Do you ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels when it comes to developing and integrating your content marketing strategy and plan into your business and overall marketing initiatives? Content marketing, when planned and executed properly, can help you ignite not only online and social media results, but also true foundational business results.
Unfortunately, many brand leaders are their own worst enemies when it comes to defining and executing a well laid out content marketing plan. Could it be that you’re making some basic content marketing mistakes that are holding you back from the success you deserve and expect?
Sometimes we get so focused and stuck in our ways that we need to have a fresh eye, a fresh perspective, a fresh voice to help us acknowledge it could be one, two or a few silly things we’re doing that are sabotaging our efforts. Check out the 190th episode of the Social Zoom Factor podcast for 10 Top Content Marketing Mistakes that could be killing your marketing and business results.
Facebook contests and campaigns are powerful ways for brands to engage with customers in social. For the business owner, entrepreneur, author and other enterprising souls out there, social media and the sheer scope of managing it can be somewhat daunting. But there’s no instant solution to the problem of maintaining and engaging an eager audience and neither is there any avoiding working with social if you want to get noticed – no matter what business you’re in. It’s accepted in marketing circles that social media affords people a lot of exposure and the perfect opportunity to raise profiles, interact with clients and followers and reach an audience in a truly human manner. In fact, when it comes to social media there are now more than 2.206 billion active social users representing a global penetration of 30%!
Further to this, 1.925 billion people use their mobile device to access their favorite social platform. If you’re not using social, then you’re missing out and are pretty unlikely to get noticed in a highly competitive digital arena – even if your product is the next light bulb. But social takes time, patience, tenacity and if you’re the forward thinking type – making the most out of the best tools available to you in order to up productivity whilst connecting firmly with your audience.
Thank the lucky stars, therefore, that there are a bunch of great tools out there that are all specifically designed to address these issues.
So, let’s do a little future gazing and see what tools are going to help you stay ahead of the game in the coming year – some innovative bits of software that will help you to boost your social skills, connect with your audience and get your business flying! Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that if you want to learn how to use Facebook to the best of your advantage then you really should give Mari Smith a follow. Like-gating was banned last year by Facebook, leaving many a social manager scratching their heads as to how they could push out special offers to new followers.
This was something of a pain, as it left many a page owner going back to the old-fashioned way of doing things – you know the thing – ‘like and share to win’.
Sweepstakes – allows you to pick winners at random from followers of your page or those who have previously commented. Quiz – pop up a question, ensure that it’s topical, relevant and a little exciting and select a winner from those that provide the correct answer.
Photo contest – ask fans to comment with their best photos and pick a winner from the images with the most likes.
It’s a free app and AgoraPulse helpfully provide the information that it always will be and that you can run as many contests as you like at any given time.
You can of course also pay for the option to gain insight into shares and mentions – ideal if you have a large following. There’s free tutorials available to get you started on how to set it up so that it really adds value to your Facebook Page. If you’re looking to jump onto one of the newer social platforms on the block, which was recently acquired by Twitter itself for $100m, then you should check out Dextro. Well, since it’s such a new app, Periscope still has its bugs and issues that frustrate users. Dextro promises to use AI to help you to find interesting content that will give you ideas on how you can utilize the platform. It allows you to see what your fellow innovators (read competitors) are doing and react accordingly to craft your own ideas.
Red Bull – that advertising giant to highlight the adventures of thrill seekers around the globe.
So when coming up with your own strategies, think about connecting with people rather than just pushing out dull, uninteresting advertisements that promote your products. As many of you will know, Instagram has exploded in recent years and has now cemented its place as one of the social media bigwigs. The app allows you to track followers on the platform at all times, discovering who’s following and who, as well as those that don’t follow back.
Social for business can be something of a numbers game and if you want to get ahead, then you do have to play it – that said, always bear in mind that on any platform getting social is the real name of the game – there’s no replacement for personal interaction. Instagram is a visual platform and one that if you’re targeting the youth market, you should not be without. It’s not the most user-friendly platform though, so you do need tools to help you to manage it and connect with the right audience and start to build a community with people that are interested in your products or what you have to say.

Tweet Jukebox is a fairly new kid on the block but it’s certainly making a splash amongst early adopters and now more established users.
The basics of it are that you can create a “jukebox” that can be loaded with the content that you want to be published, schedule the publishing times and then let the software take over and do all of the hard – well, maybe not “hard”, but time-consuming – work for you. You can set schedules that will post on different times on different days of the week as well. You can schedule certain tweets for one off dates such as Christmas or other annual events.
Also, Tweet Jukebox gives you graphs that show you who has mentioned you and lets you track the conversation – a highly useful feature in a scheduling tool. There is also a store where other users can make their own jukeboxes available for download. And finally, Tweet Jukebox also allows you to send out automatic “thank you” Tweets to up to 50 users every Friday. In the (paraphrased) words of Tweet Jukebox’s creator Tim Fargo – Tweet Jukebox lets you automate the drudgery and focus on engaging with people. Tweet Jukebox allows you to open a free account, but there are also paid options available too now in order to help you to get the most from the tool. The paid options represent great value for money and are suitable for businesses of all sizes.
From small business, inspirational quotes, to uploading a collection of your best posts and podcasts, Tweet Jukebox has something for everyone.
Sadly, as with any tool, TJB has come in for some abuse when it comes to the use of free accounts, so it’s now only possible to institute a five tweet per day limit for free accounts. This doesn’t affect the paid accounts – it’s just the usual spammers attempting to jump onto  a good thing and spoil it for the rest of us. TJB is still under constant development and is swiftly becoming my favorite tool for scheduling and forgetting – I hope soon to be able to add my own collection to the Jukebox Library too. The latter is perfect for authors and those that want to promote their work without huge amounts of time and hassle spent on one platform. The content library offers a tremendous amount of potential for those looking to promote their work and themselves. It’s perfect for repurposing that evergreen content that can get somewhat lost in the ether when it’s just placed on your own blog too. Jukeboxes – these are reservoirs of content that are tweeted out randomly at a user defined frequency.
Scheduled Tweets - specific tweets that are tweeted out at specific user defined frequency. Thank you tweets – giving back to your followers and getting social – thank you tweets allow you to more effectively engage with the audience. Firstly, there’s a nice little post written by Kristina Jaramillo here – How to Transform Your LinkedIn Profile Into a Marketing Tool – that you should check out for some great tips on using the ‘professional’s network’.
It’s a good overview on how to present yourself so that you’re positioned to make the most of marketing on that platform.
There’s lots of useful apps built into LinkedIn that you can make use of and not a great deal of third-party ones out there to really boost productivity. IFTTT (If This, Then That) lets you automate time-consuming functions between various third-party apps such as Evernote and Hootsuite. IFTTT allows you to connect to more than 200 apps, so if you spend a little time getting to know it and creating ‘recipes’ it’s potentially a wonderful time saving little resource. I’ve only touched upon what it can do here so do take the time to check it out properly if you’re planning on using LinkedIn as one of your main channels. You can also connect to all of the major social networks using this great app so it’s definitely worth checking out and giving a shot. Twazzup is a tool for beginners to gain real-time insights into the most active influencers in their communities.
Real-time searches and monitoring are incredibly useful when it comes to the fast-paced world of today’s social media and Twazzup makes it possible to discover tweets much faster than the standard Twitter search allows.
A simple tool, but one that you can make use of whilst enjoying your morning coffee and coming up with your daily strategy. It’s always hard to come up with great lists that you will find indispensable but I hope here to have given you a great set of resources that will get your social off to a flying start in the New Year.
If you have favorite tools that I haven’t covered (which is very likely!) then please do feel free to share in the comments with a brief description of just why you like the tool and any costs. Finally, I hope you have a wonderfully prosperous and incredibly social new year and to sign us off, I've created a nice little infographic that shows you at a glance what each of these power tools can do and how they can help you to save time in your everyday scheduling and social activity. January 13, 2016 by weknowstuff 4 Comments These homemade dog treat bags are the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the dog in your life. My daughter is the true master mind of a lot of the Valentine’s Day crafts we make over here. It should come as no surprise that Valentine’s Day is one of her all time favorite holidays.

Early one Saturday morning, she told me she was ready to make our pup her Valentine’s gift. Step 3: Have your child dip the potato into paint and firmly press down on anything they feel like stamping! You can increase sales, generate more leads, increase brand awareness, build and nurture communities, humanize your brand, and reach markets you simply can’t access via other mediums.
Often times they get lazy and impatient, they want immediate results and don’t understand it takes time and ongoing investment. You have to constantly be feeding the content engine, inspiring and connecting with your audience to achieve desired objectives. Utilizing tools to help you manage your social media accounts will make the whole process significantly more streamlined and free up your day for other important tasks like growing your business and coming up with great ideas.
She’s the ‘Queen of Facebook Marketing’ for a reason and that is that she provides a rich source of actionable and highly useful information on all things Facebook. These can prove useful, but when your entries climb into the 100s they can be time-consuming and difficult to manage without an app. I would use this sparingly in the first instance (in fact, all the time) as people get fed up with seeing lots of share me posts. Namely that it’s hard to find feeds that you actually want to watch, rather than a live stream of someone eating dinner in front of the TV. It was created by Tim Fargo in order to help him to take the drudgery out of marketing his book Alphabet Success.
You even get a couple of pre-loaded jukeboxes with your account – one with photos and one with quotes – to help you get off on the right foot. This allows you to optimize your postings for those times of day when your intended audience is more likely to be online and engaged.
There’s something for everyone in that you can sign up for a free account whilst you test it out and see if it’s going to be useful – or you can opt for a much more powerful business account which gives you all of the tools at your disposal to really become a Twitter power user.
According to Tim, many of the early adopters have already seen “exceptional results” when promoting books and even charity events. So you remain in charge of what you’re tweeting and how your users are interacting with it.
With LinkedIn, it’s all in the setting up and making your profile stand out to showcase both your own skills and that of your business, whilst positioning you and your business as professional and influential. This allows you to cut down the time it might take and gain further engagement – which is not always easy to do on LinkedIn. There’s plenty of tools, tutorials, courses – all kinds of things to help you to get to grips with social out there. Tools can vary wildly in price and for some smaller businesses can be very off-putting, so I try to give a good mix when coming up with lists like this. She is a true romantic at heart and loves hearing stories of how my husband and I first met.
She makes Valentine’s for everyone in her class, every one in her family and this year – every dog she knows.
I gave her full reign in the craft closet and sat back eager to see what she would come up with. Originally she wanted a pineapple, but the more intricate the design – the harder it is to cut.
Living on coastal Long Island, NY with their families, they operate We Know Stuff, a parenting and lifestyle blog. But do consider coming up with a special offer once a month (or week, depending on your niche) so that fans begin to anticipate it.
Any data that can be retrieved about fans is always (very!) useful and it’s worth keeping a spreadsheet to record how followers have interacted with your accounts, what kind of fans you’re attracting and if they are behaving as you would want them to.
But cutting through the ‘noise’ of the resources themselves can be utterly bewildering and then you also have to choose how to allocate your budget and find the ones that work best for you. What we did on our first date (dinner) and whether or not it was true love at first site (it was). This page alone gets us 25-38% opt in rate on the coldest of the cold traffic… solo ads. Last April we welcomed a puppy into her home and according to my daughter, this will be her first official Valentine’s Day. She was going to make her pup a dog treat bag, so whenever we travel we could have a stash of biscuits for her. If you are looking for a fun and simple Valentine’s Day craft, this would also work on card stock or fabric.

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