Tag Archives: post writing tips

Silence Truly is Golden

silence is goldne quote brian solisWe’re bombarded from every angle all day, every day, with marketing messages. Every surface (in real life and digitally) is being cluttered with ads. And we hear it over loudspeakers, while watching videos, TV, movies, etc.  I noticed this quite jarringly the other day when I was filling up my car with gas.

The moment I lifted the pump from the holster, the news came on a video screen in the pump housing (and people who know me know I do not watch the news). So as the gas flowed into my car, I tried my best to look away and think of other things. When the pump clicked off, I was startled back into reality. I removed the nozzle from my car, turned around and noted the $51.07 purchase on the digital readout, and then heard these words coming out of the video monitor: “California has a xx% chance* of an earthquake magnitude 8.0 or above in the next 3 years”.*

And I thought to myself, “I did not ask to know that!” I actually felt slightly invaded and mildly irritated at Shell Oil. Aren’t I paying enough for gas that I don’t have to be additionally marketed to while waiting for the pump to do its thing? The pump is already covered in marketing paraphernalia, and the speakers overhead talk about going inside to buy yourself a snack. So, yes, let’s add another layer by adding video.

And you may be thinking, “Monique… you are a marketer. Aren’t you part of the problem?” And yes, while all of us here at Cosmetic Social Media do marketing for a living, we are acutely aware of people’s space. This is especially important in the world of social media. Social is NOT the place to be overly salesy. People are on Facebook and other social platforms to connect with friends, family, acquaintances old and new, organizations, their favorite teams, and yes, brands. They want to have fun, learn a bit, do some research, listen to some cool music, watch a funny video… but they are not there to be bombarded by marketing pitches.

So, make sure you think about things from their perspective the next time you think about posting a “call to action” sales pitch about the latest special you’re offering. Sure, sometimes that’s fine. But think about it: wouldn’t you rather be a positive part of their day by sharing a funny picture that makes them giggle and want to share it with their friends? Your brand name goes right along with that giggle and share, but in a positive way, versus a way that makes them hide your post, unlike your page, or even never buy gas again at your gas station (I’m talkin’ to you, Shell Oil).

For a great #NewYorkTimes article on this topic, and what caused me to create this blog post, click here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/opinion/sunday/the-cost-of-paying-attention.html 

*I actually missed what they said the percentage of this überquake is and I don’t want to know. But if you do, I am sure you can Google it. 😉

~ Monique

Follow on Twitter @moniqueramsey and @cosmeticsocial 

Almost 27k Shares? How NorthWest Music Scene Did It.

guitar image northwest music scene screen facebook post capture
click to view larger image

 

WOW — this Facebook post from NorthWest Music Scene blew us away. Okay – almost 1,000 likes is nice (2.3% engagement rate), but not crazy considering they have over 42k fans. Look at the number of shares they have gotten (so far)? 26,290! That number represents close to 62% of their FB fans.*

Now, I don’t have an answer to the guitar question, BUT what I DO find interesting is the way the NorthWest Music Scene approached this post.

They kept the text down to just 13 words: “Who is your favorite guitar player of all time. This should be interesting.” It’s simple, easy to read as you scroll by, and by saying “this should be interesting” they indicate that they really want to know what you think! Who wouldn’t want to chime in?!

The graphic contains a few key elements:

  • They asked the question on the graphic. This is a great practice. But — this in and of itself is not out of the ordinary or what impressed us.
  • They asked for the share on the graphic. This is a really savvy move for a few reasons: 1.) Most posts have the majority of the words in the text area, versus in the graphic. People don’t always make the time to read a long post, especially from a brand. The graphic is more likely to catch the user’s eye as they scroll down their news feed. 2.) By asking for the “like, share,etc”  in the graphic, they are skirting FB’s new clamp down on “like-baiting” completely. Confused? See this post for the deets.
  • They used a casual phrasing style:  “…see what your friends say” feels really personal and friendly, versus spammy.

Want to share your favorite guitar player of all time? Or just have a comment about the NorthWest Music Scene post? We’d love to hear from you!

*Of course not all 26,290 shares came from their fans. Some were friends of fans who shared the post = viral).

My Facebook to Twitter Blunder, Exposed

If there is one thing all of us here at Cosmetic Social Media are, it’s that we are honest. And when we make a blunder, even when it is unintentional, we want to let you know so you won’t make it too.

THE BLUNDER:

This morning, I went into my Twitter feed on Hootsuite and noticed a message in my personal account. Twitter user @eddieanne alerted me to the fact that something wonky was happening in my twitter feed – it was seemingly replicating messages our of Facebook. If you are on the receiving end of identical tweets flooding your feed all at once, it can be really annoying. Thankfully she took the time to tell me or I may not have noticed this glitch in the Facebook to Twitter auto feed.

 As you can see in this screen capture, there were multiple tweets with exactly the same language, but with different URL’s attached linking back to the post. So what was the issue? Was it a random social media technical difficulty (common) or something more?

THE CAUSE:

What actually caused this was the upload of a photo album to my profile. I was on my iPhone and created an album for the Fish Tacos for Firefighters event that I had volunteered with the night before. You can select up to 30 photos at a time to go into a particular album. This was my second upload of 30 photos and I gave the description “More photos” to the group of them.

What Facebook did was to treat all 30 photos as their own unique individual post, which, in a way they are because each photo has its own URL.  BUT the photos only show up in your Facebook feed as one post – namely, that you added photos to a photo album. Because of the unique URL assigned by Facebook to each photo, this triggered 30 separate tweets to got out to Twitter.  I thought it would treat the whole album as one post – thus one tweet. Wrong.

LESSONS LEARNED:

* Be careful when hooking up your Facebook  to Twitter feed. Either temporarily disable this function before uploading a group of photos, or turn it off completely and post to Twitter manually every time.

* If you see something weird going on, be like @eddieanne and let the person know. It’s nice twitter etiquette to bring it to their attention!

SIDE NOTE:

There are a lot of people who don’t believe it’s good practice to auto post from Facebook to Twitter. I, however, think it’s okay for this reason: In an ideal world, sure, re-craft every post to be the perfect tweet. But if you are posting one to three times a day on Facebook, those few Facebook post tweets are really not going to negatively impact your Twitter profile. As long as you are taking the time to be in Twitter for the vast majority of your Twitter engagement, then I don’t see using the auto-post feature as a problem.

That being said, make sure that you DO NOT have your Twitter posts auto-feeding into Facebook. Since Twitter is a fast-paced social platform, you are going to have many, many more tweets/posts per day. If you had all of this activity auto-posting into the slower, more leisurely pace of Facebook, you’ll most likely get hidden from the news feed by your friends and fans. In other words, people would “hide” your updates, or un-follow you entirely, due to frequent 140 character messages from you flooding their News Feed.

 

 

 

Facebook Image Sizes

If there is one thing that’s constant about Facebook, it’s change. Since size does matter, image size that is, it’s important to have a quick reference guide handy.

Time and again we have used this one by Jon Loomer called All Facebook Image Dimensions: Timeline, Posts, Ads [Infographic] and we are happy to share it with you here. And the best part? He keeps this post updated so you’ll always know that it’s the correct information.

The Perfect Blog Post

There is so much information out there about blogging and what to do to maximize your presence, readership, loyalty, etc. This cool infographic from the bright minds at BlogPros really helps break down the key elements (as an average) from the top 100 blogs.

Now, YOUR audience might not respond to the average article length of 1149 words (we recommend 350-450), but take a read and see what you think. It’s always a good idea to take a fresh approach, test, and see if it works!


Via: blogpros.com

Facebook’s New Content Standards

You may have been reading about Facebook’s change to the news feed algorithm (yes, again) and the subsequent decline in eyeballs on posts for many brands.*

It underscores two things that we have always recommended:**

  1. Don’t rely on any one source for all of your marketing. Yes that may seem trite and oversimplified, but really – there has to be a strategy in place that takes a holistic view on client acquisition and retention.
  2. Make sure you are consistently putting out good, quality content that’s relevant to your readers.

Now, have we posted silly memes here and there for ourselves and our clients? The answer is yes, of course. 

Why?

Because Facebook’s algorithm rewarded engagement with a post (without as big of an emphasis on content) by making it appear to more of your fans’ news feeds (= more eyeballs). Said another way, the more likes, clicks, comments, and shares your post got (especially in the first few hours) the more frequently Facebook would serve it up to your fans. Therefore, posting content that was funny or a hot topic to generate a higher engagement rate was encouraged by Facebook. As the Salon.com article points out, it’s really no different from how SEO experts work on maximizing keywords to show up in search.

And it still is…

However, now they are adding focus on one more important factor: the newsworthiness and quality of the content. As this article by Salon.com states so eloquently, “If Facebook wants to make sure only to highlight high-quality news, then Facebook’s standards of quality suddenly start to matter quite a lot.”

And so should yours…

Thoughts? We’d love to hear yours! Just add it to the comments below!

* Click here to see a great article from Salon.com describing the issue.

**Previous blog posts on the above topics:

Social Media Post Idea Inspiration

How to be a Social Media Content Curating Ninja

5 Biggest Mistakes Doctors Make in Social Media (and What to Do Instead!)

Is Your Social Media Company Marketing Themselves on Your Dime?

Every day we here at Cosmetic Social Media see both good and bad examples of social media strategy. Today we’re sharing what we consider to be an abomination: taking a client’s money to promote one’s own agency.

To illustrate what we mean, let’s take a global brand like Audi. Here is a photo from Audi’s Facebook page. Notice that BBDO (Audi’s ad agency) has not put any mention of themselves anywhere in the photo. Which is right… why would Audi want to spend their marketing budget to promote BBDO?  BBDO has their own ad budget.

Click to enlarge

Okay… now let’s say you are Dr. Marty McHiggnebottom with a cosmetic practice in White Plains, NY and you hire ABC Social to manage your social media presence. They tell you they are “experts” in the field, and since it’s all Greek to you, you figure they must be experts, or why else would they say it? Plus, they seem professional and trustworthy. But, did you know, Dr. McHiggenbottom, that ABC Social is using your posts to do a little free PR for themselves on your dime? After all, you are paying them some a fee to administer your Facebook page, right? So shouldn’t the posts be all about you and your target audience (or at least nothing about them!)?

Unfortunately, this is a social media FAIL that we see on a daily basis. And without drawing attention to the offending party, we’ll blur out their name, (as well as that of their poor unsuspecting client), just show you an example:

Click to enlarge

Now, we want to point out a few things here:

  1. Even if the social media company took the picture themselves, they still should not use the client’s post as an opportunity for free advertising. Giving attribution to a photographer is one thing. Putting your company name on stock imagery for your own benefit is quite another.
  2. As much as we would like to say this is an isolated incidence, it is only one example of MANY we have found in the last week alone.
  3. A reputable social media company understands, and more importantly uses best social media practices, and knows to put the client (not themselves) first.

Remember the old adage, “Caveat Emptor”, (let the buyer beware)? Well… it has never been truer than right now in the social media space. Do your homework. Ask questions. Vet their work.

Questions? Just ask! Comments? Feel free to add them below!

by Monique Ramsey, Founder and Social Media Horticulturalist of Cosmetic Social Media

How to be a Social Media Content Curating Ninja

Part 2 of a 2 Part Series

(Read Part 1 here)

If you read Part 1 of this series, you know WHO you’re creating content for and WHAT she might find relevant.  Next, let’s look for sources to inspire you… get the creative juices flowing.

 

Media: What’s trending in the news oftentimes makes interesting (and timely!) content. Piggyback onto trends and ride the viral wave as your readers share this “hot topic” with their friends. Just remember to keep it relevant. For instance, a recent news story reported that Kim Kardashian’s boyfriend du jour forbid her to get Botox.  So, if you are a cosmetic practice who offers Botox to your patients – this might set up a great topic for discussion. And if it gets a little heated, that’s okay. You can remind everyone to keep it civil if need be. And remember to encourage the discussion by posting replies to each person who comments with @ tags. (If you don’t have a clue what we mean by @ tags, click here for a über-fab article from my dear friend, mentor, and relationship marketing expert, Mari Smith).

Blogs & eNewsletters: Subscribe to lots and lots of blogs and eblasts. You can get great ideas from topics posted by WebMD, EverydayHealth, KevinMD (aka “Social Media’s Leading Physician”), and many others. Read what they have to say and you’re very likely to have at least one light bulb go off. Then take that topic and tweak it to suit your audience (remember the importance of relevance). You can also get great ideas from your society newsletters (ASPS, ASAPS, AACS, AAD, NSOCP, etc). Plus don’t forget about your consumer-facing publication(s) and websites – such as RealSelf and ProjectBeauty.

Google Alerts: If you don’t know what a Google Alert is click here. You might already have some alerts set up with your practice name, physician name, etc., but do you have alerts on topics such as breast augmentation news, Botox, celebrity plastic surgery, etc.? The possibilities are endless (really!) and you can choose the alerts to come to you as they happen or once per day, week, etc.

Use the Twitter Search Function

Twitter # Search: One of the coolest ninja tricks on Twitter is the search feature. You can search on any key word you want (ex: #CosmeticSurgery) and see what’s being discussed in real time! You can jump into the conversation and/or look for great content ideas. Some of the coolest content I’ve found was from using this method. Warning: If you have A.D.D., this might not be the most effective use of your time. It’s really easy to get sidetracked and forget why you came in the first place!

Fashion & Beauty Magazines: Oh my goodness… is there ever a plethora of information here! I have to admit, I got a little carried away recently and subscribed to a bunch of great magazines (and just might need a bigger Post Office Box). BUT, I have gotten my money’s worth already!  Here are a few I subscribe to:

  • Allure
  • Fitness
  • Self
  • Lucky
  • Better Homes & Gardens
  • W
  • InStyle

Google + Search: Just like Twitter, you can use the full power of Google’s search in a much more fun and social environment, Google+. You can search topics and get a whole host of terrific (and trending) info from the web. Think of it like a news feed of posts just on the topic you are interested in. It’s the best – try it out and let us know what you think!

Follow Heavy Hitters (like us!): Just kidding… (well, sort of). We’re just making sure you are still paying attention! But seriously, think of big influences in your specialty and see what they are doing to get ideas.

Books: Stop by your local book store and browse the health, beauty, medical, and humor sections. Here are just a few of my favorite books to draw inspiration from for posts and tweets (click on them to learn more):

IMPORTANT NOTE:  This should go without saying, but we’ve had it done to us plenty, so we’re saying it anyway. “Do not plagiarize (steal) someone else’s content. They worked hard to create it – so give a “hat tip”, denoted by this symbol: to those who gave you the idea  or inspiration (such as  Courtney Romagnoli). Or, if you are introducing a topic and linking or sharing the bulk of the article with little modification, put this symbol to say “via”:  (such as Monique Ramsey”). Read more about using these symbols and the correct ways to attribute content on the Curator’s Code website.

We hope this gives you some inspiration on how to find amazing and relevant content. Do you have other ways you find inspiration for your posts? Share them with us in the comments below!

~ Monique

Social Media Post Idea Inspiration

Part 1 of a 2 Part Series

GREAT BLOG POST IDEASA question we often get asked is, “Where do you find all the great content for your client’s posts?”

At first blush, it seems like an easy enough question to answer. However, we find that to get great content (the kind that gets traction), you need to spend a few minutes to prepare. Think of it in the same way you review the patient’s chart notes and pre-op photos before performing surgery.

STEP ONE: WHO IS YOUR PATIENT?

The first step we do for each client is to learn about the target audience. Let’s say you run cosmetic surgery practice and your typical patient is a female between the ages of 25-65.

STEP TWO: WHAT DOES SHE LIKE?

Next,  think about WHAT she likes – her interests, her goals, her style, etc.  Since she is a cosmetic surgery patient, you can draw certain broad conclusions, such as:

  • Her appearance is very important to her
  • Heath, fitness, and cooking tips would be interesting
  • She may be a bride, new mom, or have a child getting married so think about the topics might be valuable to her during these life events
  • She stays in the know about the latest beauty and cosmetic surgery trends
  • If she is a mom, then she’ll be interested in her kids, so think about incorporating topics that deal with family
  • Is she a business professional who “does it all”? She might appreciate time-saving beauty tips, or ways to make her life easier (simple recipes, etc.).

Also think about the clothes she wears, the magazines she reads, does she travel?  And remember, your practice might have an evolving patient base as time goes on, so be sure to re-evaluate this question every so often. Your patients give you a ton of useful information at each visit – all you have to do is look, listen, and look for trends.

STEP THREE: RELEVANT CONTENT

The above tips should help paint a picture of your typical and/or target patient and will give you clues as to where to look for relevant content. Notice we said “relevant” content.

Think about the massive amount of content you are bombarded with in a given day. What makes you stop and actually READ something? Maybe it’s because it “catches your eye”, makes her laugh, or is pertinent to your life at that moment. Or possibly it was passed on to you by a good friend.

Posting relevant content is probably the most important tip we can give you. If the reader finds it relevant, she’ll find it valuable. When she finds it valuable, she shares it with her network (typically like-minded people who ALSO might be your patients). She’ll re-tweet, “like”, share, forward, Pin, and +1 to her heart’s content, because sharing something of value, also makes her look good to her circle of friends.

In Part Two of our Social Media Inspiration blog post we’ll show you how to be a Content Curating Ninja so you’ll always have great ideas at your fingertips. Stay tuned!

 

Use SocialDitto to Embed Your Facebook & Twitter Conversations

I just love the internet (I know… I say this a lot)… but I happened upon a nifty trick today that I want to share with you. It’s called SocialDitto and it enables you to take a status update from Facebook or Twitter and embed it with HTML code! It’s fab… no more screen captures to mess with.

Here is an example of SocialDitto in action:

CosmeticSocialMedia.comOK fab peeps… here is someone who “gets it”. We ❤ Dr. Kim’s funny (and enlightening!) blog posts on Wednesdays. His conversational style makes us feel like we’ve known him for years, tho we’ve never “met” (except online). He posts “real life” events, like when he made us drool over ice cream from a fancy San Francisco ice cream parlor. And for that we love him! Take a peek at his social media musings and pick up a tip or two…

 

Wondering how to get the conversation URL? Just find the conversation you want to embed and then right click on the date (as shown below). Then click “copy the link address” and paste into SocialDitto and click on the “ditto” button go generate the HTML code. It’s just that easy!

How to grab the Facebook conversation URL

Just one thing to note… this doesn’t work for uploaded photos as status updates, but hopefully they will add that feature in the future. Let us know if you have any cool tools that you use and what you think!