Category Archives: Social Media

Is Your Social Media Content on Brand?

As a business, it is important to connect with customers. Social media has become an integral part of many people’s lives, and users are often active on more than one platform. That means that most businesses have a presence on multiple platforms as well. Keeping branding consistent across channels makes businesses more easily recognizable and builds trust.

Here are some ways to improve your brand management and make sure your content stays true to your business’ mission and vision.

Develop a Style Guide

Create a go-to resource for anyone who makes content for your business. The style guide sets the standards and expectations for the brand voice, tone, style, colors, visuals, and more. It keeps everything cohesive and consistent. It can be helpful to design templates for employees to follow and a collection of graphics, visuals, or logos that can be used.

Plan Ahead

Develop themes, topics, or pillars to guide content creation. This can keep content on track and prevent posting articles or blogs that do not align with intended messaging. It also keeps posts relevant across platforms because they all revolve around the same subjects and goals at the same time.

Stay True to Your Mission, Vision, and Values

Don’t just post about something because it is trending or interesting. If it doesn’t fit with your company’s messaging or what you stand behind, then it may confuse customers and create a disconnect. Have a review process in place to approve content before it is posted to ensure that it is serving the intended purpose and fits with the company’s style guide.

Know Your Audience

Take the time to create buyer personas and identify your target audience. That can help you decide not only what type of content to share, but also where to share it. Just because a social media platform is available does not mean that your business needs to be on it. If your audience doesn’t have a big presence on TikTok or Snapchat, or your business doesn’t it lend itself to that type of content, then don’t join. Don’t waste time, energy, and resources on social media channels that don’t benefit your business or provide a return on investment.

Be Strategic

Sit down and develop a well thought out marketing strategy and plan. Decide what defines your brand and how you want to be known. Establish key messages and core values to build your content around. Every post should serve a purpose and fit within your overall brand vision.

Reach out to Grammar Chic today to learn more about how we can assist with building your brand and keeping your social media on point.

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6 Strategies for Your Social Media to Stand Out from the Crowd

Social media has become a key component of many companies’ content marketing efforts because it is versatile and can quickly reach people around the world. But with so many businesses vying to connect with customers, it has also become incredibly competitive. Attention spans are short, and customers are constantly bombarded with information. That means you have to take steps to make your social media presence stand out and capture customers’ interest.

Here are a few tips to get started:

1. Be Authentic.

Make sure that your business has a clear mission, vision, and voice. Create content that is personable and connects with your customers. Show them what your business stands for and values, especially on topics that are relevant to your industry or audience. Let them know that you believe in your products, services, and people. Let them see “behind the scenes” at how things get done and who’s working in different departments to be more relatable and real.

2. Be Engaging.

Design posts that encourage customers to interact. Ask questions, take polls, and run contests. Give them a reason to get involved and allow them to make their voice heard. Share testimonials or customer-generated content if appropriate. Customers like to see and hear from people like them, and they like to know you’re listening and want their input.

3. Be Responsive.

Along those same lines, if you want customers to be engaged with your page, make sure you are responding to the good and the bad. Go through and answer questions, thank people for their feedback, share more information, and respond to concerns. Show that you value their feedback and are listening.

4. Make it Visual.

Post after post of text tends to blend together. Change things up and add pictures, images, and videos to your social media. Capture their attention with a visual, then share a compelling story, witty comment, or call to action in the caption. Why just tell them about your product or service when you can show it in action?

5. Know Your Audience.

Just because a social media platform exists does not mean that your business has to be on it. Customize your content to what performs best on each platform and where your customers are. That also means knowing your audience, how they want to connect with your business, and what type of posts they want to see. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Focus on what you do best and capitalize on that.

6. Stay Consistent.

Create a recognizable brand and be true to that. Make sure that you are showing consistent brand messaging across platforms so that no matter where or how customers find you, they get the same impression and quality experience.

Does your small business’ social media strategy need a refresh to stand out from the competition? Contact Grammar Chic today to learn more about how we can help.

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Content Refresh: 7 Post Ideas to Revive Your Social Media Strategy

It can be easy to fall into a rut when developing content for social media. You get into a routine creating the same types of posts and sharing variations of the same information. This repetitiveness can cause users to keep scrolling past and reduce overall engagement.

It’s time to shake things up and give your social media strategy a much-needed refresh. Here are a few post ideas to revitalize your social media marketing and attract your audience’s attention whether you’re posting on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

  • Break Things Up with Photos and Videos

Line after line of text gets boring. Brighten up your page with photos that show your products or services in action, highlight product benefits, or give helpful how-to insight. Create short videos to increase engagement by demonstrating how your product works, what it offers a user, showcasing attractive features, or introducing new items.

  • Ask Questions

Encourage users to interact by asking for their feedback. You can create a simple poll with multiple choice answers, post two choices and have users pick A or B, or ask people to fill in the blank to complete a statement. This can also be a great way to conduct informal research and gain insight into what your customers like.

  • Share Testimonials

People love to hear what real customers think about a product or service. Create attractive graphics that incorporate reviews from satisfied customers. Pick statements that offer valuable insight and entice potential customers to take action themselves.

  • Incorporate User Generated Content

What better way to promote your business than by sharing posts from your customers? It could be a photo, video, or graphic where they express their thoughts in a relatable, authentic way. Don’t forget to ask permission and give credit to the original creator!

  • Answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Your team probably fields a lot of the same questions every week. Use this as an educational moment and create a fun post that publicly answers a question or two and gives customers more information. This can speed up their decision-making process because you’re answering what they want to know.

  • Take Users Behind the Scenes

How is your product really made? Who are the people making it happen? Spotlight a different employee or department each week. Make a video showing part of the design or production process. Snap a picture of everyone enjoying a company outing. Give insight into what goes on behind the scenes and humanize your business.

  • Go Live.

Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have options for live streaming, or you can share a link to a live event on another platform. Give customers the opportunity to interact, ask questions, listen to thought leaders, or watch a panel discussion.

Consider your business and audience to decide what approaches might be a good fit, and then get started! Experiment and see what works well and what doesn’t. Give new strategies a few tries to allow them time to gain traction and boost engagement. Keep your content marketing fresh so customers want to stay connected and know what’s happening.

Is your business’ social media strategy in need of a refresh? Contact Grammar Chic today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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Tips for Writing Instagram Captions That Increase Engagement

Instagram has simply become too big and too popular to ignore. Perennially ranked as one of the fastest-growing social platforms, Instagram currently boasts well over a billion global users. And with the incorporation of social commerce functions, it’s more relevant than ever before to the interests of small business owners.

When leveraged effectively, Instagram can help you increase website traffic, boost brand awareness, even generate sales. To accomplish these goals, you certainly need high-quality images and videos. But you’ll also need something more than that: Strong captions that engage the user and encourage likes, shares, and other actions.

How to Write Effective Instagram Captions

So, what makes for effective copywriting on this image-driven social platform? There are a few considerations.

1) Front-load your sentences.

When your posts show up in a user’s newsfeed, Instagram will shorten your captions to about three lines. The user may click to expand the caption in order to read the full thing, but not everyone will take the time, especially if those first few lines don’t grab them. All that to say, front-load your captions with interest and with value. Ask a question or make an attention-grabbing statement. Make sure you pack plenty of good stuff into your opening sentence.

2) Encourage action.

Ultimately, you want your Instagram captions to spark some further action. The best way to make that happen is to ask for it, whether by posing a direct question to the user or by providing a clear call to action. Some specific things you can ask Instagram followers to do include:

  • Visit a particular link in your bio.
  • Leave a comment (usually to answer a specific question posed in the caption).
  • Tag a friend (this can help you expand your reach).
  • Share their own photo using a specific, branded hashtag.

3) Share insight.

An Instagram caption is not a blog post, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it as a way to share actionable advice, tips, or insights that are relevant to your field. Indeed, a post that shares real value is much more likely to be bookmarked or shared.

Side note: One of the best ways to generate insights for your Instagram captions is to actually use your blog posts. Read back through some recent posts for any bullet points that you could adapt to Instagram. Scuttling your blog for spare parts is an easy way to recycle content.

4) Be personable.

Generally speaking, the most effective Instagram captions are the ones that come across as human, not robotic. So, make sure you have a brand voice that can be casual, funny, and relatable. There’s no need to be as formal as you would be in, say, a press release. To that end, don’t be afraid to use emoji to animate your captions and inject some extra humor or emotion.

5) Use hashtags.

Hashtags are crucial for making your posts discoverable in the Instagram search algorithms, which can be key to broadening your reach. As you consider the right Instagram hashtags, we’d recommend a combination of branded hashtags (specific to your brand), community hashtags (widely used within your industry or field), and the occasional trending hashtag (but only when genuinely relevant).

Get Help with Marketing Copy

There’s a real art to effective social media copywriting… and if you need a little help mastering that art, we’re here for you. Set up a consultation call with Grammar Chic, Inc. by visiting www.grammarchic.net or by calling 804-831-7444.

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Content Strategy and Coronavirus: How Companies Can Stay Connected

 

Content marketing has long been championed as a way for businesses and brands to meaningfully connect with their customers and clients.

Of course, few of us could have guessed just how precious connectivity would become in the era of COVID-19.

As more of us hunker down for self-quarantine and social distancing, a feeling of isolation runs rampant; a lot of us feel estranged from our former lives and routines, and distant from any sense of community.

While businesses and brands can’t create that sense of community out of thin air, they can offer their support, deploying content strategy to help customers and clients feel at least a little bit normal and connected.

This in turn can help companies foster a sense of goodwill and brand loyalty, something that could pay off down the road, once we all have coronavirus in the rearview mirror.

But what are some ways in which content strategy can be implemented even amidst COVID-19’s disruptions?

Content Tips for the Middle of a Pandemic

Here’s what we’d recommend.

  • Build consistency. More than ever, your audience craves a sense of the familiar. You can create that for them just by being consistent in your content. That doesn’t mean you have to post constantly, but maybe you can develop some kind of routine… for example, a #ThankfulThursday post to highlight some good news, or a regular Monday greeting from one of your employees, just to say hi and provide a sense of cheer.
  • Promote (and not just your own services). There are a lot of people hurting right now, and a lot of ways in which people can help. Use your content channels to shine a light on charities, non-profits, or other resources that people might find valuable. This is a good and decent thing to do, but it may also have business benefits: You might engender goodwill from your community, and you might help your audience feel connected to you in a sense of common mission.
  • Communicate what’s different (and what’s the same). Of course, your content and social media channels are a good avenue for you to let people know of any disruptions or changes to your normal services. But you can also use them to let people know what’s the same! There’s certainly nothing wrong with telling your followers that you’re still providing products for delivery, that you can serve them online, etc. Plug your business a little bit and show your audience that there is still some normalcy.

Now more than ever, we all feel a need to connect. If you’re looking for ways to connect with your clients and customers, reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. We’d love to help you with COVID-19 communication strategies, or any other content needs you may have.

Reach out at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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Communicating in the Time of Coronavirus

What are you even supposed to say to someone in a time of unprecedented challenge, uncertainty, and loss? It’s not a rhetorical question; it’s something all of us have struggled with in recent days, fumbling for the right words, sifting meaningful reassurances from clichés and platitudes.

The reality is that none of our words are quite sufficient for the magnitude of a global pandemic. Nevertheless, they’ve never been more essential. We need words now as much as ever as we seek to convey our empathy, our need, our solidarity, and our hope.

We need meaningful, heartfelt words for the people we love. And, businesses and brands need clear, precise language to let their customers and employees know that they, too, are doing everything they can to foster connection and weather this storm.

No doubt you’ve already been flooded with emails from companies letting you know their COVID-19 policies, changes to normal operat

ion, perhaps even ways you can pitch in and help those who are truly struggling.

And if you are a business owner who hasn’t yet found the right words or the proper tone, there is still time. A simple newsletter, email blast, or Facebook post can go a long way toward letting your audience know you’re with them in this time of crisis.

Now’s the time to speak your heart, and what’s important isn’t eloquence so much as authenticity. With that said, we can offer just a few tips on wise, clear communication in the time of coronavirus.

Communicating Amidst Coronavirus

  • The most important thing is just showing that you care. If ever there was a time to just reach out to your customers and employees, without any underlying agenda, just to tell them you’re around and you’re feeling the confusion, too… well, now is that time.
  • Be proactive in articulating key information. Don’t leave your customers to guess about suspensions of your normal services, or abbreviations to your hours of operation. Keep in contact and let people know how your company is handling the coronavirus. Be proactive in communicating any changes as they arise.
  • Consider some options for sacrificial service. What can your company do to make your clients’ lives just a little easier? Whether it’s free shipping or flexible pricing, every gesture is welcome. Note, these gestures might also make it easier for your customers to support you and your business.
  • Inspire action. Something else you can do with your business communications: Provide links or suggestions for ways your clients can help those in need. Send out information about charities or causes that are making a positive impact during this scary season.
  • Audit your current content calendar. If you have any scheduled blog posts or tweets that might come across as glib or insensitive, now might be the time to pull them and hold them for better days.

And in all seriousness: We truly do believe better days are coming. Until then, the Grammar Chic team sends our encouragement and solidarity to all of you. Hang in there. Stay healthy. Take care of each other. And stay in touch.

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Why Hire a Business Editor?

One way you can enhance your company’s written communication efforts—be that business emails, blog posts, press releases, or internal documents—is by hiring a business editor. A business editor is a skilled professional with expertise in bringing clarity and precision to written copy, focusing in particular on the kinds of copy produced in a business context.

What Does a Business Editor Do?

There are a number of specific ways in which a business editor can serve your company. Some examples include:

  • Moving or reorganizing sections of your text, providing a more logical sense of flow and coherence.
  • Rewriting minor sections of the copy, enhancing clarity and understanding, or simply making your arguments more persuasive.
  • Spotting and removing typos or grammatical errors, giving your copy a strong feel of professionalism.
  • Considering your text in light of the target audience and ensuring it’s well-positioned for maximum impact.
  • Alerting you to any industry terms, jargon, or acronyms that readers might not understand. (It’s very easy for business owners to overlook these issues; a second set of eyes is invaluable!)
  • Omitting any repetition or redundancy, keeping your writing as brief, clear, and focused as possible.
  • Ensuring a strong hook and clear outline, which allows your content to better hold the reader’s attention.
  • Assisting you in putting business terms and concepts into more accessible language. (Again it’s very easy for business owners to assume their ideas are clear to everyone. A business editor can inform you when that’s not quite the case!)
  • Sharpening your formatting and your section headings, making the content easy for readers to scan.

All of these services are offered in collaboration with the business owner or marketing department; a business editor will work with you to get your message across, drawing from your ideas but enhancing them with editorial polish.

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Business Editor?

There are some clear perks to enlisting the services of a business editor. Just a few of them include:

  • One of the biggest reasons to hire a business editor is that it enhances trust in your company. When you present copy that’s poorly written, unclear, disorganized, or riddled with errors, it makes you look sloppy or amateurish. A good editor can keep everything tight and clean, really helping you to look like you know what you’re doing!
  • Clarity of messaging is another important benefit. You know what you’re trying to convey to your target audience, but sometimes you may get so lost in the weeds that you don’t communicate with the necessary precision. A business editor can assist you with carefully honed messaging.
  • A business editor can also help you develop a consistent tone and voice for your brand. In other words, a business editor can work with you to make sure all your communications sound like they come from the same place. This tonal consistency can be an important aspect of brand-building.

There are a number of reasons why it can be prudent to hire a business editor. Grammar Chic, Inc. is a long-standing business editing service, with experience assisting entrepreneurs and marketers across countless industries. We’d love to talk to you more about our flexible, customizable business editing options. Reach out to us today and let’s chat: 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

 

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What is a Ghostblogger? And Should I Hire One?

Have you ever had something you really wanted to say, but felt unsure of how to put it into words?

It’s a common feeling in life, whether in the field of relationships, parenting, or business. It’s precisely when you feel strongly about something, when you know in your heart that it matters, that you begin to feel inarticulate; as if, in trying to communicate what’s on your mind, you just wind up tripping over your own words.

For example, business owners often have a particular set of points they’d like to convey about their product, service, or industry; but, whether rightly or wrongly, they fret that they aren’t natural-born writers, and are daunted by the blank page. And it’s not a phenomenon that’s unique to business owners; even authors and in-demand thought leaders sometimes need a hand in shaping their original ideas into legible packages.

A ghostblogger can provide just that kind of help. But what is a ghostblogger, exactly? Our simple definition is that a ghostblogger is someone who’s there to listen to your ideas, to help you shape them into coherent narratives, and to provide whatever wordsmithing assistance you need in turning your thoughts or ideas into compelling digital content.

Why Hire a Ghostblogger?

There are a number of reasons why you might consider hiring a ghostblogger, including the one we’ve mentioned already: You may have much you want to say, but be unsure of how best to say it. The ghostblogger’s primary skill set is taking what seems nebulous or “unsayable” and distilling it into something sharp, persuasive, and valuable.

But there are other reasons why you might benefit from working with a ghostblogger. One reason why a lot of entrepreneurs struggle in content creation is not that they don’t know their field well enough, but that they know it too well; that they are too close to their subject matter, and have a hard time separating the peripheral details from the real crux of the matter. A good ghostblogger can be invaluable in translating something very technical into accessible language or taking all the minutiae of your business and sorting out the big picture.

A ghostblogger is first and foremost a writer, but in some cases working with a ghostblogger may feel like interacting with a confessor, a therapist, or a sparring partner; it all depends on the kind of relationship you’re looking to have. Certainly, a ghostblogger is someone with whom you can talk things through, working together to shape and sculpt fuzzy or half-baked ideas until they become totally clear. Along the same lines, ghostbloggers can be invaluable in helping you identify when a topic may work well as a full content series, or when one really big idea would be better split into a few separate blog entries.

Ghostblogging Offers Clear Copy and a Convenient Process

Indeed, one important thing to note about working with a ghostblogger is that the relationship can be as hands-on or as hands-off as you want it to be. At Grammar Chic, we have ghostblogging clients with whom we spend a lot of time on the phone hashing out ideas together. We have others who simply send us a topic and perhaps a bullet point or two and then give us space to do our thing. It’s really up to the client, and our goal is not only to provide you with excellent copy, but to make the process as convenient and efficient as can be.

As you think about articulating your ideas into a blog format, consider the benefits of hiring a skilled writer to provide your concepts with form, purpose, and shape. Consider hiring a ghostblogger. Learn more by reaching out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today, either at www.grammarchic.net or at 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Blog Writing, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Ghostwriting, Social Media

How Can You Optimize Content for Voice Search Queries?

The way people search for online information is fundamentally changing… and that has some seismic implications for content marketing professionals. Arguably the most significant shift of all has been the rise in voice search. These days, it’s as likely as not that a Google or Bing search query will come through a voice assistant (think Siri or Alexa) as opposed to physical typing. Indeed, some studies have speculated that, by the end of this year, more than 50 percent of all search queries will be voice searches.

So how can you ensure that your content shows up in these Siri and Alexa searches? How can you fully optimize to address new search engine user behaviors? Here are a few quick tips from the Grammar Chic team.

How Has Voice Changed the Way People Search?

The first thing to consider is how voice search queries differ from text ones.

Here’s an example. Say you wanted to see some movie showtimes for your favorite Charlotte movie theaters. If you were typing your query into a Google search bar, you’d probably keep it short and sweet: Charlotte movie times, or something similar.

But if you were using a voice search assistant, you’d probably phrase it more like a question, e.g., What are today’s Charlotte movie show times, or what movies are playing in Charlotte?

When developing content, it’s critical to accommodate these long-tail keywords, which can be as simple as writing conversationally; avoiding the “keyword stuffing” practices of the past; avoiding stiff, unnatural-sounding keywords; and, when possible, framing your content in question-and-answer form.

Something else to consider is the reality that many voice search queries are finely-honed and specific in nature. Simply put, most search users don’t ramble on to their voice assistant. They know what kind of information they’re seeking, and phrase their query accordingly. Some examples: Where is the nearest tire store? Or, find a Mexican restaurant near me.

Again, savvy content will address these more specific queries. An FAQ page is invaluable here. We’d also recommend blog posts that are designed to provide authoritative answers to these very particular questions.

Finally, be aware that most voice search queries are localized in nature. If you’re using a voice assistant, it’s likely because you want to find the closest coffee shop, the nearest oil change service, etc., specifically in relation to your current location.

Good content should be localized as much as possible. Include your business name, address, and phone number on each page of your website. Make note of the specific shopping center you’re in or a major intersection that’s nearby. (“Find us at the corner of…,” “we’re conveniently located behind the mall,” etc.) Also include information like your hours of operation, holiday closings, and so on.

Content That’s Made with Voice Search in Mind

The way people search is changing. It’s important for your content creation to adapt accordingly. That’s something the Grammar Chic, Inc. team can help with. Reach out today and set up a content marketing consultation with us. Connect at www.grammarchic.net or by calling 803-831-7444.

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Why Content Marketing is the Best Bet for Your Startup

Launching a brand new enterprise can be plenty exciting, but also a little bit intimidating. Startup entrepreneurs will always face some uphill climbs, and one of the steepest is getting the word out about your business. Building a marketing presence from scratch is not just daunting, but potentially costly; without it, though, there’s little chance of the company ever developing the customer base it needs for success.

Of all the marketing activities available to your startup, there may be none that fit more seamlessly than content marketing. Indeed, content marketing has a few intrinsic benefits that make it ideally suited for newly-launched or soon-to-launch businesses.

Content Marketing and Your New Business

Here are just a few of the reasons why content marketing works so well in startup or new business contexts.

  • It’s easy to scale. One of the most valuable traits of content marketing is that it’s incredibly simple to start small and build from there. You can begin with a small budget, doing a lot of the work yourself, engaging through a few carefully-chosen channels, and expand as your audience grows and your company finds its footing.
  • It’s easy to customize. With something like broadcast TV ads, you wind up paying a lot of money to reach a general audience. With content marketing, you can spend less money to reach a more precisely-targeted audience. With the right data and analytics, you can ensure your content is being directed to the people you’re most eager to reach.
  • It helps you build a brand identity. A new business is sort of a blank canvas; it’s up to you to paint a picture of what the company is and what it stands for. Through content marketing, you can do that, providing thought leadership that exhibits your expertise, your values, and the basic proposition you have for your audience.
  • It’s conversational. Content marketing is as much about listing as it is broadcasting. Through social media, for example, you can generate real dialogue with your audience, then use their comments and feedback to fine-tune your marketing message as well as your product offering.
  • It allows you to earn attention. There’s definitely a time and a place for paid ads, sponsored social media posts, etc. With that said, carefully-crafted content can give you an opportunity to earn shares/likes/retweets/forwards organically, which can in turn help you generate word-of-mouth buzz.

These are just a few of the attributes that make content marketing a smart option for new businesses… so what’s the next step? We welcome you to reach out to the Grammar Chic, Inc. team to discuss some specific ways in which content marketing can help your young business grow. Connect at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Filed under Brand Management, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Social Media