238 social media 101 using social media to connect with pet owners
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Connecting through Education Based Marketing: Blogging
In this section you will learn where to find content and how to use it to generate
education based marketing themes. There are excellent examples of how to
repurpose potentially boring content (Southwest Airlines, 2009) into engaging social
content. One way to create content is to brainstorm with your social media team.
This technique will be demonstrated using Concept Draw Mind Map (CSOdessa,
2011)to generate education based marketing themes.
Marketing theory teaches that an individual must here something 7 – 9 times
before it sinks in. Although you should avoid spamming it’s appropriate to repeat &
repurpose your content. Avoid posting the exact same content at the same time to
all your social sites. THAT’S SPAMMISH!
Education Based Marketing Themes
The goal is to build your education based marketing themes for the purpose of having a
daily content strategy for each social sites. You have multiple options for themes. For
example, the pet clinic decides upon the following themes for Facebook:
Monday – Pet of the Week: Where you encourage clients to post stories about their pets and
have fans vote for the best one for the week. Feature the winner and include relevant
captions like “Give your pet the gift of Northgate Pet Clinic for valentine day”
Tuesday – Puppy Love – Tips & technique about dealing with a puppy’s newborn to young
Wednesday – Kitty Care Tips & technique about dealing with kitten’s newborn to young
Thursday – What the stork delivered – celebrating all newborn pets
Friday – Preventive maintenance - tips and techniques to ensure your pet live a long healthy
Saturday – In case of Emergency – Life saving emergency tips
Sunday – Quiz the Vet ask the vet your pet questions day.
Then you repeat this process of identifying themes for the other social platform.
Remember to account for the culture of the platform and to use different education based
marketing themes on each one.
The Content Brainstorm Exercise
The big question is about what sources to use for creating content around the themes you’ve chosen.
My clients feel creating content is the most difficult part of social media marketing. The reality is that you
have content all around you. It’s found in:
• Your workplace,
• People’s heads,
• The events host and participate in.
I encourage you to go on a scavenger hunt in your workplace. You might even make a list of items to
look for on the scavenger hunt. You’re gathering up (without judgment) all preprinted materials you can
find: marketing brochures, pamphlets, technical specifications, white papers, magazines your company
has been featured in, checkout your website especially frequently asked questions, recipes, menus,
pictures, charts, graphs, awards, recognition, customer letters, newsletters, announcements, and even
the annual report.
What you have around will of course depends upon the kind of business you’re in. Next take the content
and look at how it can be repurposed for themes or social media content suitable for your sites
Here’s a creative example from Southwest Airlines at 2009 Shareholders meeting.
The next source of content is in the heads of the experts working at your company, also in the heads of
your strategic partners and your customers. So go pick their brains! Take your HD camcorder with you and
interview them. In fact, take your camcorder everywhere you go tradeshows, corporate events, job fairs,
health fairs, etc. If you have one with you today, grab every presenter and quickly interview them. Get
answers to question your customers and colleagues who are not here have. If people are camera shy send
them a questionnaire. The answers could make great content for your social sites.
The third source of content is drawn out of the everyday events that are going on around you locally,
statewide, nationwide and globally. I mean personal life events, current events, news, entertainment,
The Content Brainstorm Exercise -Concept Draw
There are excellent electronic tools for brainstorming the one I like is Concept
Draw Mindmap (Fred Pryor, 2013). You can use it to brainstorm as many themes as
you can possibly think of. Forget about your business and what you do just get all of
your ideas out. The ideas generated will include keywords you should use in your
content. When your finished brainstorming go back through the list and select
education based marketing themes appropriate for your business and your social
platforms. Your options include picking a theme for the month which I think is
easier than picking a theme for every week or everyday but you can choose from
those options too. With a theme for the month you can select a sub-theme for each
week and brainstorm your content ideas from there.
If you commit the time you can brainstorm for every month of the year and
generate a year of education based marketing themes and content ideas and put
them into an editorial calendar. Here is an example from a mind map.
The Blog Platform
Social Media strategists say if you do nothing else blog. Here are some very
persuasive statistics that can help you understand why:
82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed
to 57% of marketers who blog monthly -- which, by itself, is still an impressive
Blogs produced a new customer for 43% of marketers last year.
Blogging requires roughly 9% of marketers’ total full-time staff dedications and 7%
of their total budget.
43% of marketers generated a customer via their blog with less than 10% of total
Blogs produce low-cost leads for 24% of the marketing community (Lockwood,
Blog Length and frequency
Plan your social media marketing time so that you focus first on your foundation which is your blog. Social
media strategist say if you do nothing else blog. Once the foundation is set build out to the other social
platforms you’ve select to participate on. You’ll need a platform to host your blog WordPress (websmarttv,
2010) a highly regarded choice.
The gurus recommend blogging 1 to 3 times a week at minimum, however research suggest the more
frequently you blog the better. Don’t get stressed about the frequency. WordPress has a scheduler enabling
you to create content in advance and schedule it to post at designated intervals.
When creating blog content allocate time to write enough content so that it can be scheduled to publish over
several weeks or months. Remember social audiences LOVE photos and videos so insure you have a photo
sharing account like Flickr (Lowensohn, 2007) or Instagram (Shell, 2012) and video sharing account like
YouTube (ApprenticeA, 2012) or Vimeo setup because you will include photos and videos stored on these site
in your blog content.
As for as content length, I believe the social space is meant for brevity, people have short attention spans
that means you’ll be hard pressed to get someone to read a blog the length of a novel. Who has time to write
something that long anyway? In contrast others feel 1500 word blog posts get more engagement. You can
always test your reader’s tolerance levels on this issue. Given the premise you’re busy and it’s challenging
finding and creating content, I recommend blog posts that are 300 to 450 word. By using Microsoft Word to
write your blog you can check the documents (Microsoft, 2013) before dropping it into your blogging platform.
First setup Word to display readability statistics. Here are the steps from Microsoft:
Display readability statistics
On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Spelling & Grammar tab.
Select the Check grammar with spelling check box.
Select the Show readability statistics check box, and then click OK.
On the Standard toolbar, click Spelling and Grammar .
When Microsoft Word finishes checking spelling and grammar, it displays information about the reading
level of the document in a box that looks like this. This blog post Can Anyone Read the Writing on Your Blog?
(Kightlinger, 2012), recommends making it your goal to write at a 7th grade level and achieving a Flesch Reading
Ease of 60-70. For every 250 words in your blog post you’ll want to include 2 to 3 keywords or keyword
phrases, consequently keyword research is required.
Whenever creating blog content you’ll want to conduct keyword research. “Keyword
research is a fundamental part of online marketing of all kinds, and is especially relevant for
freelance writers, online publishers, and bloggers. Compelling content is favored by search
engines, but if you don’t use the words people are actually interested in and actively
searching for, you’re missing a lot of traffic.” (Clark, 2013) There are all kinds of “keyword
research tools” (Halasz, 2012) some free others for a fee. Here’s a demonstration of the
Google Keyword Tool (Google, 2013). These keywords will be included in your blog content
and other social media content. In blog posts you’ll hyperlink these keywords to other
valuable relevant content (outside of your sites) that adds value to your target audience.
These backlinks are crawled by search engines and giving Link Love (Wikipedia, 2013) gets
you link love.
You’ve now decided on the unique education based marketing themes you’ll share for each
social site. You’ve used the editorial calendar for planning the themes and the keywords. BUT the
Little Pink Spoon that are shared under the EBM themes have you stuck. Here are some tips: the
LPS should be unique to each site (don't share the same LPS tip on Twitter that you share on
Facebook, especially at exactly the same time!)
Here is an example: Imagine you’re the social media person for Wholefoods Market. You
decided the content theme for the week pre Super Bowl Sunday will revolve around super bowl
foods. The editorial calendar for the week includes 7 super bowl food themes.
Wednesday Soups & Chili
Friday Bar B Q
Sunday Chicken Wings
If Monday’s theme is super bowl dips beginning with the blog and from it plan the LPS: include
your call to action in each.
Google+ - content photos of dip: Want one for your super bowl party? Here’s how to make it
(link to your blog) or take it (Whole Foods, 2011)
YouTube - videos of preparations, DIY Snack Stadium (Pensavalle, 2013)
LinkedIn - research on health benefits of selected ingredients - Quick pick me-up - Cucumbers
are a good source of B vitamins. Put down your sodas and eat a cucumber slice
http://ow.ly/mlEtv (Du Toit, 2012)
Facebook – caption this _____________.
Applying these strategies will make creating engaging, valuable, relevant content
fun and easy. Get more depth in these types of strategy by taking my program
Strategies for Marketing Successful in Social Media (Landry & Evanston, 2013)