The 4 Bare Essentials of Keeping Up with Your Online Presence By Catie McClure

One of the biggest problems professionals today face is finding the time to learn how to and maintain their social media presence. Even though most professionals know that it is imperative in today’s business world to have a strong social media presence, some still are far lacking in keeping up. The vast landscape of the social media industry doesn’t really provide a viable solution for the lone the busy professional and small business.

On one hand the social media industry offers a wealth of information on how to properly conduct your social media activity for every social media platform known to man, this wealth of information is more than slightly overwhelming. The current solution to this problem is to either struggle along insufficiently or hire one of the countless content management firms or consultants to do it for you for a pretty steep price. Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing the social media industry as it is my bread and butter as well, but I am saying that I understand that these solutions can be a bit suffocating for the lone entrepreneur or small business.

In an attempt to provide some small solution to these problems, I am writing a series of posts on what the busy professional can do on their own and still maintain a sufficient social media presence without making other areas of their business suffer. Below are the bare essentials in getting started and maintaining a sufficient online presence:

1. Make sure your profiles are complete. To see a couple sample profiles, you can check out my LinkedIn profile here www.linkedin.com/pub/catie-mcclure/26/149/784/en or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mvbsllc?ref=bookmarks. 

2. Complete a content calendar. Do this at least every week, biweekly or ideally on a monthly basis. Create one that best fits your needs. If you know you can designate 5+ hours once a month to compile a calendar for the month ahead, that is ideal However, if you can’t then just make sure you put something together on a weekly basis. For a sample content calendar email me at Catie@mymccluresolutions.com and I will send you a sample.

3. Designate time every day or at least every other day to checking in on your social media platforms. Even if it is just 15-30 minutes a day. Give each platform a minimum of 5-10 minutes. Just enough time to skim the news feed, share relevant information your followers might like to know about (just be sure to give credit where credit is due), post some of your original content you made ahead of time and comment on one or two of your associates posts.

4.  Blog. Yes. The dreaded word. However, blogging is essential to the online presence of businesses today and the need seems to only be growing. Even if you can only bang out one per week or even every other week. Just do something. For ideas on how to find topics when you need to whip up a post quick send me a quick email at Catie@mymccluresolutions.com.

To keep your momentum going, it is my suggestion to follow these steps for a month and as you become better at creating content and more efficient in your management, add to your efforts a little at a time. The best way to expand your efforts once you have this list down, is to write a list of goals or priorities for what you want to get out of your online presence and start incorporating them into your plan and content calendars.  Before you know it, you will have smoothly running internet marketing machine!

About the Author

Catie McClure has been providing internet marketing and administrative services to various industries since 2010. She specializes in social media management and content writing in addition to her extensive sales and administrative experience. Prior to starting her own consultant firm where she manages a team of administrative assistants and content writers and managers, she was a licensed, Massachusetts Real Estate Salesperson for 10 years specializing in buyer agency and customer care while working under companies such as RE/MAX and Coldwell Banker as well as being an integral part in a local real estate startup that is still successful today. Catie believes the best clients are educated clients and works diligently to make sure her clients stay apprised of the latest marketing trends based on their industry. When she is not assisting clients, she enjoys yoga, road trips, reading and spending time with her husband and 4 boys. For more information on Catie’s services at McClure Virtual Business Solutions, email her at Catie@mymccluresolutions.com.

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Which Platform is Right For You? by Britney Balg

There are more ways than ever to advertise and get your name/ brand out there. But which one is right for you? Well that all depends on your goals, time you can spend, and target audience. So which one should you use? Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all very good platforms. It’s up to you to pick the ones that will do you the most good with the smallest amount of time, energy, and money. Below is a table outlining the pros and cons of each option.

PLATFORM PROS CONS
Twitter Immediate updatesMobile usageGood for diverting flow to

your website

Limited textNot image friendlyTough to learn and use
Facebook Business pages are low costEverybody on it already expects business presenceCreating ads is easy Must be on it all the timePolicies change a lotNegative feedback is visible to everyone
LinkedIn High networking environmentEasy to connect with relevant peoplePositive endorsements from clients Very expensive to advertiseDoesn’t integrate media options well

FACEBOOK: A Fading Trend? by Guy Peck

Since it’s creation, Facebook has dominated the world of social media. It reinvented the way the world communicates and, ultimately, changed society as we knew it. With Facebook’s popularity came a new forum for businesses, new methods of networking and marketing for everyone, and, most importantly,  a new dashboard “world” for people of all ages to connect and share their life events through uploaded photos, status updates, and chat. It revolutionized the web, in turn, forever altering social media. Though created in the U.S, Facebook’s fame spread like wildfire all throughout the world, with its top users from Europe at an estimated 243,000,000 million subscribers by September 2012. (For more info on Facebook user stats: http://www.internetworldstats.com/facebook.htm). It wasn’t long before Facebook had become, for many, routine, a new way of life. Having the vast power to communicate with the masses, at anytime, was at the fingertips of anyone with access to a computer or cellphone. Without regard to consequence, countless individuals learned about this broad authority the hard way, broadcasting overly personal life events or, in some cases, incriminating events, on the world-wide web, for every associate, friend, and relative to see. Other people saw Social media as dollar signs and sought to use Facebook to capitalize on its unique and lucrative marketing potential. In a world where some people fell under the hammer of revealing too much while others focused on monetary gain, expanding their business networks to heights untraveled, one thing was clear; The possibilities were endless.
Then one day, Facebook presented the “Timeline” feature,  turning user profiles into virtual scrapbooks, allowing users the ability to view the history of anyone of the 500,000,000 or so users. According to a poll of 4,000 users, by Sophos Security, this feature was criticized and shunned by 33%  who stated “They didn’t know why they were still on Facebook”. (For more on this Timeline poll:http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/facebook-timeline-poll-overwhelming-negative-reaction-84717 ). Other reports claimed that users were uncomfortable with their Facebook use history being so visible and easily accessed. Other people voiced concerns of increased risk of identity theft. With these flaws, so popular in belief,  many have begun to question the future of Facebook. Facebook may have epitomized Social Media but, with that, came numerous social media competitors, just waiting for their chance to shine through Facebook’s fading shadow. Powerhouses like LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat have targeted these concerned Facebook users and in many cases converted them.With this in mind, what do you think Facebook’s destiny holds? Are you still a Facebook loyalist? Or do you see Facebook as a fading trend?