To Market We Go | The Control Freak In Me

 

Little Known Fact

Some of you may not be privy to this, but I like some things in my life to be perfect and to work 100% of the time. Right now, there's something imperfect going on and it makes me coocoo for cocoa puffs and I can't let go of it until it is resolved. My favorite social media platform, Instagram, has not been working for me for over a week!

At first it was logging me out of the all the accounts that I handle, several times a day. Not very convenient for a digital marketer who uses it multiple times throughout the day. I heavily rely on the notifications that pop up on my mobile screen from Instagram and make a mental note to respond to them when time permits. Big problem for me.

Thankfully that issue has been resolved!

Still An Issue

The other problem that hasn't been fixed is that I can't post anything to my business Instagram account (but luckily I can for other businesses). Meaning I can't share my newsletter out. BIG PROBLEM as this is my main source of content and I can't amplify it on Instagram.

Help

My point with today's newsletter is - social media is great, until it isn't. I'm totally bothered that I can't post anything to Instagram and it is completely out of my control and I'm having issues with this. I've looked on every help site that I can think of. My only solace is that it appears that others are experiencing similar problems and I'm hopeful Instagram is working on it

If you are an Instagram guru, please help!

Image Credit: Liz Bridges via Unsplash


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To Market We Go | #stpats5k

 

#stpats5k

The Redondo St. Patrick's Day 5K is happening this Sunday! I've been head down working on the digital marketing strategy for it and some nice results are taking place. I'll be doing a post-race recap next week.

Teaser - What's Working

  • Facebook Ads
  • Email Newsletter
  • Social media postings
  • Relationship building on social media
  • New website that is scaled to mobile

Register Today!

If you are in the South Bay area and looking for a fun and family-friendly event, you can register here until Thursday at midnight or in-person at Village Runner, Redondo Beach.

I appreciate your support!

I can help amplify your event 310.748.9128

Image Credit: SCS Photoworks


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To Market We Go | Veni, Vidi, Vici

 

Good Ol' Julius Caesar

He came, he saw, he conquered. 

I'd love to challenge you with the content you are producing and see you conquer videos. Videos are what people are looking at now on social. Think about what you are drawn to as you scroll through your news feed. I know I prefer watching something as opposed to reading a long content piece or looking at a photo.

I'm Not Good On Video

I know firsthand that filming yourself and putting it out there is no easy task. I wrote about my experience of taking a video of myself on Snapchat here. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. You don't need a film crew, makeup and pristine lighting. You need your phone and a Julius Caesar attitude. And if you don't want to take my word for it, read this article by Gary Vaynerchuk.

Numbers Don't Lie

Yesterday, I posted this video of Erik to his social pages.  Now look at the image for this newsletter. Do you see how many people he reached on his Facebook page - 972 with 330 views!! Pretty damn good, for something that took him minutes to shoot on his iPhone in our backyard. 

Practice, Practice, Practice

It took a lot of practice for Erik to be comfortable in front of the camera. When he first started he stumbled on his words, had a shaky hand from holding the phone up for so long and was often frustrated. But after putting in the time, he can now shoot a short video in a matter of minutes.

Let's See You

I'm looking forward to seeing your video content on Instagram Stories, Snapchat or Facebook Live. I'm watching YOU!

Hit me up if you'd like to chat more about video 310.748.9128

Image Credit: Erik Taylor


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To Market We Go | Instagood To Instagreat

 

Instagram Stories

This past week Instagram began rolling out a new feature - Instagram Stories. In a nutshell, it is just like Snapchat (but without the fun filters). As I previously wrote here, I love Instagram, and I think this new feature will go gang busters. Not everyone has this feature yet. You will know you have it when you see a bar at the top of your feed with the profile pics of the people you follow.

How It Works

You can share your moments throughout the day -  photos and videos. Instagram will string them together for you in a slideshow to create your story. There is no limit to how much you want to share.

You can set your creativity on fire with stories. Instagram allows you to draw, add text and emojis to what you capture.

And just like Snapchat, your story disappears after 24 hours. The stories will not be in your profile grid or your feed (unless you choose to share something)

You can control who sees your story. If you have a private account, only your followers will see it. If you have a public account, anyone can view it. But, you do have the option to hide it from anyone you choose. You can view who has watched your story by swiping up while viewing  your story. You can also post something from your story to your profile by tapping the 3 light grey buttons at the bottom right of your picture or video.

If people you follow have added new content to their story, you will see a colored ring around their profile picture. Just tap the profile pic and watch the story. You can move forward or backward through a story and skip ahead to the next person’s story.

Instagram does not allow you to like or comment on these stories as you do with the regular feed. However, you can send a private message to people via Instagram Direct.

What My Crystal Ball Says

As I said in the intro, I think this will really take off. Just from what I’ve seen so far, a lot of people, brands and companies I follow have jumped on the bandwagon. For those who don’t use Snapchat to promote their business, because it skews young, I think this is a great option for you and more user-friendly. I can’t wait to see your stories!!

If I can help you weave your story, give me a call 310.748.9128

Image Credit: Molly Taylor


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To Market We Go | Eye Want You

 

All Eyes On You

Yes, what you say is very important when it comes to content production. {read more about that here} But…your audience won’t give you the time of day unless you have a stunning image that catches their eye first!

Where Do Your Eyes Go?

Think about your own browsing on social media. Do you take the time to read something on your Facebook feed that’s a string of long words without an image or do you just keep on scrolling by?  B O R I N G! Instagram is ALL about the imagery, every single post is a picture that’s usually pretty cool and draws you in.

Your potential customer won’t give a lick about what you are selling, telling, preaching, advertising, or confessing unless you start with an image that stops their fingers from dancing right past your post.

Does The Stork Deliver Images?

Unfortunately, no. And doubly unfortunate is that most small business don’t have the budget to hire a professional to shoot images for ad campaigns and social media posting. But don't despair,  there are some super alternatives at your disposal.

 Do This

  • Taking your own picture is always the best bet because you know exactly what you are looking for in an image. You don’t need to have a fancy camera and expensive lighting equipment to capture the perfect shot. Use your mobile. It’s got a flash, it’s got filters, it’s free and it’s got just about everything you need for social posting. {I used the photo above after I found it on my iPhone}
  • Make a trade with a photog friend. Maybe you don’t have the best eye to shoot pics with your phone, but your bff has a bad ass camera, a creative eye, and is a whiz with Photoshop. See if they’ll take photos for you and you can offer them your services in return in lieu of payment. That’s what friends are for!
  • Check out some amazing, free photo sharing sites. There are 2 in particular that I use for my own newsletters and for clients as well.
  1. The first is Flickr. Set up your account and make sure you look for images in the Creative Commons section for Commercial Use Only and you are free to download and use to your heart’s content.
  2. The second site I like is Unsplash. These images tend to be a little more artsy and more aligned with what is pleasing to my eye. Flickr can have some pretty kooky stuff on there while Unsplash is G-rated! Again, all you have to do is set up an account and you can download and use the photos wherever you like.

Just make sure when you do use someone else’s image you give them credit!

If you'd like me to do your image sourcing for you, call me: 310.748.9128

Image Credit: Yours Truly


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To Market We Go | Snap To It

 

Vacay

This past week, my family and I took a little vacation. We went down to Palm Desert where it was absolutely sweltering. So during the afternoons spent inside, I decided to play with Snapchat.

Snapchat Is For Kids

I’ve had an account for awhile. Because of the business I’m in I figured I better start learning how to use it. When I initially downloaded the app I had no clue how to use it. I found that it was not particularly user-friendly. Truth-be-told I had to have a millennial show me how it worked!! I monkeyed around with it here and there and would look at others’ snaps (posts). Eventually I stopped looking at it all together and thought it was a waste of my time. Who needs this, it’s just for teens to stay connected with their friends?! Right? Wrong!

I Heart Snapchat

I decided to give it another go last week. It turns out I had a blast using it! My girls know how to use it and they love getting my phone or Erik’s and sending snaps back-and-forth to us. We turned it into a family event and found ourselves laughing to the point of crying.

B A N A N A S

I googled how to use the lenses. Lenses are filters that you see over your face while you are using the app (see photo above!) Here’s where the fun began! We all started using them and could not stop. We turned into drag queens - it was like we went to the MAC counter at Nordstrom and the makeup artist went buh-na-nassss. Our faces became covered in strawberries, glasses, braces, squares, halos of flowers, devils, angels and we even face-swapped each other. Scary and so hilarious at the same time.

Video

I decided to give it a go. I stepped out of my comfort zone and snapped a video of myself! Then I saved it to my camera roll on my iPhone and shared it on my Instagram page. Much to my surprise, the short clip got 113 views and even garnered some comments. I think I’ll be repeating this behavior again.

Get Real

The beauty of Snapchat is that it is totally in the moment. You don’t have time to do retouches to make your skin gleam and have a perfectly practiced speech. It is the most real and raw social platform out of all of them. Anyone can make their Instagram posts look like they lead the life of Riley on a yacht off the Amalfi Coast. But Snapchat makes you vulnerable and that’s not always a bad thing. I was very reluctant to shoot a video of myself, I had no makeup on, hadn’t brushed my teeth (again) and I hate hearing my own voice recorded. But I did it anyway and was happy I did! People like seeing the REAL you!

Snap To It

If your clientele skews young, you best get on Snapchat now and figure out how to use it! This group is on fire there and it’s where you need to be if you want to reach them.

Feel free to see the real me on Snapchat: mollyo211


If you need help getting started with Snapchat, give me a holler 310.748.9128

Image Credit: Yours Truly!


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To Market We Go | #Hashtags

 

I get a lot of questions about hashtags, so here are my answers:

What are they?

Simply put hashtags are words preceded by the pound sign (#). Once you post a hashtag to a social media platform, let’s say Twitter, that word or phrase becomes a searchable link. One business that I work with uses #running often in their posts. Anyone who is searching for information on running has the potential to see this particular post in their quest for content on this subject.

Should I be using them?

Hell yes!  You want your business to be as searchable as the next gals. If someone is in the market for #balloons for their daughter’s 1st birthday party, you want them to see you’re Instagram post where you used #balloons rather than go to your competitor who isn’t hip to the hashtag game.

Which ones should I be using?

Use ones that fit your business and come up with a signature hashtag - your own that you have invented. Promote the heck out of it and encourage your followers to use it too. The one I’m using for the Manhattan Beach 10K Run is #MB10K

How many do I use?

It’s dependent upon the social platform. Twitter only allows 140 characters, so utilize that space wisely. Facebook and Instagram don’t have a limit, but you don’t want to overload people with hashtags and come off looking spammy and have people getting lost in the myriad of #####s. My general rule-of-thumb is to always use 1 and try not to use more than 5.

What characters can I use - are some not allowed?

  • All the ABCs and 123s! Ex: #music2work2
  • Any special characters will not work. Ex: !@#$%^
  • Do not put spaces between words or phrases. Ex: #throwbackthursday
  • You can use capital letters if you like but they don’t affect the searchabilty of the tag. Ex: #MCM = #mcm

Just for kicks...

Sometimes I see a hashtag and have no idea what it means, so here's a place you can go if you find yourself in the same boat. #yolo :)

#callmeifyouneedhelpwithhashtags #3107489128


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To Market We Go | A Leap Of Faith

 

The Proverbial They

They {I would love to know exactly who they are, wouldn’t you?} say that you should do something once a day that scares you. By golly I’m doing it! I have started my very own business. A digital marketing business to be exact.

 

“Stuff”

In the summer of 2015 I began the process of learning how to do website “stuff” for my husband’s business. That “stuff” consisted of posting his newsletter and videos to his website, sharing them out to social media, and doing analytics. I had been previously helping him with the social media side of things and was looking for a new challenge.

Much to my own shock, I realized that I loved doing all of this “stuff”! Never in my life did I think I’d be a techy geek. It began to consume my thoughts and I found myself talking to people about what I had been doing. I noticed their eyes glazed over while mine widened with excitement!

For the past 4 years I have been a stay-at-home mama happily raising our two beautiful daughters. But doing this work gave me a new purpose and it was a different way that I could help out the family.

 

Puzzle Pieces

I realized that the work I was doing for Erik’s business felt like putting a puzzle together and I love puzzles and I love this work! Once I became familiar with the new knowledge and comfortable doing it, I thought why not do this for other businesses?! 

So here I am, taking a leap of faith and venturing out to take on a new career path, so different from my previous job of teaching elementary school. This new job has become my passion and I’m super excited to see where it goes. I hope to offer small businesses the knowledge and support they need to market themselves in the ever-growing digital world.

 

If you are a small business and interested in how I can help you, give me a call 310.748.9128 and we'll start the process!

 

Image Credit: Redd Angelo on Unsplash


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