What Your Social Media Photo Says About You

What Your Social Media Photo Says about You

Social Media Profile Photo

What does your Social Media Photo Say About You?

Maybe you think that photo of you and the grinning kids at the beach shows your “fun side.” Maybe you think a sardonic smile and half-wink makes you look sophisticated.

The truth about Social media profile pictures is that it doesn’t matter what you think. What matters is how you are perceived as a result of that photo – and the impact it can have on your business or job prospects.

In a recent blog post, DuctTape Marketing’s John Jantsch says “Don’t settle for that phone ‘selfy’ bounce shot off the mirror or the ‘look how arty I can be’ shot… get a series of professional shots done.”

The First Impression Factor

Ron J. Williams, CEO of Knodes & SnapGoods, and one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People In Business, says business networking is a lot like dating, and the online dating industry has tons of data on the impact of a first impression.

The Dating Site OKCupid did a study in 2010 that looked at the number of contacts made based on three factors of the photos:

  • Attitude. Are you smiling? Looking into the camera or away from it? Are you flirting?
  • Context. Where are you? Is there alcohol, a pet, or other people in the photo? Are you inside, or outdoors?
  • Skin. How much skin is showing? How much face?

They found that a small change in “facial attitude” increased contacts as much as 30%. The really fascinating part is what worked best based on gender:

  • Women smiling directly into the camera received more contacts than those that looked away from the camera.
  • Photos of men facing away from the camera and not smiling drew more response than those that smiled into the camera.

The study also shows that traditional headshots get better results than the one in your waders with the big fish you just caught, or the cuddled-up-with-your-pooch shots. No matter how you look at it, first impressions count, whether the viewer is looking for a date, vetting you for a job offer, or considering doing business with you.

Take a fresh look at your Social Media profile Photo. What does it say about you? Is that the impression you wish to give?

 Lucid Business Strategies

Lucid Business Strategies helps people like you build profitable companies and great social media strategies
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Blogging: The Rule of Authority

Blogging: The Rule of Authority

On or off-line, people trust, follow, and share the wisdom and content of those they feel have greater authority than themselves. As children we accepted the authority of our parents, babysitters, teachers, the police, and clergy. When we matured, we also honored the orders of our boss, attorney, or doctor.

 Authority Holds Power

In an on-air stunt, a TV reporter dressed in a uniform and carrying a badge and baton placed a sign on the ATM that read “OUT OF ORDER – GIVE DEPOSITS TO GUARD ON DUTY,” then stood next to the machine.

“Do you need to make a deposit, or a withdrawal?” he asked as each bank patron approached.

Without hesitation, the customers handed over cash, checks, Social Security numbers, credit cards, account numbers, and PIN codes. In two hours time, the reporter gained access to over $10,000 in check deposits and account balances. Only one out of ten showed any signs of hesitation, even though they were all giving away private information that could leave them penniless if it fell into the wrong hands.

When the reporter ‘fessed up and asked the people why they were so willing to hand him money and private information, every one of them stated that the sign and the uniform gave him authority. [1]

Blogging: The Rule of Authority

Online Authority

Google and the other search engines give “authority” to people who have earned a following and share all they can on a given topic. The more “authority” Google ascribes to you and your web page/blog, the higher your page will rank in organic search results.

While the search engine authority equation is complex, the concept is simple: online, your authority is based on what other people say about you, which includes the number of other authoritative people who link to your site or blog.  As humans, we seek out the people who are credible, knowledgeable, and reliable. We give them authority, and when we see that someone else has the “blessing” of those authoritative people, we give them authority, too, so we link to them or subscribe to their blogs and feeds.  Why do you think unknown authors pay $10,000 or more for a two-sentence front-of-the-book “endorsement” from famous names? They become authoritative by association.

How do you Build Authority?

Aside from technical steps related to coding for Search Engines, there are quite a few things you can do. Here are four no-cost avenues with which to start:

Stories that STICK & Educate: “Sticky content” is the stuff that brings people back to your website again and again. It’s relevant to the reader, and it educates. Sticky Content is not loaded up with sales talk.

Great Headlines and Hooks: Without ‘em, you don’t have a chance to attract attention. 80% of people read only the headline. Only 20% read the rest.

Good Content Promotion:  Great Content + Limited Promo = Fail. Great Content + Great Promo = Great Results. Be consistent and strong in your promotions, but don’t load it up with sales talk.

Loyal Subscribers:  You can yammer on all you want about your favorite topic, but you are speaking into the wind if you don’t have a growing following. Offer incentives and/or freebies – an e-book, for example – when people subscribe to your blog, then stay in touch. Look them up on Facebook or Twitter and learn a bit about them, contact them and ask for their feedback. Show them you are interested in them, and your list will grow because they will talk about you to their network.

On or off-line, people trust, follow, and share the wisdom and content of those they feel have greater authority than themselves. Will you be one of them?


[1]  Story told by noted Copywriter Dean Rieck www.directcreative.com

Lucid Business Strategies

Lucid Business Strategies helps people like you gain authority online.
email for info or

call 586-254-0095

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Your Words are Your Reputation

Your Words are your Reputation

It used to be that reputations were ruined by pencil scrawls on public bathroom walls, or derogatory notes passed in class. A single word or phrase could destroy your life – but that is ancient history, right?  Not so.

Every post on your websites, blogs, or social networking sites impacts your personal and business life.

Now, I am a writer by trade, so maybe I’m hypersensitive. But from my perspective, messages containing spelling or uncommon usage errors cause me to question whether the author pays attention to quality in other aspects of their business — particularly when I see similar errors across multiple messages.

Here are three examples I’ve seen in the last week with the misused words underlined, and the corrected statements shown in italics:

“More homeowners choose us to market there properties then any other agency.”  Should be: More homeowners choose us to market their properties than any other agency.

“… those of you that have been apart of the community…”  Should be: those of you that have been a part of the community…

“… few our harnessing the true power… “  Should be: few are harnessing the true power…

Maybe the people who wrote these posts were in a hurry. Or, maybe they don’t care if their message is misconstrued and they look foolish. But the world is watching and people are judging: Will she make errors like that on MY paperwork? Can I trust him to be hyper diligent on my accounts?

Double check your emails – even your Tweets – before you hit “send.” Have someone else proofread your web content and articles before they go live.

Your reputation is at stake.

Lucid Business Strategies

Lucid Business Strategies is building a GREAT company that helps other people build GREAT companies.

Learn more about our strategies and services on the Lucid website or call us at 586-254-0095

 

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Why Your Facebook Fan Page Should Include Coupons

Why you should use coupons on your Facebook pageYou built your business FB page in order to engage with customers and prospects, right?

There’s an entire generation – the Millennials – who are finishing their education and becoming adult consumers, right?

And how do you think they are engaging with the world? You can be quite sure they’re not flipping through catalogs or walking the streets seeking a new place to hang out.

They’re on the internet, searching for what they want from the comfort of their apartment – searching before buying, and looking for deals.

As Nick Sweeney says in his January 4, 2013 article on CoupSmart.com, “As Facebook becomes as ubiquitous as Google, searching for deals will mean going to branded pages expecting a deal. After all, it’s the #1 reason people ‘Like’ a branded Facebook Page.”

What does this mean for your company?  It’s simple, really:

When someone redeems a coupon from a local newspaper or home delivery package, they are anonymous. You have no idea who they are or if they will ever purchase your product or service again. With a Facebook Coupon, you gain important information about that customer, and have a direct avenue through which to engage with them. Every time they click through your Facebook Coupon to whatever Landing Page you set, you have the opportunity to learn more about them and give them more incentive to purchase from you.

If 2013 truly is to be the “year of the coupon” as Mr. Sweeney claims, and Facebook is the avenue the Millennials in particular will be using, having coupons on your Facebook Fan Page will serve the purpose of all advertising, which is to drive revenue.

Get ready to watch ’em make virtual clips!

Click here to learn more about the Marketing Programs offered by Lucid Business Strategies

 

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When Online Buzz Becomes Illegal

When Online Buzz Becomes Illegal

When Online Buzz Becomes IllegalWe all want positive chatter online – great endorsements and the kudos of happy customers. But when the “buzz” is fabricated, it’s not only discouraging to prospective customers, it’s also illegal.

August 2012 saw a national data broker under investigation for endorsement allegations by the FTC. Turns out management instructed employees to write glowing comments on the company’s services. The comments were “edited” by management then posted on social media sites using account names provided by the company.

If you use social media in your marketing or on behalf of clients, be aware that under the FTC Act, consumers have a right to know when there is a material connection between an advertiser and an endorser, and it’s on your shoulders to make sure you and the companies you represent are in compliance.

 

What You Can Do Today:

  • Check out the FTC’s Endorsement Guides and draft a Company Policy.
  • Let your employees know that they need to know the rules, and understand that you will take action if they choose to disregard the Policy.
  • If someone outside your company is handling your PR and social media, make sure they understand that they, too, can be held accountable for violations.

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Blog your Way to Social Media Stardom

Blog Your Way to Social Media Stardom

Blog your way to stardomEver since sites like WordPress were birthed, people have been launching blogs and linking to them in their social media networks.

Or at least they do it for a while.

Then the blogger runs out of topics, moves to a new job, or just gets bored with the whole thing. The blog fades into obscurity, and the business owner figures all the other social media “stuff” will take up the slack.

Not so, says Jeff Bullas, a globally recognized social media star and technology expert, and he’s joined by others such as Adam Singer of Future Buzz and Darren Rowse at Problogger.

They all say your blog should be your “online home,” and social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn should be “outposts” – the places you have a presence. A strong blog following adds to your Search Engine rankings, and to your social media presence.

Your blog should be given priority for three reasons:

  1. Old articles are still read years later, and are thus given long life by the search engines. Old tweets, Bullas says, “live in archive purgatory where a majority will never be seen again.”
  2. Each blog post contributes to the cumulative results of your site. This is not so for Twitter or Facebook.
  3. Social Media sites are tools to share content. Use them to attract subscribers to your blog. Focus your community building efforts on creating a blog people actually want to read.

Follow these tips to get on the road to Social Media Stardom:

  • Blog regularly – at least once a week.
  • Make it visual – images make things more understandable, and can increase recall by up to 89%.
  • Use a conversational, personal style. Use first person, tell stories, avoid “lectures.”
  • When you motivate your reader, you create action. Ask thought-provoking questions, or activities that involved both sides of the brain. Our brains pay attention to things that are out of the ordinary.
  • Design your content to elicit an emotion. People remember things they care about – things they feel.
  • Solve a problem that is common to your customers or prospects. Leave the sales talk to someone else.

 

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