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Thursday, 13 October 2016 12:48

How Social Media Impacts SEO

Are your social media efforts worth it?

Published in Social Media
Thursday, 29 September 2016 09:47

Twitter Dashboard Tool Adds New Features

Although Twitter is still several steps behind Facebook on many fronts, they have recently added some new features available in their dashboard tool that many businesses may find beneficial.

Published in Social Media
Monday, 31 August 2015 14:07

Facebook jumps into live streaming

Meerkat, Periscope and even Blab  are the much talked about and widely covered live-streaming apps of late. However, before these launched, Facebook was experimenting with a live streaming feature for public figures.

Published in Social Media
Monday, 31 August 2015 13:58

Automated Retweet with IFTTT

The complexity of social media and content marketing, combined with business and personal accounts in each,  has led us to IFTTT - a great way to automate certain activities.

Published in Social Media
Monday, 20 July 2015 09:26

Not just for breakfast

Like many things we use for marketing, social media has evolved tremendously in recent years. Not only have some early channels died a quiet death, others have expanded far beyond their initial audiences and uses.

Published in Social Media
Tuesday, 04 August 2015 19:09

Quick Story: New to Twitter

I met Ken at a conference recently who was new to Twitter. I was a little surprised by his feedback as it’s a less-than-common response: “I love it,” he said. This was a Boomer-aged business owner, which made it all the more surprising. Most Boomers I’ve encountered hear “Twitter” and their immediate reaction is “who cares what I had for breakfast?”

It turns out that Ken had started out on Twitter by following other people in his industry, and a handful of industry publications. Within a month of checking in on Twitter, he had seen a piece of news from an industry publication that affected one of his customers. Ken reached out to the customer and said something to the effect of, “hey, this is a big deal.” The customer’s response was “huh?”

This allowed Ken to break the news to the customer, positioning himself as knowledgeable and well-informed - and set himself up for a whole new vein of business based on that news.

Most people I talk to who aren’t familiar with Twitter, and some of those who have just dipped their toe in, don’t see the same opportunity that Ken did.

After the event, I took a stroll through Ken’s Twitter stream and found out that he’s taken to it like a duck to water. He tweets a combination of business and personal, including both pictures of his business travels and his pets. He retweets a combination of industry news, interesting pictures and tidbits, and a bunch of hockey tweets when the Manchester Monarchs won the Calder Cup. (w00t!) He’s doing a great job and I anticipate he’ll continue to see good things come of it.

Free guide: Social prospecting

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  • Page Heading Quick Story: New to Twitter
Published in Steph Speak

When I talk to business owners about social media, they invariably make one of a couple kneejerk responses that make them sound a little like Austin Powers when he told Scott “I’m with it; I’m hip,” right before he busts out with the Macarena.

The problem is, their reactions are based on old information about the use and value of the various social media platforms. They think Facebook is for vacation photos; LinkedIn is an online Rolodex; and Twitter is about what you had for breakfast. While these things may have been among the headlines in each platforms’ infancies – and they can still be used for those things, should you want – they have grown and evolved dramatically since then. Hopefully, it’s just that you were too busy running your business to keep up with the changes.

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  • Page Heading Social Media – it’s not just for breakfast anymore
Published in Social Media
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 00:00

Facebook for Business: Quick Start Guide

If you’re a small business owner, no doubt you know that marketing and advertising have changed dramatically in recent years. In fact, it likely makes you crazy. Old tools no longer work as well (if at all) and the new ones, while more accessible (read: less expensive), require time to learn how to use them effectively.

The business owners we talk to wonder if it’s worth the investment of time – and the accompanying change of focus from core business functions – to master these channels. Our answer: it depends but, most likely, yes.

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  • Page Heading Facebook for Business: Quick Start Guide
Published in Social Media
Thursday, 20 January 2011 00:00

Social media and the night sky

How many social media presentations have you been to? Whether free or paid, taught by a social media ‘industry’ person or someone doing it well in a company, an hour or a day long, there have been hundreds of these kinds of events just in my local business community in the past year or so. I’ve been to enough of them myself to know that finding an excellent program is not easy.

Here’s one of the things about most of these presentations that drives me absolutely nuts.

The presenter gets up there and starts talking. Their first slide is the name of their presentation, their company name and maybe the date or the group being spoken to. Invariably, the second or third slide is that horrible slide with a hundred social media logos on it. You know the one.Social

The presenter uses this slide as a way to show you, the audience member and non-social media user, what kind of opportunity awaits you in the land of social media.

The problem is, that audience member and non-social media user looks at that slide and thinks,”Shiitake mushrooms! I have to learn all that to get involved with social media?”And then they go along their merry, non-social way and continue to live their life without wading into the pool. The presenter’s message may even be that you can ease your way into social media, but the audience member is already tuned out, thinking about what project they need to work on when they get back to the office or checking emails on the blackberry.

I see two problems with introducing people to the ‘world’ of social media via a keynote speech or even a longer ‘boot camp’ event:

1.       There needs to be a fundamental change in how a person approaches marketing before you can even talk about how to utilize social media successfully to promote or market a business. I may be good with my hands but that doesn’t mean I can sit down and play a piano without some acclimation to what I’m supposed to be doing and why.

2.       There is so much involved with it that you can do about as much to introduce someone to social media in an hour-long seminar as you could to introduce them to the cosmos itself.

In fact, astronomy may be a very good metaphor for the study of social media. Each social media tool is like a planet, a star, nebulae or a galaxy. There are probably a few significant ones that you can start with (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube) and there is a whole ecosystem of knowledge about their particular attributes to learn before you know how they will act in relation to the night sky.

A second reason the metaphor works is that the landscape doesn’t stand still. There are new developments in social media on a daily basis. No one person can say they are the ‘expert’ of it all because it is a constantly moving target the same way researchers and scientists are learning more about the planets and galaxies that our planet shares the sky with.

To that end, I hope you will never hear me refer to myself as a social media ‘expert.’ I prefer the term ‘student of social media.’ I’m the astronomer in the observatory with the stories’-high telescope, keeping a watchful eye on the night sky and charting the course of the objects moving in it.

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  • Page Heading Social media and the night sky
Published in Social Media
Monday, 17 January 2011 13:17

Samardo Samuels, me and marketing

Admission: even I get nervous about writing a blog and I’ve been writing professionally since I was 16.

The first time I got paid for my writing, I was a junior in high school and some publishing house found me and wanted to use a story I wrote for the high school paper in a journalism textbook called "Reading the Newspaper." That’s right : a TEXTbook; like to teach other people how to write. And I was only 16!

Since then, I have written extensively for The Boston Globe, Business NH Magazine and The Hippo. On top of that, I write on behalf of my clients almost every day. I write Web copy, bylined articles, marketing materials, presentations, brochures. You name it. I write it.

And yet the thought of writing a blog stops me in my tracks.

What will people think? Am I qualified enough to offer my opinion? Aren’t there other people out there doing it bigger, better and faster than I am? Aren’t other people thinking more profound thoughts than I am? These are the thoughts that have prevented me from starting this blog for the couple of years I’ve been thinking about it.

No more!

A couple things crossed my mind recently that I found to be salient to this effort.

First, I am currently in the midst of a course on selling marketing services. It is a partnership between Hubspot, the inbound marketing experts, and Kurlan & Associates, a sales development organization in Massachusetts. The first step in this course was an extensive assessment of my skills as a sales person. I won’t bore you with the details, but the important finding in this context was that one of my weaknesses is “need for approval.”

What that means is that I want you to like me and I’m going to tip toe and tap dance so that I don’t say anything that would make you not like me. Now, if we were dating, that might come in handy (at least for the first few months), but we’re not dating and I realize that my need for your approval (whoever the hell you are) has been holding me back.

Secondly, I participated in a webinar given by Michael Katz last week. Michael is the Chief Penguin at Blue Penguin Development and the guy who writes newsletters about newsletters. He’s smart and funny and I’m a huge fan. Last week’s webinar was, appropriately, “How to be a Leading Expert,” and it talked about how to position yourself as an expert in your industry. He used a mind-bending analogy that I want to share here.

Samardo Samuels is an NBA basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He may be among the worst players in the league with an average of less than 15 minutes of playing time per game and fewer than 5 points per game.

Do you think Samardo Samuels is qualified to teach you basketball? Is he qualified to write about basketball? Is he qualified to talk about basketball?

Did you know that, in 2008, there were a grand total of 432 players in the NBA? And, according to the US Census, in 2009, there were 42,670,000 men in the US between the ages of 20 and 39, which I’m going to call 'professional basketball-playing age.'

That means that Samardo Samuels is in the top .00001 percent of potential basketball players in the country. Higher than the top hundred-thousandth of the top 1 percent!

Now do you think Samardo Samuels is qualified to teach, talk or write about basketball? I would say he is.

One of the reasons I lose my confidence is because I think of the stars of my industry, like Seth Godin or Guy Kawasaki. I could probably come up with 25 more names right off the top of my head and without looking at my bookshelf. No doubt they belong at the top of the league. They have earned their positions.

However, when I apply the Samardo Samuels paradigm to myself in the marketing universe that I work in, I do believe that I have a place at the table.

As you well know, marketing isn’t quite as exclusive as the NBA. Almost anyone can call themselves a marketing expert, and many people do.

But think about this, according to that same US Census, in 2009 there were roughly 184,015,000 people in the United States between the ages of 20 and 64. I’m going to call that ‘business age.’ What if I just want to be among the top ten-thousandth of a percent? Then the question for me is, do I think that I belong among the top 18,401 marketing thinkers in the country? Even if we assumed that these people were distributed evenly among the 50 states, do I think I belong among the top 368 marketers just here in New Hampshire? Yeah. You’d better believe I do!

So, am I qualified to talk and write about marketing, even teach a course on social media? Ab-so-get-down-lutely. And that’s just what I’m going to do. I hope you'll join me in that conversation.


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  • Page Heading Samardo Samuels, me and marketing
Published in Steph Speak
Friday, 07 January 2011 13:15

New Year, New Ideas

I’m not really a New Year’s Resolution kind of gal. If I make them at all, they don’t usually last that long and then I just feel bad. Instead I try to work on personal growth all year long, trying the things that sound intriguing and making those that work well for me a part of my life.

That being said, I do tend towards reflection at this time of year and I’ve been thinking a lot about Savoir Faire recently and what its next iteration looks like.

During a conversation with a very good friend recently, she pulled something from our conversation that stopped me in my tracks:

Always learning.
Always inspired.
Always empowered.
Always accountable.

These are things she said about Stephanie McLaughlin, the person but, upon hearing them, these are things that I would like to bring to Savoir Faire, the business, to use as guiding principles. (Hopefully you'll even see them in some updated Web copy soon!)

The reason I liked this so much is that it becomes a two-way promise; it’s how the business operates and it’s a bargain I would like to make with my clients as well.

Always learning
It’s true, I’m always interested in what’s new. In relation to Savoir Faire, I’m constantly on the lookout for what’s next, what’s going on, what new developments are taking place in the marketing, public relations and social media worlds.

Always inspired
I’m always on the lookout for inspiration and actively in search of it. I believe it can come from anywhere so it's good to keep your eyes open and your mind tuned. Something you learn in one area can inspire you in a completely different area. According to my good friend, it’s also something I impart in many of my personal interactions through the enthusiasm I have for what I've learned and how it can be applied.

Always empowered
I’m not typically an ‘ask permission’ kind of gal.

Always accountable
For me, this is the other side of the ‘always empowered’ coin. Whether my decisions are right or wrong, I am accountable for their outcomes.

Now that you know a little more about me, let’s talk about how these ideas can apply to clients who are working with Savoir Faire.

When you work with Savoir Faire, I want you to be learning. You don’t need to learn about inbound marketing or search engine optimization or website design but you should learn about how what we’re doing is going to impact and affect your business and what you can do to leverage the work we’re doing for you.

Working together, I hope we inspire each other to keep reaching new heights and doing better and better work. When you learn about what I’m doing and how it can boost your business, I hope it inspires you to think of additional ways we can work together to drive results. That, in turn, will energize me and my team to keep stretching on your behalf.

I may not be an ‘ask permission’ girl in my personal life, but I will need your permission to do great work for your business. That may mean letting go of some of the details or trusting my team to do good work for you without understanding exactly how it all works. In turn, I will do my part to give you what you need to run and grow your business, whether that’s information, explanation, reports or coaching.

Likewise, I will need you to hold up your end of the bargain. If that means writing a post for your business blog once a week or getting on the phone with me regularly, then that’s what you need to do. You see, I’m going to need you to do your part so that I can do mine effectively. In my experience, I have found that careful plans and marketing strategies don’t fail; people fail implementing them. If we are both accountable for our pieces of the puzzle, then our strategies will succeed and your business will benefit.

My approach is based on delivery and, in order to deliver for you, I’m going to need for both of us to be learning, inspired, empowered and accountable. Together, we’ll get great results. I look forward to working with you!


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  • Page Heading New Year, New Ideas
Published in Steph Speak

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