Tips to Rock Your Social Presence

Shannon Mouton leads the internal marketing and digital communications efforts for McKinney & Associates. She is a relationship marketing professional, with a passion for utilizing social technology for building business relationships, sharing information and advancing the greater good. Her 20-plus years of marketing, communications, and 12032876_10206198800663549_1037900389348578334_ocommunity-building experiences have afforded her unique opportunities to foster communities where none existed, develop and launch innovative programming and bridge generational, economic and racial divides. Shannon is a contributor to Women Grow Business and has been featured on the Digital Sisterhood Network and American Express OPEN Forum.

I asked Shannon to share some of her best social media tips with me. This is what she had to say:

1. Social media is an part of my workday as I’m responsible for the virtual marketing for the organization. We focus on social tools and platforms that allow us to showcase our expertise and experience as a strategic communications firm. Instead of spreading a little content over a lot of platforms, we do a lot of content over a few platforms. For instance, a team member will write an article, “How to Pitch to Reporters” and we post that article as a blog post and a week later we turn the article into a presentation for SlideShare. We will also post both forms of the information to Facebook and Twitter because we understand people receive and retain information differently.

2. The three social media sites the firm will probably still be using in two years are YouTube, SlideShare and Facebook. While the written word will always be important, visual communications is becoming increasingly so as a method of delivering messages to a variety of audiences. These sites focus on visual communications and lend themselves to the written (and spoken) word. We enjoy and use Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr, which are visually based platforms, but they lack the strong written or verbal component that we need for long-term strategic communications.
3. My best social media tip is also a tip for living your best life: do a few things exceptionally well, instead of being adequate at a lot of things.
This post was originally shared on All Things E

Why You Should Have A Social Media Plan AND Ten Ways To Get Started

4You know you should be active in social media. It’s good for your personal brand and your business. But you just don’t have time to do all those posts. One way to help you get organized is having a social media plan. A social media plan or mapping out what your posts will be on a weekly and even monthly basis helps you think strategically about what you should share with your audience. The social media plan includes a daily breakdown of what you should post most days of the week.

Yes, I said most day so of the week.

Consistency is the key in social media. Don’t ride the social media wave unless you can commit to a consistent schedule that your followers can depend on.

I tend to use themes to map out the days of the week on my social media plans. I am also a big fan of iteration. Below is an example of a Monday through Friday Twitter and Facebook social media plan. I developed this weekly plan for my client, AmeriCorps VISTA. It helped guide my posts throughout the week. You’ll see the days of the week divided up into five categories:

  • Mission Monday
  • Tip Tuesday
  • Webinar Wednesday
  • Throwback Thursday
  • Follow Friday

SMM Plan Image

SMM Plan Twitter JPEG

To get started on your plan, think about the content you have to share. If you are new to the social space, focus on one social media site at a time. I would recommend you consider getting starting with Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Twitter – Without a doubt, Twitter is the best way to share and discover what is happening in the moment. To grow your audience, think about following and sharing popular hashtags and TweetChats.

Facebook – Most of your friends and colleagues are on Facebook. So are your clients and customers. Why not join Facebook Groups that support your mission and vision? Better yet start a group of your own. It’s a great way to connect and engage with the people that mean the most to you or the people you are trying to reach.

YouTube – Everyone has a story to tell. YouTube provides a forum to allow people to connect, inspire, entertain and inform. If you are comfortable in front of the camera or have a lot of video content, YouTube is a great place to start. Consider producing a web series of your most popular content. 

Here are ten tips to keep in mind once you are ready to start your social media plan:

  1. Determine which platforms you will use – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or all four
  2. Devise a daily, weekly and monthly social media schedule that incorporates each platform
  3. Monthly posts should reflect recurring dates such as holidays, celebrations or conference dates
  4. Determine who will manage your accounts and how often they will post
  5. Build upon the content you already have (photos, video, press releases)
  6. Come up with a regular posting schedule and stick to it
  7. Use a social media management tool such as Hootsuite to schedule your posts
  8. If you are cross posting from one site to another, factor in a few organic, original posts for each site
  9. Remember that it is a plan, a guide, so leave room for unexpected breaking news stories or changes
  10. Engage, engage, engage and then engage some more

 If you need help developing your social media plan, I’m here to help!

Is your Brand ready for the 21st Century?

I recently spoke at the MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) 2009 Professional Development Workshop to senior woman administrators, athletics, coaches, and Athletic Directors on the benefits of Social Media and the new age marketing techniques. Our agenda:

Speaking on Social Networking
Speaking on Social Networking

“THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW:  Are You Multimedia Ready? – Building Your Brand For the 21st Century”.  With technology advancing at lightning speeds, developing and marketing your own personal brand is more important than ever to maintain and thrive in today’s fast paced environment. From networking both on-line and off-line, to community platforms and professional organizations, to presentation and writing skills, today’s professional must multi-itask more than ever to create positive and lasting exposure for themselves as well as their organizations. With access to information available 24/7, building your own brand now moves past the walls of your traditional job. It also includes defining and presenting yourselves within your community as well as on the career front.

A 21st Century Success Path focuses on:
– Professional and Social Networking
– Developing strong writing and presentation skills
– Joining and becoming involved in relevant professional organizations
– Multitasking for maximum benefits
– Establishing a strong community consciousness

Let me know how I can help your business build it’s brand and forge ahead in the 21st Century!

Award
Presented an award

With Coaches

Video Content is King in the Social Media

On location
On location

How we watch television and videos has changed forever.  Be it via your computer, on a mobile devise, or on IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) video content is King and it is impacting Social Media as well.

Several digital platforms allow a company, corporation or video community to create their own broadcast channel.  You can stream LIVE to your social video community and bring programming to the masses in real time.  Or you can develop your own channel on an  IPTV site with everything from sports and entertainment programming to your favorite church sermon.

In the field producing Mason Institute of MD, Inc. video
In the field producing Mason Institute of MD, Inc. video

As a broadcast producer with several years of television experience, I’ve come to realize the importance of video in the digital space and have begun to incorporate video production in my client’s Social Media campaigns.  Below is a link to a video I produced for a marketing campaign I developed for the Mason Institute of Maryland, Inc. (MIMI).  It is designed to promote, recruit, raise awareness and invoke interest in the masonry field at the middle school level and up.  In addition to setting up the MIMI MySpace and Facebook pages I casted the actors, wrote the script, oversaw the production and produced a recruitment video for my client.  I am currently working on their blog, YouTube and Twitter account as part of their on-line branding presence.

Please click on the logo below to see the video that also “lives” on the MIMI social media spaces.

Mason Institute of Marland, Inc. VIDEO
Mason Institute of Maryland, Inc. VIDEO

If you have problems with the link cut and past the URL and add it to your browers http://www.gearshift.tv/video/masonryinstitute.wmv

If you teach them… they will come… lesson on how to use Twitter

Busy professionals love the digital space.  So it stands to reason that on-line Universities offering advanced degrees are becoming increasingly popular.  Walden University is one such on-line university offering accredited on-line masters and doctoral degrees in everything from education, psychology, and health and human services to master’s programs in engineering and IT.  Adding even more prestige to Walden University is the fact that it is under the umbrella of Laureate International Universities, a leading global network of accredited campus-based and on-line universities.

But even with this impressive on-line menu and the strong global backing, Walden University, like many companies, is still learning how to navigate their way through the New Media space.  Last week, my client, Alumni Relations Manager, Shannon Mouton, and I presented to various members of the Digital and Marketing teams on how to use the social networking site Twitter.  There were the usual questions such as “how do I join”, “do I have to use my real name” and “what will I say” to more thought provoking business specific questions such as “if someone sends us a message about the company who should answer them” and “do we have someone who can monitor our Twitter account full-time”?  These are the kinds of questions businesses need to consider before they launch into a digital campaign.  Here are a few things to consider:
1.    What are your goals in the New Media Space?
2.    Who is your target audience?
3.    What is your mission statement or online “voice”?
4.    What will your New Media campaign encompass?
5.    Who will be the administrator of your sites, social networks and blogs?
Businesses recognize the need to be in the Social Media Space and the benefits of both instant and viral marketing.  The way we do business is changing.  Are you ready?

We are off to the races… live Tweeting!

Tweeting every detail of the NASCAR race
Tweeting every detail of the NASCAR race

One of the aspects of creating a brand presence for clients is developing a Social Media strategy.  It can be anything from setting up a client’s Social Networking page, creating a viral marketing campaign, to live Tweeting an event as a marketing or promotional tool.

Patering with Richard Montgomery of Rixstar Studios we introduced the value of social media to WHUR-FM, sponsor of NASCAR driver Marc Davis.  Davis, a 19-year-old from Silver Spring, MD is NASCAR’s only African American owner/driver. He made his first NASCAR Nationwide Series owner/driver entry at Bristol in March.  During one of his qualifying races in Virginia I did a three-day Twitter campaign live tweeting from the NASCAR cockpit.  Rick and I developed a campaign designed to drive attention to the race and to Marc Davis before, during and ultimatly, after the race.  Our efforts were successful enough to create a buzz and ultimately got the racer a write up in the Washington Post.

This is the power of Social Media and developing your brand!

(Marc Davis photo courtesy Of Harry Davis)
(Marc Davis photo courtesy of Harry Davis)

See what the Washington Post has to say about Marc Davis

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/22/AR2009052203425.html

The WHUR-FM Car #39
Moments before the race I sneak in a picture with the Marc Davis WHUR-FM Car #39
A moment before the race
I share a moment before the race with Marc Davis
Marc Davis creats the crowd
Marc Davis greets the crowd just before the race
Rick of Rixstar Productions
Richard of Rixstar Studios is always ready with camera in hand to document event