17 Dec

How to Become a Social Media Manager

home-office-smmFinding a work at home job that is enjoyable and provides the flexibility you need to raise your kids can be an incredibly daunting task. If you like social media, have an eye for design, and excellent writing skills, becoming a social media manager might be a good fit for you. While it’s not going to happen overnight, here are some steps you can take to get on the right track to getting hired.

Educate Yourself

Start reading blogs and articles about effective social media marketing. If you’re not familiar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), educate yourself on this in particular. Great SEO skills are a necessity in the role of an effective social media manager.

Need a good place to start? Check out BufferApp’s great beginner’s guide.

Familiarize Yourself with all Major Platforms

If you are currently only using a select few social media platforms for personal use, hop on some that you aren’t familiar with, create a profile, and tinker around. Companies looking for social media managers typically want someone who is familiar with all major platforms from Facebook and LinkedIn, to Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

Need a good resource to keep in touch with what you need to know? You are here already!

tweet-155281_640Build Your Own Community

The vast majority of companies out there looking for a social media manager want someone who already has some experience, and they will ask you to prove it. Start building your own online community around something that interests you. Are you interested in fitness? Fashion? Or herbal remedies? Create pages on multiple platforms, and share content daily. You may want to start with your own friends and family to begin spreading the word and gaining a following, but don’t hesitate to use that search bar for finding people who already have similar interests on their profiles and invite them to join.

Practice Graphic Design and Build a Portfolio

Graphic design skills are not always a requirement, but they will certainly be an asset that will place you toward the top of the list of candidates when applying for a position. Experiment with memes and photos to create a small portfolio of things you have used in building your own community.

Need some help? Got you covered!

Check out:

The Complete Social Media Cover Guide

5 Graphic Design Tips for Social Media

How to Create Social Media Graphics That POP

Find Clients

While this may seem like the most difficult part of this whole process, the key is looking in the right places. Start out on websites built for freelancers like www.odesk.com, www.elance.com, and www.freelancer.com, and build a profile with your now established portfolio. You may be surprised to find the amount of companies out there who are already looking for social media managers in varying niches.

Bidding

The freelance sites listed above work on a bid system. Deciding how much you should bid can be difficult, especially when you are just starting out. Keep an eye on how much your competitors are charging (usually listed with an average), and maybe even take a look at their profiles to see what their skill set looks like compared to yours. Make your bid a fair price for your experience, but also make sure the money you will make is worth your time.

Maintain Your Skills

Keep in mind that we are in the information age, and technology and trends are constantly changing. Continue reading blogs and articles about trends and social media to keep your skills sharp and knowledge fresh.

Try these:

socialmediaexaminer.com

socialmouths.com

socialtrafficjam.com

You could see that last one coming, right?

If you want to become a social media manager, it’s probably going to take some time. But with a little research, time investment, and experimentation, you can easily gain the skills and experience you need to get hired – without necessarily needing formal education. Explore some new platforms, do some reading, have fun, and start posting!

16 Dec

What is a Social Media Manager?

A Social Media Manager manages a company's social networksToday, it’s clear that social media is not a fad, and people are taking it much more seriously. Businesses and entrepreneurs, in particular, are realizing that social media can play a huge role in their success both online and offline. These platforms can be puzzling, though, to those who run a business and don’t get their majority of customers from the online world. That is where a social media manager comes in. As the name suggests, they can manage all of the social media pages, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Creating pages, managing those pages and increasing fans and subscribers are the main tasks of a social media manager.

Why Businesses Need a Social Media Manager

Simply put, most business owners don’t have the knowledge or the time to do the work themselves. Social media marketing has become a crucial part of an overall marketing strategy, and if you are not already utilizing these platforms, you’re missing out on a large chunk of revenue.

Some of the most successful businesses got their ‘big break’ from hiring managers who diligently built followers and fans, and kept up with fans by posting content almost every day. Even big businesses like Coca-Cola and Heineken have jumped at the chance to market online, even though they are already established. The point is that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business, or how large your enterprise is. Everyone can benefit from hiring a social media manager.

How a Social Media Manager Can Help

The first step to getting started online is to create a fan page for your business. A professional will create a page that showcases your enterprise, tells people about you, and what you have to offer. Think of it as an online billboard – this is how everyone is going to learn about your products and services. Pages and bios will be created on all media platforms.

After the Facebook page has been created, and other social accounts have been added, the manager will then send status updates on a regular basis. People can ‘like’ the pages, and become fans. A manager can also respond to comments, ‘like’ other products and services, and manage all of the accounts.

This needs to be done on a daily basis, to keep up with demand, and make sure that new fans are ‘liking’ your business each day. Each fan is a potential client and you want to entice them with fresh, new content regularly.

Benefits of Hiring a Social Media Manager

The biggest benefit of hiring an SMM is the time they can save you. Savvy business owners know they need to outsource tasks that are not directly income related. Thus, hiring someone to take care of your social media needs will free up your time so you can concentrate on what you do best, whether it’s product sales, selling services to your clients, or thinking up new business strategies.

Another benefit is that you will reap the rewards faster when you have someone who is knowledgeable in this field. They will know how to respond to obstacles, complications and changes that may occur. And they will understand how to analyse and respond to your audience for maximum PR.

12 Dec

New Google Plus Pinned posts Feature: Social Media Landing Pages – How To Create Your Own landing Pages on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus

Google Pinned Post

Anyone who is involved in internet marketing will be familiar with the term “landing page.” It’s the page on your website where visitors ehm… land.

What’s important about your landing page is that it should have content that is persuasive enough that your visitor take the action you wish them to take once they arrive there. That action depends on your own wishes, but is generally to sign up to a newsletter, opt in for a giveaway, or follow you on social media.

Let’s step back from how these work on your blog for a moment and give some thought to your social media profiles. How often have you followed a link where someone posted to, or replied to a post on Facebook only to see that the post is further down the page – beneath the pinned post where you arrived. After further engagement with that page or group, you will often find yourself reading the pinned post to find out what it’s about.

This is the perfect place to add a call to action with a link to the sign up page on your blog, or to encourage social sharing of one of your posts.

So far, the main sites that have provided the ability to pin a post have been Facebook and Twitter. Now Google Plus have caught up – and with the SEO possibilities of Google Plus shares with “Public,” this is a great opportunity to add a landing page to your GPlus Page.

It’s just as easy to do as it is on Facebook and Twitter:

Google Pinned Post

Just click the down arrow on the top right AFTER you have posted your update and you can choose the pin it.

Don’t forget to share and subscribe!

 

11 Dec

New Facebook Search Option: Social Search Reaches Facebook

Facebook search

I’m a big fan of social search. A large part of it is because I believe social search gives some insight into what people really want to know about, rather than trying to second guess androgynous keyword results.

So I was pretty happy to see  that Facebook have jumped in with their new search option. Designed to find posts that were shared with you – either individually or within a group – you just click in to the usual search field at the top of the site. This time you will see the option to ignore any Pages or Groups that have similar terminology, and focus instead on the word as a search term. Your search results will be based on a phrase you recall from the post, so if you have trouble finding that post that disappeared about great new social media marketing techniques, you might search for “social media marketing.”

Facebook search

You can see here, that like a web browser search, the search field remembers recent searches. When using it for

Other recent improvements in Facebook:

In a somewhat related idea, Facebook’s new discovery platform allows you find random interests based on you friends Likes and Check-ins.  Check it out here: facebook.com/discover-something-new

And if you have been a fan of saving links shared with you by using that little downward arrow at the top right of posts, you’ll like the fact that you may now save any posts – not just links.

Now you need never lose an important share again.

Don’t forget to subscribe for my newsletter!

05 Dec

Do You Need Social Media in Your Business?

social businessSocial media has become a marketers dream come true. When it first hit the scene a few years ago, you mostly found people chatting about their interests, connecting with people who had the same hobbies and writers looking to connect. Business owners soon realized their audience was getting on board with social media, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Social media can be a scary thing though. It can also take up a lot of valuable time. So much that you may be wondering if you should even bother. Here’s how to determine whether it’s a good fit for you and your business.

Do you need social media in your business?

Do you have enough business to last you until you retire? Then the answer is no, you don’t need social media. But let’s be honest, do you have that much business? Do you want your business to grow or stagnate? It’s true that it’s easier to keep and please existing customers than it is to find new ones, but if you aren’t on social media, you’re not only missing a lot of opportunity to get new customers, but also to connect with your current ones.

You also need to ask yourself this; can you really have too many customers? It never hurts to keep bringing in new ones. This is how a business grows and expands. And social media could open you up to a whole new audience.

In the past, businesses could rely on word-of-mouth, but these days that isn’t always enough. Having a good social media presence can work like word-of-mouth if your followers share your content with their followers. However, you need to create a compelling social media status that people enjoy and want to share. A few hot tips about your business could have the opportunity to go viral.

Can you afford traditional advertising methods? If the answer is no, then using social media is the cheapest way to advertise your business. It does take time, but as your business grows you can pay for advertising through social media outlets and extend your reach even further.

Do you have a faster way to interact with and answer customer questions? Social media is a great place to get feedback from your customers or your potential customers. You can answer questions and get to know them on a more personal level. Personal service is extremely important to people these days. You can build a life-long customer relationship simply by making people feel that they matter, they are important and that you desire to cater to their needs as best you can.

Conversely, your business can be very badly affected by a viral complaint on social platforms such as Twitter. You need to look at social media posting as similar to small press releases – the press release was born out of the necessity for damage limitation by the Pennsylvania train company in response to an accident that killed many passengers in 1906.

Many people claim that you’re not just building a business, you’re actually building relationships. This is a true statement and the best way to gain loyal customers. Taking your business entity to social media is an excellent way to build those relationships.

More and more people are looking for their favorite brands and products on social media than they are looking for just a website. If they can find you on social media, chances are they will click on through to your website to find out more information.

Social media can do wonders for many businesses. Sure, it isn’t a key marketing strategy for every business, but it’s becoming more and more common.

Unless your market isn’t really into using computers, the chances are that it can benefit greatly from being on and using sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus. Be sure to check out those sites to see how similar businesses are utilizing their existence and reaching their customers. This will help you decide if it’s a smart move for you.

Need to find  out where your market are hanging out?

There are a variety of social research sites that can help. To find out where your market are and what they are saying, try these sites:

socialmention.com

whostalkin.com

27 Nov

Insider Secret for Facebook Advertisers

Facebook ads

Social media is becoming a serious contender in the online advertising realm. Facebook, with it’s reach of 400 million worldwide, low cost advertising and laser targeting is Google’s biggest competitor.

One insider trick that most Facebook advertisers haven’t realized is the ability to use Shutterstock images free.

Yep – real, high quality, Shutterstock images – FREE.

How to use free premium stock images for your ad:

At stage 3 of ad creation, just click “Search” and Facebook will allow you choose your Shutterstock image – already custom fitted to you ad size.

Facebook ads

Facebook Advertising

Isn’t that cool?

Don’t forget to share this tip!

25 Nov

Social Media Brings About the Downfall of Irish Government [A Rant]

Irish Water protestsThe Irish government are crumbling under public pressure through social media.

Ireland as a whole has engendered a particularly stereotypical view in the eyes of the world – that of the friendly, happy-go-lucky, often drunk, sometimes fiery people. Big-hearted people who are easy-going and humorous about life. Equally as likely to greet a catastrophe with the same quip that might be used to celebrate a friend’s wedding. in fact, the national slogan might have been “ah sure, it’ll be grand.”

We just couldn’t bother getting ourselves worked up about anything. It was just too much trouble to be bothered.

Imagine then, the surprise that the rest of the world felt when all of a sudden, this small nation started pouring out into the streets, with banners and placards and loudhailers, decrying the government and its lies. Shouting at government ministers and standing in front of their cars, resisting police efforts to contain them, swamping the TV and newspapers with anger and fury.

What the hell happened there? 

I am talking of course, about the “Irish Water” issue. The issue that threw the rest of the world into confusion as to why these ignorant little Irish people dare protest against paying for water when the rest of the world did so already.

What? Did they seriously think they could have something free that everyone else was paying for?

Some Pre-Social media History

Before social media – Facebook in particular – connected everyone and their neighbour’s dog’s fan page, the people of Ireland just went about their daily business. They paid stamp duty on their homes (tax on buying a house – was about 10% last I looked). Paid the local taxes – bins etc. Paid the motor tax that didn’t pay to repair any of the disastrous “feats” of engineering that pass for public transportation, but went into local taxation too. Paid the incredibly high costs associated with buying a house in Ireland (typical house prices rose to approx half a million Euro, and in a lot of cases much higher again, just before 2008). Water rates went through a name change and became part of general taxation. (The Irish government should write a book on re-branding – they are global leaders in the art).

Then the economy took a downturn and our banks, who had mishandled our money and driven our people into poverty needed to be bailed out by our “government.”

And so, the government borrowed heavily (to the tune of 1.2 Billion Euro – yes, I said BILLION) to save the jobs of those who were ripping off the people around them.

Then those *ankers in the Eurozone decided to call in the debt and so the Irish government started a series of austerity measures that started with a new property tax. If you owned property, you were now to be liable for a yearly tax on it.

“But we paid our stamp duty!”

“We don’t care, now you are paying this too.”

“But i own an apartment and legally I have to pay €1000 a year maintenance fees, I’ve paid stamp duty on that too, and the local taxes that you brought into general taxation.”

“Stop being so ungrateful. Look at all the stuff we do for you.”

And so, with some blood left in our veins, the Eurocrats decided they could squeeze some more out of us and introduced the Universal Social Charge. This was basically a tax for social stuff. Not Facebook and Twitter, but bins and water etc.

Did you spot the bit where I said “bins and water?”

The bins that we pay private companies to collect (and still do) and the bins that apartment owners are paying €1000 to have emptied along with their grass cut and the building painted every 4 years.

And the water services that were included in “water rates” that went through a name change to be included in general taxation? Yep – paying twice for it at this point.

“But not to worry – it’s only going to be a two year process, then we will be out of the woods and we can scrap it, trust us!”

“Ah – okay then. That’s great. Yay.”

Five years later, we still have Property Tax and we still have Universal Social Tax and now the government are telling us we need a water tax.

Why? Because all those taxes that were collected for local councils to put into roads and pipes and infrastructure never went into roads and pipes and infrastructure. And since us mortals live in the communities where the money is not going into the infrastructure, we know we are being lied to.

So now, thanks to the government not doing what it was supposed to with our taxes, they want to introduce a water tax. Sorry, I will rephrase that: a new water tax. A third one, in fact, if you’ve been keeping count!

So what has this rather long preamble got to do with Facebook?

Well, somewhere along the line, the once happy-go-lucky “ah, sure it’ll be grand” people of Ireland started to become angry at the treatment the government were dishing out. At first it was the kind of anger that was like “Ah, dad! You shouldn’t take that from the other guy’s dad. Kick his ass.” Then it progressed to “Dad, why are you stealing my pocket money while I am asleep?”

We were blaming the Europrats when we really should have been blaming our own idiots. Our own idiots who seemed like they were fighting our case began to levy so many burdensome taxes on us that it started to make life hell in Ireland.

Emigration went up – the highest in many, many years.

Unemployment hit an all time high.

Homelessness has been rising at an alarming rate.

Suicide among young men (many of them fathers) is at a higher level than ever in recorded history.

Meanwhile, if you read Animal Farm, you might imagine the Irish government as being like the pigs who took over the farmer’s house and are sitting at the table stuffing their faces with food and wine, chanting “two legs good, four legs bad.”

Enter Facebook!

It is with great irony that Facebook recently set up a headquarters here in Dublin, because it is Facebook that almost single-handedly brought the people of Ireland together in their social media revolution against the corruption of a government that has been taking and taking and taking but giving nothing back.

The people of Ireland, in their increasing anger, stopped looking at cat videos and singing dogs and decided the government didn’t need to “Elf themselves” this Crimbo, but could go and “Eff themselves.”

Protest pages started cropping up for every town and county across the country. Facebook shares of videos didn’t have cats or dogs, unless those cats and dogs were part of groups of thousands of humans who were out marching in protect. Videos of local people standing in front of water meter installers (who work for a private company that can put the price up should they feel like it in the future). YouTube clips of CC TV footage from within government went viral. Twitter started chirping #IrishWater and the call was taken up around the country.

Marches that brought over 150,000 people (of a 5 Million population) out on the streets at once were organised through Facebook pages and those Facebook fans who decided to get involved in spreading the word. Even now, there is no lessening of the#IrishWater hashtag. It’s a hashtag that speaks for #revolution in the hearts and souls of the Irish people and one that has done something that nothing else has ever done in Irish history.

It has united the people who live on the northside of Dublin with those from the southside. It has united the people who live in Dublin with those who live outside of Dublin (yes, even with those from Cork!) It has unified the Irish people beyond the petty differences we had held onto for many years and it has made us proud to stand together and fight against  cowardly, incapable bunch of bureaucrats.

With such a feat organised through social media, it makes me wonder why we need politicians at all when we can organise something on this scale through a bunch of Facebook pages.

So far, the Irish government has been in control of our media, and who sees what. Now, we are all our own publishers of content through social media. We form our own press unions and we broadcast our own messages. The PR of the people of Ireland will continue to permeate social media – where it will shake the foundation of corruption and lies that strive to silence it.

You can follow what is and will remain a fascinating turn of events through the #IrishWater hashtag on Facebook, Google Plus (YouTube) and Twitter.

Here’s a selection of related material:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=806297689433570&fref=nf

 

13 Nov

Facebook to Challenge Google Plus?

Facebook Local Pages

Facebook like don't like laptop keysFacebook and Google Plus haven’t played in the same sand pit as each other since they began, and that’s not likely to continue. Google’s local pages have continually evolved to counteract “black hat” tactics to rank restaurants and other public services highly.

Now Facebook has decided to get in on the action by introducing their new Places directory. It’s a curious mix of its graph search functionality with fan pages. And it’s adding reviews where they can easily be seen. Considering the marketing potential many have found in Facebook’s ‘check in’ by offering free drinks and other rewards to customers who tell their friends where they are, it’s not too surprising an outcome.

The Places interface is like a Pinterest meets Instagram. You can try it out here: https://www.facebook.com/places

What’s very exciting about this development, is that real pictures from patrons can be seen, showing exactly what the location looks like, opinions on its value for money and budget – and a link through to the establishment’s Facebook page where you can see what’s going on there.

Ever been bored at home but couldn’t figure out where to go? This is an ideal tool to discover what’s around you – with Facebook’s 400 million, extremely active and engaged, users far outweighing Google Plus’ unsubstantiated 300 million it also seems set to provide much better ideas than Google Maps.

It’s also an ideal way to plan a city break or other holiday. For example, to prepare for a trip to London, I might find the following information:

Screenshot - 13_11_2014 , 10_10_52

At a glance, this tells us that there are over 6 million people who enjoy living in or visiting London and that there have been over 30 million check in’s.

Notice, that aside from Restaurants, Hotels, etc. there is a tab for “More” which gives us these options:

Facebook Places

Schools are a topic that always needs a lot of investigation for parents and it’s interesting to see its addition here. Another key point about Places is the ability to look through the “Cities Nearby.”  In this example I chose Windsor, and then clicked on the “Hotels” tab:

Windsor on facebook Places

I can see that The Royal Adelaide Hotel have taken the time to add dollar symbols to show what kind of budget their accommodation lies within and so clicking on this image leads me to their Facebook page where I can easily browse through their photos, guest comments, videos and reviews.

All in all, this is a much more rewarding experience than browsing online for Trip Adviser reviews or Google Plus reviews. It adds a much more “social” level to the process of decision making.

By clicking the “See All Hotels” link on the page above we are brought to Facebook’s Graph Search results and even given an option to filter results to show who we know who may have been there or have liked the page:

Facebook Places Tutorial

All in all, Facebook Places is an exciting new development in social media and will definitely challenge Google Plus for dominance of the local review market.

There is also a new opportunity here for business owners to market their businesses online with Social SEO rather than paid advertising.

If you found this post helpful or interesting, please share it, sign up for my newsletter and comment (below the related posts).I

06 Nov

The Fine Line Between Business and Personal Social Media

Expert Author Helen WinderWe all know how much Social Media platforms are used these days not just in business but in our personal lives.

I am sure for the majority of people there will be Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, Flikr, YouTube etc.

Many businesses now employ people to manage their social media visibility or share the task between a number of employees. But, how do you manage the cross over between ‘business’ and ‘personal’ connections?

I have been told on a number of occasions that people are finding it hard to control how far a member of staff takes the ‘connections’ with current and potential clients/contacts and have found that they are not just connecting with them as a business but from their own personal accounts.

One of the main concerns is that if/when that member of staff leaves their employment, what can you do to ensure that they disconnect from their contacts/clients.

Through working and supporting with Social Media as part of their role they have also been able to build up their own network, preparing their own ready made network of contacts for future needs.

The other issue that seems to come forward a lot is, How do you control that personal contact when out of hours? There seems to be a lot of banter that happens and I have to be honest from what I have heard, a lot of relationship building that is not of a business context.

This can be detrimental to a company as it really does paint the business and their owners in a very different light.

Here are a few suggestions:

Have a clause written in your employment contracts that states clearly the use of social media platforms to connect with contacts/clients of the business is not permitted and further action will be taken if this is not adhered to.

Only permit the use of your business social media accounts to be used by members of staff with no cross promotions etc.

If on leaving their position in your company, that you spot they are connected to your contacts/clients, request that they disconnect from those people and if this is not carried out then further action will be taken.

Stress to all employees the importance of maintaining that divide between personal and business connections. And the importance for a company’s reputation and growth.

If any ‘other business’ and by this I mean if a conversation goes further than just general chitchat to flirtatious conversations from both parties involved, then this could be seen to be a situation which could end in written warning and even dismissal.

If you can afford it, why not outsource your Social Media that way you are taking the risk away and freeing time to focus on other tasks.

If you are still unsure then take some legal advice from your solicitor.

At the end of the day, if you employ people you have to be very clear on where the divide starts and ends when it comes to Social Media and you have to safe guard your business and reputation.

It is as simple as that… No cross over at all.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Helen_Winder

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8789060

05 Nov

9 Mistakes Businesses Make in Social Media [Infographic]