Planning on Going Viral

Social Media marketing is the answer to all of your problems! It’s free! It’s easy! You just pop something on Facebook and boom you go viral!

Word writing text Going Viral. Business concept for image video or link that spreads rapidly through population Notebook marker crumpled papers forming question mark wooden background.

If only it were that easy. Social Media channels are crowded corridors which makes them great places to share information but also creates a lot of competition. It might not take you viral but a good plan goes a long way. Below are the components of creating a social media campaign plan that I consider “must have’s” for success. I created an easy to use a two-page worksheet to walk through each of these steps that you can download by joining my email list.

So WAIT! What do I mean by campaign?? In this case, we will be creating a series of social media posts that work toward a particular goal.

Campaign Name: This may sound silly but I often have 4 or 5 different SM (social media) campaigns running at the same time. I name them all so I can keep them straight in my mind.

Description: A campaign can be for anything. It can be an event promotion, a product launch, sharing specific information, or pretty much any tight focus. Writing down a description (or the focus) of the campaign is a great way to keep our focus on the right things. What are you hoping to accomplish?

Goals: I am a BIG believer in SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. It’s easy to get caught up in SM platforms vanity metrics (like reach & engagement) but I like to stick to things I can see. RSVP’s for events, reactions, comments and shares for posts. If you are driving people to a landing page or sale use those measurements instead.

Target Audience: Who are trying to reach? Sometimes it’s your existing social audience. Other times you are looking to branch out. Think about who they are and how to find them.

Campaign Length: How long do you want to run this campaign? 7 Days? 1 year? This can be determined by how long you have but it can also be a matter of freshness. How often do you want to serve the content to your audience?

Post Frequency: So many folks cannot imagine posting once a day. They don’t want to bother people. Did you know that a Facebook post has a half-life of 90 minutes and 120 minutes for Twitter? Go see how often your favorite business page posts.

Platforms: Wooo. So many platforms to choose from. Each one has it’s own pro’s and con’s and its own personality. I’ll be delving into that topic soon. For now, here is a sample list and you should stick to where you feel comfortable being social. Facebook pages, Facebook groups (your own and others), Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat are a few options.

Relevant Tags: There are two types of tags you should consider. The first (and simple one) is tagging collaborators. If you are working with someone use the @ sign (on most social media platforms) to tag them in your posts to mention them. It will get their attention and often result in a comment or share. Win/Win! Hashtags identify messages on a specific topic and are especially helpful on Instagram and Twitter.

Post Preparation: Once you have put some thought into all of these items it’s time to begin creating a list of posts. I like to use a checklist style to make sure I have everything ready to go!

  • Title: What will you call this post?
  • Platform: What platform is it for?
  • Image: Make sure your images are the right sizes if you are using them.
  • Link: If you are linking somewhere double check the link AND the image it scrapes (or pulls from the link source).
  • Text: Write the text that will accompany the post.
  • Call to Action: Don’t forget to tell the audience what you would like them to do next.

Posting Schedule: Before I begin posting I like to create a full schedule that includes all platforms and the posting dates. Then I can check them off as I schedule or live post them.

Sign up on my email list to get the worksheet and be the first to see new Social Media tips in the future.

Collaborating your way to Genius

What is Genius? In ‘The Inner Sky‘, Steven Forrest writes of this abundant Aquarian resource, “Genius is the capacity to think freshly, to view old problems in new ways.”

newninedots3Chances are that you have seen and solved this puzzle. This little beauty is the nine dots puzzle. The instructions for the puzzle are to connect the dots by drawing four straight continuous lines. The lines must pass through each of the nine dots. You cannot lift the pencil from the paper until complete. All of the possible solutions require that you exceed the bounds of the dots. This puzzle is thought to be the source of the now cliché phrase “think outside the box”.

I think that this elusive thing that we call genius is primarily a matter of perspective. As a project manager, I spend a lot of time working with teams. When I gather a new team I ask them to be present and engaged through every discussion. I remind them that they have not only been chosen for their knowledge or skills 37602086 - vector illustration of wooden toolbox with repairing tools.in one area. They have also been selected for the way they can contribute to the team. If you spend 80% of your time hammering you tend to think that everything looks like a nail. Assembling a team of people with varied skills and tools is an easy way to create a diverse toolbox. They can help you put down your hammer and look at your old problems from the perspective of a new tool.

What if you are a solitary entrepreneur? How can you assemble a team to help you shift perspectives and inspire your genius? Enter the mastermind group. A mastermind group is a peer to peer mentor-ship used to help members achieve greater results together. The concept was coined in 1925 by author Napoleon Hill in his book ‘The Law of Success‘. Joining or creating the RIGHT mastermind group can hone your skills, inspire your genius, and change your life.

Mastermind groups can be formed for a multitude of purposes. Of course, as I mentioned, they can be used to support business ventures but also spiritual, political, or personal growth to name just a few. It’s just like a fitness buddy. Someone to hold you accountable, someone to cheer you on, someone to inspire you when things get tough. It’s also someone who is just as excited about what you are doing as you are!

So let’s talk about some of the things you should look for in the right mastermind group.

  1. Similar goals – If I am training to run a marathon and you are training to compete for Mr. Universe we probably aren’t going to be great fitness buddies. We have very different needs. However, your bodybuilding training business and my marathon gear shop would be a mastermind match made in fitness heaven. Marketing, growth, business planning and much more could help open up new avenues of thought. What’s your mission and can you find others with similar missions?
  2. Maturity level – It’s important that the mastermind group members are a similar place in their progress to the goal. The beauty of a peer to peer mentorship is that of sharing strengths. If the maturity level is off balanced it will quickly lose the joy for those not able to progress. A great way to measure maturity is documented plans or (if appropriate) contact list counts or sales figures.
  3. Time commitment –  How much time are willing to commit to the group? There should be homework. There should be actions that you assign for yourself. Groups will meet as often as weekly and if you are joining one it should be a priority. They can she short term midterm or long term but everyone should share the same level of commitment for however long the group agrees.
  4. Group Management – How will the group be managed? Who is at the helm? What is the meeting structure? All of these are very important to the fit of your right group and often it’s just a matter of trial and error until you find what works for you.

What do you think? Are you ready to collaborate your way into some genius ideas that will change your life?

Contact me at gefjonsgifts@gmail.com with any questions!

So you want to write a newsletter?

So you want to start a newsletter? It’s a fantastic way to build connections with your audience. Here are a few tips that I think are the most important to get you started.

  • It’s not all about you. It’s your newsletter. The most important things you can put into it are your voice, philosophy, character. That being said, it is actually about the subscriber. Specifically, it’s about building a relationship with the subscriber. Subscribers stick with you when they are getting something from the interaction. Keep the sales pitches below the 30% mark. Offer your subscribers your genuine self because it’s always the one thing they can’t get anywhere else.
  • Make it look and sound like you. If you don’t already have a brand standard for promotional materials I would suggest establishing one. Your brand standard should include a specific voice, story, logo, font set(s), color palette and imagery style. Apply them consistently to all of your media (website, email, social, etc). You can update portions (fonts, colors, or imagery) for new projects or as trends change. Revisit the full package every three to five years to refresh.
  • Be consistent but not boring. Monthly newsletters are best sent monthly and around the same time. Select a schedule and stick with it. In my personal experience, most people aren’t sure which is which between the prefixes semi and bi so I recommend that you keep it simple. Tell them what they are going to get and then deliver it as promised. No more. No less. When you keep the interior content fresh consistency doesn’t become boring.
  • Subject lines matter. All email marketing experts and data agree. Subject lines matter. They should be short enough to fit on most email clients. Since about half of the population receives email on their phone I suggest no more than 30 characters. The most important thing to think about is catching their attention. Give them a glimpse of what’s in the newsletter and always use the preview text. If your email marketing tool has the capability to try some A/B testing of multiple subject lines to see what sparks your subscribers’ interest.
  • Images need alt text. A lot of email clients will automatically load emails without images. If for no other reason than this you should include alt text for any images in your newsletter. Make the descriptions complete and enticing. If you are using a royalty-free image service they have great descriptions ready made for you to customize.
  • Feed your email list. You will get unsubscribes. People’s interests change and that’s ok. Make sure you are using your social media presence, your website, and your other promotional opportunities to get people on your mailing list. All email marketing tools have subscription page options and you should make sure you are using them. Don’t be afraid to run re-engagement campaigns and then sunset unengaged subscribers.
  • Content is key. Think about your brand, your goals, and your relationship with the subscriber and make a list of the types of content your newsletter will include. I suggest a minimum of 6 with no more than 9 types and no matter how many only 30% are sales related.  Select 3 that are the core of your newsletter and will be represented in every edition and the others can be cycled in and out to keep things fresh. Your core need not include a sales item. Keep a list of ideas and topics somewhere so you can add them whenever fresh ideas come to you. Make a checklist for your newsletter. It’s easy to forget to check links, add alt text, or even proofread. Once these emails are gone they are gone. Sending retractions and oops emails are often more distracting than our small mistakes.

Can you Relate?

59424639 - casual people activities frame graphic conceptI watched “You’ve Got Mail” yesterday. Ok, that sounds weird to me. In truth, it was on the TV while I meal and grocery planned for the week. When you’ve seen a movie approximately 1 zillion times it’s the same thing. In my favorite scene (when Meg is sick) Tom says opening a store that put her small book shop out of business “wasn’t personal.” After an awesome tirade Meg says, “Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.” Fucking A! You go with your bad self, Meg. I think everything is personal. It’s a big reason I believe developing your values is important. We are persons after all.

You are a person with a business. You have business plans. You have loads of stuff to do. There is someone else with needs and plans in this equation, the customer. Are you relating to them? Are you thinking about what they need? Are you making it personal? Have you told them about it? When you are busting your rear to get things done it’s easy to forget to build customer relationships. The great news is that when love what you are doing and love your customer it’s easy to correct. Check out one way in my work with Pagan Pride LA/OC we have started building more of these relationships.

I am absolutely thrilled to be a member of the Pagan Pride LA/OC coordinator team. As a non-profit organization without a tangible product, they struggle to make ends meet each year. While sitting at the table discussing fundraising I got to thinking about customers. While not a traditional consumer relationship Pagan Pride surely has customers. They have several types of customers who are all interested in different products. Vendors are seeking access to customers/supporters. Presenters and performers are seeking exposure. Attendees are seeking goods, information, and entertainment. All of these things are what they seek from Pagan Pride one day of the year. So I asked myself, can we give it to them better? Is it possible for Pagan Pride to offer this year round? Can we gain additional financial support in return?

I developed the Pagan Pride Sponsorship program as a response to these very questions. What value can we offer our customers? How can we deepen our relationships? A keystone of the sponsorship program is the monthly newsletter. It gives each member of the audience a glimpse of Pagan Pride Day once a month. Pagan Pride LA/OC also has a healthy social media network. It offers an opportunity to help vendors and presenters get their work in front of pagans who want to hear about it. The sponsorship program is a successful fledgling. I’m hopeful that as long as we keep our customers’ needs at the center of the offering it will flourish.

  1. Who are your customers? be specific.
  2. What sort of relationship do you want to build with them?
    • Expertise, friendship, levity?
  3. How do they talk to you?
    • What language style? formal, casual, profanity?
    • What channel(s)? email, in person, social media?
  4. When are they available?

By answering these questions and creating a relationship building action plan you can develop stronger customer relationships and in turn a stronger business that is of service to people.

By Kandy Crenshaw