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Social Media Makes Us Lazy

Posted 27 Mar, 2014

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In doing some recent analytics reports with a client’s new social media content publishing strategy (specifically with Facebook), I noticed something. The vast majority of Facebookers today, simply like and share. They are commenting and clicking through to the article (if there’s a link to be clicked) way less than before. A couple things are at play here:

1.) Great graphics with nice, Pinterest-y quotes are overloading people’s news feeds. It is so much easier to just like and share than it is to engage deeper on that topic.

2.) People want to be the idea-sharers with their communities. If an interesting article or photo surfaces, that is new to the user, they likely want to be the first to share it with their communities. They want the credit. They want to spur on conversation on their own post.

Here are some comparisons from a study on one client’s page. Each color represents a two-week period where we tried different types of posts and a different number of posts all at peak engagement times for this page:

 

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Shares and Likes continue to be the most popular actions Facebook users take online.

 

Now, I want to get a little more nitty-gritty than I usually do here. What I stated above goes hand-in-hand with what I see online every day. I am seeing more and more how offline relationships are being affected by what articles people are sharing online. Seriously, it’s happening. There are so many religious / political issues we see come across our News Feeds these days. Whether it is World Vision, Hobby Lobby, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion, wars in the middle east, and on and on and on. Isn’t it so easy to simply share an article written by someone you don’t even know, but agree with, to “tell the world” where you stand on an issue? Here’s the protocol:

Step 1: See an article pop up on Facebook, Twitter or your email.
Step 2: Craft a fancy status update to go along with the link you’re about to post to the other person’s article. Because a status update is easier to write than a blog post.
Step 3: Post said status update + link.
Step 4: Wait impatiently for the first like or comment to appear on said status update, now published, for the world to see.

Now, everyone knows that you side with so-and-so or that you disagree with such-and-such. Those words were not your own, they didn’t come from your head or your heart. The fact that you were nodding as you read the article or cussing as you read the article, doesn’t mean it came from you, but you use it to tell the world what you believe. Social Media Makes Us Lazy. And trust me, I’m guilty of it too.

Today, like never before, the interwebs give us the incredible ability to write our own thoughts and publish them for the world (or your Facebook friends) to see. So, start a blog. Or resurrect that old dusty blog you started four years ago. Let’s take more ownership of the things we post online. Let’s not always let others do the talking and thinking for us. This is how we so easily fall into “camps”. Especially when it comes to religious or political issues. For me, I am a Christian – a Jesus Christ follower. However, it pretty much repulses me to be thought of residing in one “camp” or the other by the articles I share online. So, for all my Christian friends out there and everyone else, if something causes you to be joyful, write about it. If something causes you to be outraged, write about it. Don’t let the “real writers” do all the talking for you. Don’t let social media make you lazy. You’re better than that.


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#SocialInsurance Presentation

Posted 19 Mar, 2014

Today, Eric Most and I talked to insurance agents around the country about the best practices in social media and digital marketing specifically for insurance agencies. The webinar was hosted by the AIMS (American Insurance Marketing and Sales) Society. Big thanks to Most Insurance and the AIMS Society for asking me to be involved. I had a blast!

If you attended the webinar, I have embedded the presentation below for your convenience. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away in the comments below! You can also email me or tweet me.
 

 

It was great to meet you today. I look forward to staying in touch with you! You can contact Yellow Leaf Marketing here.


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Web, Email and Social Content: The #ContentWars of 2014

Posted 9 Jan, 2014

 

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In 2013 we saw a huge push for the right content appearing in the right context. If content is King then context has to be throne in which that king sits. It makes all the difference. Marketers learned that content created for Facebook doesn’t work on Twitter just as-is. Pinterest-specific content duplicated for Twitter was unappealing. We learned that the more “native” the content is to its context (social media platform) the more effective it will be in accomplishing its goals. So here we are, in a new year – a new opportunity to be smart about the way we market our content using social media.

I titled this post #ContentWars, not because it’s a bad thing, but because it can sometimes be a struggle for online publishing companies who have a lot of content they want the world to see. What goes on our website or blog? What goes to Social? What goes into our email newsletter? What content and where?

Let’s take a look at 3 specific hubs where your content will appear in 2014:

Your #1 Content Hub

Your website is your home base. It’s where you do business. It’s where you convert leads to customers. It’s where you let your product or service shine. Its role can vary from first impression to deal closer. Whether you are posting articles or blog posts on a regular basis, it is extremely important that your website function as your Content Hub. We build our client’s websites using WordPress as the CMS. One of the main reasons for doing so is the ease of use when it comes to publishing content effectively. We believe that your web content should drive, inform and create content for all other publishing platforms like social media and email.

Web to Social | Social to Web

Social Media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest must function as Embassies to your brand. Think of them as extensions and extenders of your brand. Think of them as a magnet pulling people into your culture and where you do business – your website. Your web content must be repurposed for social so that it pulls people into the full story. For example, the easy thing to do would be to write a blog post, then copy the link, paste it into a status update, click “Post” and call it a day. Sure, you shared your blog content to a social network. No, you didn’t do it effectively or natively. We live in a visual society and visual content is a must for any social network these days. When you are wanting to bring awareness to your blog content through social media it’s very important to create engaging graphics to post along with the link to your blog. To go along with your graphics, your status update still needs to draw folks into your update. Whether using humor, shock or just solid and valuable information. Most of the time simply writing the Post Title again as the status update itself won’t get it done. Think creatively. Think natively. Why do you click links on social media? What pulls you in? Think like your customers.

Web to Email | Email to Web

When taking your content from your website (articles or blog posts) to an email list, the goal remains the same – You want the vehicle of email to take your readers (who have opted in) for a ride to the full story on your website. You don’t want to give them absolutely everything here, just enough to peak their interest and click to read the rest. With this in mind, your email could be a weekly roundup of the top blogs for that week. Or the only 3 new articles that were published that week. It could also be a daily publication that ties back to new content on your site each and every day.

Your CTAs (calls-to-action) will need to be very prominent in your email. If you are highlighting multiple stories, you’ll need a CTA button or link with every story. Obviously these will need to direct back to the content and full story on your website. Don’t just assume the reader will know what to do next. At the same time, don’t clutter your email. We recommend using a service like MailChimp to send beautiful email.

Email to Social | Social to Email

This is where it can get a little tricky because in either situation you are not linking to your home base. You’re linking from embassy to embassy. In my experience most of the time the purpose of linking between these two is to either build the email list or build the social network fan or follower base. It is very CTA-based, meaning you will always have a point of action for your reader to take. A newsletter to sign up for, a Twitter account to follow, and so on.

When it all works together

When we reach that moment of “Cyclical Content Utopia” we have a lot of content vehicles driving around, but they are all purposeful and aimed at the same target. More importantly, they are all sharing your content in a very native way – in a voice that just fits and feels right. It may be the same article appearing in all places, but the inbound links are manifested in a way that hits the user demographic right between the eyes.

If your content isn’t native to its context, you’re doing it wrong. [Tweet this]


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Merry Christmas from YLM!

Posted 19 Dec, 2013

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Posted 28 Nov, 2013

 

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Thanksgiving is most definitely my favorite holiday! Unfortunately, it often gets overlooked or quickly passed by these days. Recently, I was in a Walgreens buying a card for someone. When I rounded the corner to the card aisle, I was taken aback by the sheer number of Christmas cards. At the very end of the aisle there was a tiny sliver of Thanksgiving cards. Honestly, it made me sad. Thanksgiving, and thankfulness, is disregarded far too often in our culture today.

For that very reason, I wanted to tell you, you are not overlooked. You mean so much to your Creator and to us at Yellow Leaf Marketing. If you’re reading this, you’re a friend. It is an honor to have you here today. We really mean it when we say that God has been kind to us by causing our path to cross yours.

We wish you a very happy Thanksgiving! We pray that it is a joy for you to gather with family and friends to celebrate all that you have to be thankful for. We hope that thankfulness continues to find its way into your heart every day of every year!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

 

 


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Things look a bit different around here!

Posted 19 Aug, 2013

We are so excited about the launch of  Yellow Leaf Marketing V2! We couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out. We wanted the new site to be upbeat, fun, informative, clear and thorough… and I think we’ve accomplished just that. HUGE thanks to our partners on this project. My good friend, Graeme Nelson with Allies, killed it on the design and our friends at Websults were a great asset to have on the development end. Very grateful for you guys!

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We wanted to simplify our services into a short list of easy-to-remember actions. And so we did.

Plan. Design. Execute. Measure.

These four stages (and all of the services that fall within each) accurately describe what we have the privilege of doing every day. Another great area of the site is our Work page where we highlight our clients and the work we’ve done with them. You can read about our awesome team here, as well.

I also wanted to make sure you knew that for the next two weeks you can order a Yellow Leaf Decal free of charge. After September 2nd they will be $1.99 so act fast! We created these decals so that everyone was able to share the story of the yellow leaf in a creative way!

We’re really excited about our new site and we’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!


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Don’t Miss an Update!

Posted 12 Aug, 2013

With the launch of our new website, we have made a promise to ourselves and now to you: We promise to blog regularly. Our goal is to post two new blogs each week. You can expect topics related to social media (duh.), digital marketing strategy, content marketing, email marketing, productivity, leadership and more!

We wanted to give you the opportunity to subscribe to the blog so that you can stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the social media world and here at YLM. So here’s the scoop: Follow this link to sign up for YLM Blog updates. Once you’ve opted in, you’ll get an email at 8am the morning after the post launches with that post’s content. It’s pretty much like magic. This is the sure-fire way to stay in touch with us and to keep up with what’s going on in the wide world of social. Here we go!

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Video Comes to Instagram. Take that, Vine.

Posted 20 Jun, 2013

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Today, co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, announced that their wildly used and popular app will now include video. There have been rumors of this addition for the last few weeks. I have to admit, I wasn’t thrilled when I heard the plans. But I must say that I have changed my tune. You see, I was worried that the addition of video would ruin the Instagram experience. The last thing Instagram needs is awkward #selfies and videos of what people are eating for breakfast. Now, hear me, these videos will come, but they won’t dominate your feeds (unless you follow really annoying people). The videos that I have seen so far are from the same creative folks I follow, who are now using video exactly like they used (and will continue) to use photos. Including the filters feature with the video release has a lot to do with the maintaing the “Instagram experience.”

You see, what I thought would ruin the platform only makes it better, especially for marketers. Here are a few reasons why Instagram Video trumps Vine.

Read More…


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4 Stages of Social Media Competence

Posted 25 Apr, 2013

I’m learning that so much of what I do now is educate clients. I pray it’s helpful for them and the success of their brands. From what I’m seeing, I think it is.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockPhoto.com/axllll

Photo courtesy of ©iStockPhoto.com/axllll

It’s true, much of my time now is spent on phone calls or in email conversations educating on best practices or the “smart” way to do something. This got me thinking: “I’m working to move my clients forward on a timeline of social media and digital competence.” So here are the four stages of socia media competence the way I see them:

Read More…


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3 Reasons Why I Love Being an eaHELP Client

Posted 24 Apr, 2013

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Today is Administrative Professionals Day. Did you know that? I was unaware until I had an executive assistant begin working for me and then you just have to start knowing things like that. Actually, my beautiful wife reminded me. So, Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

A few months ago, my wife and I attended Michael Hyatt and Ken Davis’s Platform Conference in Nashville. It was like drinking from a fire hydrant of leadership and platform-building awesomeness. Michael mentioned in a couple of his sessions about the success of his working relationship with his executive assistant. I’d read a previous blog post of his about eaHELP and the importance of a virtual assistant, but I’d always just skimmed by, not thinking it would be the right fit for me. But something clicked for me during the conference. He mentioned that his “EA” books all travel, syncs calendars, sets up productivity systems, makes phone calls to clients, email management and on and on and on. Everything he mentioned was something that I desperately needed help with.

Long story short, a few weeks after we got back to Tampa from the conference, I filled out an application on eaHELP.com to learn more about becoming a client. The process picked up from there and it has been wonderful ever since.

In this post, I just want to paint a picture for you of why I love being an eaHELP client. This is only my experience, but I have to think that most eaHELP clients have a similar story to tell.

Read More…


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