Social Media Influencers: Ask the Right Questions

Followers, likes, retweets, cute pics with the perfect filter; there’s more to choosing the right social media influencer.

Unfortunately, this surface mindset is why so many people feel like they’re failing and often give up on social media marketing all together. Anyone who is currently working in social media marketing, working with an agency, or plan to, should ask the REAL questions. The surface questions like: “How many followers do we have?” or “How many likes did the post get?” are the exact reason why situations like the below, happen.

Since this blog is meant to educate you, I will not go into detail about who the social media influencer is. My goal is not to ridicule her, but to help you understand why you need think deeper when it comes to social media marketing.

social media influencers tjecommunications.com“Stacy” is a social media influencer and has well over 2.6 million followers on Instagram. She recently launched a clothing line because…duh! You have 2.6 million followers so you’re bound to make money from them, right? All Stacy had to do was sell 36 pieces for the production company to continue to work with her and she failed. Yes. She has 2.6 MILLION followers and could not sell 36 pieces. Now she has to refund all of the customers who did purchase, and go back to the drawing board.

Here’s what you need to ask social media influencers BEFORE you agree to work with them.

What is your Instagram engagement score?

In this case, Stacy has 2.6 million followers, and her most liked post in the last week has 65,800+ likes. This means her engagement score on her best post is a 2.5% – this is a low average/good engagement rate.  Considering some posts range from 16,000+ likes to 45,000+, her score on average is much lower.

When choosing influencers to work with, you should be looking at working with engagement scores of at least 3% or more. The goal should be to work with brands or individuals who have followers interacting with them, not just following.

Have you had experience working with similar brands?

Rapper Kreayshawn recently reminisced on the time she royalty p*ssed off Flat Tummy Tea. The company was not happy that she insinuated that their products could be smoked.

Or how about Scott Disick’s experience with Flat Tummy Tea. I’m almost positive they didn’t want him to copy and past the entire email like this. YIKES!

social media influencers tjecommunications.com

Before you start sending free product to your favorite bloggers, set the standard on how you want your social media influencers to represent your brand. Have them send you sample social media posts of brands they’ve worked with in the past. Plus, in your contract their needs to be a clause in case the influencer violates the terms of the contract – like the above!

In addition, you need to ask for stats on the campaigns they ran with other companies including performance and revenue generated.

Ask for references!

As we know, anyone can fluff numbers. Ask your potential influencer for references – preferably of companies they’ve worked with in the past and their points of contacts during the contract. If an influencer refuses to provide such information, that should be an automatic red flag!

I know it’s easy to get caught up in the social media game. However, if you truly want to grow, you have to think deeper, more strategic, and invest in the right people!

My engagement score last month was a 5.76% which puts me in the high engagement rate category. On average, my clients range from 4% – 7% engagement rate. If you’re looking for ways to increase your engagement score, schedule a 30 minute consultation today!

Social Media: How to Stay Consistent

Social media marketing in 2019 is filled with noise and ever-changing algorithms. The key to success no matter what you do is consistency.

Yes, that means you can’t post once a week to your social media pages and expect to see any traction. You should be posting a minimum of once per day. If that sounds scary, here are a few simple ways you can stay consistent with posting.

  1. Create a plan – Content planning! As you’ve heard me say before, content planning allows you to be strategic and takes away the stress of not knowing what to post. If you’ve never planned your content before, grab my content calendar and get started!
  2. Set expectations with your audience – Every Tuesday my audience knows that I go Facebook Live. And trust me when I don’t, people ask me about it! When you have set the expectations, you have to give the people what they want, right? Create your staple piece of content that people can look forward to and keep them coming back for more.
  3. Schedule your posts – Do you think I’m sitting around posting on social media in real time? Absolutely not! I use a social media management tool that allows me to schedule my content and it even provides me with recommended posting times for the highest engagement.
  4. Find an accountability partner – You’re not in this alone! There are times when I am so busy I get behind on scheduling my content. Find a buddy that you can check in with when you see them lacking in posting and vise vera.

We’re playing the long game here! Try one, or all 4 of these tips and see which works best for you. While you’re at it, sign up for my FREE social media mini series. In this series you will receive 7 days of prompts and tips to help you post on social media everyday.

Click here to sign up today for free!

The Power of Mentorship

In May 2014 I graduated college. At this point I had 10 internships, and held the title “President” in two campus organizations, and I was unable to find a job in my field.

Side note: If you’ve never read Let’s face it, your degree isn’t good enough, please do.

I was 22 and I knew I wanted to start my own business. When I applied for all of the great local agency’s that every kid in PRSSA dreamed of working at, no one called me back. I thought: Well if they don’t want to hire me, I’ll become their competition.

I knew nothing about starting a business or what was required to make me look “legit.” I had no idea what I should charge or how I should charge and this led to be being ripped off and unpaid for projects from time to time – YIKES!

Thankfully for me, throughout my time in college I attended every networking event I possibly could. I would stand out because I would be the only 18 year old kid in a room full of business professionals. Throughout my years of networking, I had made some connections I was able to reach out to who helped me begin to shape TJE.

Now at 27, I can keep it real with myself and say I had NO CLUE what I was doing trying to start a business at 22. I am lucky to have some amazing mentors in my life I can call on when I’m need and I encourage you all to do the same.

If you don’t currently have a mentor or two, here’s how to effectively find the right person for you.

1. Seek out local organizations that provide mentorship.

There are so many local organizations that provide mentorship as a perk of being a member. I’m currently a member of The Diva Movement, Black Career Women’s Network, and Women in Digital. If you’re feeling nervous about the thought of having a mentor, starting out in groups like this can help ease you into the idea and help you creative expectations for mentorship.

2. You should have something to give if you’re willing to take.

When I seek information from my mentors, I make it a point to offer something in return. All of the people in my network are bossed up and they should not be providing me with free advice every time I want it. You should be open and willing to give your time and resources to the people who are helping you grow.

3. Seek REAL connections, not people with a lot of connections.

Don’t fall for someone’s social media persona. Before you spend $100+ on a coaching session, you need to do your research. Be sure you are choosing someone REAL, authentic, and someone who aligns with your goals.

4. Ask your network.

Reach out to your network for a recommendation on a mentor or for any mentoring groups they are members of.

5. Your mentor doesn’t have to be in the same field as you.

Having a mentor in a different industry could provide you with a new business perspective. Broaden your horizon! Find someone who has a teaching style you can learn from.

Mentorship is truly powerful and I hope you all take the time to seek out mentors or become one yourself. If you have a mentor, what is some of the best advice they’ve given you? Comment below!

How to Create Your IGTV Channel

If you haven’t heard, long form video has come to Instagram! Why? Well, any person truly invested in digital marketing & SEO could tell you that Google and Facebook have been in competition for YEARS! Facebook wants to be a search engine, Google wants to have a social network. It’s a never ending war, but, those of us who rely on both of these platforms will continue to benefit from all their new innovations.

What is IGTV?

IGTV, or Instagram TV, is just like a having a YouTube channel attached to your Instagram page. You can upload longer videos than the typcial 60 seconds Instagram allows for on a normal post.

Why should I make an IGTV channel?

For starters, I have no doubt in my mind that this will blow up. There are already celebrities like Will Smith taking advantage of IGTV and we know how much he loves YouTube (YT is owned by Google, Instagram is owned by Facebook – see why this is a never ending war?).

In addition, this gives you even more opportunity to bring your followers quality content and to increase engagement.

How do I create my channel?

It’s actually VERY simple!

Step 1. Open your Instagram app and click the orange-ish icon in the top right corner, next to the DM button. When you get there, you’ll see a screen like the one below displaying videos from people you follow.

Step 2. Next you’ll click on the settings button and you’ll get a pop up like the one below that says “Create Channel”.

Step 3. Once you select “Create Channel” you’ll see the following screens. Read through them and select “Create Channel”.

     

Step 4. Once your channel is created, you’ll see a screen like this. Go to your channel and from there you can begin uploading videos. As of now, the video cap is 15 minutes.

Keep in mind the videos have to be vertical. Similar to how an IG Live or Facebook Live video is laid out. I suggest if you have some great lives you want to savor, download them on your computer and send them to yourself to upload.

Don’t forget that titles, tags, and thumbnails matter! It may seem tedious but you want your channel to look good and feel professional.

I’m personally excited for new Instagram feature and will fully take advantage of the war going on between Google and Facebook.

If you’re already on IGTV I would love to know your thoughts on it so far! Reply to this email and let me know.

XOXO

3 Steps to Build Your Social Media Strategy

Just because you’re a one-woman shop, doesn’t mean you cannot achieve a social media presence that makes you look like you have an entire social team behind you. At the recent Respect the Hustle event, Kelsea Wiggins taught us the ins and out of the top social media platforms out there. I would recommend downloading her presentation so that you can decide on the right platform for you and your business.

Once you decide which platform works for you, it’s time to create a real social media strategy. Here are 3 steps to get started:

  1. Plan Content – You can use an excel sheet, word document, or even hand-written notes if you prefer. In your plan, decide how often you want to post (I would recommend 1-3 times per week), what days you want to post, and the purpose of each post. For example: If you’re a motivation speaker, maybe you will decide Monday is Motivational Monday, Wednesday is Wellness Wednesday, etc. By creating a formula for yourself, your audience will know what to expect and will begin to look forward to those posts. Note: This strategy can also be used for email marketing. 
  2. Measure Your Success – Before you can measure success, you must know what you want your return on investment to be. Honestly, social media is not going to significantly increase revenue for your business – unless you plan to spend money on advertising. However, it will increase brand awareness, connect you to prospects, and then you can turn those prospects into customers.
  3. Analyze and Tweak – So, what are you measuring? Impressions? Reach? Engagement? Followers? If you’re not hitting your benchmarks, it’s time for you to reevaluate your strategy and make changes. You should do this at the end of quarter.

Ready to build your strategy? You can use Kelsea’s presentation as a baseline to get started. Not sure you can do this on your own? You can always connect with me and I can either handle all your social media, or I can help you build your strategy.

Do you already have your social media strategy in place? Comment below and share what you’re doing in 2018!

Easy Ways to Grow Your Email List

One by one, you’ve probably built up a sizable email list. You probably started organically—capturing emails from orders, for example, or even through registrations on your website.

But now that you’ve got that list, what do you do with it and how do you make it richer and more productive? Growing it through thoughtful strategies is one way.

One method may not have occurred to you: social ads. What makes these so fruitful is that they’re a great way to capture people who probably already have an affinity for your company, product, or service. Plus, Facebook has services built into its structure to make this easy to do.

And when building an email subscription base, more turns out to be more. You need more ways for people to enter their email address—landing page, newsletters, downloads, whatever it takes.

Speaking of downloads, turns out offering free incentives—say, a coupon or an e-book—are also great ways to get people to share an email with you. You can also ask their opinion of your company, product, or service, and use that strategy to capture yet even more emails.

Want more ideas for a better email subscription base? Use this graphic to get started.

Easy Ways to Quickly Grow Your Email Subscriber Base

Fake New Balance Advertisement Causes Social Media Fire Storm

In the midst of the Baltimore Riots, New Balance is putting out its own fire storm.

Recently what appeared to be screen shots from New Balance’s company website surfaced the internet using protesters to “promote” the company. Twitter users have retweeted the fake screen shots over 1,500 times and favorited the tweet more than 700 times.

New Balance took to social media to tell users that the advertisement was not generated by New Balance and asked that users do not retweet the post:

“This is clearly not a New Balance generated post – we ask that you please do not re-tweet.”

  
“We did not regenerate the ad.”

  
Check out the fake screen shots below and tell us what you think:

   

   

When Crisis Strikes: Awkward Moments In PR

1. That awkward moment when Clorox tweeted “where’s the bleach” after the launch of multicultural emoji’s. 

   

2.  That awkward moment when the United States Postal Services launches their “Maya Forever” stamps with a quote that Maya Angelou didn’t write.

 

Yikes! Have you seen any other awkward PR moments this week? Comment below or tweet us and let us know. 

How Not To Get Retweeted

As an entrepreneur, when I write a blog post, my objective is to get other people to read it and take something away from it. Sometimes this happens simultaneously and sometimes I don’t get many views at all. But that is the nature of the game.

Of course we all want 100+ retweets and thousands of views on our post but for most of us, that will never happen. There’s a lot you can do to get retweeted but lets start with what not to do.

Here is a list of of 5 things not to do if you want to get retweeted:

1. Asking for retweets is a huge no. If you want to be retweeted, create meaningful content for your viewers.

2. Sending the “I made a new blog post” tweet with a link to your site to everyone on your timeline is a quick way to get unfollowed and blocked. If you want people to see your post, add relevant #hashtags to your tweet.

3. Speaking of hashtags, using trending topics in your post to solicit viewers when they have no relevance to your blog topic shows that you have no idea how to use social media. This makes no sense and screams desparation. You will also not get retweeted. Always remember to use hashtags that are relevant to your blog topic.

4. If your link looks like this: http://tjecommunications.com/2014/11/16/why-kim-kardashian-is-still-winning/ it is too long and will probably not be retweeted. Lucky for you, most of the time Twitter shortens the link for you. There are many tools out there to shrink links; such as Hootsuite.

5. Posting link after link and tweeting like robot. If you post only links to your blog, you will not get retweets and probably not even followers. Try engaging in Twitter chats and interacting with followers to build rapport.

Am I missing something? Comment below.