Tag Archives: social media

Why Your Company Should Move Beyond Content Marketing Freelancers

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These days, there aren’t many business owners who seriously dispute the value of original, branded content. It can be proven, with graphs and charts, that YouTube videos increase brand engagement and boost website traffic; that blog posts can be invaluable for bolstering SEO; that e-books and white papers can be unparalleled tools for generating leads. The list goes on and on.

What business owners do question is how best to achieve their content goals. Some take on the tough job of content creation themselves, which is something we admire. Others choose to enlist freelancers. Certainly, the Internet is full of resources that make it easy to track down freelance writers and content creators, and in some cases this approach can work wonderfully.

There is another option that we would obviously recommend most highly, which is engaging the services of a content writing firm—like Grammar Chic, Inc. For companies that have grown past freelancers, this is the logical next step. Allow us to provide a few reasons why.

As your content needs grow, you’ll need to hit bigger volume goals. A freelancer can work well when you’re looking for a blog post each week, but what happens when you need 40 articles churned out, a full website content revamp, or something similarly ambitious? A lone freelancer won’t be able to keep up with that brisk production pace, but a full writing team, with a deep bench of content creators, will.

Freelancers may not have the breadth of experience you need. An integrated marketing campaign will require a wide range of content—not just blog posts but e-books, marketing emails, FAQ pages, how-tos, and more. Each of these content types calls for a different skillset—something you’ll find on a writing team, but not necessarily with a lone freelancer.

Proving ROI is something many freelancers will struggle with. It is inaccurate to say that content ROI cannot be proven; in fact, Grammar Chic routinely provides clients with reports and statistics that show just what kind of results our content is getting. This is a capability that freelance writers simply might not have.

Writing companies will have a wider network of resources to call on. Looking to get a blog post syndicated, or to have a press release distributed through a reputable PR newswire? Freelancers may not have these connections—but a company like Grammar Chic does.

A writing company will provide critical dependability. The worst-case scenario, content-wise, would be for a writer to quit on you in the middle of a big content push, leaving you to find and train someone new. Freelancers are much more likely to do this than a writing company is; a company like Grammar Chic puts its professional reputation on the line when it enters into a contract with a new client, and always sticks to the promises made.

There are some other key distinctions we could name, too—and we’d love to talk with you about them one-on-one. Start the conversation today. Contact Grammar Chic’s deep bench of writers by calling 803-831-7444, or by visiting www.grammarchic.net.

 

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Filed under Blog Writing, Brand Management, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing

Facebook is Changing its Algorithms. Here’s How Brands Can Adapt.

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In the coming days, Facebook will be making some not-insignificant tweaks to its newsfeed algorithms—prioritizing posts from friends and family members but reducing the visibility of branded posts. In other words, when you sign into your personal Facebook account, the first posts you see will be ones from the people you know and love. Posts from the businesses or public figures you follow will be second-tier.

For the consumer, this is probably welcome news. In fact, Facebook has said the entire impetus for this change is that so many users have complained about being inundated by branded content while missing out on the key updates from their friends and family members. For small business owners, though, this news isn’t welcome. What it means is that branded posts will be less visible on Facebook, and thus, Facebook referral traffic will likely take a dive.

Crafting Posts to Be Shared

So what’s the solution? Given how critical Facebook is to the marketing landscape, it can’t very well be abandoned. The good news is that there’s a way for companies to work around this algorithmic upheaval. Essentially, the way to get branded content into consumer newsfeeds is to have it shared by friends and family members. Engineering this kind of social connection can provide kind of a back door into more and more Facebook feeds.

In other words, we’re back to that timeless Facebook marketing question: What can you do to get your posts shared by as many people as possible? We’ve got a few tips and techniques—some of them tried and true, some a bit off the beaten path, but all Grammar Chic-tested and Facebook-approved.

Keep the narrative brief. Nobody wants to read an entire book just to get to the point of your Facebook post. Aim for text of no more than 80 characters or so, if you can help it.

Select a compelling image. Pictures are what get Facebook shares—period. Colorful, eye-catching images that provoke humor or sentiment are always going to be winners.

Avoid first-person as best you can. Make your post feel like it could come from anyone, to encourage people to share your thoughts. Keep your text to some brief, open-ended questions or short declarations.

Include a call to action where appropriate. Something as simple as “visit our blog for more” can be perfectly compelling.

Share content that’s actionable and advice-oriented. Make sure the blog posts you write and share have headlines that convey immediate, practical value for the reader.

Need some help crafting posts that’ll slide easily into Facebook’s new algorithms? Give Grammar Chic a call. Reach us at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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5 Trust Symbols to Add to Your Website

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Do customers trust your brand?

That’s always been an important question for businesses and sales professionals to address, but it’s taken on a new urgency in the era of digital commerce. After all, if you’re doing business primarily through your website, customers may never have a chance to look you in the eye, shake your hand, or freely question you about the nature of your products or services. This does not in any way mean that your products and services are less trustworthy, but it does mean that some customers will struggle; they will need additional reassurances.

The good news is, there are ways to offer precisely that, simply by adding trust symbols to your website. The concept of a trust symbol is pretty self-explanatory: Anything that signifies your company as reputable and reliable can qualify. The question is, what are some of the main trust symbols that can be added to a small business website?

Trust Symbols to Consider for Your Site

The answer can vary slightly from one company to the next, and your brand may not really qualify for every one of these five symbols—but it will certainly qualify for a couple of them. Adding them to your business website can make a huge difference in fostering trust-based relationships with your treasured clients.

  1. There is no better way to engender faith in your product than to put a seal up showing that you offer a money-back guarantee. Note that there are different types of guarantee you can use. An absolute guarantee promises that your product will never break. A risk-free guarantee, meanwhile, might say that if the product does break down, all your money will be refunded. This second type of guarantee can actually be better for building trust: Promising your product will never break can seem too good to be true, while offering no risk if it does break feels more genuine.
  2. Consumer testimonials. Have other people used your products or services and responded favorably? Ask them to write a quick testimonial on your behalf. Usually, a loyal and happy customer, when asked politely and authentically, will be happy to do this for you. We proudly display client testimonials on the Grammar Chic page, and believe them to be important in showing that we know our stuff.
  3. Similarly, if your business receives five-star reviews on Google or Facebook, consider having those reviews embedded or linked to from your site. Just be sure you monitor the reviews in case you get some bad ones that need addressing!
  4. Helpful content. Does the content on your site support and educate your client? Do you have product guides, FAQs, demos, and tutorial videos? All can be vital for building trust on your brand’s behalf, and allowing the customer to move forward in confidence.
  5. A strong About Us page. Finally, you can build trust on your page by ensuring you lay out the details of what your company stands for and what value it offers. Don’t underestimate how far this can go in assuaging customer fears!

With the right trust symbols added, your website can really instill buyer confidence. To learn more about these strategies, we encourage you to get in touch with Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Blog Writing, Brand Management, Business Writing, Content Marketing, Content Writing, Web Content

How Did You React to Facebook’s New Emotions?

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It’s a familiar plight: Your friend has posted something candid and revealing on Facebook—maybe something about a sick relative or a tough situation at work. You want to offer your support, to let them know you read their post and are thinking about them—but hitting the like button on such a sobering post seems wrong somehow.

Good news: Facebook has taken a big step toward addressing this dilemma, augmenting its familiar “like” button with a range of new, modulated “reactions.” When you post something on Facebook, now, your friends have the option of expressing their feelings about your post in a number of ways—like, love, anger, sadness, “wow,” and “haha.” (Facebook has not unveiled its long-rumored “dislike” button, which is probably for the best.)

You’ve probably noticed these new reactions already—both on your personal Facebook account and perhaps on your business page. This last point raises an interesting question: How will Facebook’s new reactions change the game for commercial Facebook pages? After years of competing for Facebook likes, will your small business now need to aim for “love” or “wow” reactions? And will it somehow count against your Facebook stats if you get a lot of sad or angry emotions?

What Reactions Mean for Your Facebook Analytics

While these new reactions have already changed the Facebook user experience, they haven’t actually changed the algorithms—at least not yet. Facebook has stated that all reactions are treated equally: When a user reacts to one of your company’s posts—whether with like, love, anger, or “wow”—it means they want to see more of your posts, and the Facebook algorithms will respond accordingly.

In other words, reactions won’t adversely impact organic search results or newsfeed placement—so there’s no reason for companies to fear or prioritize different reactions. Algorithmically speaking, all reactions are good reactions; so long as you’re getting some kind of engagement, that’s what really matters.

New Insight Into Your Users

That’s not to say that reactions aren’t meaningful to marketers. While they may not change algorithms, they do provide new insights into your users—what they think of your content and even your brand.

For example, the more carefully modulated reactions can provide new opportunities for customer service. When someone responds to your post with sadness, that’s a good opening for you to reach out directly and ask how you can provide a better user experience—sort of like the companies that directly respond to complaints on Twitter. By having a more precise reading of what your users are thinking, you can better tailor your response to them.

There are also potential avenues for better targeting—ad campaigns running just to the people who give you “love” or “wow” reactions, for example—though such innovations are still in development.

The bottom line: Facebook reactions are no reason for concern—and in fact, they may be something you’ll grow to love in due time. Keep tabs on who’s responding to your Facebook content—but also how.

Talk with us about your company’s Facebook strategy. Reach out to Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444 or www.grammarchic.net.

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Why Do Facebook Users Share Content?

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What happens when you post new content to your company Facebook page? Do you see it redirected five, ten, 20 times over, shared by user after user, spreading like wildfire across different newsfeeds?

Or does your own company Facebook page feel an awful lot like a graveyard—posts that were all dead on arrival, receiving few likes and no real shares?

Sadly, a lot of small business owners fall into this second category. That’s not their fault, either. Getting shares on Facebook is tough, and getting tougher all the time. Algorithmic changes within Facebook have made it difficult even to get your content seen, much less shared. Meanwhile, as more and more companies produce content, it’s a challenge to make yours stand out.

The Psychology of Sharing

To complicate matters further, you can’t trick your readers into sharing content. Bribery seldom works, either; sure, you’ll get some shares if you offer a $100 giftcard to your top brand ambassadors, but who has the budget for that?

Ultimately, the reader must make the decision to share your content—and the reader will make that decision based on one thing and one thing only: How the content reflects the reader’s personality, and how it will be perceived among the reader’s friends.

Think of your Facebook followers as content curators. Everything they share on their own Facebook newsfeed is a reflection of who they are, and what they’re trying to do is cultivate an accurate and compelling mosaic of who they are, or who they want their friends to think they are. Each piece of content they share has to fit into that mosaic.

Sharing for Different Reasons

Of course, Facebook users share content for different reasons. Sometimes, they are simply trying to entertain others. Sometimes they are looking to grow relationships, or else to define themselves in terms of a particular brand, style, or cause.

The first step toward getting more shares is to understand exactly what motivates people to share—the psychological factors that might compel a reader to make your company’s content a piece of his/her mosaic. Some of the big reasons why people share content include:

  1. It makes them look smart. Studies, high-quality blogs from industry publications, professional how-tos, glossy “think pieces”—some content just has an air of intelligence to it, and your readers may well want to be associated with that air.
  2. It lets them be useful. Some of the most successful Facebook pages we’ve seen have been—for lack of a better term—pages attached to mom blogs. Why? Because the content offered is 100 percent practical—tips, recipes, parenting strategies… stuff that you can share and know that it will be actionable to the people reading it.
  3. It makes them seem cool. Sometimes, people just want to post something with a provocative headline or an “inside info” vibe to it, because it makes them appear hip. There’s nothing wrong with that!

So how do you get social shares? There isn’t a trick to it. It all comes down to how well you understand these psychological motivations—and write content that plays right into them.

That’s where we come in. Reach out to Grammar Chic’s ace content writers today: Call 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net.

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Filed under Brand Management, Content Marketing, Social Media

Get More Out of Your Hashtags

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Spend any kind of time on social media and you will quickly become familiar with some of the most basic, common hashtags. Consider #tbt, #wcw, #selfie, #sorrynotsorry—all of these trendy tags represent cross-cultural idioms that immediately position a tweet, a Facebook post, or an Instagram image within a larger conversational context.

As a small business owner, you should absolutely be using these hashtags to leverage these popular trends; they’re a great way to get your content noticed and appreciated. With that said, the common nature of these hashtags is their downfall as well as their saving grace: While they can prove helpful in generating engagement, they also do little to help your brand stand out from the crowd.

That’s what makes it advantageous to develop some of your own, customized hashtags—some little taglines or catchphrases that you “own” and that speak directly to your brand. These ultimately help create a brand identity that is specific rather than generic, and they reveal the true creativity behind your content marketing efforts.

Of course it is important to be thoughtful in creating your custom hashtags. To help get your creative juices flowing, we have three dos and one don’t for custom hashtagging.

  1. DO add your name to your hashtags. If you want a hashtag that immediately points back to your brand, there is no better way to achieve it than by inserting your name into the hashtag. For example, Grammar Chic, Inc. has a client named Kip, and on Twitter we position some of his insights and sayings with the #tipsfromkip hashtag.
  2. DO be funny, where appropriate. Hashtags present a great avenue for humor, even if you’re essentially making up words or concepts. We know of one company that sells steaks and ribs, and it tags many of its posts with the clever, defiant-sounding #unvegan hashtag.
  3. DO offer immediate value. Sometimes the best hashtags aren’t necessarily clever; they just offer something beneficial, something readers will immediately zero in on as value-adding. We work with a home improvement company that often does hashtag series such as #Roofing101 or #RemodelingMadeSimple, and these posts tend to get a lot of shares and favorites.
  4. DON’’T leave your hashtags too open-ended. A final warning: Don’t leave your hashtags open to hijackers. We all know the story of McDonald’s and its ill-fated #McDStories campaign. Customers were supposed to share positive memories from McDonald’s, but instead shared tweets about getting food poisoning and the like. Make sure you maintain some level of control over your hashtags.

Want our creative team to help you brainstorm some unique hashtags? Just give us a call at 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net today!

 

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Make the Most of Your Twitter Bio

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Here’s a quick exercise for business owners: Tell us what your company is, what it does, and what value it offers to the consumer. And oh yeah: Keep it to 160 characters or less.

Of course, this exercise is not at all hypothetical. It’s the very real challenge that faces business owners as they strive to write perfectly pithy, powerful Twitter bios. When someone stumbles across your Twitter page, or you come up in a Twitter search, your bio is what’s going to pull them in, what’s going to convey your company’s vision and values, and what’s ultimately going to establish what your Twitter feed is all about.

That’s a tall order for just 160 characters.

Yet, coming up with a powerful Twitter bio is not an impossible task. Here are a few tips for making the most out of those scant 160 characters.

  • Focus on the nuts and bolts—on memorable and specific nouns and verbs. You don’t want to waste time with connecting words or prepositions if you don’t have to. For example, don’t say something like Ace Plumbing is a full-service plumbing and drain cleaning company. Make it more like this: Ace Plumbing: Plumbing. Drain Cleaning. Emergency Services. Septic Services. And so on.
  • Make sure the bio aligns with your posts. If yours is an HOA management company but you’re using your tweets to share basic homeowner tips, your bio should reflect that. Make it something about how you try to make things easier for homeowners and communities.
  • If at all possible, use your Twitter bio to link to other relevant content. What does somebody do if they want to read more about you? Hopefully, they can click over to your blog, company website, or About Us page to get more than 160 characters of information!
  • Use the full space you’re allotted. Brevity is nice, but if you’re only using 35 characters then you’re simply giving up prime online real estate.
  • Make sure to incorporate some basic keywords and phrases that relate to your industry. What are the primary search terms people use to find your company website? Those are likely good phrases to include in the bio.
  • Remember that your Twitter bio is not meant to be static! Spruce it up from time to time. Play with different wordings. Change the bio every few months.

Sure: Your Twitter bio is just going to be a line or two. But there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make those lines count. To learn more, contact Grammar Chic, Inc. today. Call 803-831-7444, or visit http://www.grammarchic.net.

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