Every smart business uses social media to expand their customer/audience base, and many of them have it all figured out, with thousands of fans and followers, and consistent engagement, so how do you know if you are doing it right? If what you’re doing is working?

Some of the most commonly made mistakes are easily avoidable.

-Having an authentic connection with your audience – Do your followers engage with your content? They should be. Posting regularly, with value added content is a great way to encourage engagement from your audience. Include alluring call to action statements in your content to initiate conversations with your audience. When you have a conversation with your audience you become human, and your connection deepens

-Creating a strategy – I cannot say this enough; You have to have a plan! Posting randomly on your social media platforms without a strategic plan and goals, will get you nowhere! It is probably the most important aspect to consider in your social media efforts. Your customers spend an average of 20 minute, 4 times a day on social media, and with more and more businesses adopting social media into their marketing plans, you need to make sure you are not just adding to the noise with your social media. Be strategic in planning how to target your customers and provide engaging content for them.

-A decrease in organic reach – 50,000,000+ businesses have a Facebook page. On average they post 1.48 times each day. 2% is their Facebook organic reach, and this number continues to decline, (source: DMR) but why? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc, they all get the majority of their revenue from advertising, so what does that mean for your business? Simply put, you have to pay to play. With paid advertising you can more than triple your reach, and with each platforms targeting features, you can ensure that you are only paying for the customers who are relevant for your business’ growth.

-Consistently creating GOOD content – Creating good content is a must! Start with a schedule. Create an editorial calendar with topics and categories for you posts to organize your content. This helps make the task seem less overwhelming too. Keep a journal and take down notes on ideas when they come to you, then when you sit down each month to create your calendar, you’ll have many ideas already. Repurpose your content. Analyze what worked and reuse it later on. Don’t post the exact same thing, but take a blog post that did well, and highlight something new.

-Posting quantity over quality – Quality content builds trust and a following, it’s engaging, it creates social proof. Before you post, ask yourself; is this relevant? Is this helpful to my customers? Is there value in this content? If you answer yes, then you’re good to go, if not, try going back to the drawing board, your audience will thank you.

-Reaching a large audience – The fastest way to reach a large audience is to pay for it, but it’s not the only way. Shares on your content spread your content to relevant audiences as well. Know your audience, know where they spend their time, and know how to create engaging content to increase your chances of your audience wanting to share your content.
-Creating quality graphics – Imagery is so important! It is the first thing your customers see when deciding whether or not to stop and read. If it’s not gripping, your customer’s are not as likely to stop and look. Often times this is a picture that can create an emotional response from your customers, but it can also be a video. Make sure your imagery is clear and high quality. If you’re not a professional photographer, or don’t have the funds to hire one, there are tons of websites that offer high quality imagery, some for purchase, and some for free. One of my favorites is Pixabay.

-Getting your audience to share your content – Ask! If you don’t ask, you can’t receive, so Ask your audience to share your content. Create quality content that makes them want to share it. Use catchy headlines, great imagery and ask them to share it.

Hopefully these suggestions were helpful. If you have other mistakes you want to share, please comment on the blog. For specific questions shoot me an email at janell@firstascentsocialmarketing.com.

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“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” -John Muir

 

As a business owner life can be described as complicated, crazy, hectic, busy, ever-changing, on-the-go, etc. So sometimes you need to take the time to simply recharge. We all seek that elusive ‘Life Balance’, and as an outdoor, adventure lover, I choose to do so outside, often on a rock somewhere and I look to other outdoor enthusiasts for inspiration all the time. Here’s a list of some of my favorite adventure seekers and their blogs. I’d also love to hear from all of you, who your favorites are. Leave them in the comments below so I can go check them out.

 

  1. Sasha DiGiulian – Sasha writes about more than just climbing, she is also an advocate for empowering women and kids through sports. She is on the Board of the Women’s Sports Foundation and serves as a Global Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play, Up2Us Sports, and the American Alpine Club.
  2. Just a Colorado Gal – Heather Balogh Rochfort, the voice behind Just a Colorado Gal, is a typical, Colorado Gal. She has a job, a husband, a mortgage, etc, but she still finds time to get outside and explore. Her adventures are great reads and she keeps me motivated to find that illusive life balance thing.
  3. Dirtbag Darling – Johnie Gall writes compelling posts about her outdoor adventures and others. She’s a huge advocate for conservation and taking care of our earth and seeks to spread that message and passion through her blog.
  4. Adventure Journal – Adventure Journal is an online magazine started by Steve Casimiro. It is an awesome go-to resource for adventurers. You can find gear reviews, camp stories, history lessons, recipes and more.
  5. Outside Online – Want to get in shape? Eat good food? Travel to cool places? Know what to pack? Outside Online is where it’s at. The online mag provides a plethora of information on anything and everything outdoors.
  6. Outdoor Research –  Outdoor Research is more than just a rad outdoor clothing company, they also support individuals outdoor adventures with scholarships like the #SheAdventures and others. They are a tribe built on pursuing outdoor passions and they want everyone else to do the same. Go check them out and get inspired for your next adventure.
  7. Gear Junkie – Gear Junkie is an awesome blog for gear reviews and outdoor news. Their video section and photo galleries will get you itching to get outside and their gear reviews will help you decide which products to take with you.
  8. Outdoor Womens Alliance – OWA is an amazing group of volunteers who engage, empower, and educate women all around the world. Their blog inspires confidence and leadership in women and encourages adventure through their captivating stories and shared experiences.
  9. She Explores – She Explores is a group of adventurous women who collectively tell stories, photographs, and artwork. They are creative, driven, and ready to explore the outdoors.

Social media can be a powerful tool in your business growth and marketing strategy, but it has to be done well to provide successful results. In my last blog post I discussed how to stretch your advertising budget with social media, how to find your audience over age 25, and more. Here are some more of the biggest myths and mistakes to be aware of when utilizing social media for your business.

 

  • Social media is an independent strategy … Social media marketing is not successful if thought of as an independent strategy, it is part of a well-oiled machine that incorporates a strong brand, content strategy, and a strong website. If you don’t provide your customers something consistent to respond to they could lose interest, without strong content strategy you’ll have nothing to post that captures new and current customers and without a strong website, much of the traffic you’ve worked so hard to curate will likely bounce.
  • Scheduled posts will do the work for me … Post scheduling tools have become increasingly popular and they are great tools to make sure you are posting consistently, but don’t overestimate the power of in-the-moment posts as well. Social media is SOCIAL, so socializing with your audience is just as important as posting about your latest blog post or current special.
  • I can put the same post on all my platforms … So many businesses are busy and so in order to be efficient they create one social post and push it out on all their platforms. This should be done with extreme caution. Every platform is different, and every platform has a different demographic, so changing your post to be relevant on each one will lead to greater success. Instagram needs hashtags and a compelling image. Facebook should have a little more depth but still a compelling image, hashtags need not apply. Twitter should be short and to the point, a dangling carrot to lead your customer to more information if they are interested.
  • I’m successful, I have a large number of followers … Social Media Secret: You can buy followers…but these don’t usually turn into brand advocates or paying customers, so the number of followers you have does not always directly correlate with how successful your brand is. Take the time to create compelling content and engage with your audience and your customer base and brand advocates will naturally increase.
  • I’ll see results in 30 to 60 days … Social media is NOT a short sales cycle folks! It takes time, effort, and consistency. Most brands should expect to spend a minimum of 6-12 months building a community. Paid advertising can help expedite this process a little, but you will still need to invest in content strategy and community management to build and maintain a quality following and consistent brand awareness.

 

 

If all of this makes your head spin please don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can best serve you. 

 

Social media can be a powerful tool in your business growth and marketing strategy, but it has to be done well to provide successful results. In my last blog post I discussed which platforms your customers are on, how to drive the bottom line with social media, and more. Here are some more of the biggest myths and mistakes to be aware of when utilizing social media for your business.

 

  • Do NOT talk about yourself … Authenticity is sometimes hard to find on social media. It is important to speak to your audience, but showing them your brand’s personality can help engage your audience and boost an emotional connection which drives buying decisions. So share your brand’s sense of humor, post something you find inspiring, even if it isn’t directly related to your industry, post pictures of you and your office, share the behind-the-scenes story of your brand.
  • Social media is only for young people … WRONG!

 

  • 32% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 50 use Twitter
  • 52% of internet users between 55 and 64 are on a social network
  • 93% of adults are on Facebook

 

  • I don’t have enough content to do social media … Social media is an ever-moving beast, meaning new content is constantly being added, which also means, your content comes and goes rather quickly in the grand scheme of the news stream, so by all-means recycle, repurpose, reuse your content, chances are you’ll reach a new audience this time, just do your loyal followers a favor and highlight something new each time.
  • Social media is free marketing … It’s free to create your account, yes, but it is still a resource you’ll need to invest in. It is considered one of the lower cost per lead marketing tools, but that doesn’t mean you can get by without investing some capital it your strategy. The most efficient use of your dollars lies in hiring an expert, this is their job, so they are effective and efficient when it comes to social media strategy, so don’t waste your time and your money, hire an expert who can maximize and stretch your dollars on each relevant platform. Contact Us
  • Likes and followers are what truly matters … Likes and followers are great, but social media is also used as a lead generation tool, and for that you need to start a conversation. Not every follower or like will equal a customer, so seek to engage with your customers to weed through who is most likely to become a strong lead or customer and go for quality vs quantity.

 

Stay tuned for Part 4 where I cover topics like “Social Media is an independent strategy” and “I’ll see results in 30-60 days” and more.

 

Social media can be a powerful tool in your business growth and marketing strategy, but it has to be done well to provide successful results. In my last blog post I discussed where to hashtag and how, which platforms to join, and more. Here are some more of the biggest myths and mistakes to be aware of when utilizing social media for your business.

 

  • My customers aren’t on social media … BS! Facebook has nearly 2 billion users, and over ½ of them are daily users. The average user spends 20 minutes 4 times a day! That’s 60 minutes of daily opportunity for your business! Instagram has over 150 million daily users. LinkedIn has over 467 million users and 40% of them use it daily. So let’s be clear, your customers ARE on social media, many of them daily, so are you willing to give up the opportunity to reach over 2 billion individuals?
  • I should only try to get fans and followers that will become customers … Quality is absolutely important, but so is quantity. A larger audience gives you access to their friends and fans. They could be an influencer. When your content is shared it improves your SEO. And you never know who someone might know, and referrals are one of the strongest lead sources.
  • If my friends and family like all of my posts and updates, my online presence will be epic … You can’t just have grandma and dad like all your posts, the EdgeRank algorithm is a LOT more sophisticated than that. You have to have a variety of individuals/businesses interacting with your content in order to grow your audience and improve your reach.
  • I have to respond to activity right away … Speedy responses are appreciated, but not always necessarily. You are running a business and are juggling many priorities at once, so do your best to get back to someone within 24 hours and you’ll be just fine.
  • Social media marketing campaigns don’t drive bottom line results … Social media does more than just increase brand awareness and generate leads, here are a few stats from Hubspot to consider:
  • Companies that use Twitter average 2X more leads than those that don’t.
  • Companies with 1k or more Twitter followers get 6x more traffic.
  • 45% of marketers note social media has a below average cost-per-lead compared to other channels.
  • 62% of companies using LinkedIn for marketing have acquired a customer from it.
  • 52% of companies using Facebook for marketing have acquired a customer from it.
  • 44% of companies using Twitter for marketing have acquired a customer from it.

Stay tuned for Part 3 where I cover topics like “I don’t have enough content” and “Social Media is only for young people” and more. Want help navigating social media for your business? Contact Us

Social media can be a powerful tool in your business growth and marketing strategy, but it has to be done well to provide successful results. Here are some of the biggest myths and mistakes to be aware of when utilizing social media for your business.  

 

  • It’s easy, anyone can do it … Sure anyone can update a status or send out a tweet, but just any post won’t drive results. A social media strategist knows your audience, knows the types of posts that will resonate with them, knows the language they speak, and knows how to capture them visually as well. All of these things go into creating a quality social media post, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
  • You should use hashtags in all your posts … You know the posts, “#social #media is the #best way to #boost my #ratings #instadaily #likeme #followme” They can be so annoying to viewers! Hashtags are meant to help bring unity to conversation threads and to make your content searchable. They work best on Instagram and with minimal use in a tweet, but don’t overdo it, that could be distracting your audience from the message you want to get across.
  • Ad dollars are a waste of money … Social media is another advertising tool for your business. It is NOT free. You have to pay to play. Conversion pixels, Brand Awareness, Local Awareness, Engagement, Video Views, etc, which one is right for you? Every business is different so it’s important to know the difference between different ad types and how they help reach the audience right for your business. If this sounds confusing to you I’m available for consultations. Contact Us
  • You need to be on every single platform … Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Tumbler, etc. There are so many different platforms for you to consider, but knowing which ones are best for your business is just as important. Each platform has a unique customer, so identifying your audience and knowing which platforms the use for what is research well worth your time.
  • You only need to post when you feel like it … Social media is the Las Vegas of marketing, it NEVER sleeps! Content is constantly updating and streaming, and you have to publish it consistently if you don’t want to get lost in the crowd. Each platform’s recommended quantity varies, if you need help navigating this reach out to an expert. Contact Us

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I cover topics like “My customers aren’t on Social media” and “Social Media Marketing campaigns don’t drive the bottom line” and more.

How do I increase web traffic? How do I get more followers? How do I increase engagement? How do I sell more? These are all thoughts small to mid-sized business owners have when it comes to their social media presence. It used to be that your business would just grow by reputation, and then marketing came into play, and now social media is putting a whole new spin on “word of mouth” growth. Social Media is one of the first places customers go to when researching a new business, so if you don’t have a strong presence then you might be sending the wrong message.

 

Many people think they can just hire an intern to do the job, or they can handle it themselves, or they want to bring it in-house and create a new position for it, but in reality, these avenues often lead to a more costly and less effective method of Social Media Management. An intern can likely do so social media posts for you, maybe even a little blogging, but they won’t know how to build a strategy specific to your brand and your brands goals, so most of their efforts will fall somewhat “flat”. Some business owners are really great at telling their brand’s story, but often times when they try to take on the social media for their company, they find they don’t have the time needed to dedicate to a full-blown social media strategy. When you add up the costs of a new position and the benefits for that individual they generally always come out higher than what it will cost your company to hire an outside expert.

 

So what’s the solution? Hire an outside social media expert, it will be efficient and cost-effective for your company.

 

Social media experts:

  • Stay on top of changing trends
  • They know how to use Keywords to boost SEO
  • They build a Strategy – how many posts? When to post? What type of posts? Etc
  • They know how to use Ad platforms, what type of ads you need to run, how to read the analytics of these ads to ensure consistent increases, where to run the ads, and what your budget should be
  • They know how to reach your target market,  which platforms your target audience is on, when they are on, and what types of posts they will engage with
  • They know how to use google analytics
  • They know how to copywrite. What type of language to use to speak to your audience
  • They know how to help your brand maintain authenticity
  • They know how to maintaining engagement with your audience
  • They know how to build your influencer audience
  • They know how to analyze your conversion pixels and adjust strategy based on those results

 

All of these things, and so much more. Learning all of these things takes a lot of time, and with new platforms and features popping up everyday, it’s hard to do all of that while completing your other tasks, and keep up to date with all the new add ons. When you hire a social media expert, you are hiring someone with all of these skills and the dedicated time your business deserves.

 

If you’re looking for a social media expert to help your business grow shoot me an email at janell@firstascentsocialmarketing.com or fill out my contact form on the Contact Us page.

The outdoor industry is growing exponentially, with new brands popping up all the time, but these 6 brands set themselves apart not only because of their superior product or services, but because they are giving back in a big way!

   tension-logo Tension Climbing – Friends Will Anglin and Ben Spannuth took their 30+ years of climbing experience and created the awesome hold company, Tension Climbing. Each hold is handcrafted in Colorado with carefully selected, locally sourced, American hardwoods. They use a non-toxic, chemical free process for finishing, and donate $1 of every purchase towards global reforestation through the non-profit One Tree Planted. As if that isn’t enough to love them, try training on their holds. The smooth finish on each hold makes you rely on body tension while you’re climbing, making you a more efficient and stronger climber. We love these holds because they don’t tear your skin apart when you’re training, and they make you rely on good technique rather than brute strength to get up the wall. Follow them on Social https://www.facebook.com/Tension-Climbing @tensionclimbing (IG) and check out their goods here http://www.tensionclimbing.com

 

beast-fingers-logo Beast Fingers Climbing – Designed and manufactured in Denver, Colorado, Beast Fingers has created an awesome on-the-go training tool. The Grippūl is the original climbing hold isolator. You can connect any type of climbing hold to it with some slings and hang from anywhere. You can even attach it to a cable pull machine at your gym to add weight. The Grippūl was designed to help build and maintain finger, hand, and grip strength, imperative skills needed to improve your climbing. We love Beast Fingers because it allows you to take your training anywhere and for the support they give to athletes in all climbing communities. Follow them on Social https://www.facebook.com/beastfingers/, @beastfingersclimbing, @beast_fingers and check out their goods here http://beastfingersclimbing.com

 

kush-logo KUSH – KUSH Climbing is owned and operated out of Colorado. They create lightweight, durable, and eco-friendly rock climbing equipment by hand! Using recycled and low impact materials in all their products while teaming up with artists from all over the world to curate unique and inspiring designs. They create awesome crash pads, fanny packs, and more. Not to mention they also give back 1% to our planet and 2% to nonprofits selected by their customers and athletes! We love this company because of their commitment to the environment and sustainability, as well as their charitable nature plus their products are innovative, inspiring and stand the test of time! Follow them on social https://www.facebook.com/KushClimbing/ @KushClimbing on IG, and get in touch to create your goods here http://www.kushclimbing.com

 

dmg-logo Denver Mountain Guiding – Denver Mountain Guiding is owned and operated out of Golden Colorado. They provide a superior mountain experience for those interested in pushing their limits on real rock. They also have amazing summer camps for youth that teaches safety and proper techniques when climbing outside, while building friendships and enjoying the outdoors. Their guides are hand selected to ensure they are qualified to safely guide you and give you an experience you’ll never forget. We love this company because of their dedication to the perseverance of the outdoors, as well as their ability to create a memorable outdoor experience for any level. Follow them on social https://www.facebook.com/DenverMountainGuiding/ @denvermountainguiding (IG) and check out their website to book your next adventure www.denvermountainguiding.com

 

friction-labs-logo Friction Labs  – Denver based chalk company, Friction Labs makes the best chalk. It is the purest, longest-lasting chalk on the market. They source the best ingredients from all over the world and process it locally in Denver, Colorado. They are changing the game for your hands. We love them because they are simply the best. As a climber your hands are one of your biggest assets and you need to keep them healthy, Friction Labs uses pure ingredients to make the most superior chalk on the market. They also support many athletes from Amateurs to Pros. Follow them on social www.facebook.com/FrictionLabs and @frictionlabs (IG) and check out their goods at www.frictionlabs.com

 

himali-logo Himali – Himali designs and produces outerwear made to stand up to the highest demands on the planet. The Boulder based outdoor clothing company is made up of David Schaeffer and Tendi Sherpa. They stand to take action for schools and safe water in Nepal. A portion of proceeds are invested into the Himalayan region, particularly by supporting schools and also by fueling initiatives that provide clean water. We love them because they make incredible gear made for any adventure your heart desires and for their commitment to supporting education and clean water to a community in need. Follow them on social www.facebook.com/himalilife, @himali (IG) and check out their goods at http://himalilife.com  

Brands like these inspire us to give back as well. That is why we are proud members of the Colorado Outdoor Business Alliance (COBA), a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening public lands protections by amplifying the presence of business voices. COBA unites outdoor recreation businesses and businesses who love the outdoors around the state to build a consistent, sustained, and notable advocacy presence for this emerging economy. We pledge to donate 1% of our sales to COBA in 2017. To find out how you can support COBA go to http://conservationco.org/business-alliance/

A hashtag is used to label your content to make it more searchable and discoverable upon social media sites, but should you use it on all your social media sites?

Hashtags were originally created for Twitter and were used in place of words in your 140 character tweet. However since then they have spread across many other social media sites, Facebook, Instagram, blogging, etc. It is a great way to potentially reach more people with your posts as it creates a tag associated with your post which is like free SEO.

So how do you use it?

First you need to make sure your hashtags are unique, memorable, and relevant. Pair them with pictures – pictures with hashtags increase your views and encourage more engagement.  Don’t cloud your post with hashtags, instead group them together at the end of your post, so your message is easier to read. If you use trending hashtags it can be an easy way to increase your followers and engagement, however don’t get too carried away and overuse hashtags that aren’t relevant to your post. Take the time to explore hashtags so you can be sure you are using the most widely used hashtags that are relevant to your post.

Now which platforms do hashtags make sense?

Twitter? Yes! Absolutely use hashtags on Twitter. This helps categorize your posts and tweets with hashtags get twice the level of engagement then tweets without. Don’t go crazy though, 1 or 2 will do. Tweets with 1 or 2 hashtags show an increased engagement level of 21%, where as tweets with more than 2 hashtags receive 17% lower engagement.

Instagram? Yes! This is where you can go crazy with hashtags. Posts with 11 or more hashtags show the highest engagement and interaction rate.

Facebook? Forget about it. Facebook posts with hashtags actually show a lower performance rate than those without. So skip the # here!

Happy #Hashtagging!

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I’ve been helping brands create, expand, reinvent, and refine themselves in the social media marketing space since 2012 and in February of this year, a friend gave me the push I needed to try and create my own brand, my social media brand. It was scary and intimidating, daunting at times, but also wildly exciting and everything I expected as well as everything I did not!

I’ve never been the 9-5 desk job kind of gal. I love adventure, and to be outdoors, and when the mountains are calling, I want to go! So the need for flexibility to have the work life balance we all seek, means working from coffee shops, in a van by the crag, in a corner at Miguel’s Pizza in the Red River Gorge, or out on the trail. Just like my daughter can’t keep her room clean, I can’t be tied down to a desk, I need to be mobile!

So I did it, I jumped! I spent months doing what I thought I should be doing; building a website, creating social media pages, writing and then deleting blog posts, creating processes, phoning a friend when I got stuck, looking at other social media marketer’s pages, and sitting and staring at my computer for hours and hours and hours. This is not what I wanted. I wanted to help people. I wanted to help businesses. I wanted to be a voice….And then I got a call, someone wanted me to help them! Hallelujah! So I stopped working on website and I stopped building my pages, and I stopped staring at my computer and I started helping.

It felt so good to be back doing the part that I liked; helping a business find their voice, helping them spread their message, helping them be seen online! So why was this so hard for me to do for my own business? How was I going to keep this going if I didn’t do this for myself? I wasn’t…So now, I’m jumping again. I’m writing my first blog post, finishing my website, creating social media pages, email lists, and all that jazz. And I gotta tell you, its pretty cool!

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