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Content Marketing

The Art of Efficient Social Media Management

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The Art of Efficient Social Media Management

by Kate Vandeveld

Maintaining your brand’s social media presence can feel daunting. So much so that often, businesses and organizations set up their social media platforms, post a bunch for the first couple of weeks, and then get too overwhelmed and stop altogether. As you may have guessed, this is not a good plan. Social media creates incredible opportunities to maximize awareness of your brand, drive leads, and activate influencers… but not if you’re not active.

The Art of Efficient Social Media Management -- via WhyWhisper Collective

Thankfully, we have good news! Social media management doesn’t have to be as hard or as time consuming as you might think. In fact, you can do what you need to do in just a few hours each week. 

That said, we do have one caveat: There are some steps you should take in advance to make this easy maintenance possible. Here they are…

Strategize

First and foremost, if you want to ensure that your social media efforts are an effective and strong representation of your brand, you’ll want to take the time to develop a social media strategy. In doing so, you’ll have a solid understanding of your audience, competitors, key channels, and content strategy, which will put you in a perfect position  to confidently and efficiently develop and share content. If you’re still not sold, here are our thoughts on why social strategy is so crucial.

Do Your Research

Once you’ve developed your social strategy, you’ll have a good idea of who your audience is and how you want to talk to them. But a little bit of additional research will make management even easier. First, take the time to develop a list of commonly used Twitter hashtags in your industry. Knowing what these are in advance will help you as you develop content and look for relevant posts to share with your audience.

Then, do some research around influencers and thought leaders in your field. Create Twitter lists that break these individuals and organizations out into different audience segments or content types. For example, if your target audience is moms, you might have lists for mom bloggers, parenting experts, and influential pediatricians. These lists will save you a ton of time when you’re looking for content to share each day.

Invest in a Scheduling Tool

There are many different social media scheduling tools out there. Sprout Social is our current favorite, but all will save you a ton of time when you start to publish your content. Do some research on what each tool has to offer, and then set it up for each of your channels. This will allow you to schedule a lot of your social content in advance, as well as engage with your community in a more efficient manner.

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Once you’ve completed these initial steps, you’re ready to start pushing out content. Here are the simple steps we recommend that you take to maintain your social media presence:

Schedule Posts in Advance

There are certain aspects of your content strategy that you’ll be able to prepare and schedule in advance. For example, you can promote elements of your brand that won’t change, such as newsletter sign-up or details about an upcoming event. Your content strategy will inform you about the frequency and timing with you should be scheduling. This way, if you don’t have a ton of time to post live throughout the week, your feeds will still remain active. That said, we have one important note to share: Take the time to make sure everything looks good throughout the day every day – sometimes, a post will look great when you schedule it, and get messed up when it goes live. You never know!

Share Live Updates

Odds are, part of your content strategy includes sharing news or information that you can’t schedule in advance. In order to keep your voice authentic, get on your social accounts just once or twice a day and share something original that you’ve found. If you don’t have time to share anything original, it’s okay – just skip ahead to the next step this time.

Engage & Share

Choose two or three times each day on your calendar to take five to ten minutes to do the following:

  • Respond to all comments and mentions that have come in
  • Review RTs and new followers and thank as appropriate
  • Check your Twitter lists and the list you created of commonly used hashtags, and share a few pieces of content that are relevant to your brand (Note: Now, you can re-tweet with comments – do so if you have an extra moment!)

That’s it! Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of social media management best practices. But if you follow these simple steps, you’ll be able to maintain a solid social presence for your brand, in a manageable amount of time.

What are your favorite social media management tips? Share with us! Here’s how:

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Want to Stay on Top of Your Game? Subscribe to These Newsletters

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Want to Stay on Top of Your Game? Subscribe to These Newsletters

by Kate Vandeveld

Today’s world is a busy one – and as such, it can be difficult to stay on top of all of the latest news and industry best practices. One can often find themselves overwhelmed by all of the new information available, vowing to get caught up later… But when we don’t stay apprised of what’s happening in the world around us, we can lose a lot, from our sense of empathy to our innovative edge.

We don’t want that to happen to you! So to help you stay in-the-know, here are some of our favorite newsletters for delivering pertinent information right to your inbox:

Stay on Top of What’s Happening in the World: the Skimm

If you want to know what’s happening in the world we live in (and you should!), but don’t have time to wade through all of the various news sources, the Skimm is your best friend. Every morning, before most of us even wake up, the Skimm sends you a rundown of the most prominent front page headlines. Not only does it take less than ten minutes to read, but each news brief is witty and engaging, linking to full articles for those who want more information. While we’re not suggesting that the Skimm (or any news source, really) is the definitive resource for your news intake, it makes staying on top of world news much easier.

Subscribe to the Skimm here.


Stay on Top of the Good Stuff: Huffington Good News

While world news is critically important, it’s unfortunately often pretty negative. After taking in a long list of difficult or depressing headlines, you may need a boost of positive news. Enter the Huff Post Good News newsletter, which sends a daily dose of good to your email every day. The Good News rundown tells stories of social impact, pet rescues, and altruistic acts, and it always seems to get to your inbox at the moment you need it the most.

Subscribe to Huff Post Good News here.


Stay on Top of Social Impact: WhyWhisper Collective

If you’re interested in practical, innovative, and sustainable approaches to benefitting society, we have to put in a shameless plug for subscribing to the WhyWhisper newsletter. Each month, we choose an industry subject, and pull together interesting and helpful resources that provide you with insight and actionable tips. In the past, we’ve focused on topics like socially conscious summer gear, innovative and effective approaches to crowdfunding, and how to change the world by changing your workplace, just to name a few.

Subscribe to the WhyWhisper Collective newsletter here


Stay on Top of Your Industry: SmartBrief

No matter what your industry, you’ll want to check out SmartBrief, a service that allows you to select your areas of interest, and delivers curated content on those subjects to your inbox. Available topics range from leadership to small business to sustainability and beyond – find the full list here.

Subscribe to SmartBrief here.


Stay on Top of Workplace Best Practices: Take Note

If you’re tired of long, inefficient meetings taking up your time, or you’re looking for ways to build a more effective team, Take Note is here to help. Created by Starling, an app that helps you run effective meetings, Take Note’s content is about collaboration and workplace best practices. When you subscribe, this helpful advice is delivered to your inbox weekly, so you don’t have to search high and low for expert advice ever again.

Subscribe to the Take Note newsletter here.


Stay on Top of the Job Hunt: The Muse

Looking for a job? Most of the time, it’s not easy, and it’s certainly not fun – but The Muse is here to change that. When you sign up for their newsletter, you receive lists of available jobs at game-changing U.S. companies, as well as advice on how to present yourself as the best possible candidate. Perhaps the best part about The Muse is the fun and compelling way they present this information. You may never look at a traditional job board again!

Subscribe to The Muse newsletter here.


Stay on Top of Women Making Moves: Take the Lead Women

We’re all about gender equality and empowering women to lead and change the status quo. That’s why we love the Take the Lead Women newsletter, which highlights the various ways that women are changing the game in politics, tech, business, and beyond. This newsletter compiles stories from a variety of sources – from mainstream news to niche blogs– and shares them in a succinct and compelling way.

Subscribe to the Take the Lead Women newsletter here.

 

What newsletters help you stay in the loop, either personally or professionally? Share with us! Here’s how:

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How to Implement an Effective Content Strategy

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How to Implement an Effective Content Strategy

by Kate Vandeveld

As marketers, we’re all about developing and implementing effective content strategies. While we agree with Bill Gates that “content is king,” we also know that great content is nothing without a great strategy to promote it.

How to Implement an Effective Content Strategy -- WhyWhisper Collective

Effective content strategies vary based on a number of elements – a business or organization’s mission, audience, and goals, to name a few. Critical components typically include, but are not limited to: a website, social media, a newsletter, and a blog.

But no matter what your content strategy looks like, there are certain things you can and should do to ensure its effectiveness. Here are our tips: 

Know Your Audience

When you’re developing your brand’s content strategy, it’s crucial to know your audience. And we’re not just talking basic demographics – take the time to look into their interests, the types of media they most frequently engage with, and their purchasing habits. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can tailor your content to their interests and needs.

Establish Goals

Before you get started, think about what you’re trying to accomplish.  Do you want to grow your following? Are you hoping to increase engagement? Looking to boost sales? When you take the time to establish your goals from the start, you can build your content strategy around them.

Develop a Voice

We’ve talked about the importance of honing in on your brand’s voice before developing and sharing social media content, but this advice really applies across the board. If you want to create a brand personality that your target audience can relate to, take the time to think through how you want to speak to them. Is your brand’s voice informal and colloquial? More professional? What kinds of words and phrases do you want to use, and which do you want to avoid? Think it through – it will make a noticeable difference.

Be Consistent

When it comes to content strategy, consistency is key. Come up with a schedule for each element of your strategy, so you can be sure to deliver content at regular intervals. Messaging consistency is equally as important. When you put out a blog post, share it on social media and in your newsletter, if possible. If you update your website to reflect a change in brand positioning, do the same across all platforms.

Monitor & Adjust Accordingly

Once you’ve put the time into getting to know your audience, setting goals, developing a voice, and coming up with a plan for consistency, it’s time to monitor your strategy. Look at metrics and pay attention to engagement across all elements of your strategy. Then comes the most important part: Use what you learn to make adjustments to your strategy. Change messaging or timing, share more or less frequently. Try new tactics and pay attention to the response. Use the first few months after implementing a new strategy as a testing period – your strategy will be stronger for it.


No matter what your brand or organization, if you take the time to do these things when you’re developing and implementing your brand’s content strategy, it will be well worth it.

What are your personal tips and tricks for content strategy? Share with us! Let’s help each other be the best we can be. Here’s how you can share:

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5 Reasons Why You Should Be Blogging

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5 Reasons Why You Should Be Blogging

by Kate Vandeveld

For many individuals, blogging is a hobby – an outlet for sharing their activities, insights, and passions with the world. But for businesses and organizations, blogs are valuable marketing tools that can make a big difference in terms of brand awareness and credibility. We know it’s a little bit meta to blog about the importance of blogging, but we want to make sure you know why it’s so crucial.

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Blogging via WhyWhisper Collective

Here are five reasons why your business or organization should consider developing a blog:

Blogging improves SEO

When you strategize around your business or organization’s website, search engine optimization (SEO) is likely top of mind. And when it comes to SEO, blogging can make a huge difference in your results. Here’s why: The more often your website is updated with fresh content, the more likely it is to be picked up by search engines. For most businesses and organizations, basic website content isn’t very dynamic, as most elements (your mission, team, and contact information, for example) don’t change often. Developing a blog will give you the opportunity to continually create and share new content, which will improve your search rankings. The inclusion of relevant (i.e. your mission and services) will also help you to get picked up by search engines. Again, without this dynamic content, keyword integration opportunities are limited, and your search engine results may remain stagnant.

 

Blogging gives you a platform for sharing important information

Social media is a great outlet for sharing your organization’s updates and news. But on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, conciseness is key (if not necessary), and content is fleeting. Blogs, on the other hand, give you a place where you can talk about what your business or organization is working on in greater detail. Whether you’re sharing information about an upcoming event, expert advice on a topic relevant to your industry, or the results of a recent project or campaign, you can provide your followers with important information that will keep them coming back. Plus, if you share content that will be useful indefinitely, you can refer back to the blog post repeatedly. 

 

Blogging provides fodder for engagement & relationship-building

Is there an organization or individual in your industry with whom you would like to connect, but you don’t have a warm lead? Blog about them! Or at the very least, share with them one of your posts that you think they would find interesting. Reaching out to someone you don’t know without a reason is daunting, and often unsuccessful. By sharing relevant information with them, you’ll not only make the connection you’re hoping for – you’ll also prove your value as a partner. And if you really admire their work, you can use your blog to share information about them with your own following, which is even more valuable.

Blogging also gives your brand a voice, and encourages individuals to get to know you on a deeper, more personal level. By creating that additional connection, you will set yourself apart from other similar brands, and turn your followers into customers or brand ambassadors.

 

Blogging allows you to establish thought leadership

When deciding whether or not to engage with your brand, other businesses and individuals want to be sure that you are a credible expert in your field. One of the best ways to do that is simply by sharing your knowledge and expertise on subjects that are relevant to your industry. Think of topics that you would want to know about if you weren’t already an expert, and share the insights that you’ve gained through your own experiences and research. A blog is the perfect platform for establishing yourself or your business as a thought leader in your space.

 

Blogging drives traffic to your website

Because you’ll be using your blog to share exciting news and expert knowledge about topics relevant to your industry, your content will probably be a very popular element of your digital offering. When you blog, you can supplement links to the stagnant information available on your website, which people will only click on once or twice to get the information that they need. As a result, sharing your dynamic blog content will likely lead to an increase in click-throughs and subsequent website traffic. People want to click on information that is both new and valuable to them, and blogging opens up countless opportunities for you to provide it.

 

So if you haven’t already started a blog, it might be time to consider it. No matter your organizational goals, blogging can serve as a valuable element of your marketing strategy.

Already have a blog? What does your organization blog about? Share with us, and we’ll pass it along to our followers! Here’s how:

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How to Use Social Media for Nonprofit Fundraising and Engagement

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How to Use Social Media for Nonprofit Fundraising and Engagement

In 2012, the nonprofit charity: water raised $8 million through their online fundraising platform. They are, perhaps, one of the more telling examples of the power of digital platforms to grow nonprofit fundraising and engagement. By creating a strong digital story, targeted social content, and participating in regular engagement with fans and potential funders, nonprofit teams have more opportunity than ever before to promote their cause online. 

Here are several ways for your nonprofit to get started: 

Use a virtual help desk

Platforms such as Help Scout provide access to multiple team members, thereby allowing for prompt responses to donor emails. Features include: email integration that allows you to respond from your own inbox; the ability to leave private notes for your team; actionable reporting providing insight on response times and team performance; and real time monitoring that lets you know when someone has accessed or already responded to an email.  

Create advocates out of your donors

Your online platform should give members of your network the ability to engage with your cause and share it with their friends, family and networks. This type of relationship creates efficient opportunities for fan advocacy, and often occurs by giving fans the ability to create their own visual and written content to share with their networks. Here’s a helpful blog explaining several specific ways to encourage brand advocacy. 

Leverage social proof 

Many donors express that their chief concern is that their money is going to nonprofit overhead, rather than projects and individuals being served. One way to increase trust and comfortability is to leverage social proof. Social proof can be described as “informational social influence,” or the positive influence created when one person finds out that someone else they know or relate to is taking part in a campaign. As you provide ways for your donors to publicly share that they have donated to your cause, you will subsequently gain the trust of your donors networks. 

Identify brand evangelists

Is there a leader within your company that has a strong presence on social networks? Their wide reach can be used to elevate and tell the story of your cause. By posting their own unique story of passion for your nonprofit’s mission, perhaps with the history of how they arrived at their commitment, this individual (or several individuals!) can create a corresponding story that communicates the power of your mission and vision, while expanding your reach amongst their networks.

Use powerful storytelling 

Storytelling is perhaps the most effective way to utilize social media. Your organization should seek to tell one overarching story of your mission and cause. Within it, you can present the facets of several different ongoing stories, such as the individual success stories, the fans who donate and volunteer, and the connection between the two. The more personal you can make the story, the more powerful it will become. 

Are there other ways you have used digital media to grow your nonprofit reach? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below! 

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