6 Social Sharing Techniques You’ve Probably Forgotten

content_marketing_01The great bloggers and SEO professionals at Search Engine People recently published an article with an eye-catching headline: “37 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts.” Of course this post drew our attention, for the same reason that it’s probably drawn yours: 37 seems like an awful lot! After all, we’re all aware of the need to share company blog posts on Facebook and Twitter, on LinkedIn Pulse and in e-mail newsletters… but can there really be 37 avenues for content sharing?

As it turns out, there are—but what really impressed us about the post is the sheer number of practical, common-sense solutions that we all know about but most of us have forgotten. In our zeal to implement all the most complex and sophisticated content sharing techniques, it seems that we may be forgetting about some of the basics.

Consider some of the following techniques. None of them are new or revolutionary—but we fully admit to forgetting about them from time to time! Perhaps we’re not alone…

Content Sharing Methods We All Tend to Forget

Friends and family. Do you have people in your life who are interested in you, who support you, and who love you no matter what? Likely so—and Search Engine People wisely points out that these people will probably be more than happy to read your latest post and maybe even offer some helpful feedback. Why not send it to them directly?

Colleagues. “Does your company have a blog?” Search Engine People asks. “Do you contribute to it? If you answered ‘Yes’ to both questions, then go ahead send your coworkers a link to your recently published post.” Make sure your coworkers know what’s going on with the company blog, and encourage them to share the post on their own social channels.

Twitter. Yes, you probably share all your blog posts on Twitter as is—but do you do so more than once? An automatic update isn’t sufficient; share each post several times over the span of a couple weeks. (But don’t overdo it: Three or four total shares is probably a good target.)

Presentations. Giving a talk or a pitch to clients or colleagues? Why not work in a mention of your company blog? Position it as a value-adding professional resource.

E-mail signature. Promote recent posts within your e-mail signature. Says Search Engine People: “Most email signatures contain just a general link to the blog or company’s website. Make it more interesting by including a link to a specific piece of content. You don’t have to update your signature every time a new blog post goes out, but maybe every time you launch a major content campaign.”

Instagram bio. You can’t actually post links in Instagram posts, but you can remind users to check out the blog link in your profile.

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to share content—but if you’re not using these foundational techniques, add them to your arsenal starting today! And for more tips, hit up the Grammar Chic crew at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Your Guide to Hiring a Content Marketing Agency

 

Business sketchAt Grammar Chic, we are obviously big believers in the content marketing process, and strong proponents of content marketing outsourcing. Even so, we understand that it can be a little bit daunting. If you have never worked with a content marketing agency before, you may have serious questions about price; about the kinds of results you can expect to see; and about what working with a content marketing agency is actually like.

One of our goals is to demystify the process, and to make it as inviting and as appealing as possible. We want to answer as many of your questions as we can, and hope some of the following resources will be of use to you as you think about making the leap to outsourced content marketing!

Understanding the Benefits

A good place to begin is with understanding the benefits of outsourced content marketing—benefits that might include a higher level of marketing acumen, a greater ability to capture the voice of your brand, and more.

Plus, as we noted in one previous blog entry, outsourcing your content marketing can actually help you save money! The reason is that “doing your own content marketing can take so much time, it ends up being less cost-effective than you might think. When you’re constantly focused on Facebook and Twitter, you’re not doing the other things that add value to your brand. While outsourcing your content marketing will certainly require a financial investment, you may well make up for it with what you gain in productivity.”

Finding the Right Match

Once you make the decision to hire a content marketing agency—for whatever reason—you have to start thinking about the kind of content marketing agency you want. They come in all different shapes and sizes, and it is important to think about fit: Not just the biggest or flashiest firm, but the one that is best positioned to meet your needs.

This means finding a firm with the right personnel and adequate technology, as well as browsing reviews and recommendations. Here is our full take on finding a content marketing firm that meets your needs. Something else to note: You also want to find an agency that is dedicated to ongoing improvement.

Interviewing Your Agency

Once you find a content marketing firm that you think might fit, it’s best to have an interview to make sure everything clicks. “Like any relationship,” we once wrote, “this one is going to take some work if you really want it to succeed over the long haul. In particular, it’s going to require some communication—and we recommend that you begin that communication on day one.” Make sure you ask about communication standards, results, reporting, experience, and whatever else will enable you to feel comfortable and make an informed decision.

Of course, our own team is always around to answer questions or help guide you through this process: Reach out to us today at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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How to Invite People You Know to LIKE Your Facebook Page

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There are plenty of ways to build an audience for your company Facebook page, to extend its reach and its influence. Many Facebook marketing methodologies are rather costly, of course, and nearly all of them require a long-term commitment and a big-picture mindset. But what if we told you there was something you could do right now to grow your Facebook audience, that it would only take two or three minutes, and that it’s free?

Simple enough: Just invite your existing friends to like your company Facebook page. Not all of them will do it, necessarily, but many will. Every like counts, and this is perhaps the easiest way to get ‘em!

Inviting Your Current Facebook Friends

Of course, if you’ve never done this before, you may have some questions about how it’s done. It’s really quite easy! Just follow these quick steps:

  1. Make sure you’re logged in as You, the Person—not as You, the Business. (That is, log into Facebook using your personal account.)
  2. Now click over to your business Facebook page, and look at your Cover Photo. Do you see the button with the three dots (“…”) in the lower right corner? Click it!
  3. You’ll then get a menu that pops up with a few basic options. The one you want to click on is “Invite Friends.”
  4. Next you’ll come to a screen that has a few different options for selecting friends:
    1. At the top of the menu, you’ll see a search bar where you can simply enter the name of a specific friend you want to invite.
    2. The main section of the menu will feature a list with all your friends; simply scroll down and click anyone you wish to invite!
    3. Off on the left-hand side, you’ll see some filters, allowing you to search only for friends who belong to certain Groups.
  5. Simply click on all the friends you want to invite, then hit the blue button at the bottom. It should read, “Send Invites.”

A Couple of Quirks

That, basically, is how you invite a friend to like your company Facebook page. One thing we should note: You can only invite someone to like the page once, and that friend must then either accept or ignore your invitation. You cannot “re-invite” a friend who simply forgot to respond. If that’s the boat you’re in, you may want to send that person a private message or a text, offering a friendly reminder of the pending page invitation.

Also note that Facebook does enable you to “suggest” your page to folks who are not your personal Facebook friends—though you will need to have them as e-mail contacts. Simply go back to your cover photo and those three dots (“…”), but this time select the command to Suggest Page and follow the prompts from there.

Again: This is not a surefire way to make your page go viral overnight—but it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s free, and it usually yields some results. Why wouldn’t you do it?

For any further questions, feel free to contact our team at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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The Twitter Dictionary: Common Terms Explained

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A lot of our small business owner clients come to us rather sheepishly, asking us to explain some of the common terms and slang associated with Twitter. Truthfully, there’s no reason to feel sheepish about it: Twitter has its own vernacular, and getting hip to the lingo is one of the toughest parts about Twitter use.

Your time is probably better spent growing your business, strategizing, leading your team, and serving your customers; with that said, if you’re going to be using Twitter as a tool for business promotion and growth, it’s helpful to at least have a reference for some of the terminology. We’ll explain some of the most common Twitter terms here; if there’s one you don’t see here, don’t hesitate to ask us about it!

@mention. When you want to “tag” someone in a tweet—to talk to them directly—you include their username in your tweet, along with the @ sign. For example, if you want to talk to us on Twitter, include @GrammarChicInc somewhere in our post, and the tweet will show up in our “mentions.” We’ll also get a notification about it. Basically, this is how you have a conversation on Twitter.

#, or hashtag. The pound sign—on Twitter, we call it a hashtag—is used to transform a word or a term into a topic, lending greater searchability. For instance, if you have a tweet about soccer, you can tag it with #soccer, and when another user searches for soccer-related posts, yours will show up in the results. Hashtags are also used to align your posts with “trending” topics. Note that sparing hashtag use is recommended—somewhere between one and three per post.

DM. This stands for a direct message—basically, Twitter’s internal messaging tool. A direct message will be between you and just one other person, and will be private, which is what separates it from the public @mentions noted above.

Feed. As with Facebook, Twitter has its own Feed—basically, the timeline of tweets/posts you see when you log in.

#FF. This is one of the most common hashtags, and one all business owners should know about. It stands for Follow Friday, and it’s basically a thing people do every Friday to recommend other Twitter followers. For example, if you love the Grammar Chic account and want all your friends to see it, you might tweet: “For #FF today, I recommend the great tweets from @GrammarChicInc!”

Follower. A follower is anyone who signs on to see all your tweets in their feed. It’s like a Facebook friend, except not necessarily two-way; you can choose to follow someone, and that person may not choose to follow you.

HT: A “hat tip” is noted when you’re giving credit to someone else. For example, if you see a great article shared by the Grammar Chic account, you might share the link yourself but give us credit: “HT @GrammarChicInc.”

ICYMI: This common abbreviation stands for In Case You Missed It; basically, you use it to re-share something previously shared, for anyone who didn’t see it the first time.

IDK: Stands for “I Don’t Know.” This is what you tweet if someone asks you a question and you don’t have an answer.

IMO or IMHO: These stand for In My Opinion and In My Humble Opinion, respectively. What you’re saying here is, “Just my two cents.”

MT: If you’re sharing something from someone else, but modifying it a bit—likely to make it shorter/fall within that 140 character limit—you mark it as an MT, or Modified Tweet.

.@ mention: Note the period in front of the @. This is a modified version of an @ mention. The difference? A regular @ mention will be visible only to those who follow you and the person you’re mentioning. Putting the period ensures that everyone can see the tweet.

Reply: Is what it says it is: When you’re responding directly so someone else’s tweet, it’s a reply.

RT: Retweet—a tweet so good, someone decided to share it. This is the most important currency on Twitter, and what small business owners should be striving for!

#TBT: This hashtag stands for Throwback Thursday—a chance to post a “blast from the past” old photo or memory. Do it on Thursdays!

Troll: A troll is any Twitter user engaging in spammy or abusive behavior. Beware!

Trending topics: Anything that people are tweeting about a lot—headlines, celebrity news, big episodes of popular shows—may qualify as a trending topic.

Unfollow: Basically, the Twitter equivalent of unfriending someone on Facebook, or simply choosing not to see their tweets any more.

We hope that helps—but remember: If you have any further questions, we’re around: 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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What Happens When a Job Interviewer Asks About Your Salary?

Cracking piggybankTalking about how much money you make can be a little awkward—but never more so than when you’re approached about it in the middle of a job interview. So tell us what they’re paying you at your current job, the interviewer might casually ask—and sometimes it’s enough to completely throw you off your game, leave you stammering, or get you blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.

Of course, you may undersell yourself, and end up getting a lower salary offer than you might have gotten otherwise. Then again, you might oversell yourself, and end up talking yourself out of a job, for fear that you’re too pricy. So how are you supposed to answer questions about your current salary? Should you answer them at all?

There are different approaches you can take, just depending on your current position and your read of the interviewer. Below, we’ll list three recommended ways to handle salary questions—and two ways not to.

How to Answer Questions About Your Current Salary

First, three decent ways to answer those awkward salary questions:

  1. You can tell the interviewer what you currently make, but explain that you’re being paid under market value. If you’re pretty sure you’re being paid less than others with comparable responsibilities and experience, then this is all that needs to be said. Before the interview, do some online research to find out how much you should be making; if your currently employer is underpaying you, then tell the interviewer. It’s as simple as that.
  2. You can tell the interviewer what you currently make, explain that it’s over market value, and explain why. Conversely, do you think you’re being paid more than others with comparable positions? If so, then be straightforward in explaining it to your interviewer—but be prepared to explain why you deserve to be overpaid, what value you can bring, why you’re ultimately worth the investment. This is tricky, but if you have confidence and if you come with specific reasons to support your higher salary, it can be achieved.
  3. You can beat around the bush. If all else fails, you might try to address the question without actually answering it—something like, Well, how much do you think I should be making? Or, How much do you think I’m worth? This is ultimately better than just not answering, and if you’re unsure of whether your current salary is low or high, this is a safe route.

How Not to Answer Questions About Your Current Salary

Two things not to do:

  1. Lie about your current salary. There is a decent chance that you’ll be found out somewhere down the line—and when you are, it won’t go over well.
  2. Refuse to answer at all. Interviewers don’t like job applicants who seem like they are hiding something—and when you simply refuse to answer a question like this, people are going to wonder why.

The bottom line for jobseekers: You’re as likely as not to get this question… and you need to know in advance how you might answer it.

Contact the Grammar Chic team for more job search secrets; reach out to 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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Staving Off the Job Search Doldrums

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Searching for new employment isn’t anyone’s favorite thing to do. A frustrating task can become downright discouraging, though, when weeks start to go by without much progress. You may apply for job after job and hear little in response—which can send you into deep job search doldrums.

That’s not where you want to be. As you sink into a rut, your confidence will waver, your enthusiasm will taper off, and you’ll become a less and less desirable job applicant. It’s a nasty cycle, but it can be avoided.

Never Search Solo

One way to keep those job search blues away is to enlist some peers. Even a tough journey is made more pleasurable when you get to share it with someone. If you have friends who are also searching for employment, get together with them every week or so to vent, to encourage one another, to share connections, and to build up confidence.

If you don’t have friends looking for work, find someone who you know to be encouraging and positive-minded, and make an effort to get together with that individual as often as you can, just to let those good vibes rub off on you!

Get Your Resume Looked At

It’s amazing how a fresh resume can give you a renewed perspective, a transformed sense of energy. Have some friends look over your resume and suggest some avenues of addition, reduction, or improvement. A little feedback can go a long way!

Of course, working with a professional resume coach is even better, because you can ensure the feedback you’re getting is in line with current hiring standards. That’s where the Grammar Chic team comes into play! Give us a call to learn more about our resume consultation services.

Get Busy

Do something to take your mind off the job search blues, and keep you active and engaged. Ideally, pick something that’s actually related to your industry. If you don’t have full-time employment, consider ways to volunteer. Or, devote some time to blogging about your industry. Immerse yourself in it; busy yourself with it; prove your knowledge and your dedication.

Run Some Drills

A different and equally helpful way to stay busy: Become a better interviewer. Research common interview questions. Practice answering them—out loud. Get a friend to play the interviewer. Rehearse your elevator pitch. Make sure that when you’re asked “so tell me about yourself,” you have a killer response on hand.

Keep your mind active and engaged, and your spirits bolstered. And above all, ask for help when you need it. Get resume help today by contacting Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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5 Tips for Addressing Bad Yelp Reviews

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It’s the 21st Century business owner’s worst nightmare: You sign on to your company’s Yelp page and see that someone has left an absolutely scathing review. This can obviously take its toll on your ego, but this is about far more than mere vanity. The truth is, negative Yelp reviews can have a real, bottom-line impact on your business; they attract search engine users and effectively set the public perception of your brand.

But while a bad review can have devastating effect, it can also provide you with a great opportunity to do some customer outreach, damage control, and brand enhancement. It all boils down to how you respond.

  1. First, put the review into perspective.

There’s no question that a bad review can be harmful to your brand. We don’t want to sugarcoat it, but we also don’t want to overstate it. A litany of bad reviews could honestly sink your company, but a single bad review amidst dozens of positive ones is probably not going to be a big deal. Regardless, it’s important not to panic, or to let your emotions carry you away. Respond rationally and with a level head.

  1. Do your research.

Also respond with all available information. Read the review carefully, noting its tone, the specific complaints, the date of the review, and any other information about the incident posted. Make sure your response addresses the review with precision and accuracy. If you come across like you Just Don’t Get It, it will only make things worse.

Also research the Yelp reviewer, if possible. (For anonymous reviewers, you’ll be out of luck.) Is it someone who always leaves nasty reviews? If so, then maybe that can help your anger subside. You could just be dealing with a mean-spirited person, quite frankly. No reason to get your feelings hurt over that.

  1. Show some customer service.

Whether you feel like the negative review is warranted or not, it’s important to seize the opportunity to treat your customer respectfully; apologize, and ask what you can do to make the situation right, or at the very least offer an explanation and sincere remorse that the customer’s experience was not better.

  1. Remember who you’re writing for.

In any and all writing, audience is important. When you’re addressing a Yelp review, remember that 90 percent of the Yelp audience is people who just read reviews, not people who write them, and that most of these people still have an unformed opinion of your company. That’s who you’re writing to, really. That’s who you’re trying to impress. Showing warmth, patience, and a customer-centered perspective can more than make up for the bad review itself.

  1. Don’t engage hotheads.

Every now and again, you may see an all-caps, foul-mouthed review that’s obviously just designed to be incendiary. Yelp does a pretty good job of filtering these out, but if you do run across one, it may be best not to engage at all. It’s hard to come across well when you sink to the level of addressing flamers and hotheads.

A bonus tip: You can enhance your brand’s reputation and minimize the damage of a bad review by providing your customers with plenty of positive content. To learn more, contact Grammar Chic today at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

 

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