What is social media’s Rule of Thirds?

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Content Marketing, Social Media Optimization |

It’s not a new term, but one which some people may have missed – the Rule of Thirds. What this refers to is dividing your social media content into thirds and using it in different ways, to increase and maintain an engaged audience. These are: 1/3 of your social content promotes your business, converts readers and generates profit. 1/3 of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from industry thought leaders or like-minded businesses. 1/3 of your social content should build your personal brand and be based on your personal interactions. While sharing your own branded content to promote your business is easy enough, the other two thirds may be a bit harder. Sharing another business’ content is equally important to your own, showing your audience you’re aware of the competition, you know your industry inside out and you’re willing to collaborate. Sharing another business’ content also shows that you are confident in your own brand and it helps to broaden your exposure to the online community. To find shareable content from other businesses, you need to identify industry influencers and your competition. You can follow industry hashtags and keywords, which has the added bonus of giving your more material for your own content. Set up streams for easy listening and retweet relevant material to make your Twitter feed look more dynamic. Without this important element of sharing in your social media, your business will look like the person who only wants to speak about himself. Building your personal brand can be done in two ways – you can use your own channels, like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, to share engaging content; and your business’ social media channels to show a more personable side of the business – you could share customer’s stories, like their comments and share a bit about your team in a social setting.  You should empower and encourage your team to contribute to blogs, comment on customer feedback. If you receive a particularly good piece of feedback from a customer or supplier, invite them to guest blog. Finding the right balance can be hard, but it’s worth it. If you’d like assistance in achieving the Rule of Thirds in your social media strategy, contact us. Our social media marketers know all the secrets and can help you build and maintain an online...

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Five tips to create an online community for your small business

Posted by on Mar 15, 2012 in Articles |

At WSI, many of our clients are new start-ups. We love working with entrepreneurs who see the value of digital marketing and online community building (which has become one of our most popular services over the past six months). Resources are usually scarce and not every new start-up can afford to hire a dedicated community manager, so I’ve set up some tips on how to create an online community for your small business: Don’t be all over the place Unless you’ve got the time to regularly post on each and every social media website, we suggest limiting your presence to one or two sites to start off with. Take stock of who is already talking about your product or industry – if people are chatting on Twitter, set up a Twitter account. Start engaging You’ll quickly notice that some users are much more vocal (or involved in) an industry than others. Follow these people and start a conversation with them. Don’t only try to punt your products or brand – be an interested, conversational figure on your social media platforms of choice and get to know the people who can help you build your online community. Use your existing platforms and friends Your friends can help give momentum to your online community. Ask them to Like your Facebook page and re-tweet a Twitter update – this will immediately get your content shared to all of their followers, friends and acquaintances. If you send out a newsletter, ask your existing contacts to follow you on Twitter. Also make sure your content is easy to share and pass along to friends. You need brand advocates – not just “fans and followers” While it’s important to spend a bit of time following the right people and making sure all your contacts know you’re networking on social media platforms, you need to think in terms of brand advocates and not just numbers. This Nielson study shows that people trust peer recommendations much more than online ads, so you need to focus on the quality of followers (not just the number of people you can convince to follow your brand online). Rome wasn’t built in a day Don’t expect to build your online community within a month – it takes time. In the beginning, it will feel like you’re forcing conversations and getting nowhere, but this will pass. The key to building a sustainable online community (where people share content and engage with one another) is being consistent and involved in the community. Create relevant content and take the time to re-tweet interesting content every day to help your community gain momentum. Need help with your online community? Contact WSI to find out how...

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Word of Mouth… Even Online

Posted by on Sep 9, 2009 in General |

As computers and the Internet have taken more important roles in the business world, those who came before have largely lamented the presence of technology. They will claim that it strives to remove the relationships between you and the customer and that it makes business even less personal than ever. I, however, argue that this is only because so many are not using these powerful tools correctly which is why 70% of all CRM projects fail. There is no excuse for a web-based business to be considered cold and impersonal. Your business is living in an epic, border-less world economy where customers are not hindered by geography and time zones or even out of stock situations. Blogs such as this one, message boards and other forms of online communities including the proliferation of popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Squidoo and YouTube allow you to interact with customers from anywhere in the world at any time. Even when you aren’t there, your presence is felt thanks to your ‘hopefully’ interactive website providing the ability to communicate or obtain information as well as old posts and replies that help to sell your business even while you sleep. More importantly, customers can interact freely on an online community. Unlike many conventional businesses, customers aren’t influenced by location and the odds of a potential customer and a previous customer ever crossing paths is quite slim. Your interactions with customers on your website are there for the world to see. When you are helpful and receive customer thanks and praise, visitors notice it. It is important to allow customers to post testimonials and you should be constantly asking for feedback on your products or services. Every time someone sees these interactions or gets responses directly from other customers, you’ve helped to win over new customers without having to spend a cent on advertising. Another way to cultivate word of mouth is to make use of ‘customer get customer offers available to your current customers. The way these work is usually that for every new customer that someone brings in, he or she would then receive a discount or a share of the profits from that new customer. This sort of program could be applied to just about any goods or services delivered in an automated fashion and provide you with quality word of mouth advertising at minimal costs – especially since you don’t pay anything out until you’ve already turned a...

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