So, even though I think we need to take as long a break at lunch as we need, I'm sticking with the concept. This is a series of relatively short posts to help you fine tune your business and make 2018 a stronger year.
None of this is rocket science, but it does take a commitment, starting with never saying, "That's good enough!" NEVER compromise on the quality of anything in your business, or for that matter your life!
I thought it would be fun and useful to hit on the topic of social media a little bit. Even though past "blue plate specials" have included blogging and communication, so many of you could be more effective in the way you're using social media.
"Social Media" - two words that just a few years ago had absolutely no meaning to any of us. Today most of us have a love/hate relationship with it but done right the only "hate" you should feel is that you didn't get involved sooner! But, don't kid yourself, you've got to have a foundation for communication or at least a desire to maintain contact with people.
Twelve Tips to Help You Thrive in Social Media
- Stay relevant! It's okay to stray now and then but stay on point regarding your core topics. Nobody cares what you just had for lunch, where you're driving, etc. I'm so tired of tweets and Facebook posts like, "Oh boy, just had yogurt - yum, yum!"
- Be consistent! Just for a starter, let's assume you're never going to tweet less than five times a day. Stick with that and tweet around the same times each day, before you start to experiment.
- Remember relevance? Do your best to share helpful suggestions. Send people to other points of interest you know will be useful to them. Use Twitter and Facebook the same way the old town crier shouted out the news in the 1700's.
- When should you tweet? I can't find anybody that agrees on when to tweet, but a few of the experts seem to like 1-3:00 pm EST for getting the most traffic. I tend to hit the first one around 7:30 - 8:00 am EST because I know have a bunch of followers who are early risers. While Monday is typically a weak day for traffic in other businesses, that's not necessarily true in photography. A lot of studios are closed on Mondays, and many photographers use the time to catch up on their reading. It all depends on your target audience.
- Keep your tweets and posts short. Just because Twitter went to more characters and Facebook allows you plenty of words, doesn't mean you have to use them all!
- Never post without an image. It doesn't always have to be relevant to your tweet or post, but it should be a good photograph.
- Use a URL shortener - I'm amazed at how many photographers still waste characters on long links. I like Hoot Suite. It allows me to set up tweets and posts in advance.
- Proof-read! Okay, I feel like a hypocrite for suggesting this when so often I miss something, but at least looking at what you write and reading it out loud will help you catch those mistakes that make you feel stupid...and trust me, I seem to have more than my fair share lately.
- If you're using a URL shortener check your link before you tweet. You want to make sure it's working. It's so embarrassing when somebody sends you back a message telling you the link is dead. You gave them a suggestion...they took it...but hit a wall because you had a mistake in the link.
- Don't engage Trolls! You'll never keep everybody happy. When you do get a troll use the block and remove features of the social media platform you're on, and get rid of them.
- How often should you post? Wandering through the Internet l found these four segments below from Constant Contact. Each social media platform is different, but if you dig hard and long enough, you'll eventually find an analyst or a study that supports whatever you believe. LOL However, you need to believe somebody, and I like the way Azure Collier has put her post together. She's the Social Media Marketing and Community Manager for Constant Contact. Click on any banner to link to her complete article.
- Have fun! Social media is all about being helpful and generous with your time. It's about sharing information and if you're not having fun, then it's time to back off and just take a break - review what you're doing and why.
We want you to thrive, not just survive!