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Social Media Overload??? By Calanit Atia

8f61d779483870823fe8ec9ae44459c687b62729954253a9503a01a5-1Feeling Social media overload – I have been there…have you? Sometimes I miss the good old days.

The millennial generation grew up with it …for them it is natural part of life, for the rest of us not so much, we had to adjust and learn the new ways of the world.

In the past, in order to sell your product and services, a company had to have a website, blog newsletter, and advertise in different mediums. Now, those are only part of the sales and marketing process. Now it is all about social media taking over our worlds – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogging, to name a few. A company’s future depends on them. Today, if you are not there, you don’t exist!

The million dollar questions everyone always asks me, since I am a social media maven, is how much should you write, how often, what content, and which format. Each format has its own followers that you must recognize as you start the social media campaign. For example: LinkedIn is more about clients, business and a bit more serious; Facebook is about fun and creating a buzz; Instagram is images and pictures; Twitter is fast and to the point with only 140 characters – which I must admit it is hard for me still today. It is all about connecting with other people especially if you are on a trade show floor.

My number one piece of advice: add pictures and videos. We live in a visual world. People need to be stimulated to read your posts. Today, it is all about images and visual stimulation. I always add pictures to my post in all formats. Always! People are less likely to read just text, unless it is on Twitter. But still, I always add an image with links

In the past, marketing and sales departments did not communicate or synergize their plans. Today, they are intertwined. Social media, which is basically your marketing, can and will determine your sales strategy and vice versa. For example, if you see a surge in one area of services on social media, then you should offer a sales promotion.  For example, A to Z Events, of which I am president, is a Las Vegas destination management company as well as a nationwide entertainment agency. I had posted on social media that we had brought a Money Booth Game rental to an exhibitor booth.  We had so many people commenting on that, it made me offer a special promotion in our newsletter on that item.

Tracking social media is very important! It became easier with Facebook sending you weekly update reports on your pages, while LinkedIn shows you a graph with your trends. Add live chat to your website and you will know exactly how many people opened it and which pages – very important!  It’s a great way to see if your posts are working. My Money Booth Game rental page got 200 views, thanks to my posts.

Social media management, most of the time, is left to the owner/president, unless you have the funding to hire a marketing manager. A great option is to hire an intern to assist with your social media. You can also get a professional, such as myself, to train everyone on social media to project the image you want to project.  No matter what the case is, though, everyone in the company should be involved. The more presence online, the better.

Every time they are on the show floor, your coworkers need to tweet, post on Faceboook, etc. Social media is now part of the sales process, like calling clients and sending proposals and contracts. Personally, I spend two hours every day on social media. It is not an option anymore; it is part of my sales job. My friend spends an entire Friday deciding posts for the week. Whatever works for you.

The rule I use is: 60 percent fun, inspirational, educational and show where I am posts to 40 percent actual services and promotions. On top of it all, I write a weekly blog, which may take a much longer time.  Not to mention that I take pictures of everything I do, which, if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc… you already know.

YES sometimes it gets to be too much and I want to throw away my phone…LOL! Have you been there? I am sure. Overwhelmed with social media? You are not alone! I find myself needing a break once in a while.

Hootsuite.com and Facebook have made it a bit easier on us, since you can schedule posts in advance. Instead of posting daily, you can predetermine what to post.

Please do not forget the hashtag – “a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.” It is very important to include these in every post. Basically, they are the “subject.”  People search posts by subject. I often utilize #EventPros, #LasVegas, #Exhibition, #Exhibits and the name of the trade show and events – their hash tag.  This will expose you to a new audience and therefore, new followers.

At the end of the day, try to see social media as fun and a great way to connect on more of a personal level with your clients, vendors and friends.

calanit-atiaCalanit Atia is founder and president of A to Z Events, an award winning event planner, a Las Vegas ambassador, social media maven, columnist, Air Force veteran and speaker. She can be contacted at Twitter: www.twitter.com/calanitatia, Info@AtoZevents.com, http://www.facebook.com/calanit, http://www.linkedin.com/in/calanit and https://www.instagram.com/calanitatia.

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Posted in Ask A to Z's Experts, Columns
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