3 Reasons to Use Twitter in Your Educational Marketing

twitterMost companies use Twitter the same way they use advertising – as a one-way communication blast. Although it is easy to set up and manage your Twitter account this way, it is limiting and off-putting to your target audience. They quickly see through your self-serving Tweets, and tune you out. Often, for good. If you think of your website as “information central” and your Twitter account as an “outpost,” gathering and sharing intelligence, then you’ve got the right idea.The three best ways to use Twitter in your marketing are:

 

  • Research
  • Building Awareness
  • Establishing Authority

You can think of research in this sense as keeping your ear to the ground. Educators are talking and sharing on Twitter. They share what’s happening in their classrooms and schools, what they think about education issues, and what they need help with. Twitter is a direct channel to the connected educator…the educator who is actively invested in learning how to be more effective by connecting with other educators across the country. Building a community of interest and awareness of your products is the goal on Twitter. It is not a direct sales channel. As you know, educators are particularly sensitive to marketing spiels. Once they determine you are more interested in selling your stuff than in helping them, they’re gone. They’ll pass right over you.

So, how do you build community and awareness without turning off educators?

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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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Three Basic Elements of Successful Customer Engagement

talking chairs individualityEarlier this week we talked about the difference between social media marketing and content marketing. What they share at their core is the idea of authentic customer engagement.

So what is the essence of successful customer engagement?

First you must to listen with genuine interest to your customer. You have to hear what their concerns, issues and goals are.

Second, you must understand how to help them solve their concerns with what you have to offer which is relevant to them.

Third, you must respond to them in an authentic and transparent way supporting their need for individual attention, additional information or the move to the next step of the process.

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The Difference Between Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing

To put these topics in appropriate relationship to each other, it’s best to begin with a definition of content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as ‘the creation and distribution of educational or compelling content in multiple formats used to acquire and retain customers.”

What do we mean by “content”? Content can be as short as 140-character tidbits to share on Twitter or it can be long-form white papers, articles, videos, etc. To be valued, the content has to be informational and topic-focused rather than the traditional product focused marketing of the past.

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Social Proof: What is It and Why Do Educational Publishers Want It?

Wikipedia defines social proof as a psychological phenomenon where the actions of others are indications of correct behavior around a particular situation.

In social media, social proof is reflected in the number of Twitter followers you have; the number of fans on your Facebook page; the number of RSS readers your blog has; the number of views for your YouTube videos, etc.

Why is this important? It’s a clear indication to your prospects that you have content worth reading – that your opinions will be important to them.

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3 New Rules of Branding

Traditional branding focused on push-out messaging via advertising, marketing and sales. In the traditional model, the publisher or the manufacturer controlled the conversation around the brand.

No more.

Here are 3 new rules of branding:

It's relationships not transactions.

The power position has shifted to the customer.

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SEO Series: Part 2 – What is Search Engine Optimization Exactly?

First published February 26, 2008

SEO can take many forms but one time-tested strategy is evaluating the primary keywords that people enter into search engines to find relevant content. Make sure that those keywords appear multiple times in your page text. Strive to use those key words as frequently as you can while ensuring that your text still reads easily and naturally to your audience. You want to avoid "stuffing" keywords into your text artificially, however. Current recommendations are that keywords should comprise no more than four percent of your total text.

When automated programs from the search engines called "spiders" find your website, they create an index of words used on your web pages. The more frequently keywords appear on your pages, the more relevant  the search engine considers your page for those keywords and the higher it places the link to your website on the list. This is called "organic" search and is more valuable to a searcher than "paid" search links.

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Why Company Blogs Are Important to Today’s Educational Publisher

First published March 27, 2008

As an educational publisher, your mission is to create engaging content to improve the learning of students in this country. You already create the products to do so – but in today’s busy world, traditional marketing methods often fail to attract attention from those who influence (and make) the buying decisions. 

Fortunately, there is a way to take advantage of new technology and social trends to build more interest in your product. You can add additional context and increased value through launching a corporate blog.

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A 3-Point Strategy To Create An Effective Company Blog

First published April 7, 2008

For a company blog to resonate with an audience of influencers, it needs to have a plan of action to help it meet that goal. Without a plan, there is no focus or continuity and the effort falls flat. In fact, a poorly executed blog can do more harm than good. Why? Because you’ve promised something you did not deliver.

Fortunately, creating a plan is fairly straight forward. It simply requires that you are clear about expectations, what your company wants to accomplish, and then committing sufficient resources to effectively realize the blog’s goals and objectives.

Here are some suggestions to maximize your investment in a company blog:

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