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How and Why to Prioritize Social Media in Your Weekly Marketing Activities

Content Going Viral

It’s no news that social media makes for a big part of the marketing activity of any B2C (sometimes B2B, too) company or solopreneur, especially thanks to the boom of mobile apps usage and a more integrated Web experience with the average user’s life.

However, social media marketing gets sometimes pushed to the back of the to-do list to make room for other owned channels, with the risk of losing much in terms of nurturing your audience on social and, eventually, turn them into subscribers.

So while your list is the top of any marketing effort you’ll ever make — and the ideal place where fans you gain from social will land and stay — it’s important to make room for social marketing in your weekly schedule to avoid falling behind and losing that slice of your target audience who thrives on social networks.

Yes, Social Media Marketing Is No Joke

According to the 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner, social marketing provides marketers with more exposure for their business (89% of respondents), an increase in web traffic (75%), more loyal fans (68%) and generated leads (66%).

Social media is a really powerful source of data and ideas that will direct your blogging and business efforts towards success; in fact, it will help you find new topics to blog about — that your readers are guaranteed to read — and address the questions your audience asks on a number of problems in your niche.

That means that when you prioritize social media you are pretty much keeping up to date with what’s going on in your niche or industry — something that will always keep you one or more steps ahead of your competitors.

Another reason for giving social media a higher priority in your schedule is keeping an open channel with your audience, so that they will most likely engage with you and follow your updates than if you were more focused on your blog and dedicated only a few hours a month to social marketing. In other words, it’s easier to talk to people if you hang out where they do rather than trying to convince them to follow you to your “house” (not that you shouldn’t try, of course).

Andrew Stanten, president and founder of AltitudeMarketing.com, wrote an interesting article at CIO.com on why social media is no longer optional, especially if you have a blog or a business in the tech industry. He lists 5 reasons that go from traffic generation to customer service, and among them, building credibility and engagement is probably the most important and even the tougher to achieve, but you can do it if you take good care of your content and your fans.

Social marketing can be a lot of work, but rewarding for both your business and your relationship with your audience.

6 Ways For Giving Social Media More Room In Your Marketing Plan

The above-mentioned 2016 industry report highlights how most marketers (63%) spend at least 6 hours a week on social media, which means an average 1 hour/day.

It really takes so little in terms of time! But, of course, even a little time means a lot when it’s planned and focused.

Let’s see how to do this in practice.

1. Schedule and Stick to It

You have to make time for social media marketing, like you do for blogging and writing and sending out emails to your list.

First of all, take your calendar and locate plausible “down times” you can use for social marketing. For example, you could dedicate one hour in the morning, before you start blogging or other business activities, to engaging with your audience on social networks.

Just an hour so it’s not too distracting, but enough to engage and take note of any changes, questions, doubts and hot topics in your niche or industry, that you can write about in your newsletter or blog in the next few days.

At the end of your day, you could dedicate another hour to posting your updates, announce new content, promote a product, and so on. You can also use this time to reply to any questions and mentions you received during the day.

Two hours a day is a good load if you run a solo business of you are a blogger with a small audience. The bigger and more demanding your audience and following, the more time you will need to schedule in, as the industry report also confirms.

2. Setup Notifications On Your Phone

You could activate social notifications on your phone to readily respond to any follower or user asking questions or mentioning your business handle.

The downside of this method is that it can be very distracting, so I suggest you don’t use this method unless you do it during the pre-scheduled times you know you will be doing social marketing.

Try to avoid notification outside of those hours.

3. Use Hashtags the Smart Way

Use them in your social posts and in your content, too. Connect your hashtagged blog posts to your hashtagged social posts — it will give your content and products some boost right away.

Also, remember to use hashtags whenever you respond to customer/reader mentions — it will increase your brand visibility (and customer love).

4. Create a Weekly Twitter Chat Around Your Content

Or monthly, if you prefer keeping chats spare in your plan. What’s important is that you consistently turn your content into a subject of discussion with your target audience and your current followers and subscribers. This is also a good way to “recycle” your old content and bring it to the table again.

If you need an example, look at how ViralContentBuzz.com and MyBlogU.com handle twitter chats (two a week) and the traffic and results this kind of interaction brings them.

Also, Hootsuite’s Matt Diederichs’ A Step-By-Step Guide to Twitter Chats: The Complete Guide is a must-read.

5. Pay-For-Share Freebies

Services like PayWithATweet.com, SocialPay.me and WordPress plugins like OnePress Social Locker make it easy to spread the word about your content and your social channel, because sharing is the only way for your interested users to get the content they want.

Quality, informational content (ebooks, guides, etc.) and visual content are good candidates for pay-for-share offers. Mini-courses are also a good idea.

6. Pick the Right Social Channels

Don’t spread yourself or your marketing department too thin. Focusing on a few social media that you know will bring results is more important than having a presence on every existing social network.

Need a hint? The 2016 industry report mentioned in this post indicates that Facebook (93%), Twitter (76%), LinkedIn (67%) and YouTube (53%) are the most important platforms for and most used by marketers. In particular, focus on Facebook if you are a blogger or own a B2C company, and on LinkedIn if you run a B2B.

A Final Piece of Advice

When you engage with your audience on social media, address their pain points; don’t make it all about you like you’d do on your personal profile. Andrew Stanten in his article at CIO.com gives this piece of advice: “share not just information about your company, products and solutions, but information about what’s going on in the industry. Limit self-promotional posts — on Twitter, especially — to about 20 percent of your posts”.

Also, because most of the social media usage happens on mobile, make your content available for mobile users, and especially for purchase via mobile if you sell goods. Links from your social channels will often be opened by mobile users than desktop users.

Remember that you have to keep an active social presence to nurtures your audience daily or weekly and show that you are open to listening and attending to their needs.

In other words, treat people like people and you will win their hearts.

Text to Speech; A Brief Intro

Text To SpeechWhich do you think is better – Google speech or Siri? Have you ever wondered what makes each

Multimodality Speech

At age two years maturation in our nervous system allows us to think in words. Even as adults, we can still think in earlier thought carriers, things like smells, sounds, images, and feelings. If you are typical, you think in words and often in phrases and sentences. We have the ability to vocalize words and we develop ability to write them. We recognize that a word may exist as thought, spoken word, written word, or even as recorded word. A couple generations ago–after WWII and the Korean War–mainframe computers were being applied to language. Logistics people in both the linguistics and math disciplines got involved and were investigating: How can we understand language, the way that sentences are put together? How can we know if we have a sentence that people can understand? 

A Mechanical-Logic Approach

At this point enter Morris Halle, Noam Chomsky, and the MIT Linguistics group. They developed “transformational grammar,” a series of rules for putting the components of spoken speech into recognizable sentences. Think back to the use of Basic in the early computer days. Now you can understand that early MIT focus: Develop a series of rules to get sentences and meaning into a form that Joe Average will understand. Phonetics, phonemes, stress, and meaning were all linked to symbols which were strung together into “well-formed” sentences. Just as in Basic 101, rule 01 connects in steps sequentially to rule 52. Turn the transformational program on, run the rules, and out comes that generated sentence.

Using Rules to Cross-Index Language Modalities

I suppose that transformational grammar still exists, at least esoterically. But practicality left generative language a long time ago. That is, all except the idea of rules. The generative principle was you start with the plan for a sentence and you proceed to develop the sentence through a series of steps. If you reverse the process on a written document and convert it to the phonemic level, you get a verbal sentence. 

Designing a Text to Speech Converter

The rule system used for conversion of text to speech programs must be hierarchical. The first series of rules must analyze the written document into its phonemic components, taking into account historic spelling anomalies. Depending on spoken dialect, phonetic allophones must be assigned for each phoneme, and the phonemes must be arranged serially for a speech generator. Word spacing, dashes, elipses, periods, etc., must be programmed into that speech generator so that words are separated in time and are each distinct. Superimposed on the word stream are “phrase markers” or “intonation patterns” that mark the beginning and ends of spoken phrases and sentences. In spoken language—again, depending on dialect—stress marks these components for hearers of speech.

State of the Art

There are several speech platforms on which conversion takes place. We are in the next phase and already have some success in conversion of sentences from one language into another, but the problem with meaning—not phonemes—continues to be our major complication.

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