New Year, New You? Not So Fast!

New Year, New You? Not So Fast!

 

New Year, New You-

Wow! We cannot believe that Christmas has already came and went. Hopefully, you spent the past weekend kicking your feet up, relaxing, and patting yourself on the back for all the work you put into making your holiday events happen, while conveniently ignoring that mess you’ve been meaning to clean up. Yet, now you are faced with the daunting realization that a new year is upon you. So, are YOU ready for 2015?  As you form your personal and/or professional New Year’s resolutions, keep these 5 things in mind:

1. This year will only be different if you make it different. It is so easy to convince yourself that this is the year that you will finally do things better. Yet, you are inevitably setting yourself up for failure and disappointment if you don’t have a personal strategy or solid business plan in place to help you achieve your resolutions. In fact, Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and associate professor at Harvard Business School, reveals that the destructive habit of continuously setting unreasonable goals actually does more harm than good by raising levels of anxiety and lowering feelings of self-worth when these goals aren’t successfully realized. In short, focus on the realistic process of what it is going to take in order to reach your goals instead of on the goal itself.

2. Less is more. A list that is too long is overwhelming and likely to be unsuccessful. If you write down every single goal that you want to accomplish in your lifetime, reality will quickly remind you that “ain’t nobody got time for that”. Simply choose the ones that are the most realistic to accomplish so that it will be a major motivation and confidence boost when you are able to start checking those things off your list.

3. Vague goals will impede your ability to succeed. Not only will too long of a list put you at a disadvantage, so will a list that is too vague. Get specific and narrow your focus to tasks that are actually easy enough to squeeze into your busy schedule. If you want to “be cleanlier”, don’t expect to be cleaning your whole house and organizing your basement weekly. Instead, set your sights on tasks that are more attainable, such as aiming to make your bed every. single. day.

4. Hold yourself accountable. Every year, like so many others, you probably make your New Year’s resolutions, and every year, sooner rather than later, they get swept under the rug just like that fad diet you did really awesome on for like two whole weeks. Guess what happens when you do this? Probably nothing because there is no one or nothing to hold you accountable for ceasing to make good on these promises. The upside is that this year can be different. This year you can get on social media and outline your goals and deadlines to your followers and propose a consequence to happen if you don’t follow through. Because it is public, you will feel obligated to do whatever it takes. Moreover, make it a financial consequence and see how fast you get things done! For example, you can tag a friend or a colleague (who also has a goal set) and compete by saying that whoever doesn’t complete their goal must buy the other one dinner. Additionally, what this whole public accountability thing also provides you with is support to show you that you aren’t in this alone.

5. You can begin NOW, if you want. If you are totally convinced that the actual symbolism of marking the New Year will essentially create the New You then feel free to wait, it is your choice. But just remember that you really don’t have to wait until January 1, 2015 to get started. There is no time to start that is better than the here and now, because after all, we aren’t promised tomorrow!

Can’t figure out what your resolutions should be? Follow our new Pinterest board “Try This in 2015” for some amazing ideas to get you started!

Already have your goals in mind? Share them below and we will be your accountability partner!

Put a Pin in It: 10 Beginner’s Tips for Pinterest

Put a Pin in It: 10 Beginner’s Tips for Pinterest

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As simple as Pinterest’s interface seems, whether it is a business or personal account, not everyone has quite grasped what they should be pinning, how exactly they should organize their pins and boards, and what it is that drives traffic to their Pinterest profile.  If you have never used Pinterest before, it is a social network that is filled with endless categories to sift through for the ideas that most “interest” you so that you can “put a pin in it”, essentially saving the idea to come back to when you are ready to start that project, buy a product, or return to a recipe. Once people have, for example, completed a project or made a recipe, they will usually return to comment on their experience and reveal whether or not they would recommend it to others. This is one reason (of many) that Pinterest is an important tool for many businesses. That is, if you make an idea appealing enough for people to want to try it and the idea consistently generates the expected result then the resultant word of mouth will drive more business toward you.

Anyway, we want to make sure that you are at the top of your game. Since pinning=winning, here are 10 Pinterest tips to bring you from beginner to pro:

#1: Check out the category “popular” for trending pins. The search results will be a compilation of all the pins that currently boast the most likes, repins, and/or comments. Thus, when you also like, repin, or comment on some of these popular pins, it gives your profile more visibility. However, avoid posting generic comments like “That’s cool” or “Great idea” because it may give the impression that you are not attempting genuine engagement. Something important to remember is to not post more than 2-3 comments in a single day or Pinterest may suspend your account for “spamming”, even if that’s not your intention.

#2: Pin and share photos. Just as on other social media networks, colorful photos and attention getting graphics receive the most likes and repins. Subsequently, to make your boards more appealing, they should have attractive cover photos to get more clicks and remember to change out these photos every once in a while.

#3: Detail what your pin is about. Provide rich content descriptions for each pin that tells the viewer exactly what the pin is all about. Remember, the more key words and hashtags that you use, the more easily it will appear in the correct search.

#4: Avoid pinning generic ideas. Generic ideas are boring and unnecessary; you want pins that are innovative and exciting. For example, if you pin a stock photo of a birthday cake to your “Birthday Parties” board, with the description of “make sure to have a birthday party”, it is going to be meaningless to your followers because that is such a regular idea that you don’t need to save it for later to remember. Instead, you want to pin ideas that will not just be useful for every day events but that will actually elevate them. Therefore, for your “Birthday Parties” board it is much more beneficial for both you and your followers too if you were to post an idea regarding how to set up the food table in the best way or pin some unique cake decorating ideas.

#5: Know what you’re pinning. Don’t pin anything that is offensive or conflicts with your brand or statement you want to make. Likewise, don’t pin things that are not interesting to you or your followers or really, what’s the point? So, make sure to click and review all content before repining so that you are aware of what that pin says about you.

#6: Follow people with similar interests. Not only will those with similar interests be more likely to follow you back but by doing this you make yourself available to the great content flowing from their boards and you can be the first to pass it on to your own followers.

#7: Make your boards be specific and the title appropriate. When you name a board something like “Outdoors”, the viewer doesn’t know exactly what to expect if they click on your board. “Outdoors” could be ideas for yard landscaping, activities to try outside, or even camping equipment. So, it is a good idea to make your title specific and to only include pins that are relevant to that title. For example, if you have a board titled “Party Ideas for Little Boys” then do not pin wine party ideas to that board (yes, we are exaggerating here to make a point).  Additionally, don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your titles to make them stand out, but refrain from making it so abstract that a new visitor won’t know what they are clicking on (or they won’t click at all).

#8: Multiple boards are preferred.  This is the aspect of Pinterest that lets you go be wild and free and make a board for everything that interests you. The more boards you have, the more opportunities for your pin and profile to be brought up by someone’s search. So, the minimalist in you has no need to compact all your ideas into the least amount of boards because more people prefer to have a diverse selection of material to look at. Therefore, if you have a board that is named “Style”, you could separate it into multiple specific boards like makeup, nails, jackets, shirts, shoes, and so on.

#9: Fill your boards up. As previously stated, you are more likely to attract followers if you have a variety of boards to look at but making sure those boards are filled with lots of content that the title promises is just as important. If you were a follower, you wouldn’t waste your time following someone who only had 2 pins located on one single board because you know that you aren’t going to be getting very much content to pass along to your followers from them.

#10: Reorder your boards. The boards that receive the most likes or repins should be organized in the top row of your profile so that they are the first ones viewed upon visiting your page. If you are just beginning, place the boards that are more important to you or that you predict will generate the most interest first.  Also, for your boards to appear in someone’s categories search, you need to categorize your boards correctly when you create a new board (i.e., just choose the category most relevant to your board from the drop-down menu and if your category isn’t listen select “other”).

*BONUS TIP: If you have a business account, remember to link and verify your website address when setting up your profile so that people know that it isn’t a fake, which makes you more trustworthy.

 

We covered some of the most important tips that will get you revamping your profile or starting one off right. Happy pinning!  

 

Did we leave something out that led to your Pinterest success? Share your comments below, we love to hear from you!

3 Simple Ways to Optimize Facebook Relations

3 Simple Ways to Optimize Facebook Relations

FaceBook Keyboard

Facebook was created to be an outlet for like-minded individuals to come together and share thoughts, ideas, opinions, reviews, etc. without being influenced or pressured by corporations. Yet, many people assume that since Facebook is a social media giant that it is the best place to plaster your sales pitches on every wall possible. We frequently see this mistake being made by new businesses and even well-established ones that are just not using what little time they have effectively.

Should you do it just because everyone else is doing it? Absolutely not. There is a delicate balance required in reaching and engaging with your target audience while showing them what all you offer, instead of selling to them (relentlessly) what you offer.  More importantly, rather than dropping ads just anywhere and hoping for a lead, here are 3 simple ways to get better results on Facebook.

 

#1: Stop Trying to Sell, Sell, Sell

We know that times may be tough and it might be crunch time, but believe us when we say that selling your heart and soul out on Facebook is not going to get you anywhere (it may even negatively impact your business!). Instead, set time aside each day to actively engage your target audience by liking some interesting posts on your feed, replying to comments, asking questions, and possibly even helping people for free if the opportunity presents itself! I know, it sounds crazy because nothing is ever really free….I mean….what’s the catch? The point is that if someone on your newsfeed is requesting a recommendation or needs help in some other way that you can step in and help out, they will remember your company through your good deed. By doing something nice for them without expecting anything in return, you are humanizing your business and leaving a positive impression with a potential future consumer. The point is, you can spend all your time trying to have a million static followers, but it doesn’t do you any good unless you have built genuine relationships with your followers to make them want to care about what you have to offer.

 

#2: Don’t Let Your Content Get Stale

We sometimes get so wrapped up in professionalism that we forget to have a little fun. You need to share content that is already getting attention and create original content that is interesting enough that people will choose to follow you for more. For example, a big hit right now on social media are motivational/inspirational photos captioned by quotes.  Actually, research has shown that pictures in general receive far more attention than text only posts. With that said, sometimes people just need a break from the monotonous business related posts and want to see something like a funny picture or .gif to brighten their day.  Likewise, while stock photos are sometimes a necessity, don’t be afraid to snap a photo of someone around your office being goofy. Again, this lends a human element that businesses on Facebook so desperately require in order to not be passed over as just another business fishing for sales.

#3: Start Up Some Competition

There are so many various ways to run a competition on Facebook. Consider the following example, if your company sells t-shirts you can tell your followers that every person that sends in a photo of themselves adorned in your company’s t-shirt will be automatically entered in to win some sort of prize. Even if the prize is simply more merchandise with your company’s logo on it, people love to receive free items and it doesn’t hurt that they are advertising your company in the process!

 

Now that you have learned these simple ways to engage your audience and build up your business to customer relationships, log on to Facebook and try them out!

 

Do you have more Facebook tips that have led to better customer relations in your personal experience? Leave us a comment below, we love to hear from you!

Social Media Tactics – Top 5 Tips and Tricks for Twitter

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We already answered some of the most asked questions about Twitter and now we want to give you our top 5 exclusive tips and tricks for taking your business to the next level on Twitter.

 

#1: Keep Your Tweet Short and Sweet

Keep in mind that people who are checking their Twitter accounts are usually scanning quickly through just a few top Tweets in their news feed and let’s face it, attention spans are on the decline. So, the question is, how do you hook future customers for a click? Try using Tweets as a headline. If you cannot think of a catchy title, try quoting from the actual article instead.

 

#2: Make it Interesting

Make sure that you base your content on interesting and intriguing information so your customers will want to stay updated and “follow” you just about anywhere. Always be on the lookout for fresh and exciting news so that you might be the first one that delivers that news to your followers, which makes you appear to have first dibs on the best content out there.  Basically, get to know your audience and write about what you think they would enjoy reading.

 

#3: Let a Picture Do the Talking

Use a colorful/attention grabbing graphic in your content. Do you want to stand out on the Twitter news feed? Of course you do. We’ve got one word: Picture! Not everyone uses them but they should. No, we aren’t talking about selfies…  We are talking attention getting graphics that reach out and grab those Twitter skimmers and tell them to “stop, look, and listen” to you and your brand.

 

#4: Utilize the Right #Hashtags

Check hashtags before you use them and make sure to do your research on the best option for your next Tweet. Helping you find that perfect hashtag is a snap with these amazing tools so you can grab the attention of your audience.

 

  • Hashtag.org:  Hashtag analytics report on how that specific hashtag has done in the past 24 hours and also estimates how well the hashtag will do in future hours based off of its past 24 hour performance.
  • TagboardThis amazing website helps you search potential keywords or hashtags and tell how well it’s currently doing. Tagboard also lists a few of the top recent Tweets featuring that keyword, including pictures and full content of that Tweet.
  • Hashtagify.me: This site helps you search the top 10 trending Twitter hashtags by using keyword definition. Hashtagify also displays top recent Tweets by keyword, and helps you find a related keyword based on the one that you were searching for – Just in case you need a backup, right?

 

#5: Find the Best Time to Tweet

Good news! Finding a formula for your business doesn’t have to be rocket science. There are amazing analytics tools out there that help you and your company find out when your customers are online with no stalking required! Social media reports can be conducted to collect data in order to find the prime time that your customers are usually online, Tweeting, and interacting on their accounts. This data will reveal the “prime time” that YOU need to be online, Tweeting, and interacting on your account. Social media reports can also tell you what days are more active during the week, which in turn, shows you what days YOUR company should be more active and attentive on your Twitter account as well. When you Tweet at the prime times for your audience, you get the most out of your post!

Looking for the perfect Social Media Marketing (SMM) tool to help with your company’s analytics needs? You can try a quick search for “Twitter Analytics Tools” or check out a few of these awesome links below:

  • SocialBro: With a ‘Best Time to Tweet’ report by SocialBro, a free account will run an analytics report based on your top 100 followers to help you get the right idea. This report will also suggest the best time to Tweet to your audience, give you the rundown on the latest hot keywords and hashtags, and provide you with visual charts on where the majority of your followers are located in the World Wide Web. Why should you know this? Because this information will assist you in selecting the right content to share at the right time for your audience. Fist bump, bro!
  • Hootsuite:  Social Media Reports have never been easier than with a Hootsuite Analytic Report. These quick and easy statistics are pulled from previous account history. These reports now show which of your Tweets were most retweeted and mentioned in the past. This feature helps you gauge a better time to Tweet in future and you can also view a graph displaying the detailed summary of how well each of your Tweets did from your account.  This is one app that is not just for the birds…get it? Hootsuite also has an amazing little feature called “Autoschedule”, this option will help you select a time, based on the results of your past Tweet history’s peak performance, and “autoschedules” them for that time in the future.
  • TwitonomyIt’s not just fun to say, it’s pretty helpful too! Twitonomy helps you create a detailed and visual analytics report on anyone’s Tweets, retweets, replies, mentions, and hashtags. It can also help you monitor your interactions with other Twitter users like mentions, retweets, and favorites as well as get actionable insights on your followers with the Followers Report to name a few.
  • BufferBuffer helps you schedule and track the analytics of your Twitter content. You can also schedule upcoming Tweets and get some great suggestions on future content and updates.

 

Hopefully, these tools will help you always know WHEN to send out that awesome content that you have been just itching to share! After all, what good is a Tweet if no one is online to read it?

If you follow these basic steps to socializing Twitter-style you will be well on your way to effective social media success one Tweet at a time. Don’t forget to Tweet us @Giant_Marketing about your travels through the Twitter universe!

Got more tips or tricks? Leave us a comment below, we love to hear from you!

Giant Marketing is ‘On the Money’: An Interview with CEO Kyle Campbell

Giant Marketing is ‘On the Money’: An Interview with CEO Kyle Campbell

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Kyle Campbell with GIANT Marketing (left) and Doug Ireland with Freeland Painting (middle) join host Joe Moss (right) to discuss “Direct Marketing & Things That Matter” related to small business.

On December 03 2014, Giant Marketing’s CEO Kyle Campbell appeared on the popular radio talk show On the Money to talk about “Direct Mailing and Things That Matter”. We want to give a special thanks to Joe Moss and Embassy National Bank for the opportunity to share this information with other businesses, who can utilize the seasoned knowledge and experience of Kyle Campbell of GIANT Marketing in order to help those businesses learn and potentially elevate their own brand’s experience.

 

We wanted to highlight for you the very BEST of what Kyle Campbell had to say, but no worries – we are also providing you with the full text and audio of everything he covered located at the bottom of this post.

 

  • Kyle Campbell knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur at the age of 17. He eventually found his calling as he began his ownership over several Anytime Fitness franchises. For his new found franchises, Kyle began utilizing a company called Giant Postcards which he marketed to his fitness clubs soon after. Kyle quickly realized the potential that Giant Postcards carried and he knew that he just had to buy it. With the continuing success of Giant Postcards, Kyle knew that he could grow the company into so much more and thus he created GIANT Marketing.  In Kyle’s words, “I made an offer to the guy that owned Giant Postcards and obviously closed the Anytime Fitness deal, which was huge for the company. Then I decided, why am I just doing postcards? We have a commercial printer, now we actually work with printers all over the nation. So, it didn’t make sense for me just to print postcards. So, now I print everything: door hangers, business cards, post cards, whatever it might be as far as print related marketing. So, I started a company called Giant Marketing about a year ago. I had the foundation from Giant Postcards and over this past 11 or 12 months, we have built the brand that is now Giant Marketing.”

 

  • Kyle’s businesses have continued to evolve as he has extensively learned what works and what doesn’t through hands-on experience.  This lends credibility to Giant Marketing’s ability to analyze the needs of each business and tailor a customized strategy that is proven to work for the type of success they are seeking. If one way of marketing doesn’t produce the results that a company is looking for, Kyle stresses not to give up on marketing altogether because there are various ways to get your name out there and Giant Marketing can recommend to you that best marketing strategy for your business. Additionally, as an example of how cost effective Giant Postcards really are, Kyle explains: “Another thing that helps small businesses is our shared program. That’s where we can take one person, say Anytime Fitness is obviously our number one client so we can most of the time get them to take one full side of the postcard and if you don’t know what I mean just take a piece of paper—Anytime Fitness is on one side, flip it over, you actually share the back side with anywhere from two business up to eight businesses. If you just want an eighth of a page, we can actually hit ten thousand homes in your area for only $299. A lot of business can afford $299.

 

  • Kyle’s gyms and GIANT Marketing, in particular, have recently added a lot of products, services, and team members after understanding more of what was needed and desired by its customers. Through Kyle’s actions, he has not only listened to the customers but delivered what they were asking for time and time again. As just one example, at his gym he even added “Fitness on Request, which is your video group fitness. Just to offer classes twenty-four/seven. You can go in to Anytime Fitness and take a class at two a.m. if you wanted to. Obviously, you are there by yourself but a one hundred twenty inch screen pops down and you take whatever class you want.”

 

  • What is important to Kyle, as both an owner of multiple gyms and a CEO of Giant Marketing, is ensuring the client’s satisfaction, encouraging return business and life-time clients, and his team always maintaining a positive attitude. Specifically, negativity is not tolerated by him because it is not conducive to a successful work environment and it shows in a person’s work. On the other hand, when everyone exudes a positive energy, it shows in their productivity and their quality of work and that is what the customers deserve.

 

  • On Kyle’s biggest business related fear:  “I would say my number one fear with Giant Marketing, unfortunately, is the post office. It is definitely, once I get to that local post office in your city, whether it’s Atlanta, New York, LA, wherever it is, it’s out of my hands. I can call that post office, I can talk to that manager, but it’s still out of my hands. I can’t be in every post office across the country. So, I would say that’s my biggest fear because it has happened and we’ve taken care of our customer even though it may not be our fault. Because we know, we take care of that customer this time, they will come back to us throughout the year.”

 

  • While fear is a common feeling among entrepreneurs, Kyle likes to view the experience as “exciting” instead of fear-inducing and his advice to other entrepreneurs is to not let that stop you from taking that next step and making it happen, “My thing is never give up and don’t fold to the fear. Don’t be afraid to take that step. Obviously, it takes money.”… “But yeah, just don’t be afraid. That’s my thing, take that step because there is so many people out there that would be great entrepreneurs, they are just afraid to take that first step. So if they talk to somebody about it, they might be sitting on a million dollar idea—a billion dollar idea. Some people are just afraid to talk to people. So, I would say, definitely don’t be afraid to take that step and stay positive.”

Full Transcript