• Act-On Software
    Act-On Software on January 22, 2015

    The Rules of Engagement on Facebook

    If you want to make your content sharable and searchable on Facebook, you need to have a thorough understanding of Facebook principles and the general rules that apply to content and behavior.
  • Personal branding is such a messy topic because we all need to be marketable, but there is without a doubt a point where we cross from informing, educating and inspiring to build a personal brand to just becoming self absorbed.

    There is no question that we have entered a world where personal branding is important. Whether looking for a new career, a new customer or more visibility within your current organization, personal branding is an invaluable asset in these ventures. Having said that, part of personal branding requires a willingness to create, share and draw attention to yourself. Considering that some of the strongest ways to build a personal brand are through publishing your thoughts, public speaking and social media; there really isn’t a means to develop a strong personal brand without raising your hand and saying “I’m okay with being highly visible.”

    For some people this type of high visibility is easy. From celebrities to high profile business executives to social media ninjas and rock stars, some people just don’t mind being the center of attention. Not only are they willing to share every thought that comes through their mind as if we would all be missing out if they didn’t share it, but they enjoy it. Worse yet, it isn’t always just their thoughts (perhaps we could live with that) but rather it is their every accomplishment no matter how small; you just cooked and then proceeded to eat the best cheeseburger on the planet…Good for you! It’s a blurry line between narcissism, psychopathy and a genuine desire to help a company (yours or someone else’s) drive there thoughts, ideas and messages forward. This is why personal branding is such a messy topic because we all need to be marketable, but there is without a doubt a point where we cross from informing, educating and inspiring to build a personal brand to just becoming self absorbed. It doesn’t matter how many times you start a Facebook post with how honored or humbled you are that you were selected for having the best Eyebrows on a Wednesday by Joe Nobody's Blog; At some point it isn’t humble at all…it’s bragging and it’s obnoxious.

    To some extent my overarching resentful tone is probably rooted somewhere in my own insecurities. Over the past 5 years I have constantly found myself in a state of uncertainty as it relates to personal branding. I love to write, speak and share ideas that drive conversations forward. I have written 3 books, been published in countless national and global media outlets, keynoted terrific events and built a personal brand that has worked well for the business I am in (even that was hard to write).

    For all intents and purposes I have nothing to complain about, but yet I have this sometimes not so subtle irritation that has been exacerbated by social media and the shameless self promotion that so many feel no remorse for. Perhaps my favorite is when I hear people who speak on leadership or communication that suggest building relationships through empathy posting on Twitter or LinkedIn about all of the recent recognition they have received for a talk they gave or a book they wrote. Doesn’t that type of self-promoting banter seem hypocritical? If you tell me great leaders need to give, not take credit, then why are you publicly taking credit for your awesomeness? Shouldn’t those that you have impacted become your advocates? Isn’t that the power of word of mouth? Maybe word of mouth isn’t as powerful as we thought, or perhaps we aren’t quite as good we think we are. I would just think that if our work resonated our personal brand would be a byproduct; do we really need to toot our own horn?

    Personal Branding Is Important - But It Isn’t Bragging, It’s Adding Value

    There may be nothing more powerful than a great story. When your brand story is a journey that people resonate with the message will spread. When the messages you share impact and help others, whether a few or many, people will take notice. If you share the thoughts and ideas of your brand or your company to help proliferate advocacy, and it works, people will want to share your insights.

    Time and time again this has been at the root of personal branding. In fact this is what personal branding is all about. It’s about showing an ability to impact others through your work and ideas. Personal brand is earned, it’s not a right and it can’t be short circuited through self-serving antics. They may work in the short term, but in the long run they will more likely make you look like an egomaniac.

    I promise you I get the hustle. Sometimes you have to raise your hand at the right time, or take a big chance to be seen. Just about every star in every field had their moment(s) where they shined at just the right time. However, for most who rise in their field it is a lot of really smart work, long hours and a willingness to earn your stripes through continuing to share your ideas and thoughts one after another until something sticks.

    Much like the theme behind TED, “Ideas Worth Spreading,” every speaker that they bring in goes on stage and shares their ideas, and they pepper their presentations with stories, but rarely, if ever, will you hear the speakers provide a list of their accomplishments. If they are up there, chances are they did something pretty miraculous, no need to brag.

    I think in the end this is the root of the personal branding dilemma. A personal brand can and should be built through being consistently good or even great at what you do. If sharing your work is part of the process then share away. But I will say, and many may disagree that there is no need to brag, boast or even “Humbly” provide the world with your every accomplishment. Save those times for when you’ve hit the proverbial home run in your life or career. Funny thing is at the moment in which you’ve achieved that once unattainable benchmark; chances are you won’t have to tell anyone because your world (no matter how large or small) will be inclined to share it for you.

    Photo Credit: Creative Commons

    There’s rather a lot to suggest that social media isn’t very good for our general wellbeing. For instance, it’s widely believed that we aren’t especially honest when we share things on Facebook, and this curation leads us to portray ourselves in as good a light as possible. Now that’s great, except everyone else does too, and there glistening fakery thus makes us feel rather bad about ourselves.

    There’s rather a lot to suggest that social media isn’t very good for our general wellbeing.  For instance, it’s widely believed that we aren’t especially honest when we share things on Facebook, and this curation leads us to portray ourselves in as good a light as possible.  Now that’s great, except everyone else does too, and there glistening fakery thus makes us feel rather bad about ourselves.

    So the theory goes anyway.  A recent report published in partnership by Rutgers University and the Pew Research Center suggests the picture tends to be a little bit more nuanced that that.

    Indeed, the researchers go as far as to suggest that social media doesn’t really stress us out at all.

    “There is no evidence in our data that social media users feel more stress than people who use digital technologies less or not at all,” the authors say.

    This becomes even more nuanced when you look at the gender of social media users.  The results suggest that male social networkers were generally no more stressed than their non-Facebooking peers.

    Women however, were generally less stressed the more active they were.  So a woman who’s a regular Twitter users for instance, was on average 21 percent less stressed than a digitally disconnected peer.

    Interestingly, the results suggest the only time social networking actually increases our stress levels is when it brings us into contact with stressful events.  So you may, for instance, be made aware of something stressful happening in the life of a friend via Facebook, which in turn makes you stressful.

    “Facebook was the one technology that, for both men and women, provides higher levels of awareness of stressful events taking place in the lives of both close and more distant acquaintances,” the authors say.

    Social networks are generally pretty good at doing this, with the average user being made aware of 13 percent more stressful events due to their membership of sites like Facebook.

    It’s an interesting finding, not least because it contrasts so heavily with previous research on the topic.  For instance, a recent study highlighted the anxiety Facebook causes by constantly forcing us to compare ourselves with our peers.

    This would not only cause us stress but harm our self-esteem levels too.  Is the Pew/Rutger study enough to counter this general zeitgeist?  I’m not so sure.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

    One of the more popular questions marketers tend to ask relates to how often to post to social media. The truth of the matter is simple: the frequency with which you post will differ based on both the industry in which you find your business and the qualities of your audience. That said, there are some basic guidelines that serve as a starting point when considering where to begin.

    How much is too much? How little is not enough? This infographic does a pretty good job of answering those questions.

    One of the more popular questions marketers tend to ask relates to how often to post to social media. The truth of the matter is simple: the frequency with which you post will differ based on both the industry in which you find your business and the qualities of your audience. That said, there are some basic guidelines that serve as a starting point when considering where to begin.

    This great inforgraphic from Spokal does a great job of analyzing current trends, aggregating that data and providing us with a guideline which can easily be followed when deciding how often to post to social media. Though you might find that, with time, your strategy might change, this will help get you off on the right foot.

    How often to post on social media infographic

    The post How Often Should You Post to Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC] appeared first on t2 Marketing International.

    Good luck getting your post noticed nonetheless your message received next Monday morning. The Web will be overflowing with Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagrams, blogs, and commentary on the successes, failures, bad calls, and great plays of Super Bowl 49 (Sorry. English Major here. I don't do Roman Numerals).

    New England. Seattle. What a game that was! Yes I said was. No, this article wasn't posted a week early. It's in fact timed perfectly because it's not about the big game, it's about the social media game around scheduled events.

    Good luck getting your post noticed nonetheless your message received next Monday morning. The Web will be overflowing with Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagrams, blogs, and commentary on the successes, failures, bad calls, and great plays of Super Bowl 49 (Sorry. English Major here. I don't do Roman Numerals).

    But today, rather than my words getting lost in a sea of morning social media mayhem, you're reading this Super Bowl themed article. I've got your attention and you'll listen to what I've got to offer. Touchdown, and the extra point is good.

    First rule in social media event strategy is say it first. You can run the risk of saying the wrong thing, but that can be avoided if you've got the right people in place. But first mover's advantage has never been stronger than in social media. You are rewarded for your forethought in a society based upon content regurgitation.

    Second rule is anticipate what your audience wants to hear. Easier said than done but the good NFL quarterbacks do it routinely with their receivers. He throws the ball where he wants them to be, not where they are. Social media is no different. Know now what you will say when it happens before it happens. In fact, right now the locker rooms of both the Patriots and the Seahawks are filled with shirts that read Super Bowl XLIX (OK. So I was an English Major but my scholarship was in Math. But I digress). The winners will wear theirs, the losers will never see them, but they exist.

    Third Rule? Have a game plan but don't be afraid to change it. Most social media posts are made with little thought, some are well-planned but set in stone. The best social media is planned but leaves room to change. Just like football halftime. That's why some teams play completely different in the second half. They adapt. And so should your social media plan.

    Of course your "super bowl" may be a new product launch, user conference, or board meeting. But the rules still apply. So enjoy the Big Game. I can promise you. It was a great one.

    Looking for ways to boost your freelancing business? Social media isn't just a tool for the rich and famous. Check out these ways you can use social media to make your sole proprietorship a success.

    Running a business alone is not an easy task. You have to spend time delivering services to clients while simultaneously marketing yourself and handling administrative tasks.

    At the end of the day, doing anything beyond that is out of the question. That makes it tough to push your business toward something greater.

    But what if I told you there was a simple tool that could boost your success without a painstaking effort? You'd jump at that offer, right?

    What if I told you that you're probably already using that tool?

    Yep. Social media is the answer, ladies and gentlemen. But how can you use it in a way that will boost your freelancing business? Let's take a look.

    Use it to Land Clients

    Countless freelancers have already discovered how social media can be a useful tool in connecting with like-minded people and potential clients. It's possible for you, too. There are a couple of ways you can do this:

    1. Search for job openings on social media. Doing a quick search on Twitter for keywords like "freelance writer" can easily put you in direct contact with people seeking your services. A LinkedIn job search will do the same thing.
    2. Network with your target audience. As a freelance web designer, for instance, you might join blogging and start-up groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. This will put you in touch with people looking to create their own website. Some of them will know what they're doing, but others might need someone like you to help them out.
    3. Connect with other freelancers. Staying in touch with other freelancers in your industry is a great way to get referrals from them when they can't take on prospects' work. It's also a great way to stay in-touch with your niche and learn secrets to advancing in your own industry.

    Don't think this will work for you because you only offer services locally? You'll likely be able to use these same tactics. For instance, let's say you work as a freelance interior designer. Chances are people in your geographical area are pinning and tweeting about their remodeling plans or talking about remodeling options in social media groups.

    Use it to Outsource Your Work

    You know that work can be exhausting, but who says that being a freelancer is synonymous to "doing it all on your own." A freelance writer may not be able to create his or her own website whereas a freelance web developer may not have the skills to write his or her web copy. Why not get someone to help you out to reduce your stress levels and help you develop professional products that will attract clients?

    Social media can help you find these people in the same ways you can find your own clients. Using this tactic can help boost your business by giving you more time to work on the important things while developing quality content, graphics, etc. that you can't create yourself but will entice potential clients.

    Use it to Increase Brand Awareness

    Social media is perhaps best used to increase awareness of your services. In turn, this will help you land clients, but as demand for your services grow, it also allows you to increase your rates so that you can make more money in less time. Maintaining an active social media presence will help, but with a little more effort, you can do even more to increase your brand awareness.

    One great option is to start blogging and guest posting. Creating a business blog or guest posting on high-authority industry blogs is a great way to start gaining more exposure across social media. Not only will your post earn social shares, but you can convert followers through guest posting, too.

    This comes with a huge benefit. Experts agree that social medias shares have an impact on search engine rankings. Given that 93 percent of all Internet activity starts at a search engine, you obviously want to be present on them, and social media can help. But how do you get those shares? The best way is by creating content relevant to your business.

    How are you currently using social media in your freelancing practice? Are you thinking about changing your habits? Let me know in the comment section.