As we begin polishing our social media skills in 2017, here are nuggets for your consideration:
1. A social media hashtag is a # sign followed by a word, phrase or abbreviation. Hashtags allow FB postings/tweets to be searched and compiled. That is why events, efforts and locations encourage the use of hashtags; more people can share photos and ideas on the same thing. Annnnd you can use more than one! What are commonly used hashtags in our area? #lindsborg #lbk (short for LindsBorg Kansas) and #bethanylbk. The state's tourism office uses #noplacelikekansas -- and that might also apply to posts originating from the Smoky Valley. So, c'mon. Let's Get Social -- with hashtags, too.
2. Some have asked for more tips about Facebook and other social media uses. Voila! Jim Richardson has gathered for us this how-to material about social media in small towns:
Social Media Marketing in a Small Town http://blog.bradleygauthier.com/social-media-marketing-in-a-small-town/
1. Create the Accounts: Obviously, this is step one. You may think your business will never use Twitter, Gowalla or Tumblr, but I bet you will. At least, you want to reserve your brand name. This is basic online reputation management. You can use KnowEm to search and identify networks that apply to your industry and goals. They say, “you miss all shots you don’t take.” Similarly, you’re going to miss all customers on sites you’re not signed up for.
2. Connect with the Innovators: I don’t care how desolate your town may be, I guarantee there are some residents using the networks. Start with Search.Twitter using your town name, parks, stores and other popular locations to find people tweeting in the town. This may show other community members they’re chatting with, following or listed. Also, this may lead to blogs, FourSquare accounts, YouTube videos, Facebook profiles, the list goes on.
3. Attract the Visitors: I’ll explain this one in a killer example: Imagine a social media savvy traveler is visiting a town for the weekend. And they send a tweet on Friday right before they leave, “heading to town XYZ for the weekend.” If you created an alert in Hootsuite for the town name XYZ. (saved keyword search) And by seeing the visitor’s tweet you can respond “glad to hear you’re coming to our town, hope you have a great time.” You see what happened there? If not, I’ll explain. Without any marketing dollars and without being an annoying sales person, you just created a huge brand recognition for someone who knows nothing of the town. This may open dialogue into all sorts of avenues. At least, the visitor may ask for directions to your place. At most, your Twitter account has become a point of contact and tour guide. With under 140 characters of marketing.
From: How Social Media Saved Lake Arrowhead ________________________________________
How Social Media Saved Lake Arrowhead When City Ad Budgets Ran Dry : Social Media Examiner http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-social-media-saved-lake-arrowhead-when-city-ad-budgets-ran-dry/ McLellan’s Lessons Learned
1. Jump in: McLellan had zero social media experience, but she learned fast. “Social media is so positive you really should just jump in. No-one’s going to crucify you if you do something wrong.”
2. It’s like a small town: The longtime resident of Lake Arrowhead found social media not unlike her small town, with many willing to offer guidance. “Just ask,” she says.
3. Don’t fret about details: “Don’t get mired down in the details,” she says. At first, she worried about how to use hashtags, but realized it’s more important to just post regularly.
4. Find an energetic intern: A marketing major does research on social media tools and strategies for McLellan, who does all actual postings. The intern learns in the process.
From: 8 Tips for Small Towns Using Facebook ________________________________________
8 Tips for Small Towns Using Facebook for Social Media Marketing | Placebrand http://www.placebrand.ca/8-tips-small-towns-using-facebook-social-media-marketing
1. Make Town Description Short and Concise: Make the description of your town under the 'Info' section short and concise.
• The audience on Facebook will not be interested in reading a thousand word essay on why your town rocks.
• Under the 'Basic Info', devote a sentence or two to what makes your town beautiful and unique, and then another one or two to the benefits of living there.
2. Link to Town’s Official Site: Under the 'Detailed Info' in the 'Info' section, be sure to link to you town's official website.
• Where your town's description will be the hook, this will be where you engage potential visitors!
• This is also one of the main purposes of a town's Facebook page—to bring traffic to your official site.
3. Enable “Posts from Viewers": Under the settings for your page's 'Wall', make sure to enable posts from viewers of the page.
• This setting will allow others to post about upcoming events happening in your town.
• It will allow people to post about positive experiences in your town.
• It will bring traffic to your page as people actively posting on your page will help it show up on more 'News Feeds'
4. ‘Like’ Neighboring Towns: 'Like' and become 'Members' of other neighbouring towns, or towns that are similar to you. This will ensure that potential tourists visiting those pages are also drawn to your page.
5. Use Facebook Pay-per-Click Advertising: Take advantage of Facebook's affordable pay-per-click advertising opportunitties. Facebook ads are extremely affordable and easy to use. They can be set up online and are a great way to get your page started.
6. Choose Right Demographics: Choose the right demographics to target with your Facebook ads.
• Facebook allows you to choose whose pages your ad will appear on. They allow you to choose by age, location, and interests.
• Narrow your targeted audience depending on who you think your potential market is.
• It is impossible to reach everyone on Facebook. By narrowing your focus and intended audience, you ensure that you are reaching the right people.
7. Regular Stream of Photos: Keeping a regular flow of photos of new and exciting things in your town can be the easiest and most effective way to keep your page updated and attractive.
8. Stay Active! The most important thing for your page is that you keep it fresh and updated. It can be hard for a stagnant Facebook page to consistently bring attention to your town, so keep it current.