MarketLinks - 07/15/16

It's time to ask yourself #WWCND? And what would Chuck Norris do? He'd kick back and put his feet up because YOU ROCKED IT THIS WEEK!

To bring it home, our weekly roundup of some of the best Marketing News, Tips and Tricks. 

Enjoy --- and have a great weekend!

14 Myths About How to Give a Great Presentation (via Inc)

5 Words/Phrases to Avoid in Press Releases (via Garrett Hauenstein Marketing)

FREE E-BOOK - Leveraging Psychology in Digital Marketing (via Marketo)

What Your Business Needs to Avoid the Wrath of Google (via Entrepreneur)

Two Entrepreneurs In The Same Business Try Instagram Marketing And Learn Different Lessons (via Forbes)

4 Simple Steps That Can Help You Improve Your Social Media Game (via Inc)

Buffer Now Supporting Instagram... Sort of (via Garrett Hauenstein Marketing)

How to Secure Financing for Your Small Business at a Traditional Bank (via Small Business Trends)

9 Business Ideas Under $1,000 You Can Run From Anywhere (via Entrepreneur)

Here Are the 12 Tech Companies Most Likely to Go Public This Year (via Inc)

5 Words/Phrases to Avoid in Press Releases

Press Releases are interesting pieces of writing. They're unnaturally dry and are primarily there to allow other writers (journalists) to take the content and jazz it up. 

That said, you want to put your best foot forward in a Press Release and deliver the information in the most professional way possible. Here are 5 Words & Phrases to Avoid in a Press Release:

1) "JUST"

More than any other word, "just" has the ability to weaken your statement and I see it used all the time. 

"We just felt this was the best course of action for our company." -- it's as if you're acknowledging that what you're saying is no big deal.

The best part about "just", is that it's easily corrected. Simply remove it. Every sentence will work just fine and be even stronger if you omit the word "just" and move on. 

2) "ALWAYS"/"NEVER"

You should never (ha... see what I did there) include these words in a press release. They immediately paint you into a corner that you'll won't be able to get out of. Critics will quickly be able to find an instance where you have violated your own rule of "always" or "never". 

For instance, in a release, you might find, "Our company is always looking to partner with the best and brightest". Well, that's not necessarily true. Some days you miss the boat, some days you're preoccupied with other matters, some days -- heck, some days this just isn't all that important to you. A better choice of words might be "Where possible, we seek to partner with the best and brightest." 

3) "REALLY"

"Really" has two uses, and neither of them have a place in a formal document.

The first implies emphasis, as in "We are REALLY excited to kick off the next phase of development". 

The second is simply a filler word that's used to qualify a statement, as in, "REALLY, when you think about it."

In the first context, the reader can assume that you're excited about something. Adding this additional word seems to be a way of trying to convince us of something that's unnecessary. 

In the second, it's simply a fluff word that's not much better than "Uhm" or "Well".

When writing a press release you're looking for the most definitive and powerful words and phrases possible. There's no need to add junk that doesn't need to be there. 

4) BUSINESS CLICHES 

By time everyone in an office is using a given phase, chances are everyone is sick of it. They are typically informal in their use and while they're intended to encapsulate a known meaning into a quick phrase, they reach a point where they just sound silly. These have a habit of sneaking into the quotes contained within a press release.

Some examples:

  1. Drill-down
  2. Synergy
  3. Par for the course
  4. Think outside the box
  5. Hit the ground running

The list goes on and on. Spend a minute and come up with a new and unique way of saying what you're saying.

5) CONTRACTIONS

This can be difficult to do since contractions (can't, won't, shouldn't, etc.) are part of our daily verbal usage, but they really should be avoided in a professional document like a press release. You may be able to get away with them in a direct quote being used in the piece, but even then they can seem "chatty".

That's not to say you should simply replace "can't" with "can not", or "won't" with "will not", but rather try and find a more eloquent way to get around these terms. For instance, if a quote is written "We can't think of a better person than John to head up our new initiative.", you might want to reword the whole sentence to be much more active by saying, "John is a perfect choice to head up our new initiative."

 

Need help writing a press release?

We offer full service press release options at a reasonable price, with quick turn around. 

More information can be found at HauensteinMarketing.com

Buffer Now Supporting Instagram, sort of...

And right on cue...

Yesterday we wrote an article singing the praises of Buffer. One of the only drawbacks we cited in the platform was its lack of support for Instagram. Well... it appears as if they were listening -- okay, maybe they've had this in development for some time -- because today they announced they are now providing Instagram support. Sort of...

Here's the problem as written by Buffer themselves:

As you may know, Instagram does not allow outside apps to post directly to Instagram. So while Buffer can’t do the posting for you, we’re excited to help you at every step. Buffer for Instagram works by sending a notification to your phone when it’s time to post.

Here's how the whole process works:

We'll have to see how useful this ends up being but it's at least a partial step there. 

READ BUFFER'S FULL POST HERE

If you're using Social Media, you should be using Buffer. Period.

If you're in business today - whether at a Fortune 500 company, or at a home-based business, you're using social media as part of your marketing efforts. Or, at least you should be.

One of the most difficult things about using social media in your daily life is managing multiple platforms at once. There can be a lot of redundant posting, flood posting (posting too much at once), or gaps in posts. Thankfully there's a tool out that that can solve all of these problems for you. 

Buffer.

The best thing about Buffer is that you can start for FREE (with no CC required), although you'll likely want to upgrade at some point in time once you see how useful it is.

Buffer is a social media scheduling tool that allows you to basically bring in your content, edit it, and then stage it to be sent out to any one of a variety of platforms. Buffer works with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus and Pinterest with the only notable exception being Instagram. 

IMPORTING CONTENT

Buffer provides you with a number of ways to bring in content. You can install install their bookmarklet (Safari) or their extension (Chrome) and you'll find a little icon in the upper right corner of your browser. When you find yourself on a page, post, article, etc. that you'd like to share, simply press the icon and a Buffer window will pop up allowing you to modify what copy is sent out, add hashtags, add an image, and decide what platform to publish it to - and then publish it to all platforms simultaneously.

You also have the option of going directly to the Buffer website and logging in. From there you'll find your dashboard that will allow you to paste a link, create copy or attach an image. 

My favorite way however is going directly from Feedly - a great news aggregator which has support for Buffer built right in. 

SCHEDULING

Don't be that guy/girl. You have 15 minutes to kill so you sit down and post 10 messages in a flood that basically ensures no one will read anything and that everyone will be annoyed. 

Instead - Schedule your posts via Buffer. 

Scheduling is the first thing you're going to want to do in Buffer after you get your accounts connected. Schedules are created for each individual platform so you can decide how often to post. On Twitter for example, where more frequent posting is expected, you an schedule 10-15 posts per day. On LinkedIn, you may only want to schedule 3-4 posts per day. 

It's as simple as going into Buffer's scheduling module, selecting the platform and selecting the hour and minute you want your posts to appear. 

MANAGING YOUR QUEUE

As Buffer will remind you frequently -- keep your queue topped off. Always have something waiting. It's very easy to see your queue simply by logging in on Buffer's site. Every item you schedule whether from the bookmarklet, extension, website or other third party reader will instantly appear there. 

My schedule starts at 5am Pacific Time (my time) so I can hit the east coast folks bright and early. But I'm not going to get out of bed to do it. So the night before, I make sure to have some great content queued up and ready to go so Buffer can do all the work for me until I get back to my computer around 8am Pacific Time. 

ANALYTICS

Want to see how many clicks, likes, retweets or shares your post got? Buffer reports on that in real time. 

Once one of your posts gets sent off to the internet netherworld at your predetermined time, it will appear in the Analytics section of your dashboard. Everything you need to know about the reach of an individual post is right there. 

PLAN PRICING

As we stated above, Buffer is free to start and you'll get a great sense of what's possible. Eventually, as you become more of a power user, you may find that some of the limitations are hampering what you'd like to do. Check out all of their plans here:

MOBILE

Buffer has a beautiful stand alone app on both Android and iOS. Well worth downloading once you sign up. 

IN SUMMARY

Your number one job when it comes to social media is delivering great content. You shouldn't have to spend a ton of time bouncing around from one platform to another. Buffer offers you the ability to exhibit better time management as well as becoming a more consistent and effective social media user. 

VISIT BUFFER

 

 

 

MarketLinks - 07/08/16

Well... it's that time again! It's Friday and that means it's MarketLinks time. Just a quick list of the best marketing tips, tricks and news from around the internet. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

5 Invaluable Marketing Lessons Disney Movies Can Teach Us (via Entrepreneur)

5 Design Lessons You Can Use to Make Any Part of Your Company Beautiful (via Inc)

What Happens Online Every 60 Seconds (via Garrett Hauenstein Marketing)

Transform Your Company's 'About Page' From Jargon-Filled to Genuine (via Entrepreneur)

8 Ways to Grow Your LinkedIn Connections (via Social Media Examiner)

8 Books Stanford MBAs Recommend You Read This Summer (via Inc)

10 Statistics About Content Marketing in 2016 You Won't Believe (via Inc)

Which Channels Do Customers Trust for Branded Content? (via Kissmetrics)

6 Tools for Monitoring Your Online Reputation (via Entrepreneur)

What Happens Online in 60 Seconds

Don't think social media should have a place in your marketing budget? Here's a high-level overview of what happens on the internet every 60 seconds. The flow of information is astounding! You should be a part of it, but you also need to know how to be seen and not get lost in the shuffle. 

Image via Smart Insights

MarketLinks - Friday 7/1/16