Biggest Takeaway from Social Media Day Jacksonville – Video is a Major Key

Social Media Day Jacksonville 2017

Attending Social Media Day Jacksonville reiterated one thing for me – videos and images are the best way to connect with your audience in 2017. Speakers included social media executives at Nasdaq, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, and online influencers like Carlos Gil and Amy Scmittauer who are major proponents of video. Established eight years ago by Mashable, Social Media Day is an event that’s held on June 30th in many cities across the country. This was Jacksonville’s first thanks to the efforts of host and keynote speaker Carlos Gil who planned the event.

With it fresh on my mind that video is the way to go, I wanted to create a vlog for my experience at Social Media Day Jacksonville. Check out part one of my video recap below, or continue reading this blog post to hear more.

Using Snapchat to Reach Your Brand’s Target Audience

Let’s start with a few quick facts from Carlos about Snapchat:

  • There are over 150 million active Snapchat users
  • The platform reaches 41% of millennials
  • 77% of users are over 18
  • People use it to connect with friends and see what they’re sharing (think rainbow vomit filters and puppy dog ears)
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One of Carlos Gil’s many references to DJ Khaled.

With all of that in mind, he pointed out that Snapchat is simply not the place to sell. Shaun Ayala, another Snapchat influencer, gave a few creative ways to use the platform. For example, by incorporating the tap feature that takes you to the next Snap, you can show a visual progression. Another idea he had was to offer wallpaper through screenshots. These can be created on Canva or another design software, or if you’re very artistic, within Snapchat using the various features.

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Shaun Ayala speaking about effective strategies for Snapchat

Something many of us forget is the option to delete. Shaun said not to be afraid of deleting part of your story. Just because you posted, it doesn’t mean it has to stay there. If it doesn’t fit within the story you’re telling – delete it.

Don't be afraid to delete part of your story. - @ShaunAyala #SMDayJAX Click To Tweet

Making the Most of YouTube

Amy Schmittauer, the host of Savvy Sexy Social, is a well-known YouTube influencer. As the second largest search engine in the world, I think she’s on to something by focusing her efforts on YouTube. Amy talked about the importance of having a home base to send people. This could be your website and blog or main social channel (in her case YouTube).

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Amy Schmittauer presenting at Social Media Day Jax 2017.

An actionable tip from Amy that you can use when you’re creating any form of content is to segment your topics by day. Perhaps you only do how to videos on Monday, reviews on Wednesday, and interviews on Friday. This way when you’re thinking about what to create, you have a starting point.

Consumers are not loyal to one particular platform. - @carlosgil83 #SMDayJAX Click To Tweet

As we’ve all heard many times now, you have about eight seconds to grab your audience’s attention. And, if they don’t know you, you have about 2-5 minutes to hold their attention if you’re an unknown. So creating 15 minute long videos is probably not a good idea until you have a solid following. Hence, why this video is less than five minutes long, and why you’ll have to wait for part two to hear about the key takeaways from the other speakers.

I finally met Carlos Gil after following his social media posts for the last two years.

What creative ways are you connecting with your audience on social media? Have you started to use video yet? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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How to Generate New Content Ideas When You’re Stuck

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Are you having trouble coming up with content ideas for your website? New blog post ideas always seem to strike me at the most inopportune times. They’ll hit me when I’m driving, in the middle of the night, or when I’m in the shower. And what happens once I get to my destination, wake up, or hop out of the shower? The idea is forgotten. Does this sound familiar? Here are a few ideas that work for me to combat forgetting my best ideas.

If you wake up in the middle of the night with a good blog topic, turn on the light and write it down. Chances are you will not remember it otherwise. Keep a notebook and writing utensil by your bedside for this. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; a simple pocket-size steno pad will do the trick.

If you’re driving, safely use your phone recorder. On iPhones, you’ll want to launch “Voice Memos.” I can’t even count how many blog ideas have come to me while driving and this little trick has saved me. This blog post is one example of that. With the assistance of Siri, you won’t even need to take your eyes off of the road.

Regarding the shower, I don’t have very much advice for you. A dry erase board could help. Or just try really hard to remember your ideas. I’ve found that if I repeat something to myself seven times, I’m more likely to retain it. For those times when the ideas don’t just come to you out of the blue, check out these eight ways to generate new content ideas for your business.

8 Ways to Coax the Muse

You know you need a blog for your business but if your content muse takes a little more encouragement than having a clear mind, consider a brain dump of possible blog posts. Quickly write everything down that comes to your mind, even if you think it’s not the best idea. Seeing it written out can trigger your brain to generate another topic. Once you’ve got a page full of ideas in front of you, go through them at a slower pace and select the best ones to add to your editorial calendar.

Another way to come up with new post ideas is to look for inspiration around the web. Search hashtags on social media channels to see what other people are covering. You don’t have to stick to your industry either. In fact, looking at others may be better. You’ll discover new ideas that aren’t being applied yet in your field. Another source of inspiration is your competitors. What are they doing that your brand could do better? Take some time to familiarize yourself with their content topics.

What are people asking? The frequently asked questions that your industry receives can lead you to some really helpful blog posts. These can be questions posed verbally or through searches on your website. If one person has the question, there are likely others out there wondering about the same thing. Create a blog post to be a source for their answers.

Interviews add a human element and are a great source of information in any industry. You could interview employees about specific aspects of their jobs, executives about their life before starting the brand, or customers about a problem that your product/service addresses. These are just a few ideas. Your interviews can be about anything industry related that will be interesting for your prospective buyers or current customers.

Conduct a search on Google Trends. You can find related topics to your industry and go deeper into your search to find more specific ideas. Be cautious, though; Google Trends can quickly become a time sucker. There’s just so much that you can do with the tool so limit your time there.

Look to old content that has performed well and repurpose it. Take your most popular blog post and turn it into an infographic or expand on it further and create a white paper. The idea obviously resonated with your audience, so don’t reinvent the wheel.

If you’re still stuck check out HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator. You simply enter three nouns, and it generates five blog topics. You’ll get a few oddball ideas, but you’re bound to find at least one that will work for you.

My last piece of advice would be to take a walk, step away from the computer, and maybe exercise a bit. When you stop dwelling on something the answer often shows itself.

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This article was originally published to rabidofficemonkey.com in March 2017.

Top 3 Marketing Tips for Yoga Teachers

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Are you struggling to fill your classes to capacity? One of the biggest marketing mistakes yoga instructors make is not sharing their classes, events, and workshops enough. If your students don’t know you’re teaching, then you can’t expect them to show up.

“You cannot serve people if they don’t know you exist.”
~ Lenka Stefanakova

It can feel weird promoting yourself, but someone has to do it. If you get queasy at the thought of self-promotion consider what Sage Rountree said in this blog post for Yoga Journal, “understand that you are not promoting yourself, you are promoting your work, and your work is bringing yoga’s benefits to your students.”

Being a yoga teacher is a job, and you should be thinking of it as a business. Companies advertise their products and services, and you should be doing the same. Here are my top three marketing tips for independent yoga teachers to put into action this year.

Use More Visuals

Visual content including images, videos, infographics, etc. are a few of the best mediums to communicate with your students. Images and infographics can be easily created using Canva. Here’s an example of one I created.

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If you’re a little leery of creating videos, it’s time to take a deep breath and hit that Live button. Animoto reported that “four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.” Local St. Augustine yoga teacher Rachel Layne posted this video to Instagram last week promoting her Vinyasa Flow class.

After sharing your visual content via social media or your blog don’t forget to include it in an email. Simply including the word “video” in the subject line of an email can increase your open rates by 19%! That’s huge when the average open rate in the fitness industry is only about 22% according to MailChimp.

And don’t forget about flyers. As much as we all love our digital toys, people are still walking around in the real world. A few places you can post your flyers at include the grocery store, local restaurants, the post office, or health food stores. Don’t forget an eye-catching yoga image that reflects your classes.

Guest Writing

Consider pitching an idea to a local newspaper. If your yoga classes are more on the gentle side and geared towards seniors, you’ll have a better chance of reaching them through a print article than something posted online. Another perk is that the newspaper likely has an online version too.

Local businesses that have a blog could also be open to guest postings. Bonus points if you can find someone in the same industry that attracts your type of client, but isn’t a competitor. For yoga teachers, this could be a health food store or metaphysical shop. Contributing an article will build your credibility as an expert in the field and introduce you to a new audience.

Build Relationships

Connect with other teachers and attend their classes. Share a photo on social media of you and the teacher after class; you can even include a quick blurb on how you enjoyed the practice. They’ll appreciate the shout out and likely reciprocate the action in the future. Same goes for sharing other teachers’ events.

Being out there on the mat in the student role can help you build a connection with the community of students too. Practicing beside them allows them to feel your energy and gives you the opportunity to build a relationship. The conversation will likely lead to you revealing that you’re a teacher (if they didn’t already know) and when your class is held.

Post your schedule to your website, share it on social media regularly – not just once a month, and talk about it whenever you have a chance. Remember to remind your students at the beginning or end of class about your upcoming workshops or classes. If you teach more than one class a week at that studio, make sure to mention your other class(es).

Do you have any other marketing advice you’d like to share with our community of yoga teachers? If so, post it in the comments section.

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How to Find Powerful Hashtags for Social Media

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had two yoga teachers ask me about how to use hashtags on social media. Technology is often not high on the priority list for many yogis, and I’m gathering that very few in our industry know how to attract new students or customers by properly utilizing hashtags.

If you grew up with social media this may not apply to you, but you still may learn a new way to find powerful hashtags that can help to get your brand noticed. Skip down to the section on Finding Hashtags if you already know how to use them.

Finding Powerful Hashtags

Hashtag Basics (or #basics)

Hashtags help you to get noticed. If you click on a hashtag on Twitter, it jumps you to a stream of every tweet with that hashtag. Same goes for Instagram and Facebook. Someone that is interested in yoga is likely to scroll through photos/posts with #yoga. If you’re using #yoga too, they’ll see your image.

Try to use only two per tweet, maybe three max. You should be using them in EVERY tweet you post.

On Instagram put your hashtags in a comment below your caption. You can use up to 30 on Instagram.

For Facebook, a lot of people don’t use them. I’ve even had some people ask me why I was using them there and almost get defensive like I wasn’t following the “Facebook rules.” But, these were individuals who don’t work on digital so, poo on them! If you do use some in your Facebook posts, three is a good number. Test it out and see how your audience takes to it.

LinkedIn is another place where many users aren’t used to seeing hashtags, but you should still be adding them to your posts. The hashtags on LinkedIn help to categorize posts and allow new readers to find your content.

Finding Hashtags

You’ll need to find hashtags that are relevant to what you’re sharing. So if your post is about writing a book use tags like #amwriting #fridayreads #amreading, etc. You can find new ones to use by looking through the streams of others using these hashtags. Click a photo in the hashtag stream you’re viewing and see what other tags that user listed.

If you are targeting a geographical area, use relevant hashtags to your region, i.e. #StAugustine #JaxBeach #Jax. Again, if you look at other people’s posts, you can find new hashtags to use on yours.

Here’s a trick to finding new hashtags on Instagram:
Go to the search section on Instagram and click the Tags tab.
Type in the hashtag you want to find more about (using yoga in my example). You can see from this screenshot a list of other relevant hashtags.
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Click one of the tags and then read the Related hashtags at the top of the page, you can scroll to the right for more. This can be a rabbit hole and lead you to find tons of new relevant tags.
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