Inbound Marketing for Manufacturers Blog

    How to Use #Hashtags for Social Media Advertising

    I hate hashtags. The way people on my Facebook feed use them to try to sound cool, the way out-of-touch, old men force them into their television advertising ... it just bothers me. But even I’ll admit hashtags are absolutely critical to social media advertising .
    Topics: Facebook Social Media Twitter

    How to Improve SEO by Dominating Social Media

    If you're alive in the 21st century, you've seen the impact social media can have on businesses. Dollar Shave Club made their name on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

    Topics: Facebook SEO Google Social Media Strategy Twitter Inbound Marketing Brand Awareness

    How To Start Using Twitter As A Small Business

    Most small businesses that we work with have not taken a social media step beyond Facebook. Most have only used Facebook because they are using it personally. Many have created a Facebook business page for their company but rarely, if ever use it. Facebook is not always the best place to focus, but because they already "know" how to use Facebook, that's where they start. Twitter is often overlooked by small business owners because they don't use it personally. If they were already on Twitter and had "figured it out", chances are they would have a business Twitter profile as well. This post aims at removing the "figuring it out" step that so many business owners put off.

    Topics: Social Media Attract Twitter

    Twitter in Rural Pennsylvania

    It's no secret that Twitter has not caught up in rural areas...especially in Pennsylvania. If you have ever been around PA you'll know that much of it is rural, and depending on your interests that is either a pro or a con.

    Topics: Social Media Attract Twitter

    Social Media Patience Is A Virtue

    It can certainly be frustrating to get excited about bringing social media to your business and have it take off slow. You hear over and over how fast word travels on Facebook and Twitter, but word is still not travelling about your business. Your message is being sent into space and you are getting really good at one-sided conversations. I am sure you have asked these questions to yourself...how long does it take before I start seeing the fruits of my labor, when do I know it's working, and am I even doing this right??? Don't get frustrated just yet, it takes time and patience.

    Topics: Facebook Social Media Attract Twitter

    Content Multiplication Through Social Media

    If I had a dollar for every time I said the phrase "Content Is King" in the past handful of years, I would likely be writing this from a beach somewhere... Unfortunately (or fortunately...), pennies don't flow like Nickelodeon slime by mentioning Content is King. We stress the SEO implications of writing great content in great volumes all the time and our clients and prospects get it. They see how having great content in a large quantities means having great link bait, and a much larger SEO surface area. The impact is clear.

    Yet, we still have many clients and prospects that say that they don't have the time to keep up with everything they need to do (social, video, blogging, etc...) to stay competitive online, even though they know it will positively impact their small business.

    A Flock Of Birds With 1 Stone

    To make keeping up with all of the various web channels much easier for businesses without dedicated web staff, we use a model that focuses on getting the most mileage out of what you CAN do.

    Most businesses and non-profits can make time to write a blog post at least once a week. If you tell me you don't have time to write 3 paragraphs about a news story related to your industry, or about what's going on at your organization, I will slime you like Ross on You Can't Do That On Television. Especially if you have a full week to fit it in. You can do it!

    Write A Good Post, It Will Run Forever

    OK, so you have your weekly blog post as a basis for your weekly web marketing activities. Now, we need to make it work like a Volvo 200 series from the 70s and 80s. We need this post to work in social media. Specifically, it would be ideal to have it play nice with Facebook, Twitter and maybe even YouTube.

    Link To Your Post On Facebook

    This one is relatively simple at first glance, but you need to think about what you want folks on Facebook to do with your link. Remember, social media is "SOCIAL", not just media. Your blog and website are fairly media-like. We want to take advantage of the social aspect.

    Using this post as an example, I might post it to Facebook and ask a question with the post that appears to genuinely want responses such as:

    Are any of our followers struggling to keep up with all of the web platforms these days like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc...? Shout in the comments with some specifics...

    Hopefully (no guarantees), this comment will get some of the people that Like our brand to get involved with the conversation. This is NOT where it ends though. I need to monitor my email inbox (something everyone already does), to look for emails from Facebook indicating that someone has posted a comment in response to my solicitation for comments. In many cases, I can simply just respond to that email to comment back. And you MUST comment back. That part is vital to getting the conversation flowing.

    If your post sits for a 3-4 hours with no one getting involved, comment on your post or call out a good customer that you know won't mind you getting them involved. Something like, "One such example I can think of is ABC Company. In speaking with so and so, they said their biggest hangup is XYZ....". Many times this will bring them into the conversation and get the ball rolling. It always helps to mention that your readers should checkout their Facebook page as well.

    There will be times when you are left talking to yourself. That's OK. The important aspect is that you learn and evaluate why people may not have gotten involved. Also, consider when you post the link to your blog post on Facebook. If you do it at 2am, chances are it will be at the bottom of your followers' news feed by morning. Learn when the best times are for your audience.

    If you need some pointers on using Facebook, we have written a whole series on Using Facebook For Your Small Business.

    Tweet All About It

    Next, let's tweet the link to your blog post. There's probably some overlap between your Facebook likes and Twitter followers. That's A-O-K. Some Facebookers completely zone-out posts from businesses. Those same people tend to consume items like this more frequently on Twitter. It also may serve as a reminder of the post that they saw from you on Facebook that they forgot to follow up on.

    Twitter, as you are probably aware is a little different of an animal. Here we want to elicit retweets, get people to use a hash tag (example: #reusecontent) and reference your post, or simply reply to you. All of which should be followed up with by a thank you or the continuation of a conversation.

    Your tweet itself will likely be a bit different than your Facebook update, but carry the same theme, such as:

    Know someone or work with some that struggles with social media and the web? Pass it on! http://goo.gl/VOlg5 #reusecontent

    You want to keep in mind here that you have 140 characters and you should NOT use all of them. Why? Because people that want to retweet your update will probably want to share a few words as well. If you use all of the characters, they can't.

    With Twitter, you will want to have a FREE app installed like TweetDeck or Seesmic. I prefer TweetDeck. They will both give you Outlook-like notifications when someone replies, retweets, etc... something that you share on Twitter. Both clients integrate with Twitter and Facebook to allow you to manage both sites as well.

    See our series on Using Twitter for Your Small Business for more tips specific to Twitter.

    Use Video In Your Blog Post And Add YouTube To The List


    Before you roll your eyes and say that video is too hard or too expensive, please consider that all you need is your laptop's built in webcam and microphone. You don't use a laptop? That's OK, use the webcam and microphone to the right. Both options are super easy and fast. Videos on YouTube do not need to look like a major motion picture. They just need to get the point across. What's more, most web cams now come with simple editing software to add text over the video and even a splash/intro screen.


    Like the other 2 social media sites we discussed, YouTube should be monitored. This doesn't take any additional time out of your day. You will get an email if someone posts a comment to your video. Make sure you reply to any comments people leave.

    YouTube provides embed code so you can copy and paste your video into your blog editor. They also provide direct links to your video for use on Twitter and Facebook or wherever else you want to share your video. I don't recommend this. It is much more measurable to link to a blog post on your website (not to mention the possibility of a prospect noodling around your site when the video is done) that contains the video than to just link to the video on YouTube.

    We've written several posts on using YouTube for your Small Business, if you need some help getting started.

    Do NOT Set And Forget

    This is no time to go all Ron Popeil on me and post to the social media sites and not think about it until your next weekly post. No, you need to keep an eye out for commenters. You don't want to leave them hanging or waiting. Again, this is not a very big time consumer because you get the notifications in your inbox or social client as mentioned above.

    Treat those comments or retweets or messages as an inquiry from a new prospect. Follow up as soon as possible, and show your best face.

    Looking To Start A Content-Driven Social Strategy?

    Give us a shout! We can help you get rolling with some training or complete management of your social activities.

    Topics: Facebook Close Social Media Attract Content Marketing Twitter

    Should Twitter Remove the 140 Character Limit?

    I read a pair of contradictory blog posts this weekend, one stating that Twitter needs to break through the 140 character limit for messages in order to grow market share, and another that discussed why the 140 character limit is appropriate and that there are other, more pressing needs for Twitter to address in order to continue gaining in popularity. This topic is one I touched on very briefly during episode 4 of the protocol 80 o'er coffee podcast, but since it has gained attention since then I figured I'd post my thoughts here. Are you ready? Let's do this thing!

    Topics: Social Media Attract Twitter

    How Kenneth Cole Could Have Avoided Tweet Hell

    A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about Kenneth Cole's tweet that angered the twitosphere. As a refresher, he tweeted:

    Topics: Social Media Attract Twitter

    The Kenneth Cole Tweet Heard Round The World

    UPDATE: Check out my follow up post on ways Kenneth Cole could have avoided Tweet-Hell!

    Topics: Social Media Attract Twitter

    5 Ways Twitter Is Making RSS Obsolete

    Be honest here: do you subscribe to RSS feeds? More importantly, if you do subscribe to RSS feeds, do you actively monitor them and read the content posted to them or do you ignore it or forget to look? It's no secret that a lot of news stories are being broken on Twitter before they're seen anywhere else in today's news stream, and as a result more folks are turning to the ever-popular social website not just to communicate, but to learn. Here are three reasons that Twitter is becoming the one-stop shop to get your news, and why RSS is becoming less-important to mere mortals.

    Topics: Social Media Attract Twitter