Recent studies show that customers expect a response to their question or comment via social media within 1 hour, regardless of when they asked for the help. So not only are customers online 24/7 but they expect companies to do the same. If they do not get a response in a timely fashion, they might get upset which can lead to a mess. The best plan of action isn’t hiring someone to stay up all night, it’s making clear to customers when you are available, and responding to messages quickly during that availability window.

It is a rare company that doesn’t find themselves with a social media faux pas at some point. Spokal recently published an article about the tips that every business owner should follow during a social media crisis. The article includes good examples demonstrating what to do and what NOT to do in this situation. Here is a summary of the tips.

  1. Decide whether your response will be outbound or inbound
  2. Decide who takes control in a social media crisis
  3. Be prepared to act quickly and stay engaged
  4. Don’t shy away from the facts
  5. Spread the word with a public statement
  6. Post-crisis: letting the dust settle


LinkedIn is the most ‘professional’ of the major social networking Websites, used by over 135 million professionals worldwide. It is largely focused on B-to-B connections. If this is your market demographic, then LinkedIn should be an integral part of your social media marketing strategy. You can use it to connect with industry professionals, network, attract talent, establish thought leadership, or generate prospects and leads. The LinkedIn ad platform is even more powerful considering the demographic is made up of decision makers.

LinkedIn is much more than a social site. It’s a community of professionals – in a business mindset – waiting to hear from you. Here are just a few ways of interacting with users and building out your brand on this social media network. 

Build your brand with a LinkedIn Company Page. Increasingly, people turn to LinkedIn to learn more about a business. Put your best foot forward with a free Company Page that builds your credibility, provides key information, and gets your business discovered. In addition to giving you extra credibility, Company Pages also rank high in search. Creating yours means you’ll have one more property that appears in the top search results for your company – making it even easier for professionals to find you.

LinkedIn has the world’s largest group of professionals, all in one place. You can easily target just the right people to build a community of brand advocates and grow your follower base. The more people know about your brand, the more business you can drive through word of mouth and referrals. You can also use LinkedIn to engage your employees into becoming brand advocates. Having them link their current position at the company to your page will help to drive continuous traffic to it.

Promote your brand using LinkedIn Groups, LinkedIn Ads, or Sponsored Updates. Find Groups talking about your brand or industry, join them, and take part in the conversation. If you decide to use Ads or Sponsored Updates, you can  use targeted criteria like seniority, function, geography, and industry to get in front of exactly the right people.

As with all social media outlets, make sure to post relevant, useful content and post frequently (but not ALL THE TIME).  On average, companies that post 20 times per month reach at least 60 percent of their audience. Share a mix of content and formats in order to keep followers engaged and interested in your offering. Don’t make it all about your brand and company. LinkedIn is a great social marketing outlet that is often overlooked in the content marketing strategy. You can take advantage of this by following the steps above and getting entrenched in it before your competitors. 


A little competition is good for your business, as it pushes you to make the best choices and perform at your best. Your competition’s customers are a valuable pot of potential revenue that can be tapped into. You already know they are interested in a similar product, now you just have to show them why you are better. Here are 5 competitive advertising strategies that you can use to get in front of those potential customers.

  1. Target Facebook users whose interests include your competitors. When creating your ad, you can use your competitor’s name or URL as the specific target interest in order to create ads targeted directly as their customers.
  2. Disrupt your competitors’ videos with YouTube ads. What better way to get in front of your competitor than with a video ad that plays directly before one of theirs?
  3. Use your competitors’ emails with Gmail ads. You can do keyword targeting on your competitors brand terms so that when people get an email from them, your ad pops up in the top of their inbox as well.
  4. Reach your competitors’ audiences through Google Display Network. You can target a predefined audience, one that is more receptive to your ads, and you can start with their customers.
  5. Download and target your competitors twitter followers. By using this list and the tailored audience feature – you can target these people directly with your ads.

You can read more about each step, including detailed instructions on how to do each step here.


With dozens of new social networks popping up each month, many marketers and business owners are in a state of analysis-paralysis. Trying to keep up with the latest social trends alone is overwhelming. Try to participate in every social network, and you’ll stretch yourself too thin and never see results. Hubspot recently posted 8 questions you can use as a model to help you determine if a new social network will be effective in helping you drive sales for your business. 

  1. Who are the current users?
  2. Who’s likely to use the network over time?
  3. Are these people potential customers, or do they have the ability to influence your potential customers?
  4. What types of content are those people passionate about and likely to share?
  5. How does content get exposed to other people on the network?
  6. Can you create new types of content for your business to leverage a popular new social network?
  7. How much time and resources are required to participate in the social network?
  8. Can you foresee a promising ROI?

Don’t be overwhelmed. Go through each of the social media networks and ask these 8 questions. Then start with the most lucrative network first and add on more when you have time. You can read details about each of these questions here.


The computer has brought us all into a virtual town square where we can be together all the time. That means company leaders can reach current and potential customers in ways no one could dream of a few decades ago. Our social media cultures takes this truth to the next level by allowing brands to build emotional connections with their customers through an ongoing dialogue with equates to a win win scenario. The result of this new intimacy is that your brand is humanized and customer loyalty skyrockets.

Forbes explains 5 basic steps to guide you through humanizing your brand.

  1. Have a plan.  Spend some time understanding what brand humanization would look like for your company and figure out what you need to do to make it happen.
  2. Know thyself. In order to invite customers in to know you better, you need to know yourself. Decide what your company culture is and then figure out how to express that externally.
  3. Create brand ambassadors and evangelists. It’s important to have multiple people post and employees can be some of your best ambassadors. Just make sure everyone knows the rules and has training on what should and shouldn’t be posted.
  4. Don’t forget your netiquette. Make sure to stay within boundaries, as humanization does not mean intrusion.
  5. Hire for humanization. Make this one of the principals for hiring. Look for people with warmth, senses of humor, and emotional intelligence so you can build out your brand ambassador team.


It’ll take a few weeks for us to go through most of the fringe social networks and apps. In the meantime, this is a great article to find out a little bit more about each one, including user base, usage, time commitment and more.





Vine is a short-form video sharing service, built by Twitter, where you can create and share 6-second looping videos filmed on mobile devices.  The simplicity of the design and easy functionality have made Vine a tough contender among its competition. Vine’s users are about 57% women and the app is most popular with 18-20 year olds. It currently has about 200 million active users.

The connection between Twitter and Vine is tight. Vine videos can be shared easily to Twitter, and they embed quite smoothly right into a Twitter stream. The audiences that seem most primed to consume Vines are those who spend time on Twitter or Tumblr, two of the best short-form networks out there. This is a bit of a one up for Vine over some other app like Snapchat.

Brands have found some creative ways to put Vine video to use, coming up with smart how-to videos and short films. Urban Outfitters, MTV Style, Rolling Stone, General Electric and Adidas are just a few of the brands that were early adopters of Vine.

So let’s talk about how to make Vine a part of your social media marketing strategy. First of all, as usual, it is important to create new, unique and relevant content to Vine specifically. Users are savvy and they don’t like to see content re-purposed. It should have a similar theme so that your content and message resonate, but it should not be the exact ads you use on Facebook , Adwords, or elsewhere. You also need to make sure that Vine users are in your target demographic. Do some detailed research to figure out who your potential clients are and where they live online.

When it comes to marketing on Vine, make sure to pick one point to focus on. With only 6 seconds, you’ll dilute the message if you try to cover more.  In other words, KISS, or Keep It Simple, Sweetie. Vine is not the medium for communicating complex concepts, save those for other social networks. Instead, use Vine for unboxings, teasers, and sneak peaks. And like Twitter, you can use hashtags in order to tag your content to other similar posts.

Don’t create videos for a private audience. Vine is public to everyone who wants to watch the videos, and they can share the Vine video on other social media platforms and send the videos around to other groups. That means it’s important your videos are appropriate for anyone to consume, even if they can’t really “use” the information in it.

Vine provides a natural opportunity to humanize your brand. You can do this by featuring snapshots of your company’s employees, whether at work or at play. Customer loyalty increases in brands that a client can relate to. In order to do that, take down your walls and show the behind the scenes of your company. Vine is a perfect platform for 6 second videos of what is going on around the office. 

Another way to humanize your brand is to use Vine for real-time customer service. You can use it to answer short direct questions that people have submit and then direct viewers to an FAQ page.

Is Vine a good fit for your company? Keep in mind that with Vine, companies have the ability to capture and share life in motion. If used correctly, this 6 second video app can be highly effective for promoting and enhancing your company’s social media presence. 


Public speaking is one of people’s top fears in the world. It even ranks higher than death in some articles! Can you imagine being more scared of talking to a room full of peers than dying?!? Harvard just came out with a good article that gives some basic but important tips on how to thrive in your next speech. Most importantly, make your speech all about your audience.

Analyze the audience so that you know what they care about and therefore you know what to talk about.

Use inclusive pronouns such as we, our, and us rather than you and your.

Reference the present in your examples to make the speech relevant and timely to the audience.

Highlight the benefits of supporting a particular idea so listeners will leave the speech wondering how and not why or if they should implement the theory.

You can read more details on each of these tips here.


In the next few weeks I am going to try and explain some lesser known social media platforms (or lesser known than Facebook and Twitter). I’ll give you a quick overview of the app or site and give you some tips on how to leverage it for business.

First up, Snapchat.  Snapchat is a photo and video messaging app that has been around since 2011. Snapchat is unique in that all photos and videos only last a brief amount of time before they disappear forever, though you can take a screenshot of snaps to save them . Here are some relevant statistics: Snapchat has over 100 million daily users, and 18% of social media users use it. More than 400 million snap stories are created PER DAY.

In the last year, Snapchat has gone from being a simple sharing app used by teenagers, to a marketing tool that can’t be ignored.  Since Snapchat evolved as a casual communication method, it’s critical you find a tone of voice that will be well received by users. The language you use should be easy-to-understand, and your posts should be fun. Try incorporating the drawing feature that allows you to edit your photos which will make your brand seem personable and approachable.

Keep in mind that Snapchat puts a limit on how long shared videos can be and also deletes all snaps within a certain timeframe. That means you have to make an impression, and all within a small period. This makes it an ideal platform for marketing teasers. Putting out a few second video or a cool photo about a product, service, or feature and then ending with a cliff hanger is a great way to get potential customers to click through to see more.

Contests are another great way to utilize Snapchat. Ask users to send pictures of themselves using your product, offering a reward in return. These types of opportunities are good because it asks users to continue to engage with your brand.

As always, use social media to portray the personality of your brand and make sure to do your homework. Use Snapchat to show off what happens behind the scenes of your company and ask different people to help contribute to your snaps. Don’t try to force your Facebook ads to work on Snapchat. Instead, make sure you join the app and follow other relevant companies to see how they are succeeding (or failing) with their content strategy. Then and only then should you create Snapchat specific content and start posting for yourself.


I’m not sure what it is about Spring, but for some reason it brings out an innate need to clean. Have you been purging closets, garages, and attics? Well, according to the NY Daily News, you should also set aside time to spring clean your business. In a recent blog post, the paper states 4 reasons why it’s a great idea to use some of that spring cleaning energy towards innovating and revitalizing your business.

  1. Network anywhere and everywhere – potential new contacts can be productive to your company’s growth. Make time to join new organizations and meet ups to develop new relationships.
  2. Mastering new skills – make an effort to strengthen a professional skill by attending a class or event.
  3. Updating your companies social media presence – maintaining a social media presence is important for prospective clients and employees to see you are a leader in your space.
  4. Using the right tools for the right task – make sure you research the new technologies and apps that have been created so you can choose the right tool for whatever you are updating.

To read more, head over to their article.