Blog Archives

Battle for the Plate – 29 Social Media Ways Restaurants Can Compete for Customers Online

food Good News – Restaurants are probably experience the largest industry growth in the past 10 years. Due to a strong upswing in the economy, going out to eat and hanging out with others is back to being a national pastime.

More Good News – With the boom in foot traffic to restaurants, the 82% of people who currently carry a smart phone are potential brand ambassadors for the places they visit.

Bad News – Unfortunately, for restaurants, the good news tends to end when the customer walks in the door. Instead of courting a decision making customer seeking a new place to spend time (and money) or reaching out with good content to entice new customers through the customers already sitting in their business, most restaurants let customers walk out the door with a full stomach without thinking about the next visit.

Of course, the growing trend is to offer surveys that require customers to return to claim a freebie, but this does little to invite new customers to come to the restaurant or battle against the competition for the right to place a plate in front of the customer.

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You have come to the right place, if you want to:

  • Drive location based traffic to restaurants and eateries.
  • Enhance exposure and brand awareness of the location / business.
  • Create a buzz around the business that draws people into engagement.

Social media content will change according the age group of the restaurant, type of restaurant, type of food served, and location. What does not change is the Growth Strategy because the biggest part of a social media strategy is execution of engaging content.

Social Media Avenues – These are your top social media channels to maintain and optimize for a successful campaign.

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  • Facebook: Still the leading social media in the USA, Facebook allows fans to engage on a high level with businesses.
  • Twitter: 140 characters is enough space to share an idea, but don’t forget the image, hashtags, tags, and links.
  • Pinterest: Generally, the highest conversion for women of a middle to upper income bracket. The average time spent on Pinterest is 42 minutes.
  • Instagram: If a picture says a thousand words – Instagram pictures with hashtags and a call to action mean traffic to the door.
  • Location Based Marketing (LBM): LBM usually means Yelp and FourSqaure with some Facebook check-ins and TripAdvisor for tourists. These should be full profiles with all of the treatments of a FB profile. Many people make the mistake of not claiming an existing profile. Make sure everything the LBM profile represents exactly what you want a customer to see. These searches come up higher because they attached to geo-location.
  • Google Plus (G+): Google+ is the Facebook version for Google. Adding G+ for local businesses gives you instant access to the Google search engine and rankings.
  • YouTube: As the number two search engine in the world right now, YouTube is an excellent way to virally distribute your message to the audience you want to reach in a manner they want to receive the information.
  • Engagement Marketing: This type of marketing includes QR codes, text to join or get a deal, reviews, and check-in services. These allow people to do the promotional for the restaurant and get something in return.
  • LinkedIn: If the restaurant is seeking to build a business following, LI groups and company pages give you instant access to a lunch-time or happy hour crowd.
  • PR: Press pieces submitted to media promote better exposure avenues.
  • Organic SEO: Needs instant submission and manual listing of XML / pages in Google / Yahoo.
  • Newsletter: Weekly email blast or monthly newsletter lets you keep yourself in the eye of your user. Specials, deals, and events are all promotable directly to their inbox.
  • Blogging: A fresh supply of content, several times a week, which is properly optimized and listed in blog directories, will increase traffic to the website. Blog marketing and link exchanges between blogs, societies, and associations particular to the niche of writers will boost traffic. Plus, it gives the reader comfort to be able to interact with a voice.
  • Advertising: A Facebook ad can be very cheap and extremely targeted. The ad should lead back to a Facebook page that is complete and robust.

Checklist: 29 Ways to Battle for the Plate – Growth Strategy

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  • Facebook (FB) – 3 to 5 times per week.
  • Twitter (TW) – linked to FB. Posts as often.
  • Pinterest (PIN) – 3 to 5 times per week.
  • Instagram (IG) – 3 to 5 times per week.
  • G+ – linked to FB. Posts as often.
  • YouTube (YT) – 1x per week
  • Newsletter (N) – weekly
  • Engagement (E) – ongoing.
  • LBM (Yelp, Foursquare) (LBM) – Once per week.
  • Across Social Channels (ALL)
  1. All channels are branded with logos, great cover photos, information using keywords and location, maps, and good images. ALL
  2.  Facebook tabs are used to connect newsletters, multiple locations, menu choices, Food or drink specials, events, happy hours, reservations, and videos.  FB
  3.  Food photos (people expect to see food at restaurants) with full descriptions using keywords. The picture will say a ton, but search engines cannot read pictures. Use your keywords (such as location) with hashtags (#) and tags (@). ALL
  4.  Profile a customer / employee of the week. Take pictures inside of the restaurant and of people have a good time.   It humanizes the experience and makes others want to participate. ALL
  5.  Create albums of “the average night” at the restaurant. Increases engagement and makes the people in the pictures want to share! Make sure your albums have a pictures, description with #, and invitations to share. FB, IG, TW, G+, PIN, YT (can make into video)
  6.  Make everyday an event. For events, invite people to come to a special tasting of a new dish at the bar. Means they will probably stay for dinner.   Make sure your events have a profile picture, description with #, and invitations to share. FB, TW, PIN
  7.  Good experiences = good reviews. Ask for reviews and tell people to please share their pictures through check-ins, reviews, and tagging. ALL
  8.  Social media exclusive only deals used to promote check-in and shares will ramp up involvement. FB, LBM, G+, PIN
  9.  Contest for free lunch or appetizers or beverage used to promote check-in and shares keeps people involved AND brings them to claim the giveaway. ALL
  10.  Niche the market. Use deals or promotions for a table of three or more people, kids eat at a discount when parents dine, girls nights out, or couples only nights gives you the opportunity to niche out a frequency group. Find a night to own – like Tuesdays at Tina’s offers free tapas per table for ladies nights. Or, create a menu just for business people that are quick, easy, and inexpensive to take a business client. ALL
  11.  Ask people to share their videos, testimonials, and pictures by tagging the page (you can always remove if it is not good). ALL
  12.  Include videos (because they play automatically) in your page. When they hit others feeds, the fun time is automatically in process. FB, PIN
  13.  Name a drink or name a plate each month. This gives people the opportunity to participate by naming something in the restaurant. Ask an opinion and they will come. ALL
  14.  Survey – ask people their opinion of a specialty and share the good results on social media. ALL
  15.  Share a recipes or cooking tips for something small – like a favorite drink or sauce that goes on a dish – and ask people what they like best with that recipe. ALL
  16.  Ask for either/or input. Would you rather white napkins or red napkins? What is your favorite game – football or basketball (specific to the area)? FB, IG, G+
  17.  Event trendsetters – post all of your events on social media and ASK people to LIKE/SHARE. If Valentine’s Day is coming up, offer a free bottle of wine or dessert with a seating for two. Maybe every lady gets a rose. Find ways to be different and make the experience special for diners. ALL
  18.  Tent cards on tables with QR codes for special offers, asking for check-ins, join email lists, and text to join programs (use Constant Contact – so easy!). OFFLINE
  19.  Posters around the restaurant and IN THE BATHROOM with QR codes for special offers, asking for check-ins, join email lists, and text to join programs (use Constant Contact – so easy!). OFFLINE
  20.  Include a link to a menu, testimonial, instructional video, or any other rich media you want people to look at….even if it places to go in your area.   Do not ignore the tourist traffic. ALL
  21.  Timing is everything. Find out when most of your customers (look in the insights or google analytics – install them if not installed!!) are looking at your page. Find the right time/date and schedule release of materials ahead of time. FB – but everything else follows.
  22.  Sharing breaking news, sponsorship, community involvement, and human stories with your customers. ALL
  23.  Ask customers to share their favorite drink or dish and tell you why it is your favorite. ALL
  24.  Have a word of the day that a customer can say to a server to get a free treat like an insider’s exclusive. NOTE: The server should prompt diners and if they don’t know the world of the day – score! The serve can share it with the secretly, give them the treat, and tell them join your social now to stay in-the-know. ALL
  25.  Put a QR code or check-in reminder on a napkin. People sit and look at napkins at the table or bar. Wasted space – use a call to action.   FB, LBM, G+, Engagement
  26.  Celebrate unique things …like national chocolate day…with pictures of your great chocolate mousse….or gluten free day with a recipe. Get out of the box. ALL
  27.  Be prepared to respond to negative issues. Restaurants are the most likely to be attacked because of food, service, wait time, or servers. Know how you will respond – apologize and make it right! Goes a long way toward making your customer want to come back. ALL
  28.  Partner with another business to do promotions on their social media space. For example, if you are having a girls night, find a local spa that will give a gift card for a manicure.   ALL
  29.  Advertise on Facebook or Yelp – offers and deals – that are targeted to your area. This allows you to attract those who are looking for that restaurant as well as those who know about it – while saving money. FB. YP

What makes a great post?

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  1. Pictures and Images – Be expressive with your images. There are hundreds of posts everyday competing for the attention of your customer. Be impressive!
  2. Description with keywords (think outside of the box) – A set of keyword are many times too limited. Keywords should include location; any recognized events that match your demographic, and information of value. If the customer enjoys golf and there is a Masters coming to the area – use all of those keywords in the post. Think outside of the food industry for keywords – look for habitual behaviors to draw traffic like golf or boating.
  3. Hashtag keywords (#) – This makes your posts searchable in social media and search engines.
  4. Tag (@) anyone / place you can (you can tag cities!) – These tags help people find you through other businesses and places.
  5. CTA (call to action) – Tell people to LIKE/SHARE or take some type of action.   If you do not ask, then they will not do!
  6. Be consistent. Find what works – do it again. While there are basic guidelines for WHEN to post, your Insights will help you pinpoint the best times. Start off by trying several different times and gauge response.

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Now that you know HOW to post, WHEN to post, and WHAT to post, there are a few final words about the downside of social media marketing.

  • If you are not consistent, then you will drop out of search engines and your customers – when they find you – might think you have gone out of business.   Be committed to making strong posts everyday…after all, your customer is waiting for you.
  • Brand and reputation management are a vital part of your social media efforts.  If someone says something negative about their experience (and they WILL – it is coming!), then respond quickly and offer to make it right. No excuses – no reasons…just make it right.

Now…you have everything you need to promote your restaurant through social media…get going!

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ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA SECOND

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Social Media Second, a division of Magic Marketing USA, has successfully launched business start-ups using social media and helped amplify growth for businesses seeking to jump to the next level of brand exposure, customer outreach, or sales using social media marketing.

Magic Marketing USA executes high performance SEO, web design, and social media campaigns using platforms like Facebook and Twitter to reach customers quicker and cheaper with better results. We call it a 360 approach to marketing that includes every single avenue with high return on investment.

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Social Media Second would like to offer you our ebook, Social Media Dictionary: Social Media in Clear Terms, because we really believe in educating clients to make strong decisions. You can claim your free copy (and share it!) at http://bit.ly/socialmediadictionary.

Join us in social media:

Complimentary Social Media Dictionary

Complimentary Social Media Dictionary: Social Media in Clear Terms

Complimentary Social Media Dictionary: Social Media in Clear Terms

In all of the social media classes we have taught over the years – there is always one common struggle among attendees.

Social media is another language that most people do not speak or understand!

Social Media Second wants to offer you a complimentary electronic copy of our Social Media Dictionary: Social Media in Clear Terms.

  • How can you ask questions when you don’t know the proper terms?
  • How can you manage and execute a strong social media campaign without knowing the language?
  • How can you understand the success of your social media campaign without understanding the language?

Please feel free to download your free copy as our way of saying THANK YOU!

Pinterest | 5 Ways to Turn Pins into Social Media Traffic and Boost SEO

Pinterest is the growing fade among business owners – but few know exactly WHY they are using Pinterest (except that everyone else is using it!) and how it can help grow your business.

Lets take a step back and examine 5 ways your pins can bring you social media traffic and boost your SEO efforts.

Enjoy the video and tell us what you think….remember, if you have a question or would like for us to make a video to help you navigate the social media jungle – email us at info [at] magicmarketingusa dot com!

Dont forget to PIN us – http://pinterest.com/magicmarketing/

Facebook Faux Pas: 5 Ways to Turn LIKES into DISLIKES

In every Facebook fan page campaign; there are three phases that go together like the 3 Musketeers – the group of sword fighting men, not the candy bar.  Those three phases are planning, design, and execution.  Even in the most carefully planned and designed Facebook fan page, the execution is the place where most people fall flat in gaining and maintaining an audience of customers.  In fact, when executed incorrectly, a Facebook fan page can have your nearest and dearest friends avoiding you in the supermarket!

Most people don’t make these mistakes on purpose (although there are a FEW that I have kindly noted the mistake and then UN-LIKED when they persisted).  These are usually the people who see me out at dinner and tell me that their Facebook fans have dropped over the last month.  I shake my head sadly…knowing the answer is probably one of these five mistakes that will turn LIKE into DISLIKE on Facebook:

Tag Lightly – Never Hit Too Hard.  In every Facebook class, we discuss the ways to tag other people and Facebook pages to draw traffic to your own Facebook page.  Sometimes, without understanding the effect, people over-tag certain Facebook pages or people in an effort to get attention (or just because they don’t understand the result!).  Every time you tag someone or a Facebook fan page, it posts your content on their page.  Even with the best of intentions if done too often or in too many places, it is tag-spam (the equivalent of email spam!).

Example:  During a recent social media party, we allowed all of our Facebook fans to post a link to their Facebook fan page to get the community connected.  We asked in return that the posters go to each other’s Facebook fan pages, LIKE their page (to build fans), and leave a hello from the visitor.  One person took this to heart!  She went to all 87 pages that participated and tagged our Facebook fan page as the referrer.  Her posts showed up 87 times on our Facebook fan page!  We had to delete them as they went  down for pages and pages of 87 link-backs from the tags!

Our next post will discuss Facebook Faux Pas #2:  Tresspass Posting!

Facebook Vanity URL: Claim Your Name

Ready to get rid of your prision number for your Facebook fan page?

Here are the criteria:

  • You have to own the facebook fan page (or be admin of the facebook fan page!)
  • You have to have atleast 25 fans or likes.
  • You can only set your vanity URL once!  SO make sure it is SEO and people friendly!

Now…check out this Facebook Vanity URL:  Claim Your Name video!

Video Voice: Facebook Badges for Websites and Blogs

Many people ask about how to get a facebook badge on their blog or website.

Facebook Badges for Websites and Blogs will walk you through the process of getting the code you need for your website or blog.

If you have any questions about how to maximize your social media efforts, please email us at questions (at) magicmarketingusa (dot) com.

Customer Service Stabbed Marketing in the Office with a Knife

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Do you have a clue what is killing your marketing efforts?  Whether you are a small business or large corporation, it is likely at least one of these customer service issues is planning the death of your marketing dollars!

Recently, I had occasion to travel across several states on business and pleasure.  Traveling provides a unique opportunity to view the world of customer service from the good, the bad, and the ugly.  While noting that the holiday season brings out the worse in both customers and customer service, it was particularly apparent that most companies do not take enough time to think through the rationale of integrating customer service into the marketing department instead, as is traditional in most case, into the sales department.
 
As an even bigger offense, if for some unfathomable reason, customer service is a department unto themselves because the divide between performance and evaluation increases at alarming rates.  Without doubt, more marketing dollars are needlessly wasted each year on ineffective customer service than any other marketing endeavor.  Clearly, the most preventable cases the murder of marketing dollars is easily fixed by addressing these five customer service issues:

Man-Handling:  Many times, service representatives react with overzealous pressure on customers.  Upon asking to be left alone (clearly) to browse for shoes, I was continually followed and addressed by a sales person.  When I requested, pointedly, that the sales lady go away, she did only to be replaced by another salesperson from the same charm school.  As a result, my shopping experience was ruined and I left the store.

Cow-Towing:  For some service reps, good customer service is equated to bowing and scraping before the buyers.  The buyer feels horrible that the company or the service individual is fawning over them like an entourage following the diva of the week around the store.  With a strange mixture of discomfort and annoyance, the customer exits the store as quickly as possible.

Passive-Aggressive:  Interestingly enough, in the past few weeks, I have encountered this behavior in several professional settings. When asking for a call number in the library, the Librarian literally snatched the paper from my hand to go get the book from me with a curt, “that is my job!”  As I stood in shock staring at her back, it seemed an odd sense of customer service that resounded of policy filtration.  In another case, I was seriously asked, “What do you want?”  Looking around a large, brand name bookstore, I humorously ordered, “a double cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate shake.”  In both instances, marketing dollars are wasted as customer service is isolated from the rest of the company structure.  NOTE TO CUSTOMER SERVICE WORLD:  The customer does not care if YOU are having a bad day, so that excuse does not fly for me.

Know-Nothing:  In contrast, customer service employees that know nothing about the product or services offered by a company are the worst waste of marketing money.  When customers fill the store seeking details about services or directions to products, a customer service representative should at least have general knowledge.  If the product or service base is so large that no one could have a strong working knowledge, the product specialist should be assigned to aid the customer.  I watched as a bookstore employee advised a beginning PhotoShop7 (yes, I know….groan from the audience….PhotoShop7!) to buy the PhotoShopCS3 Bible because it was about the same thing.  Needless to say, I stepped in to advise her to look online for a copy for a Dummies or 24-Hour book appropriate to her version of Photoshop.  “What’s the difference?” she asked me politely.  “About $75, years of needed Photoshop experience, and the frustration of trying to follow a book that does not represent your software,” I replied with encouragement.

Techno-Interruptus:  Shopping for a new cell phone urged me to add one more criminal act of marketing murder to the sphere of customer service.  Although I do admit that technology is a wonderful thing for business, it might well be the worst thing ever created for customer service.  Encountering service reps texting or talking about a party on their cell gives the worst impression of a company and completely sends me toward the door.  If that customer service rep adds a deep resounding huff of “you are bother me” to the mix, then I might ban the store from coast to coast from my shopping experience.

In most cases, customer service initiatives can enrich the return on investment for every marketing dollar spent by a company.  Marketing expenditures can lead to increased sales and heightened positive brand awareness with the help of informed customer service force as part of the marketing team.

SEO: Seeking Exposures and Opportunities for Websites

Perhaps the most misunderstood value of social media is in its SEO functions.  While there are tons of social media tools and sharing services on the web, the real tie-in between social media and SEO (search engine optimization) escapes many social media converts.  As important as it is to interact with social media in ways that interest your niche market audience, it is vital to consider SEO issues at every step to get the most from your investment of time and money.

The goal of SEO is bringing valid traffic to your website or blog through search engine listings.  If that gives you a “well…DUH” moment, realize that there are validating factors in that goal.  For example, traffic needs to be niche enough to convert into viable leads or sales.  So, let’s examine the topic of SEO just for a moment.  There are a few primary tools of SEO including:

  • SEO:  Anyone who follows my blog and articles knows that strong organic SEO is the basis of any effort.  By optimizing a website with good copy and valid keyword density in all the important places of a website, solid white hat search engine optimization is like a sturdy foundation to build a house.  Organic SEO, although not a fast process, will save you time and money in the long run.
  • Internet marketing:  This category is often thought of as the most confusing form of SEO because it is paid advertising AND includes Google AdWords.  It is a rarity, in all honesty, that Google makes anything easy.  AdWords is not an exception.  With the opportunity to expend large sums of money in a short amount of time without any viable return on investment, AdWords is not for the faint of heart without sound leadership.  As I’ve said elsewhere, one of my favorite guides for navigating the rough waters of Google AdWords is AdWords University.  With a clear methodology and concise terminology, it is easy to follow and create successful AdWords campaigns. 
  • Linking:   Linking is the easiest SEO concept to increase website placement.   In short, every website and blog listed in Google has a page ranking that ranges anywhere from 1 to 10.  Most websites and blogs are listed very low in PageRank.  After all, think about it…there are millions of website and blogs listed in Google.  With several factors from the age of the site to content to SEO, the majority of the sites are not ranked well.  By linking with highly ranked sites with common interests (this is vital!), websites and blogs can increase viable traffic through exposure and pull up search engine ranking through each spider crawl.
  • Social Media:  Whether tweeting on Twitter or friending on Facebook, social media is the must participate place for businesses seeking credible traffic and branding recognition.  Many would say that social media does not help SEO.  In truth, social media can provide tons of inbound, niche market traffic to a website or blog.  Strong traffic leads to higher page ranking and more exposure.  Remember our goal for SEO of gaining traffic and increasing conversions?  This is the way! 
  • Analytics: Analytics is the least understood and possibly the most important tool in the online marketing toolbox. Here’s why. Let’s say you are completely focused on SEO, social media, you have a high-ROI AdWords campaign churning AND you are putting out lots of content on the web pointing to your product or service (for some of you niche bloggers out there, let’s say it’s your pure experienced opinion on your topic). How can you understand your traffic and predict what will create more traffic, how to focus that traffic more on people you want in your ideal captive audience, and generally create a more profitable website and business from what you do online? Google Analytics is a very low-cost, yet scalable solution that allows most businesses to get their feet wet and grow intelligently with the guidance of sound Analytics Concepts.

Admittedly, these are not all of the factors or considerations connected with good SEO practices; however, these are undisputably the touchstones for creating a formidable search engine optimized website or blog.  While most of these techniques are used by professional SEO experts, like Mark Brimm at 123interface.com, a clear understanding of both the methodology and the meaning of measurement will certainly make hiring a qualified expert or embarking on the task yourself much easier a pill to swallow.

AdWords University: Order Out of AdWords Chaos

For many business owners, the very words “internet marketing” invokes enough fears to keep them from initiating any type of online advertising.  What scares most people away from driving traffic to their website using Google AdWords is twofold. 

First, it seems really difficult to understand the process of creating good AdWords campaigns.  With steps and moving parts that require decisions about keywords, many business owners find it confusing to navigate the mine field of Google AdWords without the assistance of a seasoned SEM veteran. 

The second issue is the very real concern about losing money with a poorly planned AdWords campaign.  Needing guidance in understanding the best choices and measurements for a Google AdWords campaign, most people dip a toe into the deep waters of AdWords only to find the price tag is too high for poor conversion.

In reality, these are very valid considerations for internet marketing tools like Google AdWords.  That is why AdWords University is one AdWords guide that is stellar in its sheer ease of understanding and topic depth.  In plain English that makes the reader feel empowered with comprehension instead of burdened with technical talk, AdWords University brings Google AdWords to the masses with explanations defining the concepts of internet marketing, exploring methodologies for finding the best keywords, and  creating a successful AdWords campaign.

Even further, AdWords University takes the additional steps of covering advanced techniques to manage AdWords campaigns to optimize the effectiveness of combined discussions on generating multiple AdWords campaigns for A/B testing purposes.

The value of AdWords University lies in the clear presentation of proven methods in creating an AdWords campaigns that manifest revenue producing traffic.

5 (FREE) Time Saving Social Media Tools

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“Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”—Chinese Proverb

So many times, people embark on social media marketing with the idealist understanding that it is as easy as tweeting a thought in 140 characters or posting a few words to followers every few days.  In reality, social media marketing involves more hand holding than direct marketing.  Why, then, are literally millions of businesses joining the social media movement every year?  Because, quite literally, companies can reach out to potential clients with less cost (provided they understand the time vs. money formula of social marketing) and gain market share through brand exposure.

Besides the afore mentioned misunderstanding about the true investment in time for a successful social media campaign without remembering that time is money, people often feel overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of managing multiple social media streams scattered all over the webosphere!

As a social media marketer, these are a few there tools I use to make m y life much easier! 

•Seemic (http://seesmic.com):  This is one of my favorites.  If you have a Facebook and Twitter account, the split screen view of Seemic makes it easy to follow what is happening in each account.  With the ability to add any pages you manage on Facebook and directly post / report information in one screen, my favorite thing about Seemic is that I can post to Facebook and Twitter at the same time!  Of course, that means that you have to limit the Facebook post to 140 characters, but what a time savings it is to have one place to call home for your Facebook and Twitter accounts.  If, like me, you have several accounts for each (Magic Marketing USA and Networking in High Heels), then the ability to import all of those accounts into one places brings order into chaos.

•TweetDeck (http://www.tweetdeck.com):  If you are truly wrapped up in the tentacles of social media, then TweetDeck is the application for you!  With the same multiple accounts split screen view, TweetDeck brings the management of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and mySpace within easy grasp.  The main difference between Seemic and Tweetdeck is user preference.  If you are limited in your interactions to Facebook and Twitter, the Seemic is amazing at delivering both of those to your virtual doorstep.  If you want to include outside accounts like LinkedIn and mySpace, then Tweetdeck gives you all of that in one simple place.

•Social Oomph (http://www.socialoomph.com):  All I can say is OMG!  When I first tried Social Oomph (which was TweetLater to those of the old school of last year!), I thought I had died and gone to Twitter management heaven!  Although this application is only for Twitter, Social Oomph gives you the advantage of customizing a message to send to everyone who follows you, lets you decide how to accept followers, and…ready for this?  Social Oomph lets you schedule tweets!  While I definitely DO NOT suggest that anyone spam their Twitter list, there are many times when I want to share what I am doing with others without stopping several times during the day to put it in 140 characters.  When I am traveling, this is the perfect way to let people know where I will be or send out reminder tweets about upcoming events.  Remember, NOTHING replaces actual interaction with the people in your social media sphere.

•SMS (your cellphone!):  It is safe to say that almost every social media application these days has a way for you to update your profile or status via your cell phone or smart phone.  While it can definitely make life easier when you can just text in 140 characters or do a quick update to your FBP (Facebook profile), it is addicting too because it connects you every single minute that you carry your phone.  Mostly, this has been responsible for the incidents of texting updates during church or in the bathroom.  If you are going to take this route, then please be conscious of the people around you before your spouse reaches over and drops your phone in your water glass at dinner (I swear…I saw this happen!).  And, realize that NOT EVERYTHING needs to be shared.

•Automatic Updates:  There are positives and negatives to completing the circle of social media.  If you enable automatic updates in your social media accounts, then you should be aware that mean EVERYTHING you tweet, blog, and post hits every possible avenue immediately.  In creating 360 degree coverage of all of your materials, promotions, and ads, this is the quickest way to make sure all bases are covered.  BUT…and this is a biggie…be sure that you really want everything to feed directly into your accounts especially if some accounts are for business use and some are for personal use.

Quick point in fact:  Before I go on, I want to make sure that it is clear to every breathing person on the web that Facebook has business accounts and, if you are using Facebook for business, this is the type of account you should be using!  There are many reasons, but transparency and market segmentation are two of the biggest reasons.  My next article, Facebook for Business: Fan or Friends, will explain this in depth, but using a personal level Facebook account for business not only violates Facebook TOC, but it also isolates you from the privacy protection and promotion of your business.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program, automatic updates can be set up for bring blog posts into your LinkedIn account, share LinkedIn updates on Twitter, and add a tweet your Facebook entries and blogs.  The one exception is, in a business account, Facebook does not update to Twitter.  As of now, Facebook only updates Twitter if you have a personal account.  Solution?  See above for one of the great FREE applications that allow you handle all of these tasks in one place!

Although there are tons of other applications and time saving tips for social media management, any these will get you started.  As they are all free, I suggest that you try each one on for size to see what works best for you.  The most important part is to save time and produce quality information to connect with followers, friends, and fans.   Even though most of these applications might sound difficult, they are each easy to install with a wizard that walks you through it.  Since it is easy and FREE, what else could be better?

With the time you gain, check out our new group, Networking in High Heels, at www.networkinginhighheels.com.