Tag Archives: Social Media

Seven Tips for Amazing Social Media Graphics

Graphics are essential for social media success.  With the rise of professional graphic use in social media marketing (74% of social media marketers report using custom visuals in every post), graphics are a must.  But they can’t just be any graphics — you have to make them great.  Not everyone has a graphic design team on standby, but that’s okay.  Graphic excellence can be achieved with Canva.com or Adobe InDesign, whether you went to art school or not.  Just follow my my seven guidelines for amazing graphics for your social media empire, and you’ll be fine.

SAMPLE GRAPHIC

Here’s a graphic I made recently for a Wednesday evening program at a spiritual center.  It looks cool, right?  You have all the info you need.  (Additional details can always be added via link in the posting text.)  I’d want to go hang out with those folks and have a conversation, wouldn’t you?  Let’s break down the reasons this graphic works so well.

 

 

SQUARES RULE

Maybe it’s because they fit the Instagram and Facebook formats so beautifully.  Maybe it’s because they evoke a minimal 1940’s design aesthetic.  Maybe it’s just because they look cool.  Whatever the reason, square graphics look fresh and relevant.  Switching from landscape to 800×800 square formats automatically ups the hip-factor of your graphic, with no effort at all.

HIGH QUALITY PHOTOS

If you’re using photography in your graphics (and you should be), please please please please please use high quality photography.  You can buy beautiful stock photos for a pittance from iStock, or you can take the time to get serious with your own photography skills.  (Seriously, you can take amazing pictures on a smart phone if you know what you’re doing. Check out this Hubspot phone photography blog: http://tinyurl.com/mle2f9c) Use high resolution. Clean them up in Photoshop or a similar program. Everything rests on the quality of the image.

MINIMAL IMAGES

Keep it clean, folks.  One image is best.  Skip the frames and borders. Skips the layers of images. Skips the tiny corner add-ons.  As a general rule, less is more.  This isn’t a flyer or a poster.  It’s one graphic image.  It should stand alone as a strong visual.  Resist the urge to fancy it up.  On a phone, all those details will just look muddy. Clean, clean, clean.

MINIMAL FONTS

Raise your right hand and repeat after me: I will only use a maximum of two fonts per graphic! This graphic actually only uses one font.  If you feel the need for additional variation, try using all caps in some elements, or all lower case. (Note the all lowercase website at the bottom.)  You can even vary the size of your text to keep things lively.  But here’s the God’s honest truth: if your graphic needs more than two fonts to be interesting, you need to make a more interesting graphic.

MINIMAL TEXT

Write what you absolutely need and not one word more.  This graphic has what, where, when and how to find out more.  That’s all you need.  Any additional detail would be lost.  As I mentioned earlier, you can always add a link to an informational flyer in the post text.  Every detail does not need to be on the graphic.  Fewer words means bigger (i.e. readable) text.

SHEER GENIUS

I’m a big fan of using one big photo as the basis of a graphic, which doesn’t always loan itself easily to text placement.  This is why I love a translucent overlay panel.  You can still see the image underneath, but the text really pops.  This is the simplest thing in the world, but it will revolutionize your graphics if you use it well.

USE YOUR SPACE WISELY

This event had a long name, and I had a tiny space for text.  What’s a girl to do?  I rotated the title portion of the text and used the extra vertical space.  It allowed me to use a nice large font size.  It’s super readable, looks great and adds to the hip factor.  I also played with the justification.  When text extends from the left side of the image, I like to try a left justification.  I’ll usually also try centering, just to see how it looks.  Look at all the options before you decide, but in the end trust your gut.

And there you have it, folks: seven guidelines for amazing social media graphics. You deserve to have graphics that are as awesome as you are!

Lezli Goodwin is Creative Director for Mad Science Consulting.  She finds extreme joy in helping clients find their footing in the nebulous areas of social media, blogging and small business marketing.  Follow her on Twitter @madscienceinc   www.madscienceconsulting.com

Six Great Things to Post on Facebook to Build Your Ministry [Infographic]

Six Great Things to Post on Facebook to Build Your Ministry

 

Lezli Goodwin is Creative Director for Mad Science Consulting.  She finds extreme joy in helping clients find their footing in the nebulous areas of social media, blogging and small business marketing.  Follow her on Twitter @madscienceinc   www.madscienceconsulting.com

Invite Client Engagement, Every Time

In social media posts, engagement is the name of the game.  Client engagement (likes, comments, shares, clicks) demonstrate a two-way conversation.  We get to know more about what our customers think, like and value.  They get to tell us what we’re doing well and where they think we can do better.  They feel appreciated, valued and heard, which leads to higher customer satisfaction.  Most importantly, customer engagement on social media spreads the word about our company, showing up on the feed of every friend our customer has.  So, it makes sense that we should actively court client engagement. Raise your right hand and repeat after me.  From this day forward, I will NEVER post anything for my business on social media that does not have an active invitation for client engagement!  So help me God!  But how do we do that?  We always include at least one (but preferably more) of the following things:

 

1. A link.  This can be a link to your web site, to the page of an online store to purchase the item you’re advertising, to your blog article that contains more information.  A link says “click me”, DO something in response this post.  Clients like things to be as easy as possible.  If you make action available in just one click, you are more likely to get engagement.

 

2. A hashtag.  Actually, I generally recommend two hashtags.  One for your company (see #ALSA) and one for the specific project, item or idea you are promoting (see #icebucketchallenge)  Encourage your clients to use your hashtags when posting about the issues that matter to your company.  It builds a sense of community and raises the visibility of your business.  Plus, in case you’ve been under a rock for the past few years, hashtags become internally searchable links.  Click on one, and it will bring up every post that used the same hashtag in the last couple of weeks.

 

3. A question.  People love to give their two cents, but sometimes they need to be invited.  The diet Coke Facebook page regularly asks questions like, “What is your favorite time to have a refreshing diet Coke?”  What would your clients like to weigh in on?  What would you like to know?

 

4. A call to action.  Give them a suggested form of engagement.  Call now! (Be sure to give the number!) Go to this site! (Include the link.)  Share this post! (Give them a great reason, like a contest entry!)

 

We’ll be watching, making sure you invite two-way communication with your customers.  As your client base becomes more engaged, you’ll see the quality of your interactions on social media rise.  Happy Posting!

 

Lezli Goodwin is Creative Director for Mad Science Consulting.  She finds extreme joy in helping clients find their footing in the nebulous areas of social media, blogging and small business marketing.  Follow her on Twitter @madscienceinc   www.madscienceconsulting.com

 

When you say every day, are you serious?

When you say I have to post every day on social media, are you serious?  Every single day?  How solid is that rule?

Let me put it this way: It’s pretty freakin solid.  That said, you can make this as intense or simple as you like, as long as you are consistent.  Let’s look more closely.

1. Choose the VERY BEST platform to promote your business.  This is going to be a combination of demographics and style.  If you are a hip, fashion forward business (coffee house, makeup company, art gallery), you need to be on Instagram.  If you’re a traditional company seeking middle age middle and upper income folks (real estate, financial advisers), your best bet is Facebook.  If your company thrives on moment to moment change (music industry, news organizations), get yourself to Twitter right now!

2. Post on THIS platform every single business day.  Now, that’s different for different people.  Lots of real estate people do their best work on Saturdays.  Many salons and boutiques are closed on Mondays.  Taylor this rule to your business schedule.

3. You can post anything from a quote that is relevant to your business to a link to your blog.  Pictures are great, and increase the rate of engagement (likes, comments, shares) with your post.  Pictures with face are better.  Faces your clients recognize are best.  You can create infographics or quote pictures.  You can make each post very simple or very complex, depending on the amount of time, energy and skill you want to put into it.  Keep in mind, though, that consistency trumps fancy every time.  Don’t set your sights so high you end up putting off your posting.

4. Wait to launch any additional platforms until this first optimal platform is totally solid.  You should have been posting daily for long enough that you don’t even have to think about it before you begin planning the next platform launch.  This way, it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.

Remember, social media is a tool to HELP you, not freak you out.  It should make your job easier.  Follow our simple rules, and it will.

Lezli Goodwin is Creative Director for Mad Science Consulting.  She finds extreme joy in helping clients find their footing in the nebulous areas of social media, blogging and small business marketing.  Follow her on Twitter @madscienceinc   www.madscienceconsulting.com

Sales and Marketing Resources

Books

[New eBook] A Sales Guide to Effective Outbound Prospecting – InsideView

15 of the Top Professionals that Utilize Social Selling Social Selling University

Webinar Replay: Turn Your Salespoeple in Prospecting Ninjas – Jill Konrath

The Prospect Calling Code: A Guide to Keeping Prospects on the Phone – InsideView

[eBook] The Ultimate Guide to Email Prospecting – Jill Konrath

Seizing Opportunity in a Hyper-Dynamic Environment – BrianVellmure.com

Old School Sales Through Social CRM – Social Media Today

Smart Selling Tools for Inside Sales – Marketo

It Might Be Time for Sales Intelligence – 5 Signs That You Need It – InsideView

Social Selling Strategies for Sales Leaders – Social Centered Selling

Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeff Gitomer
Marketing for Dummies, by Alexander Hiam
Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way, by Micheaul J. Webb
Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, by Brian Carol
Mastering the Game: The Human Edge in Sales and Marketing, by Kerry L Johnson
How to Make Hot Cold Calls, by Steven Schwartz
How Winners Sell: 21 Proven Strategies to Outsell Your Competition, by Dave Stein
Customer Centric Selling, by Michael Bosworth and John Holland
Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, by Harvey Mackay
Mastering the Complex Sale: How to Compete and Win When the Stakes are High! by Jeff Thull:
The Web Guru Guide by Josh B Dolin

(New) Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team by Alina
Wheeler

 

Blogs and Links to Follow
An Entrepreneur’s Life
B2Blog
Better Closer
Brian Carol’s B2B Lead Generation Blog:
creativeagencysecrets

· Cubicle Chronicles

Duct Tape Marketing Weblog
Email Marketing Best Practices Blog

Jeffrey Gitomer Blog

Marketing Experiments Blog
Marketing Interactions
Modern B2B Marketing Blog
Online Marketing SEO Blog
RainMaker Blog
Search Engine Journal
Selling to Big Companies Blog
SellingPower blog
Strategic Public Relations
The Innovative Marketer
The Virtual Handshake Blog

Consultative Selling Workshops and Tools

A Fluent Vision L.L.C. http://www.afluentvision.com
Jeffrey Gitomer –TrainOne http://www.trainone.com/#/Home/
Mercuri International http://www.mercuriinteractive.net
Performance Methods Inc. http://www.performancemethods.com

But what if people use social our media sites to post bad comments about us?

I recently had a conversation with a marketing Director at a fortune 1000 company who was concerned about allowing customers and prospects to write comments and replies to their company blog postings and other social media vehicles. Corporate had been hesitant to launch anything that might allow this to occur.
The problem is that your customers and prospects are going to talk about your company regardless of your social media policies. If you allow them to vent on sites which you monitor and have control over it gives you an opportunity to interact with them and improve your company. With sincere and positive communication it is possible to turn your upset customers into loyal customers. People like being heard and helping to improve your company…if you let them. Let them.
One of the best instances of social media changing buyer behavior that I have experienced was on Amazon.com. I was looking for a software product. Reading the customer reviews (which I always do) I came across a customer who gave the product I was considering a single star and then ranted for two paragraphs about how hard the product was to install and how poor the support was at helping him. The next entry was from the company’s support manager. He gave his personal email and phone number and told the guy to call him and he would walk him through the installation process personally. I bought the product right there. I was impressed that they were monitoring the site and that the very next day they responded positively. The support guy didn’t care that he was posting his personal information and name on the web. He took the chance to fix the problem.
Your customers and prospects are going to talk. The question is, will you see their comments and take the opportunity to help them and improve your processes and products, or hide your head in the sand and pretend it isn’t happening?