Maine’s 200th Birthday is well underway and businesses all across the great Pine Tree State are looking for ways to tap into the celebration as a marketing tool.
Here are 2 trends that can help you TODAY in making the most of this special event in your social media marketing.
Trend 1: Share UGC -User Generated Content & 3rd Party Links
What is UGC you may ask?
“User-generated content (UGC) is any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands. And brands will often share UGC on their own social media accounts, website, and other marketing channels.” Hootsuite
A good rule of thumb is to follow the 80/20 rule when using UGC and 3rd Party links for your content calendar.
It goes a little like this:
80% of the content you share on your social media sites should come from other resources.
20% of the content you share should be your original stories, photos, and videos.
Why you may ask? Well, it’s as easy as this: NO ONE likes to hear someone talk about themselves all-the-time.
There is also evidence to back this up. Sharing content from 3rd party sources and UGC:
Builds trust and authority. Social Algorithms love when you are relevant, post current events, and are “shareable.”
It serves your community with relevant and useful information.
Clients LOVE LOVE LOVE to share their feelings and opinions.
So, now that you know about UGC & 3rd Party Links, where can you find things to share?
First, do an inventory of your social media feed and email inbox, and look for the following: client posts, comments, tagged photos, testimonials, emails, hand-written notes, etc. This is GOLD and you can share this in your feed WHEN you ask for permission from your clients.
Follow this rule: Make sure to give credit and celebrate the fact that your customers are acting as ambassadors.
It’s easy and here’s a sample:
“We loved what you posted on Instagram. We would like to share it with our users and give credit to you. Would you be comfortable if we shared it on our Facebook page? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org” and then post away dear friends!
You can also share content from reliable 3rd party resources. These will help you to look like you are in-the-know (which you are dahling!) and will serve as resources to your clients and customers.
You can position yourself as the business who cares about sharing the best with their clients. And all you have to do is copy a URL link, add a note, and ask for comments…and then voilà! Your audience engagement increases.
Great places to find content to share about Maine’s Bicentennial 2020:
Maine Public has a HOST of resources including its daily series called, “On this day in Maine,” as well as radio shows, interviews, stories, and links to the Maine Archives. Find out more here.
The Maine Office of Tourism has an MOT Partners Website with a WEALTH of information on upcoming events, as well as resources like photo downloads, links to regional websites, a community calendar and more. Find out more here.
Maine200.org is the HUB of all Maine events related to the Bicentennial. Here you will find out how to submit our own event, links to Bicentennial products for sale, and a bounty of Maine Stories. Find out more here.
Trend 2: LIVE Video
You have heard it over and over again: LIVE video is taking over the internet. It is estimated that by 2022, 85% of all content on social media will be video content.
Video content is KING on the internet. Why should you use it?
Our clients LOVE video when our content is of service to THEM and when it helps to extend the customer experience.
Video boosts your ability to be seen in social feeds by both your current audience and potential customers.
All you need is your iPhone & a tripod. (Trust me, your hands are NOT that steady.)
Easy ideas to share on video for Maine’s Bicentennial 2020:
Why do you love living and working in Maine?
Fun Facts about Maine’s History.
Short tours of the services you provide.
Step 1 –Take a class. (Yes, I teach this class – and I think its really valuable.) I am also a die-hard believer in hands-on practice and a supportive community when it comes to practicing and mastering Live videos.
Step 2 – Watch other people’s live videos and learn what you like (and what you don’t). I watched hundreds of videos and I realized that I like short-and-sweet tours and heartfelt testimonials. I also took a media training course and IT CHANGED MY LIFE.
Here’s a quick video I did about the Rockland Breakwater in Rockland, Maine. You will see that it is HOMEMADE and all it took was my iPhone and my courage to get out there and do it.
When you are ready to take your video marketing to the next level, (think news-worthy segments and beautifully shot and edited spots) it is worth your time and energy to work with a film and video production professional who can help you put your best foot forward.
I love the Tips & Tricks from the Burdo Media Group. Find out more about her here and sign up for her Newsletters. Her actionable tips are great for everyday use AND in planning out more formal, high-level videos.
Let us know how you are marketing for Maine’s Bicentennial 2020. We would love to hear your ideas!
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Kristin F. Simmons, Digital Media and Visual Storytelling is dedicated to making the process of marketing outreach one that is in alignment with who you are and what you love about your business.
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How to share your tourism destination on Social Media.
What is the best way to share your business on social media? I don’t know about you, but when I lay in bed at night, scrolling through my iPad, searching for the next latest-and-greatest place I want to visit, I tend to stop and linger at pretty pictures and videos or real people doing fun and engaging things.
I am not alone in this.
Over 45% of the world’s total population are on social media, spending on average, 2.5 hours per day on social networks and in messaging apps.* (Hootsuite, 2019)
Social media users love travel photos and destinations profiles.
Travelers want what is REAL and RELEVANT. They want to be shown what it would truly be like to travel to a destination, and what to expect along the way. Travelers want to connect with the EMOTION of the experience, long before they step foot in the hotel lobby, or get in their car to the airport.
How can YOU, dear gentle business owner, benefit from this knowledge and cater your social media marketing to potential tourism and hospitality customers?
It’s as simple as 1-2-3 to market your Tourism and Hospitality Business on Social Media.
I promise you, your marketing outreach will be SO much easier if you do a bit of planning ahead. You KNOW that the “spray and pray” method of throwing up a social post here and there does not work. It is ineffective and causes social media burnout. It makes you question, “Why am I doing this at all?”
A little creative brainstorm and a quick run-down list can make all the difference in your staying power on social media.
Jot down the answers to the following questions: (Sample Business Draft for the purpose of demonstration: Fairwinds Coastal Resort in New England)
What do we share for sales and specials for our Tourism and Hospitality Business? Pre-Memorial Day 40% for stays more than 2 nights; 25% off stays in June or July of 7+ continuous days.
What can we post seasonally? Staff profiles; Photos of rooms types; Wedding events; On-site and off-site catering
What special events, including charity events do we do? Our Local Brews & BBQ Weekend; Our Kids Fairy Festival in May; Our Lobster Roll Festival in August
What are some behind-the-scenes parts of our business we can share? Set up for a wedding; Opening of the pool; Videos of the chef prepping in the kitchen.
Then, fill in your month of social media posts ideas:
Week 1: Share photos of the past Local Brews & BBQ Events with a link to ticket sales; Share a series of photos from a couple who were married on the property with a link to the sales team phone number.
Week 2: Share our seasonal sales specials with a direct link to our booking page; share photos to the property to get people exciting about the upcoming season.
Week 3: Share photos and brief bios of the staff. Share photos of the newly refurbished rooms with link to booking page.
Week 4: Post photos of the Fairy Festival with links to the gift shop and our collection of fairy house books; Share photos of our chef making lobster rolls and ask guest to share their photos of when they ate lobster rolls on property.
One of my favorite quotes: “Chance favors the the prepared mind.” The same goes for YOU and your social media planning. The better the outline and plan, the better your chance of reaching your marketing your goals.
Credit -Louis Pasteur
2. SHARE USER GENERATED CONTENT
Guess what? You don’t have to do all the work. That’s right, you heard me!
You can look up what people have posted about their stay, and then SHARE that on your social media. In fact, this is a GREAT way to fill up your social media posts as both a regular part of your weekly plan AND when you are feeling that low-motivating-oh-dear-I-feel-so-uncreative-kinds-mood.
Here’s what you need to know:
YOU MUST get permission. YOU MUST credit the photo and/or source link that you repost. As a business owner, you need to follow the ethical guidelines set forth by all-that-is-respectful in the world.
Share what is referred to as “User Generated Content” in your social media posts. Make sure to give credit and celebrate the fact that your customers are acting as ambassadors. It’s easy and it looks like this:
Sample outreach to client —-
“We loved what you posted on Facebook. We are so happy you enjoyed your stay. We would like to share it with our users and credit you and your account. Would you be comfortable if we shared it on our Facebook page? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.” And then post away dear friends!
3. Be of SERVICE
Let’s face it: The WHOLE point of social media is to be of service.
Before the sales, before the song-and-dance, we are here to be of SERVICE and to help our clients.
Ask yourself this question: Is what I am posting online helpful? Does it help my clients see the full range of services that we offer? Does it help them make a decision about booking with us?
To put it another way, are you walking into the room and using a bullhorn to brag about your business and then walking away? Or are you purposefully asking questions, introducing yourself, and listening to what is going on? If its the latter of the two, then you are being of service.
Everything you post for your business on social media should be planned and purposeful, providing both future clients and return guests a chance to share and shine.
Have any questions or need further help? Like us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our email list to follow along for the latest updates and classes. Our goal? To help you feel confident, competent, and creative online.
I have a great solution for you when it comes to what to post on social media.
We ALL — and I MEAN WE ALL have times when the words don’t flow as easily from our fingertips as we had hoped; or we have impostor syndrome and we don’t think we are good writers; or we just don’t feel like posting..and blah blah blah.
I get it.
I fall back on this simple formula of 5 Tips for Amazing Social Posts ALL-THE-TIME. It helps me to stay focused and get creative even when I feel as juicy and exciting as a piece of cardboard.
These steps help me to stay-on-task as a business owner who uses social media as one of my primary marketing tools. It is crucial that my posts be purposeful and a means-to-an-end, whether it be feel-good branding or targeted sales. (The “Spray-and-pray-haphazard-method of social media posting is a sure-fire way to burn out and lose, rather than engage, an audience.
I remember the mantra: “All you need is already within you. You are creative and powerful” and then I take these steps:
5 Tips for Amazing Social Media Posts
Start with a hook in the form of a question or quote.
Share your personal perspective and expertise.
Add great photos or video to bring your posts to life.
Include a link to your business/booking page.
Ask your followers to share & comment.
Formulas help me know that I am on-task and on-target in my business goals, and this outline does the trick.
I invite my community in by asking a question; I share myself, which is an important part of my connection to my customers; I show a photo or video because I know this is part of getting good visibility; I make sure to link back to my business; I invite them to share and be part of the conversation.
Have you ever driven a vintage truck? (Tip 1)
I drive an old Ford F150 all through college that I bought for $500 cash. I called it “Beatrice” because it meant “blessed.” That’s the way I felt in that old truck and I loved it. (Tip 2)
You can see all of the vintage truck we have on our lot here: ArundelFord.com (Tip 4)
Did you ever drive a vintage F150? Do you have a photo? We would love to have you share it in the feed below. (And let us know if you had a name for it!) (Tip 5)
And make sure to jump back to Tip 3 to share a photo with every post you do. It doubles your engagement!
Do you have a post formula you like to use? You can download my mantra and my 5 Tip Outline here for your desktop when you sign up for my mailing list. CLICK HERE. I don’t spam or sell your information ever.
Let me know your tips and tricks for great posts on the Facebook Page.
A special thanks to the team at Arundel Ford for letting me share one of their posts. They are incredible clients I Iove helping them tell their stories on social media.
Do you ever wonder what talk about on social media? Do you get excited to use social media for your marketing, but then lose steam after a few posts and then give up?
I hear you.
We have all been there. The stops. The starts. The lack of feeling creative. The need to take care of EVERYTHING else in your business and Social Media becomes ONE-MORE-THING you need to juggle.
Fret not, fellow business friend. I am here to help. I have a full-proof tip to share with you, so that you know what to post on social media.
Here it is: ASK A QUESTION OF YOUR AUDIENCE
Yes. THAT is what you should talk about on social media for your small business.
You should ASK A QUESTION of your community, the likes of which YOU are asked all of the time. As business owners, we solve problems everyday and answer questions.
Some juicy and/or mundane examples may be:
What kinds of service do you offer on old cars? Can you mail a package to Borneo? Do you offer small party catering? What time is your 3 o’clock seminar? Can you hem pants AND dry-clean clothes? Do you have evening hours? How much for drop-in child care? Do you allow dogs in your hotel?
You get the calls. You read your emails. You have the lady that wants to hang out, chit-chat, and then pepper you with questions about pairing wines and cooking for 20 people at the holidays. You know the drill and you answer these kinds of business questions EVERYDAY.
Guess what folks? These questions are AMAZING fodder for social media posts.
Click Through for a step-by-step video on “How to Ask Questions of your Audience on Social Media.”
Now that you know WHAT to do, it’s time to take action and get posting on social media.
Take a look at the steps below, and download a brainstorming guide to help get the juices flowing.
When you look at the most commonly asked questions, feel free to provide an answer directly in the post, or leave it open ended for your community to respond. Here is an example: “Have you ever come to on of our yoga classes? We would love to hear feedback from you!” or “We are asked if we fix older models of cars in our shop all the time. Here are some photos of the antique autos we have repaired. Have you seen them on the road? Share your antique auto photos below or call us for a repair at 555-1212.”
Make sure to ask in a way that encourages a response. Our social media business posts are seen on average by 2-5% of our TOTAL audience. Up-the-ante by creating a “Ask a Question” post and over time, you can improve your visibility ten-fold.
Use this as an opportunity to connect with your community. The more you respond, the stronger the connection between you and your clients. (AND, the more comments and feedback, the better your posts perform, and are shared with a wider audience.)
If you get a customer with a legitimate concern, offer to take the conversation offline and provide a direct phone # for them to call. If they get nasty, inappropriate and/or abusive, delete it and/or block them. We WILL get concerns and comments. There is NEVER a call for abuse or snarkiness.
So, when you wonder: “What do I post on social media for my small business?” you NOW know what to do.
Remember: My goal is to help you feel CONFIDENT, COMPETENT, & CREATIVE online.
Get Organized and Ready for 2019: Social Media Consulting & Instruction.
Are you in need of a social media boost for 2019?
Do you want to get in-depth, personalized training on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, or Pinterest for your business?
Do you need step-by-step instructions and a clear path ahead on how to BEST use social media for your business?
Then this is the package for you!
At Kristin F. Simmons, my goal is to help you feel competent, confident, and creative in your social media marketing.
It is my goal to help you get the most from your marketing outreach and maximize your engagement through connected, relevant, and engaging stories.
Social Media Marketing is cost effective – especially when you know how to use it and use it WELL!
The HOLIDAY Package includes:
A 2-hour, custom, one-on-one lesson on the social media platform of your choice.
A comprehensive review of ONE of your social media accounts and a personalized, detailed recommendations for improvement and how to best maintain and use your social media accounts. (Consistency is KEY to mastering social media for business!)
A Detailed 3-Month Editorial Calendar with daily, weekly and monthly post planning to help you reach your 2019 Business goals.
A 1-hour post training follow-up Skype call to review best practices and troubleshoot.
BONUS! Three custom designed photo & graphics posts to use on your social media platforms.
Regular price: $1,500 HOLIDAY SALE PRICE: $799
Only 5 packages are available until they are sold out for the season!
Terms: All sales final. Maine State Sales Tax included. Buyer must send phone and email address to Kristin F. Simmons at email@example.com to schedule trainings. Payment must be made via PayPal. All initial trainings must be complete by June 1, 2019.