Posted by: ClewisWrites | October 7, 2012

Keep Your Facebook Posts From Being Hidden

Everyone has a Facebook account from your kids to your 92-year old great-aunt.  Every business has a Facebook page too from the big name brands to the local crafter working out of his or her basement.  If you are the type of person to like every Facebook page, every company page, every brand, or every person who is trying to sell something, your Facebook news feed can become a virtual jumble of posts.  That also means you may feel the need to clean house and hide the culprits: the ones who post too much and the ones who post nothing of value or interest.

As a business owner, that is your worst nightmare because now your followers are  no longer getting your brand’s message and may even feel negatively about your business as a whole.

How do you stop your posts from being relegated to the Facebook post graveyard?  It’s a relatively simple combination of factors.

1) Create relevant content.  Find out what your followers are looking for when they follow your page through a simple email survey.

2) Plan your posts.  Posting five times in half an hour is a surefire way to get your posts hidden from many of your followers feeds.  Try for 1 post a day to start.  If you find that you have more than one post’s worth of relevant information for that day, post twice a day.  Don’t feel the need to share every bit of info from the company.

3) Create engaging posts.  People like to comment on photos, enter contests, get deals, find out about new products, and feel like they are the first to know about something.  By using Facebook as your forum for this, you can spread your brand’s message throughout the Facebook world.

Here’s a great article that reiterates these ideas and presents many more interesting facts about trends in Facebook users hiding posts.

If you would like a free consultation on how to improve your social media marketing, please contact me and I’d be happy to help you form a successful social media marketing plan for your company.

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Posted by: ClewisWrites | January 16, 2012

To Tweet or Not to Tweet? Helpful Tips on Twitter

Twitter gets a lot of coverage in the news yet a lot of people either don’t really understand it or are not quite sure how to use it.  To truly understand it, you need to understand the concept of blogging.  People like to put their information out there, whether it be personal, professional, or anything that falls between those two ends of the spectrum.  Blogs allow you to write just that in a form that can be as long as you want.

Twitter takes that concept and condenses it to 140 characters.  Technically called a micro-blog, users Tweet (v. – The act of using Twitter) their thoughts and lives in short bursts.  Companies really can see some great success on this platform if used correctly.

Twitter tips for companies:

1) Once you’ve determined that this is the platform that matches with your company marketing plan, you need to determine the tone of your tweets.  Do you want to post company news?  Coupons and discounts?  Or just keep people talking about your services?  Whatever you decide, try to keep that tone throughout the tweets on your account.

2) Make a plan on who will tweet.  Get more than one person on board at your company to contribute to the Twitter account.  Have your salesman tweet the daily special.  Have your customer service rep tweet the question of the day.  Get creative with it!

3) Follow people in your industry.  One of the best things about following fellow industry professionals is that you can join in the discussion that they are having simply by re-tweeting and passing the message along.

4) Don’t be afraid to tweet back to your followers.  Mention them in tweets if appropriate and they will then re-tweet your messages.

5) Keep your tweets short and sweet.  Include a link if you have more to say but try to lead into it with something that will really catch your follower.  Remember, you only have 140 characters.

For more helpful tips on how to use Twitter to increase the buzz for your business, contact Clew’d In Media at clewis628@gmail.com.

Posted by: ClewisWrites | January 12, 2012

Snapzing Makes Photo Contests a Snap!

Engaging people is the key to social media.  Comments and discussions are usually the main goal but every now and then, companies want to give their customers a chance to show off their creative side.  Photo contests are one of the more popular ways of engaging consumers in promoting brands.  Whether it be taking a picture with your favorite cup of iced coffee or a snapshot of your new car, companies love to see your photo posted on your wall or tweeted to all your followers.  Nothing is better than word of mouth advertising, especially when it’s fun.

Snapzing, a great new mobile app for iPhone is a wonderful new tool that companies might want to consider using.  Simply explained, Snapzing is a social photo contest where people judge the winners and the winner is given “a major award” (A box with the word fra-gi-le is not included).  Users can make friends and comments are allowed on the photos, thereby allowing word-of-mouth marketing to happen organically with the aid of a simple photo.

Snapzing

The creators of the app want it to be simple and very user-friendly.  They have definitely achieved that.  Once you download the app, simply create your user name and begin.  The challenges are posted and left open for a few days.  During that time period, you have the option to post four photos per contest.  Those photos can either be photos you take specifically for the contest or photos you may have taken in the past and have stored on your phone.  For example, a current contest that is open until January 17, 2012 is entitled “Friends.”  Snapzing users have the opportunity to either take a new picture with their friends and upload it or they can use a picture on their phone that they took together on New Year’s Eve in order to win the giant gummy heart.

Actual entries in Snapzing's Finger Squish contest

Once the uploading period has ended, Snapzing users then have a limited amount of time to vote.  Voting is simple.  Users are shown two different photos and then are asked to tap on the photo which they like better.  Nothing really to think about and nothing that takes too much time, it’s just what you like best.  Users can also use boosts, which are earned by completing judging challenges and also can be purchased.  Snaps can only be boosted once so use your boosts wisely!   Boosts are best used to help out your favorite picture (whether it be your own or someone you have never actually met) get one step closer to that giant gummy heart! Once the judging period ends, the person with the highest score wins.

Actual Giant Gummy Heart Prize for the winner of Snapzing's Friends Contest

It will not be surprising if companies start flocking to this app for a few different reasons, the main reason being that companies set the guidelines for the contests.  For example, if they want to see people take pictures of their favorite menu option at their favorite restaurant in order to win a free weekend getaway in a city of their choosing (just an example), two things then happen.  The restaurant gets more people who live in the area to be interested and the hotel chain that sponsors the contest gets someone to try out their hotel.  A third thing also occurs, the user is able to show off his or her taste for food to their fellow Snapzing friends and Facebook friends (the app is fully integrated with Facebook, no word yet if it will be integrating with the likes of Twitter and any other platforms) as well as attempt to win a pretty fantastic prize.

For more information on how your company can sponsor a Snapzing contest simply head over to their site and fill out this form or for help coordinating a Snapzing contest for your business, contact Clew’d In Media at clewis628@gmail.com today!

Posted by: ClewisWrites | December 27, 2011

Comments Count!

Social Media is wonderful in the fact that everyone now has a voice.  When you like something, you tell your friends about it, if you remember.  When you don’t like something, you definitely tell your friends.  In the past, you might tell a friend over the phone or during a regular get together over lunch.  You may have even attempted to write a letter to the company to express your dissatisfaction with their services. Today you virtually shout it from the Facebook status bar, Tweet about it instantly a la Alec Baldwin or Kevin Smith, and may even post a commentary on YouTube.  Social Media changed the game, not only for the customers but also more importantly for the companies.

With so many social media sites that cater to specific industries (Yelp, TripAdvisor, Epinions) , businesses are forced to pay closer attention to the online conversation. These sites are full of comments, both good and bad, and often are used by future customers to decide whether or not to use your services over the other guy’s services.  For that very reason, business owners need to pay close attention to what is being said online.

Here are a few tips on how to handle comments and how you can use the comments on other social sites to help spread the word of your own business.

RESPOND to comments both good and bad.  By responding to both the good and bad comments, you are not only able to address the issues and thank the positive but also showing that you do read what people are saying.  In a time like now, where people seem to be looking to connect to people rather than businesses, this simple action can help make your business more personable.  Even if it’s a simple “Thank you for the comments, I’d like to contact you to discuss this further,” that’s better than not saying anything at all.

READ other industry blogs and articles written about your industry.  Whether it is a blog written by a stay-at-home mom or an editorial piece posted in your local newspaper, it’s always good to read blogs and articles that pertain to your business.  It’s a great way for you to spread your own expertise on the subject and join in on the conversation as a person who just happens to own a business.  Just make sure that when you post your own comment, you identify yourself by name and also make sure to mention your business name so that you lend some kind of credibility to your comment as well as spread the name of your company.  You never know who might see your comment and decide to give your company a try!

For more in-depth ideas and tips on how to handle comments and best practices for making comments in the online social conversation as well as a free evaluation of your business’ social media reach, email clewis628@gmail.com today!

Posted by: ClewisWrites | December 22, 2011

Start 2012 With the Right Social Media Network

“Social Media” is a term you hear a lot today.  There’s a lot to it: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and on and on.  While most people subscribe to one because they have friends and family they want to keep in touch with, the decision for business use is not one to take lightly.

Start the new year off right by making sure your business is on the right networks and using those networks to not only spread your brand message but also gaining new business and taking care of those customers you already have!

A simple way to do this is to talk to your current customers.  Find out where they frequently log-in and how they spread the word.  Once you find out how the majority of them use social media, you then can form a plan on how you can join the conversation and get your word out to the masses. You may even consider offering some type of “reward” for your customers who help you in your research such as a coupon on their next visit in or some kind of sign of appreciation for their help.

Also, consider your product or brand when deciding on which social network to join.  If you have a product that you would like to feature lots of photos in your conversation, then look at platforms that allow photos such as Facebook, Flickr, or creating a blog with WordPress.  If you really want to just post specials and deals, consider the shorter “mini-blog” format of Twitter. Don’t just jump on the first one you hear about.  It might not be the best way to market your brand.

Ultimately, you want to make sure that you are reaching as many people as possible in a positive way and looking to your current customers to help you achieve that is one of the easiest ways to get started.

For more information and a free consult on getting your business started on the right track to Social Media success in 2012, send me an email at clewis628@gmail.com today!

Posted by: ClewisWrites | December 18, 2011

The True Holiday Spirit

Seven days from today, I will be surrounded by wrapping paper, new toys, and the smell of Christmas brunch cooking.  I almost wish it were tomorrow.  Not because I want it to be over though, but because I really haven’t been this excited for Christmas since I was probably 7 years old. Lil really gets Christmas this year and it’s the first Christmas in a while that we are able to really get in the spirit of the season.

When I was seven, I remember wanting nothing more than the Barbie 6 o’clock News Set.

It was perfect.  It had a little back drop with the screen where you could show the news story and even had a whiteboard piece where you could write your own story. It also had the news desk with microphones and little pens that Barbie and Ken could not possibly hold due to the fact that their little plastic fingers did not bend.  Chairs like little directors chairs and office chairs and a  huge tv camera completed the “News Studio.”   I wanted it so badly.  I remember one night my mom (and maybe my dad but I honestly don’t remember him there) took us out for some last-minute shopping.  We went down the toy aisle and I begged her for it.  I was making promises to clean my room and keep it clean. Promising not to fight with my brothers, to cook dinner, to do anything to get that play set.   She told me that maybe Santa would bring it but she was not buying it for me.  However, we did buy one.  We bought one for Toys for Tots.

 At first, I remember being confused by it.  How could there be little boys and girls who don’t get toys?  Doesn’t Santa bring them toys? Were they naughty and that’s why Santa skipped them? It made no sense to me.  I don’t really remember how my mom explained it to me but I do remember feeling badly for those little boys and girls who didn’t get new toys at Christmas.   I remember the feeling of putting that Barbie 6 o’clock News play set into the Toys for Tots bin and imagining a girl like me who would open it and love it as much as I would love it.  It felt good.

Every year, I make sure to buy at least one gift for this organization that does so much good.  Even this year, when I am being very aware of that number in the bank account, it is one small thing I can do to brighten the life of a child who is not as fortunate as my own.  And if that one toy can help them find something good in the world, then that is all we can hope for.

As you’re out shopping this last week of Christmas, and if you haven’t already done so, you might want to pick up a small gift.  Doesn’t have to be anything flashy.  It can be a pretty Barbie, a small race car, a dolly, an action figure – something you loved as a child – and buy it.  Drop it in the bin or bring it to a local collection point (I think you have until Tuesday 12/20/11 to do it).  Or just make a gift on their website.

If you want to really capture that lost holiday spirit, do something truly generous.  Whether it be Toys for Tots, a donation to your local food pantry, or some random act of kindness like paying for someone’s tank of gas or their Dunkin Donuts drive-thru order, do it.   In a time when funds may be tight, these small acts of kindness really do go a very long way. You will really feel the true meaning of the Christmas spirit and help someone else possibly find it too.

The Ghost of Christmas Present with Ignorance and Want clinging at his robes

Posted by: ClewisWrites | December 16, 2011

The Stages of Unemployment

It’s funny how a simple thing like being “temporarily laid off” can spark something deep inside you.  There are stages of course, similar to the grieving process, before you can achieve that “ah-ha” moment.  Even if there is the promise of coming back to your position, the mind goes through these phases before coming to terms with the situation.

Unemployment - Sucks when your job gets blow'd up

Stage One: Numbness

You get the call.  Your boss tries to delicately break the news that you have been laid off.  They start by telling you that it was in no way a reflection on your performance. You sit there, politely smiling, listening.  Your brain works to process the words being said but really your mind is just hung up on the words, “laid off.”  Things don’t seem so bad.  You think, hey it’s the holidays, I can enjoy a little more time with family and friends.  I don’t have to rush to work and then rush home to finish up holiday shopping or whatever else may need doing.  You really just kind of go numb.  There’s no real emotions – just your brain skipping from one thing to the next as it tries to understand what comes next.

Stage Two: Anxiety

As you process, you start to think of all the little things.  You remember that you still hadn’t purchased Christmas presents for the daycare teachers.  Your car insurance was a payroll deduction.  Your student loan payment was due in a week.  Groceries.  Rent. What if you get into a car crash on the way home from being laid off and end up needing a major surgery.  What if you get diagnosed with a terminal illness at your next doctor’s appointment and need expensive, life-saving treatment?  What if, what if, what if?  You start think of the most outlandish scenarios and all of them end up with you either dying because you didn’t have the money to pay for it or you end up selling your kidney to pay for a family member’s treatment so they can live.  It’s ridiculous but you can’t stop the snowball of life threatening scenarios.  That is the point when you should go to sleep.  Get at least 10 hours that night.  Nothing is going to happen in one night so might as well just get some sleep.   Trust me.  Sleep helps.

Stage Three: Anger

When you wake up in the morning, all of the anxious thoughts should be more rational.  You realize that you were sounding a bit crazy when you told your husband that you were afraid that you all might contract avian flu and require CDC life-saving measures.  Yeah, admit it, that was crazy.  With less crazy going through your brain, you start to analyze – maybe even over-analyze.  So, you find yourself sitting over your cup of coffee, thinking about how if you were the boss, you would have done things differently to avoid the whole situation.  Of course, you really can’t honestly believe the scenario because you really don’t know the whole story behind it all.  But in your grand delusion, you have all the answers and it kind of upsets you that the powers that be didn’t.  Again – not really productive but it clears the way for the next step…

Stage Four: Moping

After you realize that getting angry isn’t going to change anything, you start to question your abilities.  Especially in today’s economy with a degree in writing, or whatever degree you happen to have, I’m sure you think the same thing.  Where do you go?  Who wants you for that?  You start to kind of sell yourself short and really wonder if the mountains of debt you earned while getting said degree were worth it.  Luckily, if you have good family and friends, this stage doesn’t last long.

Stage Five: Reinvention

After a few hours (because, if at all, that’s how long it should take) of moping, you should be ready to dust yourself off and get back into the fray.  It’s daunting and it’s not fun in any sense of the word, but you have to do it.  Just think about what you want to do.  Go back to school.  Take a stab at making those crafts and setting up an etsy shop.  Volunteer while you’re waiting for your next big break or that call back to work.  Do anything that gets you out there.  Do what you love.  I once had a calendar for life’s little instructions.  Some of them stuck and some of them, well, I don’t know whose life they applied to.  At any rate, the one I hold on to every day read “Do what makes you happy and you’ll find a way to make money doing it.”


Go out there and do.  Be happy.  The universe likes happy people.  Become one of them and everything will fall into place.  After all – you can’t take it with you!  Make the most of it. You never know what you might find!

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