What am I getting for my social media marketing services budget?

Social Media Strategy and Management – How Much Do I Get for My Money?

When your car needs repairs, you know you’ll have a bill for parts and labor. Did you know that the hours listed on your bill might have no basis at all in reality? Yes, it’s true. I heard it on CarTalk. Seriously, though (and I am serious about CarTalk), most auto repair shops standardize pricing for common auto repair tasks. Timing belt on a ’95 Honda Civic? That’ll be 5 hours labor (I’m guessing – do they even have a timing belt? I digress). It may be that the work is done by a mechanic so experienced that it’ll take him 90 minutes, or it may be done by his kid who takes 7 hours and requires a trip to the ER. In either case, you’re paying for 5 hours.

“Outrageous,” you say! “A rip-off,” you cry! But I ask you – did you get your timing belt changed? Does it really matter to you whether it took two guys two hours …

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3 Ways to Save Money on Inbound Marketing

3 Ways to Save Money on Inbound Marketing

“Money is no object!” said no small business owner, ever. Maybe one day I’ll hear from one of those rarities and get to use all the wonderful inbound marketing magic at my disposal. Until then, budget will always be an issue. Some say that limitations actually foster greater creativity, and I agree. When you can’t spend unlimited time and money on everything, you’re forced to make ever second and every penny really count.

Still, when a business owner comes to me with big dreams and a tiny budget, the first thing to overcome is the “I want it all, but I don’t want to pay for it.” mindset. Part of me wants to give every nice business owner with a great product or service first-class service at a freight-car rate, but I can’t – and usually they understand. Still, this doesn’t have to be the end. There are other options!

Focus on Your Best Bets

So you can’t afford to do it all right now. Should you wait until you can? Certainly not! Doing as much as you can now …

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Simple ways to rock Instagram for Your Business

Rock Your Brand on Instagram With These Four Tips

Visual sites such as Instagram and Pinterest have taken the world by storm and forever changed how we post to social media. People want to spend less time hearing about your products, and spend more time seeing them.

With over 200 million monthly active users, the platform has become one of the best ways to influence customers with just one look. So how can we take a platform that thrives on selfies and use it to boost brand engagement?

Instagram – More Than Just a Bunch of Selfies

With 75 million daily active users generating 1.2 billion daily likes, Instagram is clearly more than just a bunch of teenagers posting selfies. This visually driven site allows brands the opportunity to tell their story through photos. A simple click on a company’s Instagram gives fans an instant sense of what your brand is all about. When fans feel a connection with the brands they love, engagement is sure to follow. Use these X tips to rock your brand’s Instagram account, today!

1. Be Consistent

As is the case with any …

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Pinterest, we need a way to organize followers and filter our feeds! via @scalablesocial

Dear Pinterest – You Know I Love You, But – LISTS, PLEASE!

No big news – I’m a Pinterest nut. Why? Because it works to bring in traffic and leads AND it is fun. Sometimes too fun. Hours melt away like soft serve on a summer’s day. But I digress (much like I do on Pinterest). Pinterest has one glaring flaw, and we’d like it addressed. When I say “we,” I mean me, Pinstagram Guy, Adam Hutchins, and countless others (we hope you will add your names in the comments).

Pinterest is all grown up – it works great and soon everyone will be able to use promoted pins. We love you enough to give you our MONEY, and that is saying something! But there’s this ONE thing!

No, it’s not the comment system, although, it would be nice if we could comment without opening the pin. It’s not the way tagging doesn’t always work, although that can be annoying, too. It’s not even the way I wish I could “like” a comment. It’s something much more fundamental and limiting.

Pinterest – We Need A Way to Organize …

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How Much Does it Cost – or How Much is it Worth? Market Your Value, Instead!

About a week ago I dropped my iPhone. From about four feet up. Straight on to the concrete sidewalk. I had a “Schrodinger’s Cat” moment. Please don’t be broken, please don’t be broken…

Well, it was. Smashed. In a very pretty spiderweb pattern, but smashed, nonetheless. First thought, “Crud!” Second thought, “How much money did I just cost myself?” And then, “Am I going to have to buy a new phone, or are there people who fix these things?” Yeah, you probably already knew there are lots of places that fix them, but this was my first phone-smash.

Somewhere in the Googling, phone-calling, fingertip-slicing days between smash and fix, I did have to wonder – what is it worth to me to get this fixed? Leaving it as it was was not an option – little pieces of glass were starting to fall out and I knew I was leaving it open to water damage. Not to mention the finger-slicing hazard. But, should I fix this phone (a hand-me-down iPhone4 – I’m cheap) or get a new one. Well, I …

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Being More Human - Marketing's Next Big Thing? via @scalablesocial

The Next Big Thing in Online Marketing – Being More Human?

In January, Mark Schaefer coined the phrase “Content Shock” to refer to the marketing challenge stemming from the fact that we are creating more and more content online, yet consumers have a finite number of hours to absorb it. At some point, and we may have already hit that point, it will become more and more expensive (in terms of time and money) to make content marketing work for your business.

When this post was published, you could almost hear the collective gasp of content marketers worldwide. In fact, that one blog post generated nearly 400 comments. Many argued that “good content always rises to the top,” while others, faced with cold, hard facts, agreed that the golden age of content as marketing savior might indeed be coming to an end.

Of course, there are exceptions. While marketing companies will be forced to create more and better content, spending more and more time and money to keep the same amount of traffic coming in, some businesses in industries that have not fully adopted content marketing may be able …

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How to use #Pinterest to market your local business. via @scalablesocial http://scalablesocialmedia.com/2014/06/pinterest-local-businesses/

Can Pinterest Work For Local Businesses?

Faster than a speeding bullet for lead generation, able to leap traffic generation records in a single bound! Yes, Pinterest, when done right, can be the Superman of inbound marketing. But, is it a good investment for a local business? It just might be!

The Challenge of Pinterest for Local Businesses

The beauty of Pinterest is that it allows us to dream. We collect dream boards that let us believe that one day we will be the sort of fit, beautifully-dressed, perfect parents with the coolest car and most perfectly-decorated house (or three). We’ll cook the most gorgeous meals and throw the best parties. We’ll learn to make a home out of corn cobs and live on nothing but bean sprouts and swamp water in case of an emergency.

The challenge for local businesses is that, when you post lovely images, people from anywhere can pin. They can click through to your site. They can even download some free content from your site and become a lead. But if you have a produce market in Wilmington, NC and your lead …

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What’s Your Story?

Fact, figures, awards and credentials might impress for a moment, but somehow a simple story stays with us so much longer. So, tell me a story. Why did you start your business? Sure, there are likely a number of practical reasons behind your business. Maybe you lost your corporate job during the recession, or you wanted to stop traveling so much and to be there for your kids. But, the business you chose, the people you work with, the way you run it – what’s the story behind that?

Having worked with a number of Home Instead Senior Care franchisees, I’ve heard some really good stories. Oftentimes, the people who own a senior care company are first introduced to the industry when an elderly relative needed more help at home than the family could provide alone. Looking for that kind of support, it became painfully clear that there was a lack of professional, trained and trustworthy options. A personal experience with Mom, Dad or other relative lead to a successful business fueled by passion and compassion. You just can’t be …

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Networking for Introverts - Get Out to Get In!

How Getting Out Can Get You “In” – An Introvert’s Confession

To say that I’m an introvert would be an understatement.  I love to work behind-the-scenes, invisible and independent. But you know that old saying, “No (wo)man is an island?” Yeah, it’s true. Drat.

So, as much as I’d prefer to network with Twitter or Google+, sometimes I just have to get out of the office.

Just Get Out, Already!

As much as introverts often do their best work independently, we still benefit from some outside inspiration, no matter what our industry. After all, isn’t that why we go to live conferences? Being physically present cuts down on unproductive multi-tasking, making us really focus on the subject at hand. We also get to learn from others in a very personal way.

Though meeting new people and carrying on conversation after conversation with strangers can be exhausting, it can also fuel new content, product ideas and services and of course, create lasting connections with others in your industry or with potential customers. Totally worth it.

Where the “In” Comes In

About a year ago, I met a business coach at a live …

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New tool for content curation, content ideas, competitor research and finding influencers - Buzzsumo!

Find Content to Share, Topics to Write About and Competitor Insights on Buzzsumo

If you ever want to know what is being shared, where, and by whom, check out Buzzsumo! I just happened upon it today and I’m excited to share with you how I think it can change your (content marketing) life.

Content Curation – Find the Content People Share

Do you share content that others have written? Often called content creation, this is a great way to make your social profiles a “go-to” resource for people seeking useful information, helpful tips and provocative articles. Sharing other people’s content can also lead to valuable networking opportunities and relationships with influencers who can then share your content.

There are many great tools that help you find good stuff to share, but what if you want to take it a step further and share content to specific networks that has already proven to be successful there? Try Buzzsumo! Just type in a topic that is related to your brand and find out what has been most popular (and …

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