Category Archives: Business

Content Writing: A Writers Perspective

In a recent Twitter conversation, the subject of Content and what it means came up and brought up a few questions for me to ponder related to Content Writing and my understanding of the subject. I am indeed, a Content Writer, and I know what that means to me, but how do I explain it? So I took the questions a step further in my head and narrowed them down to the one main question that answers all of the rest:

What is “Good” Content??

My definition of “Good” Content is: “Information being provided that is valuable to the reader, that they can use”. Ultimately, with this being the case, whether or not a particular piece of content is “good” or “bad” is really left up to the reader or audience.

Below are some guidelines that I consider when curating or creating content:

  1. Relevant: Is the content that you’re providing relevant to your target audience or industry?
  2. Useful : How can your audience use the information that is being provided?
  3. Measurable: Is there evidence to support the information that you’re providing?

In this case it becomes very apparent how important it is to know your audience in the Content Writing and Content Marketing World.

In order to know their audience and to be able to provide the best content for them, a Content Writer actually has to put themselves in the shoes of the audience that they are trying to reach.

Content Writing is definitely an unselfish business. Writing “Good” Content requires that the writer to be able to make a commitment to themselves and to their audience to stretch themselves. This “stretch” includes: overcoming any preconceived notions, ideas, and previous understanding of the topic at hand, in order to be able to look at each content piece as brand new. The Content Writer also has to develop a personal commitment to Research, research and more research. The amount of research that is involved in the content writing process is critical to make sure that before a Content Writer suggests to their audience that  x  equals y that they have verified, that x actually does equal y under the current circumstances.  Some components of research and preparing to deliver a stellar content piece involves: Formatting, Spell Checking, Sourcing Content, Graphics, Empathy, and having access to Plenty of Coffee.

This isn’t a comprehensive list.

The Content Writer lays the groundwork for the reader. In turn this translates into the writer being able to provide a fresh, unbiased perspective on their topic of interest from an informed point of view. (This is where the value comes in for the reader.)

We live in a world of 140 character interactions and constantly divided attention. Many of us don’t have the time to do formal research every time we want to know about a product, service; or to stay on top of the current events that are happening in our world. This is where the Content Writer comes in. The role of the Content Writer is to act as an expert or liaison between the audience and the content that is going to provide the most value to them.

A Content Writer does most of the heavy lifting for their audience. The writer knows that regardless of whatever other variables that may be in play, the common threads between “all” audiences is time and value. Companies like “Yelp” have gotten this concept down to a science. (If I see any less than 3 stars consistently..I keep it moving.)

My Content Guidelines:

 valuedcontentgraphic

I can’t tell you how many times that Yelp reviews have determined the fate of my evening or how I spend my free time (which is in very short supply). Yelp understands the value of the content formula.

As Content Writers we owe it to our audience to provide them with the best information that they can use, apply, learn from, or resolve an issue, in the least amount of time as possible.

When Good Content is provided, Everybody Wins. The audience that is looking for a solution to their issue, or answer to their question wins; by achieving their desired goal. The writer wins by being able to provide a solution that meets the needs of their audience, in a way that is meaningful and valuable.

Content Writers and Content Marketers can continue to win by taking the time to hone their crafts. By consistently producing good, or engaging content, the Content Writer is letting their audience know that they appreciate their time, and the fact that we all have a shared interest in relevant content that makes all of our lives just a little bit easier.

For the Content Writer or Content Manager this is a tall order Indeed. However, I believe that we are up for the challenge.

Content Writers are like our own little Army…of Wordsmiths.

“We write more by 6am, than most people do..all day.”

Fellow Content Writers and Marketers, Are you up for the challenge??

If so, when you’re working on your next piece or article remember these words:

“I will provide valuable and engaging content to my readers at all times.”

Ready..Set…Write!!

-Ms. Loyd,

Online Content Developer & Social Media Manager

 

 

 

 

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The Social Media Manager: An Overview


The role of a Social Media Manager in business is to facilitate relationships between businesses and consumers using the medium of Social Media Accounts.

A good bit of our time both personally and professionally is spent using Social Media. We use Social Media for shopping, entertainment, information, communication, and then some. The main focus of a Social Media Managers is connecting consumers to the right services in a way that is convenient and meaningful for everyone involved.

A Social Media Managers day to day focus is on Building Relationships between consumers and businesses. A part of this relationship building process is to provide valuable information and insights about the brands that they manage. Based on the information and insights that have been provided, the Social Media manager is able to assure that relevant content is shared with the appropriate audience for that brand.

Social Media Management is a fairly new Career and is rapidly growing as the need for daily management of Social Media Accounts for both businesses and consumers becomes more a part of our everyday lives. Social Media Managers are the new digital marketers for the Digital Age.

What does a Social Media Manager actually “do”, anyway?

Social Media Managers Duties:

  • Posting to relevant Social Media Platforms such as: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Tracking of Social Trends and Promoting Engagement
  • Managing relevant Content related tasks and strategies
  • Provides Consulting Services regarding Marketing Strategies and Online Presence
  • Provides Social Media Audits of existing content to verify that the information being communicated is in line with the needs of the business. The Social Media Manager also provides appropriate prescriptions or recommendations that are implemented to remedy the existing Online Presence or standing if not in line with the current business goals.

The Social Media Manager is responsible for setting up and maintaining Social Media Accounts, including making recommendations for which platforms best serve the needs of the business. For example: a company focusing on Business to Business or B2B Marketing may want to concentrate their efforts on platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter which appear to fare better for B2B related marketing and networking. This trend is outlined in the table below that shows the use of multiple Social Media platforms by both B2b and B2C marketers.

b2bvsb2c

Social Media Platform Use B2B vs. B2C : Source: Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 2016 
  • B2C = Business To Customer Marketing
  • B2B = Business To Business Marketing

Overall, the role of a Social Media Manager is dynamic and is still being defined. The Social Media Manager wears many hats. With the current trends in automation, and additional social media management tools, the role of the Social Media manager may either become more or less complex as technology and the Social Media landscape continue to evolve.  In the meantime the Team from Kruse Control Inc. said it best:

“The Social Media Manager is a highly motivated, creative individual with experience and a passion for connecting current and future customers. That passion comes through as s/he engages with customers on a daily basis with the ultimate goal of turning fans, into customers.”

www.krusecontrolinc.com

Sources:
Social Media Manager Job Description: A Complete Guide, http://www.krusecontrolinc.com
Stelzner, M.: 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report , http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com.

 

 

 

Social Media Management Tools Review: Hootsuite vs. Sprout Social

I recently realized that manually managing all of my Social Media accounts was not going to work out well. Developing callouses on my typing fingers and panting like I was actually running in a marathon (while sitting perfectly still) lead me to the realization that I needed some help!

Once I had this realization, I decided that it was time to try out some Social Media Management tools to help me along. I recently tried both Hootsuite and Sprout Social. ( I’m sure there are more tools out there that I still have to learn about, but so  far these are the first two that I’ve tried.)

Hootsuite offers some pretty cool features for getting the job done. Some of the features that Hootsuite offers include “Streams” and “Tabs” that organize your information and posts for easier viewing and sorting.

The Hootsuite Interface also offers the ability to Schedule Posts across multiple platforms and offers support for the mainstream Social Media Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn , *the Big 3, for me anyway. The pricing is right for Startups, Small Businesses, and Freelancers for sure. Hootsuite offers plans as low as 9.99/month (when billed annually) for one user.

Overall, I liked Hootsuite, but then, I met Sprout Social.

After using Sprout Social for just a few days, I decided that Hootsuite and I had outgrown each other and that Sprout Social has gained my business.

The Sprout Social platform is easy on the eyes and has the same basic features as the Hootsuite platform, but the platform also includes gorgeous professionally formatted reports and many other features that I am still discovering!

The overall Sprout Social platform seemed to be easier to use for me and much faster, which is of hypercritical importance in our time crunched society. I think the beautifully streamlined reports are what did it for me. The reports generate with an overview of strengths and weaknesses for each Social Media Profile that I have registered so that I can review relevant data and insights for each network individually.

I can clearly see the impact that I am having, or not having.

With the Sprout Social Tools I have been able to:

  • Schedule Social Media Posts for Now Or Later
  • Communicate with Team Members (This is basically me, talking to myself right now, but the concept is really cool!)
  • Assign Tasks
  • Generate Personalized Reports

All of this was able to be accomplished without any specialized training on my part. The fact that I could get started on Sprout Social and off to work within just a few minutes, tells me a lot about the user friendliness of this platform. The only thing that I really had to take more than one look at was Creating Twitter Cards (which I am still working on by the way.)

I’ll let you know how the Twitter Cards turn out in another post. I

In the meantime..

For me, Hands Down, Sprout Social Wins!

They’ve created a great, easy to use, customizable, and expandable tool for Social Media Management at all levels. Thank you Sprout Social for making my life easier. Keep being Awesome!

Note: The opinions in this article are purely my own and not affiliated with those of either Hootsuite or Sprout Social in any way.
*The Big 3: My Term for the Three Social Media Networks with the largest number of users and daily activity.
commonusedsocialmediaplatformsbysme
Source: Social Media Examiner Marketing Industry Report, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Really Who Your Digital Profile Says You Are?

January 2, 2017

It’s finally happened. I’m doing my happy dance!

The Digital Revolution has begun. I’ve always been slightly ahead of my time, so I feel like I have been preparing for this thing, for a while. Smartphones, Social Media, Tablets, E-Readers, Smart Books, Laptops, they’re everywhere! An Introverts dream.

This is the new way that we all connect. We now integrate our daily lives with our online lives. They are essentially one and the same.

With the ushering in of all of these cool new technological advances, networks, and gadgets, there are quite a few changes that we all have to adjust to daily. The new Digital Revolution actually begs us to address the topic of Authenticity.

Are we”really” who we “say” we are?

Take a look at all of your online profile(s). These profiles make up your Digital Footprint or Portfolio. These are our “Virtual First Impressions” Essentially ,there may be some differences in content, but overall there shouldn’t really be a drastic difference in who our Digital Profile portrays us to be, versus who we actually “are” offline.

Gone are the days of “keyboard warriors” and hiding behind a mask. Search engine sites like Google have taken care of that. Anonymity in the Digital Age seems to be a near impossibility. Our lives are in full public view and on display in one way or another. A quick Google search can reveal most hidden truths.

The Digital Revolution has arrived and its’ causing us to take a look at our “actual” selves in a whole new light.

Now is the time to test out all of those theories that you learned from your parents, in college, on the job training, and all of those bullet points that you have highlighted, on your resume.

Are you really, who your Digital Profile says you are?

If the answer is no, it may be time for an Audit.

linkedinpubpicMichelle S. Loyd

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