3 Ways to Optimize Your Investment of Time in Social Media

 

Time to go One of the biggest objections to launching a social media plan is concern about the investment of time and money.

Straightforward social media plans do not have to cost a lot of money. You can certainly spend a lot of money, but more expensive does not necessarily equate to more successful.

The largest component of any social media plan is time. Whether it’s your time, a team member’s time or a freelancer’s time, it takes time and lots of it.

There are a number of automation programs that can make social media more efficient: Hoot Suite, Hubspot, and Wildfire are three of the most popular. However, you don’t want to sacrifice engagement and building relationships for greater efficiency. Even the best automation plans require time spent on interaction with your community.

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Insights from ‘The Zen of Social Media Marketing’ Guru Shama Hyder Kabani-a Review

 

front cover of the zen of social media marketingRight at the outset in the book’s introduction, Kabani points out the primary difficulty marketers have with social media. Their challenge is that they’re trying to apply traditional marketing rules to what essentially is a platform outside their control.

Therein, lies the most important lesson for companies struggling to understand social media marketing. The balance of power has shifted to consumers. By the time you become aware of your prospect, your prospect has already acquired massive amounts of information about you. Through search, social media, and recommendations from friends and colleagues, the consumer researches you and your company before you get a chance to say the first word.

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TEDx Talk by netTrekker Founder Randy Wilhelm – Igniting the Hope of Knowing

Photo of Randy Wilhelm, netTrekker founderAt TEDx event at Xavier University in May, netTrekker (now Knovation) founder Randy Wilhelm described children's innate curiosity as "living in the question." Kids think they can do anything – even fly. Their imaginations are free to explore any idea that is interesting to them.

However, in public education Wilhelm muses, we have lost our way as "the currency of education is no longer in the question – education currency is in the answer." In fact, we have organized ourselves around a system where success is defined as the highest total of correct answers.

In his talk, Wilhelm explores the idea that we, as adults, are asking the wrong question of our children. Instead of asking, "how intelligent are you?," we should be asking, "how are you intelligent?"

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The #1 Blogging Mistake and How to Fix It

It's easy to do. We're all so busy in "regular" times that when we hit "extraordinary" times, our too-full schedules quickly come unraveled.

I'm no different, which is why it's been since late May since my last blog post. I have perfectly good reasons. Most of us do. A family wedding, a funeral, a conference, travel, a summer cold and VOILA!! More than a month has passed without a blog post.

If I were one of my own clients, this is what I'd say:

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Do You Know the Difference Between Content Marketing v. Inbound Marketing?

content marketing-inbound marketingAs the terms "content marketing" and "inbound marketing" gain greater traction, it's important to note the ways they are the same and different from previous types of marketing and how they relate to each other.

Smart companies understand that everyone in their organization is in the customer service business and everyone helps market the business through their daily interactions with customers and prospects. So, the end goal of marketing has not changed. We are still in the business of connecting the right people with the right product or service.

While some of the basic units of effective marketing are the same, the strategy and process of getting to the end goal are a bit different. And of course, we're calling it something new.

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Content Marketing IS Real Writing

woman typing on keyboardAs long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a writer. From the time I knew what a writer was, I've wanted to be one. In those long ago days when I wanted to be able to create the kind of adventures I loved reading, I believed that a real writer was a fiction writer.

Turns out that a lot of people felt that you weren't a legitimate writer unless you wrote fiction. Aside from the fact that journalists routinely win Pulitzer prizes and some of the best writing in our culture is nonfiction such as biography, essays and memoir, there has always been a hierarchy of writers with fiction writers at the top of the pyramid.

And business or corporate writing? That was considered beneath notice of "real" writers. It was commercial – as if selling novels, newspapers and magazines were not?

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Case Study Must Haves for K-12 Solutions

 

students and school computersOne of the most common ways to demonstrate product efficacy or to tell a product story in the K-12 industry is through a case study or a customer success story. Case studies are an important component of your content marketing strategy in pushing out content of interest to your community of prospects.

While the general structure of a case study is basically the same across all industries, K-12 stories are usually quite compelling because they strike at the heart of two things our culture holds most dear – kids and education.

Case studies have a four-part basic structure:

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Why Content is the Secret Sauce in Your Marketing Mix

 

secret sauce for your marketing mixWhen developing a marketing mix for a new campaign, not only do we need to ensure that each channel's tactics complements the others, but they also need to stand on their own to move the prospect forward to the next step in the process.

Our marketing mix should include every available channel that makes sense for the product. We can choose from: direct marketing (including email, phone, print), search marketing, social media marketing, advertising, public relations and mobile marketing.

Different products require a different marketing mix, but no matter what channels we use, each should lead the prospect to the product website which is "brand central." It's there that we get to tell our story in detail and prove our authentic intention to help customers solve their problems.

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The Thing that Binds us to Each Other in the K-12 Industry

Everyone in the education industry has experienced it. Those who leave the industry eventually come back because they miss it. Competitors sit on panels together and share what they know because of it. Most associations depend on it to stir their memberships into active engagement, and every school has teachers and administrators that live and breathe it every day.

No matter where we work inside the industry – educator, vendor, policy makers or advocates, we share a passion for learning that propels us to make a difference for today’s students.

Although there are certainly people and companies that become wealthy in the K-12 world, accumulating wealth is not the driving force that brings us together nor keeps our interest over the course of a career.

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Grow Your Business with Online Professional Learning Communities

grow your businessK-12 educators receive encouragement from their school districts to seek out online professional development opportunities. There they can form professional learning communities (PLCs) or a professional learning network (PLN). While some districts provide direction and a platform, other districts encourage teachers, librarians and administrators to find and participate in a PLC of their own choosing.

Earlier this week I had the privilege of presenting a free webinar called “Growing Your Business with Online Communities,” for K-12 education publishers sponsored by edWeb.net, a professional social network for the education community, and MCH Strategic Data, an education data company.

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