So what shall I post today?

How long have you been sitting looking at your computer screen, totally lacking any inspiration?

Constantly thinking of new content to post onto your social media platforms can be daunting if you are not great at planning ahead.  You want to keep your followers engaged whether on your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn or in fact any social media.

Don’t worry help is at hand. Here are six ideas to get you kick started.

  1. Images – people love visual content. This is a great way to showcase your products or services. Photographs will increase visibility and help potential customers get more familiar with what you offer. Think – is there a picture you can take today and post?

Not everything has to be specifically related to your company’s product or services.  Do a google search for something inspirational that would be relevant to your audience.  There are some great free photo editing websites that allow you to overlay text on an image – perhaps add a quote or thought for the day.  I really like PicMonkey and Canva

  1. Guest posts – how about a collaboration? You can swap posting with people for a day so that you have the opportunity to get in front of a different audience.  Think about some people you could approach who would complement your business.
  1. Questions – do you ever ask a question or ask for feedback? It is a great way to get audience engagement and increase your reach.  Recently I saw a friend posting about the launch of their new website and asking for feedback. She was inundated with comments, likes and the post was shared several times.  Is there something you could ask?
  1. Links to your blog – if you invest time in writing a blog then you want to get the maximum mileage out of your content. Look back and see which blogs are still relevant and share again.  Have you posted them onto LinkedIn as an article? This has the benefit of then appearing on your profile.
  1. Events – are you hosting an event? Have you set up an event page on Facebook? This automatically generates a post and you can share the link on other platforms.  If you are attending an event give it some visibility by sharing the event information, using the event hash tag etc.
  1. Don’t forget to regularly check out your incoming social media updates. Retweeting on twitter is a quick way of posting.  Can you add a comment or reply?  Sharing a post on Facebook is easy and shows you appreciate what people are posting.  You are more likely to then have your posts shared too!  Take a look at your page feed with posts from pages you have liked. Is there something you could share right now? Remember it is nice to like content too and add a comment!

Hopefully this had given you some fresh ideas for posting on social media.  Obviously it is not an exhausted list.  Check out my previous blog  https://littleacornmarketing.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/help-i-dont-know-what-social-media-content-to-post/ for some more ideas. Do you have any other suggestions for things that have worked really well for you?

To discuss how to generate a social media content calendar please get in touch on 07988 676219 or karen@littleacornmarketing.co.uk

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Are you making all your testimonials work for you?

As a business owner you will know that LinkedIn is a great B2B social media platform and an excellent place to showcase your experience. One key way to do this is by having recommendations. These are totally independent but unfortunately they do have their limits.

You can only be given a recommendation by another LinkedIn member.  For many of us this is absolutely fine but for some businesses this can be very limiting.  It maybe the nature of your work is confidential or perhaps your clients are just simply not on LinkedIn. For example if your clients were predominantly aged 65 plus.

So what can you do if this is the case for your business? This is a question I am commonly asked when training on LinkedIn.

Well LinkedIn now allow you to attach files to you profile.  This means that you can still ask for a recommendation and attach it to your relevant work experience section or even your main profile summary.  Your clients can give a written testimonial, anonymously if necessary which you can scan in to your computer.

Whilst in ‘edit mode’ on your profile, just click on the symbol highlighted below and follow the instructions for uploading a file.

add document to LinkedIn Profile

So why not look back in your files – have you got a fabulous client testimonial that is gathering dust? Scan it today and get it up on your LinkedIn profile!

If you would like more tips on LinkedIn I am running my next workshop – LinkedIn for the Small Business Owner on 28th April 2016.  For more information click here.

The power of the spoken word

I spend a lot of time crafting written communication that has maximum impact, whether that be copy for a website, a case study or perhaps social media posts.

However last week I felt like a fish out of water when the communication became verbal not written, and even worse on video!

I consider myself a confident speaker and can happily stand up and present a 40 second business introduction or deliver a training course. But speak into a camera – nope that is way out of my comfort zone.

I was attending a Video Presenting Skills for Business course at Pinewood Studios with the aim of perfecting a 1 minute promotional video.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and I wanted to share some of the key things that I learnt.

There are 3 key elements of communication:

  1. The words you use – surprisingly not the most important part!
  2. Your tone of voice
  3. Body Language

When presenting you need to think about the most important words that you want to get across and make sure you emphasize them.

Don’t be afraid of silence – leave a pause – this can be very powerful.

Check your speed – even if you think you are speaking slowly the chances are you are not.

Even though you are not talking to someone in person you will be on video and the person will be watching you very closely. Look into the camera and be authentic, use eye contact.

Be passionate – it is your business so be proud!

And finally remember SMILE and your voice will too!

video presentation workshop

The course was run by http://www.tvtraining.org.uk/ and in conjunction with the 10-12 Business Club (Structured professional networking for business women) http://www.10-12businessclub.co.uk/

If you would like to learn more I would be happy to talk in more detail about my experience.  You can contact me via email karen@littleacornmarketing.co.uk

Back to basics – Communication

Get back to basics and communicate!

Get back to basics and communicate!

Over the years it has been fascinating to see how communications have changed and how we use language to communicate. I can remember spending many hours getting very frustrated with mail merge, printing off letters by the hundred and stuffing envelopes ready for post office. Now using systems such as Mailchimp we can send out correspondence to hundreds of contacts at the click of a button.

Even how we communicate with friends and family has changed. Once upon a time we would set aside time to write to a friend, probably having spent a lot of time at some point choosing just the right paper and envelopes. Now we send short text messages in ‘text’ speak, or quickly comment on or like a Facebook post. We even send birthday and Christmas cards electronically.

So have we evolved?  Sometimes I think we have abandoned traditional communication methods not necessarily for the best

That is why I am pleased to see that week commencing 21-27th Sept is National Thinking of You Week. The objective is to encourage people to ‘think’ of people they haven’t been in contact with and reach out to them. Do you remember the last time you sent a handwritten card or letter?  How do you feel when one arrives at home addressed to you? I bet you smile and feel just a little bit excited.

This doesn’t just have to be about friends and family. Think about your business – are there people on your database you have not interacted with for ages? Why not use this special week to focus a handful of contacts and connect back with them. Not by bulk email. Be daring – pick up the phone and talk! You really might be surprised at the results.

Help – I don’t know what Social Media content to post!

I have run out of ideas for social media content – this is something I typically hear people saying when they talk about their social media. Does it sound familiar?

There are lots of content you can post – you just need to be more creative and dare I say think ‘outside the box’!

So let me help with triggering some content ideas that hopefully you can start incorporating in your social media today.

Let’s start with – What are you doing today? Are you attending a networking event, going to a exhibition, having a 1-2-1 meeting or perhaps doing some training? Why not share what you are doing and link to other people you are meeting or you have connected with. You can post before you go and also afterwards. If you are going to an interesting venue don’t forget to take and post a picture.

Have you read a good book recently. Did you post about it?  People love recommendations. This is especially true at this time of year when they are looking for interesting holiday reads both fiction and personal/business development. Tell people why you enjoyed the book for example was it inspirational? You could take it one step further and write a longer review as part of a blog.  I recently read a brilliant thriller on holiday in Spain. When I got home I posted in a local Book Club Facebook group which stimulated a discussion, and even interacted with the author on twitter.

People like consistency so why not set up a structure of posting specific content on specific days.  For example on a Monday you could post an inspiring quote to kick start the week.  On Wednesday you could give away a top tip and you could finish the week with something fun like a ‘quirky picture of the week. This can all be planned and schedule weeks in advance.

Don’t forget to share important milestones. Have you just won or completed a major project?  Launching a new product or service?  Perhaps you have a new member of staff or formed a collaboration.  It could be that you are celebrating your 1st, 5th or 10th year in business. Tell the world!  Sharing this sort of information shows a human side of our business.

I hope you have found this useful. For more ideas on content for your social media why not get in touch at karen@littleacornmarketing.co.uk

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Tips For Creating A Professional Twitter Profile

I love using the social media platform, Twitter. I enjoy the challenge of putting my message across succinctly in 140 characters or less – it really makes you think. It offers a great opportunity for engagement and there is so much information your can glean from it.

Whilst many of my clients are familiar with Facebook I find that Twitter is not really understood and therefore overlooked as an option in a social media strategy.  With the constant changes  at Facebook and its dwindling post ‘reach’ it really is time to seriously consider if Twitter should be incorporated in your strategy.

So this week I am focusing on some tips for creating a Professional Twitter Profile:

  • Username: often referred to as a Twitter handle and limited to 15 characters. I recommend that you use your real name or company name but avoid using numbers.  If you name is already taken consider using an underscore e.g. John_Smith
  • Bio: This is important for both new followers, as they will check this out before deciding to follow and for Google search.  You’ve got a total of 160 characters and it is important to ensure you include your keywords.  It is an opportunity to tell everyone what you do, why you do it, and what interests you.
  • Profile picture: this represents you and your business. Not only is it on your homepage but it is also displayed every time you post a tweet. Remember that Twitter is a ‘social’ media platform and you want people to engage with you so use a good photo – it is really worth investing in a professional headshot to be used across all your social media for consistency. The recommended dimensions are 400×400 pixels. Whatever you do make sure you get rid of the default egg image.
  • Header photo: This is similar to the cover picture on Facebook. The recommended dimensions are 1500×500 pixels. Make sure your header coordinates with your branding doesn’t clash with your profile picture or make it difficult to read your bio.
  • Theme: Twitter provides a number of default themes with a variety of colours that can theme in with your branding but you can also upload your own custom background.
  • Website: Don’t forget to add your website address to your profile  If you don’t have a website or you don’t want to use it then you could include a link to your blog, your LinkedIn profile or your Facebook page.

Once your profile is set up and you are happy, then you are ready to get going.

The first thing you need to think about is who to follow.

I will be covering this and more in my next blog post but in the meantime why not follow me @KL_Creativity and for interesting and informative business info follow @10to12BizClub

If you would like help with any aspect of setting up your account please get in touch – karen@littleacornmarketing.co.uk

Thinking outside the box – marketing collaboration

As a business owner you are no doubt working with limited resources and any budget that you spend on marketing activities needs to deliver results.

I was attending a training course last week and it was really interesting listening to the other delegates talking about the challenges they face in developing their businesses.  A pattern started to emerge and it was clear that although their product and service offerings were all very different that actually shared the same target customers. Some of their marketing activities were very similar too – they had websites, they used social media and they enjoyed networking.

We are obviously all focused on our own businesses but sometimes we are too focused and can overlook opportunities that are ‘outside the box’ to do something a little different. These ladies had the ideal opportunity to collaborate on a marketing campaign – a dressmaker, a photographer and a confidence coach.  For example the professional business women who, for whatever reason, needs some coaching, then has a new outfit made for herself and then has her new headshot taken. What a great story with lots of marketing opportunity!

So what are some of key success factors when considering a collaboration?

  1. Have a clear objective for wanting to collaborate?
  2. Research and brainstorm best companies to work with.
  3. Be clear about what you have to offer the collaboration.
  4. Ensure you have a clear tactical plan with responsibilities so everyone is clear of the expectations
  5. Make sure you build in a measurement element so you know how successful you have been

During March 2015 this subject will be further discussed as part of the 10-12 Business Club structured network meetings. More information on where you can hear more can be found at:  http://www.10-12businessclub.co.uk/business-networking-meetings-berkshire/

So do you have any examples of a collaborative project you have worked on?