Guest Blogger: Rob Wilson

Rob with family

I’m bringing back a familiar face to the blog, Rob Wilson.  He’s become one of my favorite people to get to know this year. See how we met in this previous blog. Rob is part of a duo that heads up Devology in the United Kingdom.  You can read more about him in the about section below.  This man has a delightful British accent and is enthusiastic about software development and customer service.

DON’T MISS THE DEAL HE IS OFFERING FOR HIS PRODUCT SOCIAL SCHEDULER…I highly endorse it! 🙂

What social media platforms are you on? And how do you use social media?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and just about hanging in there with Google+ and Ello.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

This is harder to answer, I would have said ‘Twitter’, but I don’t get people engaging with me with meaningful results other than the post being ‘liked’ and at best ‘re-tweeted’.  (***FOLLOW***) I see more comments in Facebook and it’s the comments that I’m really after, so I can learn what people want and adjust my product.  On that note, I’d say the WordPress blog offers me the most value, maybe it’s not traditionally a ‘social network’, but it does enable people to follow/subscribe to your feed and so to me it does offer social-like features.  LinkedIn sometimes gives me the results I want, especially if I am asking questions pertaining to someones specialist area; I asked some schools about their use of expensive information-systems used to keep staff and parents up-to-date, the feedback was interesting and full of facts.  As for Instagram and Pinterest, I can sink too much unproductive time in those if I’m not careful, so I tend to schedule posts to them and not look too often!  Google+ I really don’t get, likewise I want Ello to work, but the latter seemed far more complicated than necessary and they don’t offer an ‘API’ – which means as a developer I can’t integrate with it.

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

I was surprised how fine-grained the targeting of adverts (American translation: advertising) can be on Facebook and Twitter, for example, find me all the teachers in the ages 20-30 in East Sussex in the UK, now let me send a sponsored advert to just them.  Now why don’t businesses use Facebook instead of direct-mail (leaflet drops etc), surely it’s more effective to spend money on the exact audience, rather than distributing leaflets to thousands of homes where you might get 3% of people reading them and only 1% of those might be interested.  I personally feel that if you include video in your advert, target your demographics carefully, you will arrive in peoples feeds with amazing effectiveness.

The biggest surprise is with Instagram, what the heck… What do you mean I can’t upload a photo from the website?!  I can only upload the photos from mobile devices?  That’s weird.  But weirder still is that they don’t allow application developers (that’s me) to send photos either.  That’s very, very unusual. It’s also a pain in the neck, it currently means that I can’t schedule photos to go to Instagram, without bizarre workarounds (that we are working on in Social Scheduler), for example, you are allowed to send photos from a mobile app that launches the Instagram app to send the photo.  This means our servers need to wake up your phone, send a push notification along the lines of “Social Scheduler wants to send a message to Instagram…”, you open Social Scheduler and then it displays the photo(s) due to be sent, you then (for each one) must release it to the Instagram App.  Crazy, huh?

I’d love to welcome you to Social Scheduler, the good news is that this week we have added a free tariff (American translation this is a freebie folks!) so you can schedule to three accounts up to 30 days in advance.  It’s a great way to judge whether you like the tool.  If you do sign up, I’d love to know what features you’re looking for, you can contact me directly at rob@devology.co.uk

About Rob

I am Rob Wilson, a husband, father and director and co-founder of Devology Ltd, a software development company in Great Britain (in the United Kingdom).  I work with the only other director (also co-founder) Michael Glazebrook almost every evening over Skype.  He’s lucky enough to also be my cousin!

I’m a software engineer, also known as software developer / programmer, but when you’ve been doing it for 30 years and have learned a lot about the right-way to do things, you tend to qualify for the label ‘Engineer’.

For the previous 25+ years I was developing software at a defence company (General Dynamics) for the Harrier Jump Jet, F16 and F18 fighter reconnaissance subsystems, I joined when I was around 15 on a youth-training-scheme (YTS) and then after 18 years I felt that I was getting too comfortable and moved on to another company, to write commercial software at Macro 4, I worked on a tool that monitored how fast a program was running and would highlight issues in other peoples code, it was a great team, but unfortunately I was getting burned-out with 3 hour daily commutes, so I joined NBTrader, to write stock trading software.  It’s whilst I was there that I learned how to write server-side software (the things that run websites) and how to write desktop applications.  After around 3 years, I moved onto the web-development side of things (web applications, not web pages), this was a really interesting challenge and it’s only recently I can say that I’m enjoying it!

I now work for myself, with the principal aim of writing a suite of software products.  Our first one is called Social Scheduler, it enables you to schedule your messages to multiple social networks (such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest, more are coming).  Our focus has been on keeping things simple, our feedback from customers shows that we might be winning!  We have a lot of great features that we intend to add, the difficulty is adding them in the right order, to be more effective at gaining new customers, to help the cash coming into the company. Right now, we are adding our own referral system, so that our best customers can make money referring the product to someone they know, because they love the product and wish to share it, rather than an affiliate system – who are in it for the money and will push the product to anyone.

Michael and I have a back catalogue of 30 products that we could write, however we have a short-list of 3 that are very attractive.  This week I’ve also found a possible 4th product that dovetails nicely with Social Scheduler.

Unfortunately, we aren’t big enough yet to fund both of us working at Devology, sometimes it’s a struggle to fund one developer (myself), so we do software consultancy and development for other companies too.  Right now we are helping a company in Hove (near Brighton), UK to deliver a very powerful lone-working tool, on iPhone and Android, it also has an administration user interface on the web.  What they love about working with us, is that we can rapidly react to their requirements and can develop the full stack (mobile, web, servers, databases).

I sometimes cringe when people ask me what my hobbies and/or passions are.  I must sound like a geek because my answer is that I love coding, my hobbies are therefore coding, to relax I code.  I know… I’m not ‘normal’, but I don’t look like a traditional geeky software developer – I have no beard and I have great looking kids – so I don’t care what other people think 😉  I think it stems from the fact that I can tell the computer what to do and it does it, if it does something wrong then I know it’s my fault; it’s black & white, it’s logical, unlike my beautiful wife.

Right now, I suppose I have a new hobby, podcasting.  I released the first Episode of our ‘Startup and Marketing Podcast’ on iTunes and a few other podcast sites, such as Stitch, so please subscribe if you want to hear about our marketing efforts!

Connect with Rob

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/devologyuk
Twitter – https://twitter.com/DevologyUk
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSnbaaz2SNx41OJRyu_8b7g
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/devologyuk/
Instagram – https://instagram.com/devologyuk/
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/devology-ltd
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+devologyuk/about
Company Website – http://devology.co.uk
Our Social Scheduler web app – http://socialscheduler.co.uk

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with Mary Lu:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media and Personal Strategist with GrowGreatCompanies.com

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Guest Blogger: Victor Clarke

Victor Clarke

Victor Clarke and I met through the social media platform LinkedIn.  He found there and asked to connect. LinkedIn is a huge business tool (you should be there!) Then he wanted to know more about what I was doing with social media.  We met in person a few months later to learn more about what each of us is doing.  Victor is guest blogging this week as our first collaboration.  I look forward to more to come in the future.  Read more about how he uses social media in his business, Clarke Inc. and don’t miss his FREE e-book at the end of the blog! 

Content is Fire.  Social Media is Gasoline. 

Clarke, Inc. has been on social media for nearly eight years.  We originally started with Facebook and then expanded onto LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest.

Just like the title of this post (a phrase coined by Jay Baer) we use social media to distribute the content we produce.  Being a B2B, social media is not likely to produce a sale for us without human interaction to close the deal.  We like to create helpful content, not selling content to share on social media.  The best social sites to generate qualified leads for our business are LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is great because it’s mostly about business, no cat videos are posted.  It can be used to research prospects so every contact is a warm call rather than a cold call.   LinkedIn Groups are an awesome way to connect with these prospects.  Even though we may not be able to send an InMail because we are not first connections we can still email them through groups.  If you share membership in a group with a prospect you can send unlimited InMail messages to them.  LinkedIn allows you to be a member of up to 50 groups.  I highly recommend you become a member of as many groups as possible.

Twitter

When we first signed up for Twitter I didn’t get it.  It was just too much random stuff, sent to lots of people, about uninteresting topics.  The light came on when I realized Twitter is the world’s biggest cocktail party.  You can hear everything everyone is saying.  You don’t have to be connected or be friends to follow a conversation.  We use Twitter to send out links to our content 20-25 times per day.  We also use it to listen to what our clients, prospects and competitors are doing.  It’s a great way to develop qualified leads.

YouTube

We have created our own YouTube channel to post our webinars.  The webinars are available on YouTube 24/7/365 as lead generation tool.  Our website and YouTube act as sales people that never need sleep, never complain and never ask for a pay raise.

Facebook, Goggle Plus & Pinterest

We use Facebook, Google Plus and Pinterest to a lesser extent although each site serves its own purpose.  We post to Facebook because you should.  With 1.9 billion users you just can’t ignore it.  Facebook is much better for B2Cs than B2Bs.

Google Plus gets a lot of negative publicity but it has its purpose too.  We post to Google Plus because it makes Google happy and drives our website towards the top of search engine rankings.  Pinterest is useful for posting images of our work.  Instead of mailing samples of our print jobs to prospects they can now see them on Pinterest via a page on our website.  Not only does Pinterest save a lot of postage costs, it also allows us to display many more samples than we ever would be willing to pay to ship.

Let’s Be Social!

My biggest surprise about social media is that many of our customers don’t understand its value.  Too many people still associate social media with cat videos or worse, they try to hustle product sales on the sites before they have developed a relationship.

Use social media to be…social!  It’s pretty annoying to be cornered at a party by a person trying to sell you something and you don’t even know them.   The same etiquette applies to social media.  It’s annoying to be pounded with “buy, buy, buy” posts.  Use social media to help, not sell.  Once you have a relationship developed using helpful content you may occasionally reach out with a sales message.  Use social media as the fuel to push your helpful content out to the world.  If your content is useful, and you don’t ask for the order too soon, your social sites will become awesome lead generating machines.

Are you convinced now that you need a social media strategy?  Grab my eBook, “Upgrade Your Marketing to Integrated Marketing” to learn more.

About Victor

Victor Clarke is the owner of Clarke, Inc.  He has been the owner of the company for 20 years evolving it from a print shop to a marketing firm.  Clarke, Inc. is your hub for the integration and automation of your inbound and outbound marketing.  In his free time Victor is the bass player in a local rock and roll cover band and a high school football and lacrosse official.  He lives at Smith Mountain Lake, VA with his wife Robin and two dogs – Wiggles the Wonder Dog and Buck (shh! Don’t tell her she’s a girl.)

You can find Clarke, Inc. at:

www.bebetterdomore.com

Facebook

LinkedIn

Google Plus

Twitter

Pinterest

YouTube

(For the non-millennials you call me at 434-847-5561)

Thank you

I am so pleased to have people like Victor share their knowledge with you! He is a great guy that is always on the cutting edge of marketing.

We would love to hear from you about this blog or social media.  Use the space below to leave a comment or question.

I’d love to have you become a regular subscriber…click the follow button on the right side of the page 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and spending a couple of minutes with us.

Blessings,

Mary Lu

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with GrowGreatCompanies.com

Guest Blogger: Timothy Martin

Timothy Martin

This week meet Timothy Martin who is the Communications and Media Coordinator for the City of Roanoke, Virginia.  I know Timothy virtually (we are planning on having lunch soon!)  He used to work with my dad at WFIR Radio here in our great city.

I’ve been intrigued with how Timothy has embraced his current role and think you will want to see what kind of success he has has. I can’t imagine managing the communication needs of a city?!?  I do know that photo sharing of our wonderful place to live is hugely popular and I love to send pictures in and see them pop up on the city’s platforms.  Pretty cool!   Read on and see what Timothy is doing!

What social media platforms are you on?  And how do you use social media?

In local government, social media is an important tool for both informing and engaging with citizens.   Frequent posts and engaging content has helped our 40+ social media pages attract a following of more than 100,000.  We use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, and Pinterest to showcase city news and events in various ways.

It’s important for us to reach as many people as possible on social media and utilizing the many platforms available allows us to do that.  Each platform offers something a little different and the audience isn’t always the same.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

Facebook is by far the best social media platform to engage our citizens.  The City of Roanoke, Virginia – Communications Facebook page has a following of more than 46,000.  By promoting city news and events, and posting user submitted photos, our weekly reach is typically 150,000 or more.  We also use Facebook to capitalize on big events.  During the last two snow storms, around the clock updates helped us gain thousands of new likes and hit a record weekly reach of 600,000.  In 2014, we were recognized by 3CMA for our snow coverage, winning the Savvy award. We also focus heavily on social media customer service.  Citizens ask questions and we find the answers as quickly as possible.  That’s the serious stuff.

We also have a little fun with it too. On April 1, 2014, we announced the Roanoke Star was going on a world tour.  A fake news release and photos of the star at different landmarks around the world created quite a buzz on Facebook.  That prank won us the “Best Use of Humor on Social Media” award from Government Social Media.  Roanoke and its citizens get social media, and the team effort has put us on the map.

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

One of the biggest surprises about using social media in local government has been the citizen engagement.  I learned early on that if you engage with citizens, they will engage with you.  A prime example is the 2014 snowstorm that really helped our main page take off.  During that event, I reached out to citizens to submit photos of the snow. Hundreds of photos were submitted during that storm.  Since then, we’ve received thousands of beautiful photos of the city.  It’s almost second nature now for people to take photos, and then send them to our page for all of our followers to see.  The use of photos has helped drive our numbers unlike anything else.  Something else that’s not really a surprise, but more of an insight is how Facebook distributes our posts to our followers.  A post with a photo gets more than double the reach than a post with a link or simple a text post.  The same can be said for videos. Embedding videos directly to Facebook will reach more users than linking to YouTube.  I would encourage any social media manage to study the stats that Facebook provides.  Those stats can help you direct the content on your page in order to reach the broadest audience possible.

A little about Timothy

The first part of my career was spent in broadcast news.  I was the anchor and reporter at WFIR Talk Radio in Roanoke.  After seven wonderful years at the station, I left to become communications and media coordinator for the City of Roanoke.  A prime responsibility has been managing the city’s social media pages. It’s been a wonderful learn as you go experience.  I often say that everyone is an expert on social media. Try something, if it doesn’t work, try something else until it does.

Timothy’s Connection Points

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoanokeVa

Twitter: https://twitter.com/City_of_Roanoke

Instagram: https://instagram.com/City_of_Roanoke/

You want to check out this cool page: https://roanoke.uberflip.com

Thank you

I want to thank Timothy for his willingness to share his time and a little of what has worked for him in his job.  Roanoke, Virginia is one of the most beautiful places and we would love for you to visit our great city!

I’d love to hear from the readers….leave a comment or a question in the box below.  I’d love to have you become a regular subscribers…click the follow button on the right side of the page 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and spending a couple of minutes with us.

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com

Guest Blogger: Ariel Lev

Photo: Jeff Hoffman w/ Eddy Communications
Photo: Jeff Hoffman w/ Eddy Communications

I met Ariel Lev when I was helping my husband with a project he was working that involved the CoLab in the Grandin Village section of Roanoke, Virginia.  I will never forget being introduced to Ariel….she said, “I know you from social media!”  I had to catch my breath.  I’d never had anyone say that to me.

Ariel is a wonderfully talented and enthusiastic supporter of entrepreneurs in the Roanoke area.  Our area is so fortunate to have people like her helping to nurture the budding projects that take root at the CoLab.  I’m so pleased she agreed to guest blog!

What social media platforms are you on?  And how do you use social media?

I am a contributor or the lead social media human for a hand full of accounts, but I mainly use social media for myself and for CoLab, the coworking space I run in Roanoke, VA. Personally, I mainly use Instagram for sharing (@a_lev_) and Facebook for keeping up with old friends or discovering new articles to read (also known as: wasting time on the Internet).

For CoLab, I use Facebook Pages, a Facebook group (this one is members only!), Instagram (@CoLab_Roanoke) and Twitter (@grandinCoLab). I tend to do most of my work-related social media-ing during the work day or when I’m particularly moved, and I don’t do a lot of scheduled posts. This is helpful in keeping the content fresh when I’m not at my computer or thinking about social media.

Mostly, I use social media to provide an engaging voice for people who are listening. Social media expands our network and worth to those who are outside of our direct client base and keeps us on the minds of those who might one day become clients. These digital touch-points are endlessly rewarding, though hard to track.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

I find that, for CoLab, Twitter is helpful in engaging the local business clientele. When I post on Twitter, I am speaking to an audience of people like me: marketing executives, media specialists, entrepreneurs who do it all. There are some individuals tweeting personally, but since the shelf life of a tweet is about 30 seconds or less, I don’t rely on it.

Our Facebook page is the only social media outlet I pay to use. At times, I’ll boost a particularly well-crafted post that shows off something special about CoLab for $5.00. Or, if there’s an event coming up, I’ll spend $3.00 on a quick boost, ensuring that people outside of our immediate followership are given a chance to check it out.

The Facebook group is a convenient way to get in touch with members, if they choose to engage with the platform. I send out a weekly email newsletter, but I’ll frequently duplicate content in this group so members have a better chance of seeing it.

Instagram is my ideal way to engage clients, but it takes a lot of work. I love this app and the networks that grow because of it — I have a huge soft spot and appreciation for strong aesthetics and put a lot of effort into my personal account, and have let that bleed over into the CoLab’s account. Entrepreneurs and millennials use Instagram to showcase their business, and I hope to one day be among the coworking giants with a feed that touches and inspires innovators around the globe. As you can tell, I have lofty goals!

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

I think the most surprising social media lesson I learned was the afore-mentioned realization about Twitter being more of a B2B network than a B2C network. Though there is still worth to this network, I do sometimes feel like all of the accounts in my network are screaming from a podium into a room of empty seats. More possibly, I just have a lot to learn.

Meet Ariel

I’m the director of CoLab, Roanoke’s largest coworking space. As a millennial, I’ve grown up with social media: it helped shape me, and in some ways, I helped shape it.

A little history: I am from North Carolina originally and fell in love with the mountains when I attended Appalachian State University, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting / Communications. Shortly after, I tried my hand at city living while attending Graduate school in D.C. at Georgetown University. I earned an M.A. in Communication, Culture and Technology – and promptly left for more mountainous pastures. My husband and I chose Roanoke because it checked all our boxes: mountains, opportunity, low cost of living and proximity to parents. Little did we know that Roanoke is also home to people who care very much about the future of their home and who work relentlessly to make it the best it can be. We are excited to be a part of this culture!

Connection Points

Website: www.grandincolab.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/colabroanoke

Colab Instagram: @CoLab_Roanoke

CoLab Twitter: @grandinCoLab

Ariel’s Instagram: @a_lev

Thank you!

Ariel, thank you for taking time out of your super busy schedule to help collaborate (pun intended!) with me for this blog.  I love seeing how you use social media as a communication tool in so many ways.

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com

Guest Blogger: Marvae Eikanas

Marvae

I’m excited to introduce you this week to my friend Marvae Eikanas. We “met” several years ago in a Facebook group started by Jeff Goins called the “Slow Down Challenge.” We began interacting and found we both lived in the Southeast and shared similar interests. Check out how Marvae uses social media to power her business!

My Social Media Adventure

Those who know me well would say that I am a late adopter when it comes to technology. When I was growing up, computers were not a fixture in everyone’s home like they are today. And if you wanted to have a phone conversation, your choices were in the kitchen or my parent’s bedroom. Most of my lengthy, going-to-be-grounded, phone calls as a teenager took place in my parent’s bedroom on a phone with a cord. Truth be told, my smart phone is only a few months old! I realize that I have simultaneously dated myself, and stereotyped myself in the first paragraph. Perhaps for some, it gives you a glimmer of hope that you too can use social media to advance your business. After all, if I can, you certainly can!

My Platforms of Choice

When it comes to social media there are oodles of options out there. I have restricted myself to four:  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn so that I can be consistent and not spread myself too thin. So far, I have been able to successfully connect with my target audience: leaders at home, work, or in ministry.

Why Social Media?

As a Certified Christian Life Coach at Lead Life Well, social media allows me to accomplish the following:

  1. Reach people all over the world that I might not otherwise connect with
  2. Encourage, motivate, and challenge my target audience
  3. Make it possible for people to get a glimpse into my heart and what I am all about
  4. Spread the word about what I do, events, etc.
  5. Build relationships that lead to clients
  6. Have a place to interact with my target audience
  7. Increase traffic to my website
  8. Expand my platform

How to Best Engage with my Ideal Client

In the early stages of my coaching business, I relied heavily on social media to get the word out. There are a plethora of coaches out there so it was important to me to be persistent and consistent. Don’t let the fact that the social media world might seem like an overcrowded sea of information hold you back. You will connect with the right people if you are consistent, patient, and keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Be authentic – let your true self shine
  2. The quality of your posts and tweets matter – provide great images and positive, helpful info
  3. Be consistent about posting or tweeting daily
  4. Devote time to interacting with others – social media is not a one way street
  5. Be sincere when connecting with others
  6. Too much promoting and not enough valuable content will turn people off.
  7. Schedule the bulk of your posts using Hootsuite or another scheduling tool to save time, but occasionally post directly to each of your social media accounts

What’s Worked

The bulk of my clients have come from my efforts on Facebook. I will confess that it is the social network I am most comfortable with. The downside to Facebook is that it is more difficult to interact with people who have not liked your page. That is one advantage Twitter offers. It is easy to reach out to people in your target audience and build relationships.

As a professional, LinkedIn just makes sense even though I have not yet taken full advantage of what it has to offer. Up to this point I have primarily used Pinterest as a place for people to access helpful resources. There are so many more possibilities to explore!

There is always room to expand your efforts when it comes to social media. You don’t have to have it all together when you start. In fact, starting small and gaining momentum is a great way to ease into the process. Even a consistent post or a tweet or two a day is better than nothing. You can always increase the number of posts and tweets later.

To launch my website back in the beginning, I posted my first video. It was a hassle! Last week I posted my second video using my smart phone. Even though I am still mastering that process (remember I am technically challenged) it was significantly easier and encouraged more engagement. There will definitely be more videos in my future! My next goal: using social media to promote my webinars. What better way to spread the word?

What’s Surprised Me

Perhaps what’s surprised me most about my social media adventure is the friends I’ve made and the clients I have connected with as a result of my efforts. Most of my coaching is done over the phone, so clients don’t need to live in awesome Chattanooga! I have had the joy of getting together face to face with two fabulous ladies that I met through social media and who have been an encouragement to me in my business. There have numerous guest blog opportunities and referrals as well. You just never know what opportunities will arise through social media. One thing is for sure – if you don’t use social media you will never know!

Starting a business? Promoting a blog? Social media is worth the investment!

Meet Marvae

Got big dreams? Ready to take your life and leadership to the next level? Marvae is a passionate Certified Christian Life Coach eager to partner with her clients and support them through the process of change so they can embrace all that God has created them to be.

She has 24 years of leadership experience and is a Certified DiSC Consultant (DiSC is a four temperament model to access human behavior or personality).  She is the creator, author, and illustrator of The Building Blocks Learning Program – Bible curriculum for preschool and elementary age children.

Marvae has three adult children whom she had the joy of homeschooling through high school. Two are married and the third plans to get married next summer. She also has one delightfully chunky grandson who makes her smile! In her free time she enjoys time with friends, reading books, getting creative with paint or other media, traveling, and taking walks.

Marvae’s Connection Points:

Website: leadlifewell.com/

facebook.com/LeadLifeWell

twitter.com/MarvaeEikanas

pinterest.com/leadlifewell/

pinterest.com/leadlifewell/

cantamarpublishing.com/

facebook.com/CantamarPublishing

Big Thank You! 

Thank you Marvae for lending your expertise to the readers of this blog!   Do you have a question for her or want to chat about social media?  Comment below!

Stay tuned for next week’s guest!  Make sure you follow my blog so it will come right to your inbox!

Blessings,

Mary Lu

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com

Guest Post: Jamarcus Gaston

I’m always looking for new ways to share information. I’ve invited some of my friends who are pretty savvy with social media to pop in as a guest blogger.  I think you will be pretty fascinated in how my incredible friends are using their platforms in so many unique ways.  I’ve asked each of them the same three questions to make things fair.

Guest blog kickoff

Jamarcus Gaston

We are kicking off our guest blog post series with Jamarcus Gaston. I met him when he was interning at WSPA-TV.  He was about to graduate from Furman University and you could tell he had lots of energy and enthusiasm.  After graduation he came to work at WSPA as an entertainment reporter and so many wonderful things happened for him.  He hosts a daily talk show (more info at the bottom of the blog) and honestly has more energy than a human should be allowed.  I’ve seen very few people accomplish so much in a day.

Q: What social media platforms are you on?  And how do you use social media?

A: The social media platforms I currently use are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and PHHHOTO.

I use these social media sites to bring viewers, family, and friends along for the ride.  As an entertainment host and storyteller, I get a chance to see and experience a lot of things from a unique perspective and social media allows me (through pictures, video and sound) to share those moments instantly to the viewer. I get to show them really cool things as I am seeing them.

I use it to spark conversation—whether it’s a big sports story, an awards show on TV, or a quirky story that has everyone talking, social media allows me to hear my viewers directly.

I use social media to peel the curtain back on television. Back in the day, only select people got to see what happens behind the scenes, not anymore!

I use social media to get new segment ideas. I book about 3-4 segments a week based on leads on social media, mostly from Instagram.

I simply use social media to grow closer to those that I serve—saying hello is on Facebook is the first thing I do each morning, and that is important to me.

Q: What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

A: Currently, I would say Facebook and Instagram are the best ones for our clients/ viewers. Most of segments are very visual and interactive so these platforms allow for that to really shine through.

Q: Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

A: The thing that surprises me about social media is how easy it can be. Yes, it can be a lot to manage, but as soon as you forget about posting and START thinking about connecting and sharing, it becomes less of a chore and more of a tool.

A little about Jamarcus….

Hey everyone! I am Jamarcus Gaston and I host and produce a daily morning TV show in Spartanburg, SC called “Studio 62.” We highlight food, music, arts, and all things local to the upstate of South Carolina and Western North Carolina.  Our show is only on TV for 30 minutes a day, so social media allows us to connect 24/7 and that is important to me. One of my favorite series is #JGBackpack which was a sparked after a viewer told me she wanted to ride along in my backpack, just to experience all the cool stuff from my vantage point. So now, when I am out and about and I see something neat or interesting, I use that hashtag #JGsBackpack.

Connect with Jamarcus

I would love to have you all along for the quirky ride—Follow me on Facebook @Jamarcus Gaston TV Host or @Studio62CW on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

We are also on the cool Gif, photo sharing site Phhhoto

Thanks, Jamarcus for taking time to put this blog together!!!  I know he is destined for big things in the TV world.  I hope you enjoyed this installment and will sign up to follow my blog.  I guarantee you are going to want to see who is coming up next! 

Blessings,

Mary Lu

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com

Finding Pictures For Social Media Graphics

As a Social Media Specialist I create dozens of graphics a week.  For those of you following my blog, you know that this is one of the areas I enjoy the most.  I also prefer to use my own pictures for this task because I know exactly where they came from.  Why is this important?   Because you can get in some serious legal trouble if you don’t.  The Creekmore Law Firm in Blacksburg, Virginia posted this blog earlier this year which spells out the specifics on this.

Is there anything that you can use that is truly free?

I do from time to time use a website that was recommended to me Morguefile.com.  This website is full of pictures contributed from photographers and is covered under the Creative Commons license.  I’ve found some stunning pictures that have made exceptional graphics (see the three below.)  If you choose to use a service off the internet make sure that you are covered by the Creative Commons license.
Enjoy the beauty around you

waterfall scripture

look for open doors

Using the right tools

The ultimate though is using your own tools to create great pictures.  Want to know a secret?  I use my iPhone! That’s right, no fancy camera.   I have not dabbled into altering my pictures to bring out certain colors or highlighting parts of the pictures.  I take several pictures of the same thing.  And I always check my pictures before I leave a location if I have a MUST HAVE picture.  That’s the great thing about digital pictures, you know right away!

Albert Einstein

beauty of the world

the world is your amphitheater

This first graphic was the walkway into my local library.  The stepping stones were still a little wet.  The second is fall in all it’s glory.  And the last picture was on a walk and I found this gorgeous stone amphitheater.

National Pet Day  He is before all things, and in Him all (2)

This second collection includes my cat Samuel (he’s always up for a photo!) And the final picture is one that I took on a walk and found these adorable little pine cones hanging down.   All of these photos were taken with a smartphone.

Final tips

I always have my phone with me and am taking pictures of the sky, the ground, textures on walls.  I’m sure people think I am a little nuts from time to time.  But the payoff is that I know that these photos are 100% my property.

I dare you to go out and create your own backgrounds and photos for your projects!

As always, I love feedback from readers.  Please leave your questions and comments in the box below!

Blessings,

Mary Lu

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com

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