“Show Me the Blog” Social Media Conference 2012 Recap

Over the weekend Social Media Manager, Krista Fisher and I went to the Show Me the Blog conference here in St. Louis. The conference focused on social media and how to make the most out of sites and the content that is featured. It was a great opportunity for networking and a fun way to spend a Friday for us, social media nerds!

The day started with registration and some mingling. We were able to meet a wide variety of people from small business owners to media reps!

The first speaker was a man named Lamar Tyler. He is known for his YouTube videos, social media presence, and public speaking. Lamar explained that you don’t need expensive equipment to create a video. You can work with what you have to make something entertaining and high quality. The speaker touched on the importance of sound, text and using music where appropriate.

Aimee Knebel was next. Aimee has had many titles in her professional career. She works for Yelp.com and is an on-air personality for Fox Sports Midwest. Aimee talked about taking chances and never settling for the easy route. She was so inspirational and, since she isn’t much older than Krista and I, very relatable!

As the day went on, we learned a little about using LinkedIn and the usefulness of guest blogging.

The conference finished with a few closing speakers, but not before a local photographer taught us the simplicity of photography. We learned tips & tricks for different lighting, subjects, and even using an iPhone for picture taking! It was by far my favorite workshop of the day.

Overall, the Show Me the Blog conference was a blast! Krista and I are so thrilled that we were able to attend the show and are looking forward to more exciting events in the near future!

October Meet & Greet

It’s time for another Indoff Partner Meet & Greet! This month we are talking with Sammy Stephens. Sammy sells within three of Indoff’s five divisions; Business Products, Promotional Products, and Commercial Printing.

The Interview:

-If you could live anywhere in the world, no strings attached, where would you live? Why?

On a 75-100 acre homestead in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northeast Tennessee near the South Fork of the Holston River. I enjoy the country lifestyle and they have the best Native Trout fishing this side of the Rockies.

-What is your favorite movie?

Young Doctor Frankenstein.

-What would you do with a million dollars?

Tithe 10% to the community outreach program at our church, get out of debt, keep out 50k in cash, visit most of the National Parks then hire a really good financial advisor.

-How long have you been in the business?

22 years.

-What is one thing you are most proud of?

Both of my sons are in Ministry.

-If you could have any super power, which one would you choose?

Innate Mental Capability.

-What made you decide to join Indoff?

Being part of a large financially sound company with great partner support.

-What do you enjoy most about working at Indoff?

The freedom to sell the products I choose to and being able to pick my own vendors.

-What is the farthest you have been from home?

About 4,500 miles, Hawaii.

Small Businesses and Social Media

I’m sure many people think that social media is a relatively quick fix for a company that is looking for exposure, especially for a small business. While it is a great way to jump start a company’s internet presence, social media takes time to become sticky and catch on with your targeted audience.

According to a recent article on socialmediatoday.com, social media is not something that can just be done. It is a part of a company’s marketing strategy that needs to be continued and maintained as long as the company desires to do “business” on that particular social media platform.

Sites like Facebook and Twitter are great places to begin to connect with your current and potential audience. You can build relationships with them by responding positively to their feedback and not bombarding them with sales pitches and advertisements. People go on these sites to connect with others, not to be sold to. Therefore, it is important to represent your company in a positive manner and show them that your company not only cares about them, but their interest in your business as well.

Having realistic expectations is another important factor in trying to break into social media. Obtaining hundreds of “views” and “shares” don’t happen overnight, so don’t expect them to. Instead, be thankful to the handful of users who do  forward your content by  sending them a message or commenting on the post.

Another tip for starting your social media “adventure” is to pick the sites that best fit your company. There is such a thing as too much social media. Check out one of our recent blog posts for more information on over doing social media!

Finally, remember that even if you are not a multi-million dollar business or are an entrepreneur, you can still have a big advantage when using social media. By being small, you have the opportunity to know the ins and outs of what you have built.  Knowing your products and your customer base will also allow  you to better communicate one-on-one with them.

Ultimately, you will have a greater chance at building online relationships, as previously mentioned, and eventually become a social media pro! You just have to remember to give it a chance and focus on the networking.

Making the Most Out of a YouTube Post

I would say that most of us are pretty familiar with YouTube. It’s a great site that allows users to upload videos, whether done professionally or shot via an iPhone. While it is so easy to start your own channel on YouTube and begin uploading videos, some users don’t go the extra mile to help make the video viral. Here are a few tips from a helpful article to help your video make its way to the top.

  • Keep it short and hook your audience. You have to let them know what they are watching and why it is important. “Hooking” the audience is crucial because if you lose their attention, or bore them, you can almost guarantee they won’t be sharing or re-watching your post.
  • Make it personal. If you don’t tailor to your audience, you will lose their interest resulting in a loss of video views. Using humor, for example, may bring your audience to your level.
  • Create a call to action. Having a purpose for your video will make people want to click play and to tell others to do the same. Many people enjoy feeling like they are a part of something, so by involving them, you may engage more viewers.
  • Finally, using the appropriate audio, text, and execution is critical. Making a video that is poorly constructed will make your audience want to look for something else.

At Indoff, we have created our own YouTube channel to keep in touch with our Partners and let everyone know what Indoff is made up of. We update the site with videos of our staff and the parts of our corporate office that our Partners don’t get to see every day. It’s a great way to get everyone more acquainted with who they are working with.

A video going viral may seem more like “luck of the draw” then something you actually have control over. In many cases it probably is, but there are many more ways to give your video and edge over the competition.

What other helpful hints do you think work for a site like YouTube?

How Much Is Too Much?

These days, social media is everywhere. There are hundreds of social media sites, all over the internet that keep all of us in touch. It is an amazing technology that has truly defined the way we live our lives.

Organizations love social media for all of its opportunity. It is a great way to connect with past, present and future customers and can act as a platform for any business. Although social media has been proven to be effective, some businesses may find themselves starting to become fragmented in regards to social media. This means that many businesses are finding themselves so saturated in social sites that it is not really benefitting them. The following are a few ways to help any business figure out which social media platform are really right for them.

The first thing any company should take into consideration is their demographics. For instance, if your target market is primarily 18-25 year old males, there may not be a need for your company to have a Pinterest account. Look for the networks that directly relate to your audience and explore those further.

Looking at what the social network can offer is also important. Different social media sites have different strengths and by playing off these strengths, a company can better connect with their targeted customers. Twitter, for example, is great for live events. It offers the user to produce up-to-the-minute statuses that are short and to the point.

A great quote from the article goes on to explain more about social network strengths.

Just because a network has an audience fit with your digital presence and you can see a key strength, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. If your team is small, or perhaps even non-existent, then scaling back to as few networks as you can justify is a wise idea. Figure one or two out first, rather than spreading yourself too thin. 

Using analytics to see your customer’s involvement on your chosen social networks is another great way to decide which social media site are best for your company. RSS feeds and Hootsuite make it easy to track the analytics, update multiple sites, and view site interaction.

The last tip that the article suggests is to find the social media platform that best complement one another. For instance, you can sort photos taken with Instagram on Pinterest.

Overall, don’t give in to the hype. Just because you continuously hear about sites like Instagram, doesn’t mean you need to drop everything and join. You have to take a step back and learn which sites not only best fit your company’s needs, but best engage your customers.

What do you think? Which social media sites do you prefer?

Don’t Be Dispensable

Everyone knows that not everything is meant to last forever.

Whether it’s a law or a fashion trend, people seem to change as the years pass, therefore causing the things in their lives to change with them.

According to a recent LinkedIn blog post, we should expect to see more professional items start to disappear in the coming years; things like tape recorders, regular office hours, and fax machines.

It’s strange to think of a time when things like staying at the office for 8 hours at a time would be a rarity and every day, tangible items would be discontinued.

It is interesting to think that just like these things your own job could be dispensable as well. Thousands of students graduate every year with a degree that is similar the other thousands of people already in the “professional world”. Some may have more developed skills and some may be cross educated in other, more desirable fields of study.

So how can an individual think that he or she really has complete job security?

According to this post, there are ways to give yourself an edge over your competition.

First, simply be the best in breed. Whether you’re reading the latest headlines specific to your field or keeping in touch with your connections, you need to stay informed. It is easy to have a degree or experience and just “do your job”. Staying informed and up to date will set you aside from the rest of the group.

Secondly, expand yourself. Doing the same thing over and over throughout the day can not only get boring, but limit you to what you are exposed to. Just think, the person who takes their clients to lunch and conducts face-to-face meetings regularly probably has a little more creditability than the person who only responds via email and sits in their office until 5 o’clock rolls around!

The last tip is to get active and network! Making great, professional relationships can get you a long way in any industry. Your network doesn’t necessarily have to consist of hundreds of people. When it comes to networking, some people, including myself, believe it’s quality, not quantity that matters. It is nice for someone to know your name, but it is even better if that person knows something about your professional qualities.

What other ways can you think of that can help you keep your place in your job field?

Do you agree with these tips?

Sound off below!