The Power of Hashtags and Why You Should Use Them
Seriously, they do! But why? Is it just another fad like the QR code (have you ever even scanned one?)
The number one reason hashtags rock is because they are searchable! You can go to google and search a hashtag. You can go to any of the social media sites and search a hashtag.
So what? What does that mean for you, or your business? First of all, hashtags are used over many platforms: twitter, facebook, instagram, and pinterest. If you sit down and come up with a few hashtags that represent your business and use them consistently and with many of your posts, you will begin to brand yourself by your hashtags. Consistency is key here!
Recently I conducted a webinar on building your business on social media. One of the participants already had a readership of over 30,000 a month, and 2500 “likes” on her Facebook page. She wrote a review of the webinar the following day. You can read the full review under the tab, “We love Tadah Team,” but what I wanted to point out was the tweak that she talks about in her review was tweaking her hashtags. She particularly focused on instagram and in 24 hours she received four new leads for her business, simply by tweaking her hashtags.
If you have a product, service, or business, I would highly encourage you to use hashtags.
Don’t go hashtag crazy! But develop a couple of hashtags and use them on all of your stuff.
And one more thing, don’t talk in hashtags! That is not searchable.
Make Them Say, “Huh?” And They Will Remember You
I love creative signs! This particular one was at a booth in an antique mall. One would think simply offering 20% off would be enough to get noticed, and many of the other booth owners did signs that simply stated their discount. But this one, this one caught my attention, and the attention of everyone else. It made us STOP at the booth. That was the goal, get people to stop and look at the booth.
I watched as people passed by the booths. Every person who passed this booth, actually stopped and commented on the sign. I heard things such as,
“Do they allow dogs to shop here?”
“Are they concerned about aliens?”
“Will they make us prove it?
The next time you need to create something, give it a little edge that makes people say, “huh?”
Q. Should Facebook Pages Be Part of Your Marketing Plan?
A. Maybe – Read on.
I’ve been in the middle of a big book release for my own book, “How to Have a Productive Pity Party.” It is pretty much a full time job to market my own book because there are so many pieces to the marketing puzzle when releasing a book. Again, using the uniqueness of each person and each product, I create my own marketing plans. My own book had my own marketing plan.
Today, I want to talk about one piece of the plan: Facebook Pages.
For the average person, I’m not sure I’m in love with Facebook Pages. The biggest downfall I see is that they aren’t seen. That’s a pretty big downfall. It’s part of the FB revenue plan. It seems like the pages aren’t viewed very often. To decide if a FB page is right for you, you might want to answer a few questions:
- Are a good portion of your personal status updates related to buying what you’re selling. If so, you need a FB page. (Read the FB TOS)
- Do you have time to post frequently? My thought on this is that you need to post at least four times a day on your FB page.
- Do you have a focus for your page that would be beneficial to others? While the FB page may have your name, it really shouldn’t be about you, but about meeting a felt need in your audience. If you were a speaker standing in a room giving a presentation, it would completely fall flat if all you talked about was yourself. The whole point of having a speaker is to give to the audience. Think of your FB page like that. GIVE! GIVE! GIVE! If you don’t feel you have anything to give, then a FB page might not be right for you.
- Do you like “sharing” with others? A FB page or profile will work for you.
- Are you wanting to build a community of people who you can share your products with, but also offer them good content? Definitely go for a FB page!
WordPress – Posts and Pages – What’s the Difference?
One of the services I provide is ongoing help with your wordpress site if you hire me to create it for you. I’ll work with you until you feel confident that you can take the reigns yourself. Typically the owner of the site is mostly working with pages and posts, but it’s difficult to remember the difference.
I thought of it this way, a page is like a letter that you would mail to someone. It’s not something you change up too much. Your “About Me” page would be like that. You can write it, and forget it. That is, unless the content changes. So go ahead and edit the page when that happens. But for the most part, the pages will stay pretty close to the way you want them to be.
Fast forward eighteen years. Gone are the days when you created a site and left it for all eternity, hoping that someone would see it and hire you. I don’t care what kind of business you’re in, if your website is simply an interactive business card, you’re missing out on business!
I was recently contacted by Glenn, who had a ministry site that was in serious need of a makeover. Glenn’s site was static, with pictures and text bumping into each other, creating a page that begged for someone to click away from it. One of the cool things about Glenn’s ministry is that every morning he writes content that he shares on facebook. During our initial meeting I discovered that he likes to write content. Not everyone does.
He had a small budget, so I couldn’t go out and buy one of my favorite themes to use. I settled with a free theme. It still came with enough bells and whistles for Glenn’s use. One of the cool things about the way I do websites for people is that I give instruction and am available for consultations later. You may find us hanging out at the local Starbucks as I go over another piece of the website puzzle with you. What’s the point of creating a website if you’re not going to know how to add your own content? I teach you!
Glenn has given me permission to share some of the screen shots of his before and after site.
What is it with goosebumps? I don’t know all the scientific, or maybe spiritual significance of goosebumps, but what I do know is that when I’m talking with a client and the goosebumps come, we know we’ve got it.
Several years ago I used to do an internet broadcast for homeschoolers. Each week I would interview homeschool speakers, curriculum writers, moms, dads, etc. Basically, they were people who had a story and I wanted to help them tell their story. This project was one of the highlights of my life. I made some new lifelong friends, on the phone.
Even though I ended that broadcast about ten years ago, it had a lasting impact on me. Many of the people imprinted on my heart. This past weekend I had an opportunity to attend a Teach Them Diligently conference in Dallas, Texas. There were three speakers who I had interviewed but had not had the opportunity to meet in person. They were Israel Wayne, Carol Barnier, and Jeannie Fulbright. Israel wasn’t quite the screaming, “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe it’s you” person that the other ladies were.
Carol was amazing! We hugged! We laughed! We selfied! (I call them groupies if someone else holds the camera – you might just call it a picture) It was fun to hear her tell me that she still talks in one of her workshops about an idea that I presented in my book, I’m Going to be the Greatest Mom Ever…Even if it Kills Me! That was an ego boost to hear that for sure!
You have an asset that may be greater than your social media, more exciting than your marketing, and with better power than your website. That asset is your face. No matter what you think of your personal face, seeing your face is often what will produce action in a person. I’m sure you’ve had something like this happen, you’re at the store, and you run into someone, when you see them, suddenly you’re reminded that you were planning to call them awhile ago, but you never got around to it. But when you saw their face, you were reminded to take action. More than likely, you told them right then what you wanted to tell them, or why you wanted to call them.
This is one reason why it’s important to attend networking meetings, go to community events, even hang out at your local Starbucks. You never know who you may run into who has been wanting to use your service, but they just haven’t gotten around to calling you. Get in people’s face space!
I’ve met many people who don’t see the value of networking. Well, it’s face value. That’s what it is. You may be one of five insurance agents that one of your kid’s parents knows. But if you happen to be at that event at school, it’s like you have a post it note written across your head, “Remember – you wanted to call an insurance agent. Well, here I am!” It doesn’t mean you need to walk around with a sign that reads, “I’m an insurance agent” all the time. As long as you let people know what you’re doing, and then get in their face space, you will increase your client base.
Purpose to find ways each day to increase your face time with people.
It is About You It is Not About You – The Dichotomy of Branding and Marketing
I own two t-shirts. One says, “It’s Not About Me” and is from the book of the same name by Max Lucado. The other one says, “It’s All About Me” and came from the musical, “Menopause.”
It may seem like the two terms are polar opposites, but in the world of branding and marketing, they are not.
Branding = it really is all about you – (positive and negative). Your brand is the essence of who you are. If you aren’t purposeful in creating your brand, it truly will be ALL about you. You have already established a brand among your friends, colleagues, and clients. Purposeful branding is imprinting in the minds of people that thing that separates you from all the others. It IS all about you!
Marketing = it’s NOT about you. It’s all about the person you are trying to reach. What are their needs? What do they care about? What will impact her heart? When working on your marketing message answer the following questions: Who is my target person? “Everyone!” is NOT the right answer. What does my target person care about? What will compel them to act on my marketing? Notice. It’s ALL about them!
I’m often searching the internet to find my favorite marketing ideas. Today, I just happened to look on the website for Taziki’s because, well, I love..LOVE Greek food and I noticed Taziki’s will be opening a restaurant in Southlake, TX. Woo hoo!!! Or maybe I should say, “Ta-Dah!”
While looking at their site, I started playing with it. I loved the slider thing that moves from one frame to another so smoothly. But then something really caught my attention. I love taking pictures of food. I don’t know why, but I do. So, they jumped on
my our love for taking pictures of our food and turned it into a promotion idea. I’m sure this isn’t unique, but I don’t hang around restaurant websites very often. The reason I’m pointing it out though is because it covers a couple of basic ideas in marketing.
#1 Use something people already do.
#2 Reward them for doing it.
#3 Make it beneficial to you
And there you have it!
PS. Want to take me to Taziki’s in Southlake when it opens July 1st? Did I mention I LOVE Greek food? Hey, we could take pictures of our food and post it on Instagram!
Your Story Matters
During a branding consultation, one of the first questions I ask someone is “What’s your story?” Often, I get a blank stare. I think the question transports a person back into high school when the assignment was to write about your summer vacation and the whole room would groan. Well, not me, I loved that assignment! But that’s because I love story! I love that every person has one, even if they don’t know how it relates to their brand. We all have a story – often, multiple stories. So, what’s your story?
Here are a few questions to get you started on the road to discovering your story:
- When you’re talking to someone you have never met before, what is something you really wish they would ask you about so you could tell them?
- If you could put a post it note on your forehead with four words (okay five if you want) that you want someone to know about you, what would they be?
- What is one event you can think of that defined who you are today in your business?
- When you’re talking about your business, what is the thing that makes you want to get up out of your chair and get excited about?
Those are all components that make up your story. And…your story matters. Your story is part of your brand. Your story is part of what you need to communicate to your world. So get busy and answer the questions.
What’s your story?