it with the right audience.
When it comes to the length of a podcast episode, there is only one correct answer: it depends! There is no “one-size-fits-all” duration, and the length will be determined by a variety of factors. Podcasts can range in length from a few minutes to a few hours. Most podcasts, though, are between 20 and 40 minutes long. But remember, you can do whatever seems appropriate for you and your listeners.
Other steps to launching your podcast include choosing a cool name for it, deciding on the format (episodic or serial), and obtaining your recording equipment. Although podcasting equipment can seem intimidating, a professional-sounding recording does not require a sophisticated setup. You may be surprised to learn that all you’ll probably need is a laptop, an internet connection, a USB microphone, headphones, and free recording software.
How do I determine and target my demographic of listeners?
Your first step is to consider your podcast’s niche when identifying your target audience. For example, podcasters within a specific industry will find that their target audience is easy to determine. What types of people work in your field? Is there a certain set of people who would listen to your podcast in that industry? That’s your target market.
If you already have a few listeners, try to learn more about them. If you can figure out what they have in common, you will have a better idea of how to define and expand your audience. If you have social media followers, you can quickly define your target demographic.
Podcast surveys are another excellent method to gather detailed information about your listeners. Nearly every well-known podcast conducts annual listener surveys, and you should as well. Using Google Forms, Survey Monkey, or other similar tools to collect surveys is a quick and easy method to see who is listening to your podcast. Knowing the key demographics of your podcast listener is usually one of the easiest and most accurate methods to define your audience.
Where do I post my podcast?
When it comes to podcasting, it’s not as simple as recording your audio and uploading it to iTunes or Spotify. You will first need to choose a podcast hosting service, which is similar to the process of choosing the best hosting platform for your website. Platforms that host podcasts, however, store and broadcast your audio content while helping you grow your audience.
TechRadar shares a useful list of the top podcasting hosting providers of 2022. Among these are BuzzSprout, which is a top platform for new podcasters and is one of the easiest to use. Podbean is an excellent choice for price conscious users. Libsyn offers unlimited bandwidth and is one of the oldest podcast hosting services. Learn more about these and other top podcast hosting services on TechRadar’s website: https://www.techradar.com/best/podcast-hosting.
What topics are most popular?
As of 2021, over 850,000 podcasts, totaling over forty-eight million episodes, were available online. With that in mind, it is reasonable to assume that there is a podcast for almost any topic you can think of.
As a small business owner, you may be interested in subjects such as brand building and company management. Of course, there are dozens (if not hundreds!) of business-related podcasts as well! Feedspot provides an up-to-date list of the top business-related podcasts from thousands of podcasts rated by traffic, social media followers, domain authority, and freshness. Here are their top five recommendations:
It is no secret that having an online presence – including a website and social media accounts – is an important aspect of any company’s online strategy. But what happens once you have set up your website and social media accounts? How can they work together?
All your marketing channels, whether online or off, should already be working together to increase brand awareness, generate engagement, and drive conversions. Here are some ways that your website and social media should be interacting together.
#1. Connect your social media accounts to your website.
To get the most out of your online presence, ensure your website visitors can view your social network accounts and vice versa. By encouraging website users to join your social following, you can improve traffic to your website while also increasing customer loyalty and expanding your reach. On your website, remember to add social media icons and links to your social media accounts. Then, in your social profiles and ‘about us’ sections, be sure to include a link to your website. If you want to highlight your social media even more, consider embedding a Twitter/Facebook live feed on your website. However, if you do this, make sure you are consistently adding updated content to your social media platforms to keep the stream fresh. Keep in mind that the branding should be consistent throughout all your business’ social media channels and your website.
#2. Encourage people to visit your website by sharing on social media.
Share information from your website on social media on a regular basis. Both your website and social media are designed to engage your audience with quality content. By directing your social media followers to your website, you can encourage them to read your blog posts and/or other web pages, which increases the possibility of converting them into customers. As well, when you are driving more visitors to your website via social media, you’re also increasing the chances that your content will be shared elsewhere on the web, potentially improving your SEO. At MYOB, some of our website clients have requested e-newsletters from their website, or monthly blogs. These are both wonderful sources of content that successfully attract traffic from social media to your website and vice versa. As we have mentioned in previous blog posts, social media provides a ton of opportunity for engagement, allowing you to rapidly react to and reply to customer comments and queries, as well as urge followers to visit your website for more information. Using social media to enhance the human aspect of your business generates an emotional connection, which builds relationships and nurtures trust and loyalty.
#3. Track your progress by using analytics. Using analytics and data provides important insights on how well your content is driving traffic from your social media platforms to your website. Setting up Google Analytics for your website is an essential part of capturing that data (https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/).
Monitoring your social media and website can help you recognize both the successes and the areas that need improvement. For example: • Determine the type of content and posts that perform best across social media and your website, so you create and share the types that do well. • Use your social media data to better understand your target audience and develop content for them, and vice versa – use your website visitor data to customize your social media posts.
Over to you
Your website is one of your strongest branding and marketing tools. There are many different types of websites that may work for your business:
• Sites that act like brochures • Interactive sites with chats • Sites that require logins for membership
The same techniques for creating the interaction between your website and your social media platforms will apply regardless of the type of website you have. At Mind Your Own Business Inc., we will collaborate with you from the ground floor and build a customized website that meets all your business needs. Contact us to get started today!
Is it possible that a typo – or a series of them – can turn off a potential customer? You’d better believe it! These days, many people begin their purchasing journeys online, so a flawless website that grabs and keeps their attention is critical. Remember, first impressions matter.
Whether intentionally or unintentionally, poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation on your site can negatively influence how people see you or your brand and may even damage your or your brand’s reputation. And, with so much of a business’s communication tied into branding, marketing, and emails, improper grammar can completely affect the interpretation of what you are trying to communicate.
Here are a few reasons why proper grammar in your brand messaging is so important to your company’s success.
#1. Without proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, your brand’s message is at risk of being confusing and even completely misunderstood. You have most likely spent a lot of time and effort to decide on the best message for your target audience. Producing content that contains mistakes in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and even style may significantly dilute the message you worked so hard to establish. Your brand does not benefit from confusing messaging.
#2. Poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation alters the consistency and impacts the trustworthiness of your brand message. People look for brands on which they can rely. Trust is earned. By delivering a consistent message, your business becomes one they can trust. Consistency can refer to several things, but it is especially important when it comes to your wording.
#3. Your brand’s credibility is at stake if your content contains grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. As we mentioned earlier in this post, typos are one of the key reasons why people may become turned off by a brand. Attention to detail is critical. People simply do not trust brands that seemingly fail to put in the time and effort to create error-free content.
#4. Poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation can negatively affect user accessibility. It is important to keep in mind that not everyone who reads what you have written will easily ‘get’ what you are saying. Some people are attempting to figure out the meaning of every word, regardless of whether it is correct or not. In addition, English may not be the native language of your potential customer. Grammatical errors and other typos may result in potential customers being unable to understand your message. Or, even worse, they may misinterpret you completely.
How can I avoid grammatical errors in my brand’s content?
When creating content for your brand, it is inevitable that you will commit a grammatical error at some point. Fortunately, there are a few ways to help you avoid, or at the very least catch and modify, these errors before they are published.
To avoid grammar errors in your business content and correspondence, consider these tips:
Make edits as you go. If you start editing straight away, you will save time later because you will have fewer edits to make at the end.
Use digital tools to help streamline the editing process. With a quick Google search, you can easily find a variety of free online spelling and grammar checkers. Some of these tools also provide synonyms, allowing you to use a broader range of words in your content.
Double-check your own work for typos. Even though your work may be reviewed by an editor before final approval, it is still a good idea to do your own proofreading before submitting it.
Outsource it to a team with writers and proofreaders. By hiring a specialized group to create and review your material, you can drastically reduce the grammar errors on your website and on your social media pages.
Over to you
All businesses, regardless of their size or industry, should understand the value of using good grammar, correct spelling, and proper punctuation in their online content. Whether it’s a quick tweet or status update, an email, or the more involved writing of a blog or a company page, you want to make a good first impression to people who are interested in your brand.
At MYOB Inc. we have several content writers and proofreaders on our staff to help you present your best messaging to represent your brand.