Guest Blogger: Chris Abbotts

Chris Abbotts

Chris Abbotts is another of my friends from my TV life.  He had an important role in our newsroom as the conductor of sorts to make the news content on our social media platforms sing.   He and his wife Emily have made a big move recently and he’s taken a new job.  I wanted Chris to share from his wealth of experience in the “TV world” as well as in his new role in the public relations world.

As we continue our guest blogger series, I love that I am able to share wonderful expertise from all different facets of the world using social media.  Meet Chris!

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

Personally, I’ll try anything new, but I consistently use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  For me, those are the big three where I can find most of my friends, family, colleagues and favorite brands.

Facebook is my go-to for actual networking and probably gets the most of my attention.  Zuckerberg and crew seem to have really nailed the whole algorithm thing, so I’m guaranteed to see almost everything I deem important.

I tend to use Twitter during real-time events, and more as a spectator than as a participant.

Instagram is always a contender as one of my personal favorites.  I always compare it to magazines, where there’s some textual content but mostly higher quality, artsy photos.  It’s easy for me to open the app with the intention of wasting a few minutes before a meeting, then look at the clock 20 minutes later to find out I’m late.

Professionally, the focus is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Facebook is the cornerstone of our social media strategy, and really has been in all of my past experiences.  I always ask myself two things before I click the “post” button.  First, is the content as good as it can be?  And second, does it appeal to a majority of those who like the page?  If the answer to those questions is yes, then it’s probably going to get a good reaction.  Another thing that is always a top priority is engaging with users.  To me, if you’re holding a one-way conversation, you’re not using social media to its full potential.

Everything that goes on Facebook goes on Twitter.  That’s where the similarities end.  I’d say we use it best during ongoing events where one or two-sentences can help tell an unfolding story.  Photos are just as important here as they are on Facebook, if not more so.  Analytics have shown that tweets with photos generally get more attention.  Sometimes, an average of twice as much engagement, or even more.  To me, hashtags are much more important on Twitter than they are on Facebook, and seem to travel further.  I think it lets the user know that your message is part of a bigger conversation, if used correctly.

As for YouTube, it’s a no-brainer.  If you have something that is extremely visual and active, this is where you need to be.  It’s so well integrated with the major platforms these days, it really enhances the value of the message you’re trying to deliver.  And when it comes to video quality, even in an UltraHD age with an emphasis on production quality, I think most users are pretty forgiving.  Plus, it acts as a great archive.

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

Hands down, it has to be Facebook.  In my experience, and I think most would agree, this is where your content has the potential to reach the most users and have a long life.  Ask almost anyone you know and chances are they’re regular Facebook users.

Once you figure out Facebook’s attitude toward brands and how your specific brand fits into their current model, you can really maximize your audience.  Finding that sweet spot when it comes to how often you post, what times of day are best, and what content works well can be tricky, but if you read the signs and pay close attention to insights you’ll know if you’re on the right track.

For example, I recently switched gears from almost a decade in TV news to healthcare public relations.  In some ways, the strategy for growth was similar; demographics, peak use time and initiation of engagement.  Other areas of focus couldn’t be more different, such as voice, frequency and types of content.  But after some time navigating through the differences and watching each post closely, it started to make sense and the numbers showed that.

Twitter, depending on your area’s sentiment toward it, can be a close or very distant second place.  Places I’ve been that have a bigger political, college and/or metropolitan climate have had more engaged users on Twitter.  Either way, you definitely have to be there because there are some who have shied away from Facebook and only use Twitter as their main social media platform.

Instagram can be a staple for some, but without the ability to have working links, its only benefit seems to be brand awareness.

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

Other than the trolls who never cease to amaze me, the biggest surprise has been social media’s acceptance over time, especially in a marketing and informational sense.

Ten or twelve years ago, if someone would have told me that I’d immediately turn to Facebook to find out the specials at my favorite restaurant, what band is playing at the local watering hole, or whether or not dogs are allowed at an upcoming festival, I would have never believed them.

The same thing goes for Twitter when it comes to breaking news.  When I signed up for Twitter, I never would have thought that it would be my first source for information if I heard a lot of sirens or helicopters nearby, or that I’d be scrolling through my phone while watching a major national event unfold.

It’s an exciting career to be involved in.  It definitely isn’t going anywhere, although the landscape is guaranteed to change at an even faster pace going forward.

Check back in another 10 or 12 years and I will likely be even more surprised at the level of which social media is integrated into our daily lives.

About Chris:

I’m the Social Media Coordinator at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis as part of the public relations team.  I got into the social media game at the ground floor while creating web content in TV news.  The places I’ve called home over the years include cities in Michigan, South Carolina and now Indiana.  I’m married to my best friend, and enjoy the outdoors as much as I do sinking into the couch for a long Netflix binge.

Connect with Chris:

You can find out more about him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Big Thank You

Chris is the 11th contributor to this series.  I am so fortunate to have such social media savvy friends that are willing to spend a little time to jot their thoughts down for us.

Do you have some tips on engaging others on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?  I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment in the box below.

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 FindGreatCompanies.com

Guest Blogger: Graeme Moore

Graeme Moore

Graeme Moore and I worked together in television news for several years at WSPA-TV.  Graeme moved to the field of real estate in the Midlands of South Carolina where he is enjoying a successful career selling real estate.  He has a great take on the power of social media and share it here on my blog.

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

I am on a number of different platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., but the one I use most often is Facebook. It’s my primary source for marketing, networking and gauging consumers’ interests, tastes and distastes. People love real estate, and they love seeing (and interacting) with content unique to their local markets.

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

Facebook, hands down. I target Facebook because it’s where the people who can buy and sell real estate spend their social media lives. Tweens and college kids on Tumblr and Instagram aren’t among my target demos. And Twitter is so old to me now. Plus, the platform isn’t conducive to broad marketing, IMHO.

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

Hands down, I’m floored by its reach. Being right on the cusp of the millennial generation has meant a pretty healthy understanding of social media for me. Where many older sales agents have dismissed social media (and dug heels in quite aggressively against it), millennials don’t know what to do without it. There’s a fine line between being obnoxious on social media and being interesting, helpful and relevant. Social media has changed the entire sales game, and I bet we’ve barely begun to understand its power.

About Graeme:

I’m a recovering broadcast journalist who returned home to join my family’s real estate company two years ago. My days are spent helping folks buy and sell real estate, and I love every minute of it. I’m also part of The House Guys, an investment residential renovation company that turns the oldies into goodies all over again.

Connect with Graeme

Facebook

Instagram

Website

Thanks to Graeme for sharing his expertise with us.  It’s great to be able to share social media experience with others through this blog.   Do you have a comment or suggestion?  Maybe someone that should be featured in this blog?  Leave me a message below.

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

Guest Blogger: Mark Morrow

mark-morrow-profile-onone-web-sq-600

I love bringing new ideas to share with you about social media through some very special connections. Mark Morrow is a very talented photographer that I daresay I was stalking a bit…ha ha on Instagram.  I saw some of his pictures which evolved into me engaging him in a bit of conversation. His beautiful photographs of our city and the surrounding mountains are breathtaking.  He reached out to me via Facebook where we were able to continue conversations in a little more depth.

I would encourage you to check out Mark’s work. Use this blog as a tool to share with others who would be interested in photography.

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

At the current time, I’m located on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + as well as my personal Blog hosted via WordPress.com.

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

As a photographer and visual media producer, I’m finding a quality interaction on both Facebook and Instagram in terms of ‘Likes’ and comments that provide a lot of useful feedback in regard to the images and information I tend to share. While I used to send these works out over the Twitter feed, I find they generally garner the most traction in the visually-motivated Facebook and Instagram sphere and, in my case generally worth the effort of further social media outreach.

As a writer, podcaster and one who enjoys passing along any creative inspiration and technical information from the photography arena, I’m finding the use of my personal blog and the platform graciously availed to me by Photofocus.com to be the most effective framework for sharing podcast links, reviews and tutorial-based material as the WordPress interface provides an automated method of sharing out the SM platforms of our choosing immediately as a work is published. I find these link-based works are more easily scheduled and more frequently accessed via the Twitter and LinkedIn audience (as opposed to the visual-based) Facebook and Google + follower, as they can be liked, shared and conveniently revisited at a later time due to the lengthier nature of the educational information therein.

In terms of an immediate outreach approach, I’m finding the best outlet for visually-inspired (photo-video) efforts to be within Instagram. While it is a pain at times to be limited solely to a mobile perspective in terms of sharing, the tag-oriented interface allows for a more precise targeting of potential clientele and those with whom I’d like to work with down the road. While Facebook and Google + do allow for this approach as well, I’m still personally inclined to avoid any over-tagging in that arena (due to the friend and family-based atmosphere) and defer instead to an Instagram outreach for maximum impact. Either way can be a potential time-sucker, so it’s best to do a little research up-front to locate the proper tags in order for the most effective results.

Though somewhat new to the platform, I’m finding the ‘revolving-resume’ approach of LinkedIn can be quite beneficial in terms of connecting with those who can bring the added benefit of reference to the professional table. It’s always a plus to have someone we’ve worked with stop by and endorse a certain skill from a first-hand perspective, and I enjoy doing the same as well. In fact, I’ve become accustomed to taking a little time every day (or whenever possible) to visit former co-workers pages and endorse the skills I know them to excel in first-hand. When it comes to success, everyone needs a good reference. LinkedIn provides a powerful, legitimate avenue to give a good report for those who well-deserve one at the hands-on level.

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

The biggest surprise thus far, for myself in using social media has been the interaction not on a business level, but rather in reconnecting with friends and family whom I have become disconnected with over the years in the bustle of everyday life. Having been pressed by a fellow local business person a few year back, they were most insistent that to succeed in any way I must open a Facebook account. Admittedly frustrated at this notion initially, I had no idea the re-connection to so many great friends and family ties now residing in all parts of the world were waiting just around the corner. I simply could not have been more wrong, and more pleased at the decision to make the leap. This is by far the most unexpected reward – business or no business – that I could have hoped to receive. As a result, my life has been enriched and business efforts have benefited in due turn as well. So far, it’s been a true win-win.

About Mark

Mark Morrow is a practicing Virginia-based photographer specializing in real estate, fine art landscape and architectural projects as well as commercial product and portraiture. Always an avid student of the craft, Mark enjoys sharing insight and inspiration on his personal blog, podcast (Image in Transit) and as a contributing author with Photofocus.com. Click here to read more of Mark’s articles. To view more of Mark’s work, please click here.

Connect with Mark

Gallery – http://www.markmorrowphotography.com/

Social media links:
Facebook / Page
Instagram
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +

I am thrilled to be able to bring you people who are using social media in so many different ways to promote their businesses.  I am a big believer that sharing keeps the creative juices flowing and allows us to move in directions we couldn’t begin to imagine.  Thank you Mark for sharing your knowledge with us.

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

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