Why You Should Be Using Hashtags NOW!

brixel-creative_blog_3-reasons-using-hashtags

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve either only heard about hashtags or you use them on a daily basis. For those that do live under a rock, basically hashtags are an easy way to turn any word or phrase (with no spaces) into a searchable keyword link by adding the # sign to the beginning (i.e. #graphicdesign or #socialmediamarketing).

In a way, hashtags allow you to create communities of people interested in the same topic by making it easier for them to find and share info related to it. It’s a really handy skill to learn and as social media becomes the primary way we communicate, it’s becoming very popular in marketing.

Did You Know: The hashtag was created by Chris Messina in August, 2007.
Read more: http://bit.ly/TaEt8P

Incorporating hashtags into your social media posts allow for quick searching and categorizing. Aside from Twitter, a few other social media platforms – Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and most recently Facebook – have also seen the benefit of using hashtags and have started to implement the hashtag feature as well. So how does this help improve your social media presence?

Here are 3 quick tips to help you understand why you should be using hashtags to increase your social media presence:

1. Organization – Using hashtags in your tweets or posts allows other users to see all the posts about this particular topic. Once you start using hashtags, you will begin to notice that tweets tagged with the same hashtag will all (or mostly) discuss the same topic.

Try for yourself: To make sure the hashtag you are using is relevant to how you will
be using it, just do a search. You never know what people may be using hashtags
to discuss and you wouldn’t want to accidentally connect your business to a negative,
controversial or embarrassing topic.

2. Target your Audience – This might be the biggest benefit to using hashtags. Let’s say you are a freelance graphic designer (like me!), you might want to tag some of your tweets that contain tips for fellow graphic designers with the hashtag #graphicdesigntip. This will show your followers that you’re writing for or interested in a specific topic and it will help them sort through the tweets that are relevant to them.

3. Grow your audience – Okay this is another huge benefit! Although a larger audience isn’t directly associated with using hashtags, it puts your tweets in front of people who might be interested in the same topics, and therefore would lead to a larger audience. The more targeted and accurate your hashtag use, the more targeted followers you’re likely to attract.

 

There really is no reason you shouldn’t be using hashtags, especially in your business marketing. If it comes down to knowing when and how to use them effectively, don’t let a little hashtag scare you! My suggestion: start using hashtags today! Join in on the conversation and share this blog article with the hashtag #mainedesigner now!

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3 Ways To Prevent “Cyber Bullying” in Business

3 Ways to Prevent "Cyber Bulling" in Business - Brie + Pixel Blog

You’ve heard of the term “Cyber bullying” on a personal level, however with the rise in social media engagement it is quickly becoming more prominent in business as well. The relationship between customer and business on social media is taking the place of a one-on-one phone call when it comes to customer service, so monitoring your social media pages should be a top priority.

Here are a few tips to help insure your business is not vulnerable to Cyber bullying:

Be Active:
Any of your fans or followers can post a comment on your Facebook or Twitter page so if you remain aware and online, then you won’t be surprised when and if a negative comment happens. The unfortunate thing is no amount of good customer service will keep every single one of your customers happy. There will always be “that one customer” who just will never be satisfied no matter what. But if you remain active on your social media pages, chances are good that you will catch this negative comment quickly after it is posted and you can extinguish the possibility of a fire ball of negativity occurring at your brand’s expense.

Keep Calm & Carry On:
People always find it easier to pass judgment online, so never take negative comments personally – this will not help your business at all. Always remain calm and be respectful when dealing with each situation. If you see negative comments about your business or product that are proven to be false, simply set the record straight and provide accurate information. If this is not enough, it might be time to block the negative “trolls” that are badgering you for one reason or another trying to make you look like the bad guy. The unfortunate thing is as soon as you block them from your page, they will move on to another unsuspecting page.

Remain Professional & Positive:
Whether someone has posted a positive or negative comment to your page, always post a reply within an appropriate time frame to thank the customer for their feedback and you will offer a solution if necessary. In most instances, simply saying “Thank You” or “We apologize” goes a long way – sometimes the customer needs to know their feelings are validated by your business. Treat your response to every customer’s message as if you were talking to them on the phone or better yet face to face. Things are often said in a social media post that might not be said in an actual conversation. Represent your business or brand professionally because this is what will be remembered most in the end.

The relationship you have with your customers is your life line to continued success. If honesty and great customer service are the foundation of your business, you will always be guaranteed a great customer base who will want to talk positively online. Strive every day to give them something to talk about!

Follow me on Twitter (@brixelcreative) to get access to even more great tips for your business!

When it comes to social media, the best thing you can do is…

RELAX!!!

There, I said it. You might be thinking “is this woman crazy?!? I can’t relax when it comes to social media!”. Okay, okay give me a minute to explain myself. Social media on a personal level is pretty relaxing (minus the drama of course). It’s once you start marketing and promoting your business on social media that it becomes a whole different ball game. You have to deal with algorithms, paid ads, scheduled posts, reports, time….blah, blah, blah. Social media for business can get a little stressful sometimes and it will make you oftentimes question why you do it at all.

Brixel Creative - Surviving Social Media

But isn’t there an easy way?!?!

Unfortunately I have no magic spell that can take away social media, and you have to admit it is a pretty good marketing tool, so you will just have to press on. As complicated as it is, you must see it as an advantage for your business and the more you learn how to use it the easier it gets. Trust me! It might take a little time at first to figure out how and where you will find articles, photos, quotes or whatever, but don’t give up! You’ll find your rhythm and figure out a strategy and soon enough you’ll see what your fans respond most to. Once that happens, it will become a pretty gratifying experience. And honestly, the less you think about it the more open-minded you will be and the easier it will become.

What does this mean for you?

To make a long story short, I’d like you to take a moment and think – social media isn’t going anywhere and if anything it is quite possibly becoming the most important part of every business’ marketing plan, so the sooner you make friends with social media the sooner you can sit back and RELAX!  Just have patience, remain calm and you will reap the benefits!

Now tell me this…

How do you use social media to market your business? Which social media channel do you use most – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+? Comment below!

Is Social Media Turning Us Into Zombies?

Brixel Creative - Are you a social media zombie?

It’s true, social media is EVERYWHERE – the grocery store, the mall, restaurants…you get my point! No matter where you go someone is asking you to like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, oh and don’t forget to #hashtag something. So let me ask you this: does your life revolve around social media? Do you dread those times you are somewhere without internet access and cannot check Facebook or Twitter? Are you compulsively checking your Facebook or Twitter account because you are simply “bored”?

You may be turning into a SOCIAL MEDIA ZOMBIE!

We all know that certain someone who just can’t seem to look away from their devices. They are so engrossed with what’s on their screen they aren’t even present anymore; they are in another world. The social media zombie world! Let me describe this world for you. First, there’s the “check-in zombie” who can’t seem go anywhere without making sure their social friends know exactly where they are at all times. Then there’s the “hashtagger zombie” who thinks it’s #impossible to #write a #post without #hashtagging #every #single #word. And finally the “liker zombie” who feels the urge to like every single post in their Facebook newsfeed no matter what the topic or photo.

I love social media…really I do!

Now don’t get me wrong, these zombies are what makes social media what it is today. They are the ones in some ways keeping it alive. And trust me, I love social media – it’s great for staying in touch with family and friends, knowing the latest trends and maybe even keeping up with the Kardashians. All kidding aside, with access to so much interesting content out there it sometimes does get a little hard to walk away from our tablets and smartphones. We live in a ‘gotta have it now world’ and unfortunately knowing the latest and greatest information is a big factor of this. But for the sake of your family, friends, co-workers and everyone one else you know, don’t replace social media with personal interaction. Turning into a social media zombie will eventually suck the life out of you!!

Now I need to know….are you a SOCIAL MEDIA ZOMBIE?!?!  Comment below!!

5 Tips to Choose the Right Social Media Channel for Your Business

Whether you’re an established business or a relatively new start-up thinking about diving into social media, it’s not an easy task for anyone. The simple task of deciding which social media channels you will focus on is the toughest part. To help you decipher each option, below I’ll provide a few tips along with a nifty infographic showing the do’s and don’ts of social media. And as a follow up, in the coming weeks I’ll provide more detailed posts about each social media channel to further assist you.

So, here’s goes….

Tip #1: Start by researching each social media channel to determine which will work best for your business. Try to consider what you might post on these sites. Although social media may be free, also consider the necessary time it takes to come up with a plan to develop and schedule your posts.

Tip #2: Keep in mind it wouldn’t be good to sign up for every social media channel right off the bat. Decide which ones would be the most relevant to your company. Start off slow, then you can determine if adding more social media channels in the future would benefit you.

Tip #3: Before you take the plunge, narrow down your list of social media channels that you feel would work best for your company and implement a plan of attack. Make sure not to lose your business image when posting to social media sites. Doing so may have a negative effect so have a clear plan in place helps you stay on track.

Tip #4: Know your audience! This is most important when starting with any social media channel. You must know what your followers or fans want to see. The good thing is you can track this with engagement – over time you’ll get to know your audience and it will be easier to know what they like and don’t like.

Tip #5: Lastly, stay focused and try not to get frustrated. With your commitment it will be worth it, but keep in mind all good things come to those who wait! Be patient!

Brixel Creative - Do's and Don'ts of Social Media
Infographic courtesy of AllyWatch

Hope this information helps! Feel free to LIKE my page on Facebook, FOLLOW me on Twitter and CONNECT with me on Linkedin. Need any help with getting your company set up on social media? Contact me today – I’d love to help!

Don’t forget to comment below to let me know how social media helps your business!