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building online presence

building online presence

Here is this month’s pick of 4 helpful articles to help you learn more about increasing the online presence of your business.

1. 10 Successful Facebook Marketing Examples

successful facebook marketingAs Facebook news feed continues to change, it’s important to figure out how to make the platform work for you. This article shares tips to incorporate their tactics into your own Facebook marketing plan.
Read this article in the Social Media Examiner.

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Transition.

First installment in the #YourTurnChallenge in which I answer “Why am I doing the Your Turn Challenge?”.

I have always asserted that transition is a very subtle, but extremely compelling state of being.  I am not even referring to big transitions like buying a house or starting a new job. I think that even the small transitions are worthy of our attention.

At my house, December was a month filled with transitions.  I was blessed with so much household activity and energy.  Our annual latke making party resulted in 2 nights filled with family, friends and oniony, oily aromas. I was thrilled ( and I truly mean this when I say this) to have over 20 house guests stay over on the second latke eve.  My kids’ friends bring wonderful energy and creativity to Buttonwood Farm. A last-minute change of plans brought my eldest home from California to spend the last week of December with us. My home was full of energy and light.

As January approached, life settled back to normal. This was not necessarily a bad thing. Having the time to catch up on my professional reading, webinars, etc would seem like it was the right thing to do.  But I found that I was becoming more anxious.  I had feelings of self-doubt. I thought that, perhaps, I should be doing more – pushing more.  Comparing my self to others began to weaken my self-esteem and my own resolve.

I spent the first week or two in January talking with old friends, as well as folks I had just met, about this particular sense of coming to a path in my profession that was asking me to go one way or another. I found that by voicing my ideas, my concerns, my fears, I was able to gain a bit of clarity in to the direction that would guide me to the place where I am able to live, work and play as the person I truly am.  I was putting pressure on myself to do what others in the social media marketing field are doing in the form of self-promotion. I have come to the realization that the services that I offer as a personalized guide for increasing online presence are the essence of my professional self. I have made it my intention to be a teacher, a guide, for those small business owners who are passionate about their own work and would like to communicate their range of products and services on the internet. Teaching these folks to be a resource, to be able to identify and communicate their own personal brand, to share and engage

 I have made it my intention...

I will continue to create those symbiotic relationships with my clients in which we learn more about each other’s area of expertise and work within that knowledge to build up their empowerment while increasing their presence. In addition, once I have learned a good amount about their business, I will be better able to identify their challenges, and at that point have the insight as to which social media tasks they might consider outsourcing in order to continue their online growth while focusing on their own strengths and talents. I am committed to meeting my clients where they are, and sharing the next part of the path together.

Why am I doing the Your Turn Challenge?

I am doing the Your Turn Challenge as a week-long exercise to help me find clarity in my professional path, as well as to become more comfortable and prolific in my blogging.

 

 

Have you reached that point? Have you ever said “Who has the time to manage a Facebook or Twitter account?”  Have you said it enough times that you are finally ready to consider using a social media coach or hiring social media services.  If so, I am sure that the first question you had to ask was, “How much will social media services cost?”

Cost of Social Media Services
And of course, as always, the answer is “It depends”.  You see, social media marketing, inbound marketing and digital communications help can come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  You would really need to take a look at what it is your company wants and needs.

What are your goals for your social media journey?  Are you trying to build brand awareness?  Will you be trying to engage an audience to build a community? Is your goal to generate sales or leads?  Will you be utilizing your personal brand to build your business brand?  Will others in your organization be taking ownership of any parts of the program?

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In the 10 years that I have been with WBN I have been an artisan, a birthday party entertainer, a multi-level marketer, a quilter, a database manager, a graphic artist, a technical support staff-person, a computer files organizer, an electronic e-newsletter designer, a social media manager, an event planner, a website project manager, and a 6-foot tall monkey mascot.

Women can do that.  

Of course, men can do it, too.

But this piece focuses on women as a reflection of my 10 years of having the great honor to collaborate with an outstanding group of women.  These women work together in a variety of platforms to inspire, educate and motivate each other to be the very best they can be in their personal and professional lives. Read more

On Wednesday, August 27, 2014, Tricia White, VP of Creative Marketing for Fun Enterprises , facilitated a roundtable discussion on Social Media Marketing at HarborOneU, 131 Copeland Drive in Mansfield. This panel was a great opportunity for small business owners to gather their questions about social media marketing and ask some amazing experts to weigh in.

Her panel guests:

1. Erin SweeneyOwner of Erin Sweeney Design. She is a graphic and WordPress website designer. She is experienced in website design and implementation, visual design, business branding, search engine optimization and social networking.
2. Lucille FisherOwner of Sage and Savvy Marketing. Lucille is a marketing strategist who helps businesses improve their social media footprint. She also helps companies work through software programs that can better integrate business processes with marketing.
3. Susan Barron Finn Owner of Susan Finn Online and Founder/Director of the Women’s Business Network. Susan is a social media specialist who works with small businesses to better improve their social media reach as well as data base systems and e-mail marketing. She helps companies improve their brand online.
4. Tammi JacobsenOwner of Tammi Jacobsen. She is a seasoned social media expert who teaches businesses strategies for social media marketing. She is a passionate blogger who works with companies on strategies as well as time management.

Topics covered ranged from branding and web design to social media networks, strategies, tools and search. Small businesses examined their marketing strategies and began to identify pain points. Attendees left the workshop with questions answered and with viable strategies for improvement. Read more

do betterI recently shared an article with the members of the Women’s Business Network of SE MA.   In this article, “‘Leaning In’ Isn’t the Answer”, published by the Business Insider, Sabrina Parsons of Palo Alto Software explains that she is not an average CEO.  On occasion, she brings her 3 kids with her to work and encourages her employees to do the same.

In her article, Ms. Parsons opines about the much talked-about book by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” . Although she agrees with Sandberg’s opinion that we need to continue to fight the leadership role gender gap in corporate America, she does not necessarily agree with the contention that women need to play into ‘traditional’ workplace norms – to do all that it takes to move ahead and succeed, often at the expense of their personal lives.

Ms. Parsons acknowledges all of the efforts and gains by the feminist movement of the 70s and 80’s.  She points out, however, that what they worked so hard for may have molded norms that forced women to behave like men in that setting.  Often, they were faced with impossible circumstances of working incredibly long hours, give everything they had, often to the detriment of their personal lives. She states, “I think that driven women always go beyond the call of duty, and certainly working moms know how to work as hard as anyone.”   She goes on to make the point that what needs to change is how and when women work.

Here is the part that really resonated with me – and gives me hope that the future for my daughters in the workplace will, hopefully, be more conducive to a full-life experience than when I started in my career. Ms. Parsons has made it a priority at her company to encourage her employees to do what they may need in order to succeed at work while raising their family.  Children are welcome in the workplace. Parents are allowed to leave to take their kids to the doctor if necessary.  Dads may need to work from home.  Others may need to have freedom to take care of aging parents.  The employees at Palo Alto Software are happier and more productive because of this culture.

I don’t know…..It just seems so very HUMAN.   This is good stuff.

How ironic.

time managementMy husband still can’t get over it.  I have recently become a social media community manager for a productivity expert.  Mitch still laughs when he thinks of me researching, tweeting and posting on the topic of time management.  He is of the impression that I, Susan Finn, just might be the worst time manager in the history of the world.  Aha – but he is so very, very mistaken.  As with so many things in life – it is really all about from which angle you approach an issue.  What Mitch sees as poor time management, may actually be excellent time management. If I can fit a few more things into those last 15 minutes before leaving for a party or serving dinner, then, I feel that I have, indeed, used that time wisely. In fact, I will probably keep tweeting and posting while we are driving to the party or to the market. (No worries – he’s driving, I’m posting – I always practice safe text)  I happen to think that is an excellent use of time.

So now, as I have become more engrossed on this topic of time management and productivity for my client, I am actually quite intrigued by it.  I am beginning to start to use many of her strategies in my day-to-day life.   Simple changes such as only working on emails at certain times during the day, creating a ‘filing’ system for my email inbox to isolate the tasks that will be most effective for productivity, and not just be busy-ness, setting a timer and more.

I found this helpful infographic on Project Eve. It was originally sourced from Success Sculpting System via Visual.ly.12-ideas-to-increase-productivity

people believe“People don’t believe what you tell them.

They rarely believe what you show them.

They often believe what their friends tell them.

They always believe what they tell themselves.”

– Seth Godin

my three words

The three-word concept works best when the words are positive in spirit when they are chosen to help with the huge picture. Setting goals based upon values and motivation. Success from within.

file folderI couldn’t be more excited  today.   Many of my followers know how much I enjoy working on the Constant Contact platform for third-party emails.   I enjoy many things about their tools, but today I want to shout out to everyone how excited I am about a brand new feature they just announced:

Creating Folders  – Yippeee!

Physical vs. Virtual Organization:   One thing you can know about me is that in my physical life, I am not very neat and tidy.  Projects, files, books, mementos surround me.   (note: no photo posted here !)   However – on the computer, I am a stickler for organization.  I insist that every file go in to the proper folder.  Loose, lonely documents make me uneasy.  I think this is a direct result of my physical surroundings……Often, in “real” life, I spend way too much time looking for something. ( keys, for instance – wallet, for another)  However, in my work life, I want to know exactly where something is immediately.  I enjoy categorizing my work into nice neat folder icons.

So, although I have enjoyed using Constant Contact for over 8 years, and although I had developed my own system of naming email campaigns for easier sorting, it still made me a bit uneasy to open up the “My Emails” folder and just view one long list which could date back 8 years!

Ta Dahhhh –    Today, Constant Contact announced the Folder Feature for My Emails.

Not only do now have the capability of arranging emails any way that works best for my client, we can also toggle between list views for a quick visual take on open rate as well as a thumbnail preview of the campaign.

All I can say about that is….. Yippppeeeee     I just can’t wait to get in to all of the Constant Contact accounts I administer and start foldering!

If you are a Constant Contact user – Read this recent announcement: Email Marketing Product Update:

 This is Great Stuff !

making online connectionsView past issues of “Making Connections”

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Other related articles:
When Email Marketing is Like a Plate of Spaghetti

Know, Like, Trust

Consider Outsourcing

More on Email Marketing

constant contact email marketing  Let Me Help You Build Your Email Marketing

The Big Promise
A post this morning by marketing maven, Seth Godin, gave me a double take – at first, I thought that his piece on small promises was meant for us to take note of all the little things we say that we are going to do and make sure to DO THEM. But, then, when I read it again, the following line struck me.

“The big promises of transparency and care, of design and passion, of commitment and stewardship–we ought to be demanding more of this. “

Well of course….. That makes so much sense. This is my goal for all of my clients. My clients are hard-working, honest, giving people who provide meaningful services. They care deeply not only about their clients and customers, but I have found them to care deeply about their employees, as well. We work together, through their online platforms to create a strategy of transparency and care – to publicize their passion for their business and their commitment to their employees. This their big promise to their customers. This is my big promise to my clients.

Thank you for the post, Seth.

Read Seth’s full post.

This is Great Stuff!

no blahHere’s some very helpful advice from Constant Contact:

 How do you create share-worthy content? 

1. REMIND YOUR AUDIENCE OF YOUR SHARED VALUES   ~~  People like to support and spend money with businesses that share the same values and support the same causes. They also like to share information regarding those values and causes. If there’s a particular cause your business supports or values you stand behind, the holidays are a great time to remind your audience.

2. PROVIDE ADDED VALUE ~~  Content that people find valuable will get more use and more shares.   ~~~   According to a recent study: Nearly 75% of those polled said they prefer information from companies in the form of articles over ads.

3. ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE WITH SOCIAL CAMPAIGNS AND SPECIAL OFFERS ~ As you might imagine, people still love to get a great deal. And they love to share those savings with their friends. Especially when email and social media are used together

  • An offer of a free item increased open rates by 47.3%
  • Coupons increased click rates by 52.7%
  • A percent off increased revenue per email by 95.4%

BE SMART WITH YOUR HOLIDAY CONTENT —  As you put together your plans for the holiday season, look for ways you can create share-worthy content in the form of shared values, added value, and social campaigns and special offers to make this your most successful holiday yet.

This is Great Stuff.

Read more from Constant Contact.