Social Media DDS

Coaching dentists and dental professionals in the art of social media strategy

Social Media DDS - Coaching dentists and dental professionals in the art of social media strategy

I am NOT Going to Write About the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

???????????????????? Well, okay….maybe I am.  

Social Media and worthwhile causes…

There is a lot of recent debate as to the true motive people have for posting their video ice bucket challenge entries onto social media platforms.  Is the #icebucketchallenge encouraging activism or slacktivism ? To be clear, the goal to increase awareness of the disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which is also often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, deserves to be recognized.  The money that has been raised as a result of the #IceBucketChallenge is impressive.  Social Media DDS plans on donating to the ALS Association without ice or water or buckets.

Am I a party pooper?

No way!  As a matter of fact, utilizing social media for good and credible acts of kindness makes me all giddy inside!  Here’s what I know about social media…inherent to the “word of mouth” culture that social media propagates, interpretations of acts of kindness will always vary.  Knowing that,  slacktivism and activism must learn to co-habituate in order for the really important messages to be heard. That said, my check is written and I will continue to 1.) care for and support the ALS awareness cause 2.) laugh at and enjoy the ALS #IceBucketChallenge videos and hope that people take the time to learn what ALS stands for (again, it is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and you can find out more about this neurodegenerative disease here) and what this devastating disease really does.

*Warning: the following video has some language hiccups that may or may not offend….

It’s not just about the ice….

 

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What Do I Do Now? Common Social Media Questions

Question Mark character with hello pose

 

So you have your business online infrastructure in place…a website that allows you to add fresh content and keep current with the information people are seeking when researching your business.  Now it’s time to dip your toe in the social media stream but you have so many social media questions!

What do I do now?

  • What social media platforms should I choose?  Start out slow and consistent.  If you are familiar with Facebook, then use Facebook.  If you are familiar with Twitter, then try Twitter. If you love Google+ then get your business on Google+.  But, just start out with one platform and really get into it.  Create a thorough and inviting Page or account.  Make sure that all of your business relevant information is in your bio as well as a picture of you, the owner, or your business logo.
  • How do I start posting?  Again…take it slow and use baby steps. Post a picture of your staff or a picture from your office.  Share a funny video. When in doubt, anything with kittens, puppies or babies evokes the “awwww” response and gets the “conversation” started.  As you start to feel comfortable “engaging” with your audience, you will look forward to posting more.
  • How often should I post? Create a schedule and stick to it.  You can certainly modify the schedule but try not to skip it.  Once you start to gain followers, you want them to be able to rely on your consistency.  Pick a day(s) and time(s) that work for you or a member of your team and post fresh content according to that schedule.  Once you get comfortable with your schedule, you may want to learn how to “schedule” posts ahead of time to make life a little easier for you and your team.
  • What do I “say” to people who post to my Page/account? Social media is all about engagement.  Think of it as one big ongoing conversation.  When someone writes on your wall or sends you a tweet, answer appropriately in the voice of your business brand.  Remember to keep your personal opinions and comments out of your business Page/account.  Stick with the message that your business is trying to convey.  That does not mean that you can’t be lighthearted and funny…humor is a great ice breaker so go ahead and make your audience laugh!

There are many more questions that I get asked about that first social media experience…these are just a few of the most common questions asked.  If you have a question that I did not cover here, please send me an email at Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or fill in the “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up on the lower right hand portion of your screen. Helping people get comfortable with social media makes me very happy!

Here’s to a great social media experience!

 

 

 

 

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Walking the Walk: Social Media From the Ground Up

Walking exercise

 

You know, in life, often times we spew a lot of verbiage that we hope we can pass off as wisdom and brilliance.  But, it really isn’t until you strap on a good pair of reality shoes and choose to actually walk the walk that your true nature is revealed.

Lately, I’ve been walking the walk.

Since day one, I have been an integral part of the development of a brand.  It happens to be a venture that my husband is taking on and I have agreed to create the infrastructure, collaborate on the logo design and promote the brand on selected social media platforms.  Pretty much what I tell dentists and dental offices to do every single day.  And while I have done so with my own dental business, I did so over many years as I was developing my passion for social media and having an online presence.  This time, I took a concept from scratch and brought it to a place that is ready to blossom in the online world.

Going Home with Tony

My husband was offered an opportunity to host a weekly home improvement and DIY focused radio talk show in the Chicago area.  Going Home with Tony was given a target launch day of Sunday October 5th from 4:00-5:00 PM CST.  We began work on developing the brand in May.  Anyone who has been to my presentations knows that I am adamant about the importance of having a strong infrastructure as a base before you begin creating a social media presence.  Walking the walk is not always easy! With the help of an awesome designer, a logo was created that would be the piece from which I could start developing a website.  A huge fan of WordPress, I decided to try another web design system that was more plug-n-play because I needed to get a site up and running quickly and we didn’t have anything in our budget to farm out web development.  So, I used Weebly and chose a DivTag Template that spoke to the “look” we were trying to achieve.  Plug-n-play doesn’t always mean incredibly easy but it does mean, that with a bit of time, you can make a pretty awesome looking website.  I must add that the developers of DivTag, Jeremy and Connie, have the most amazing customer service and, despite my many annoying emails, they are still “talking” to me! Logo design, branding and website complete, I was now ready to put Going Home with Tony out into the social media arena.  Because I am very comfortable with most of the social media platforms, I jumped right in and created a Facebook Page, a Twitter account, a Google+ Page, a LinkedIn account and an Instagram account.  I have been a long time user/lover of Hootsuite, so adding these accounts to my Hootsuite dashboard was a piece of cake and made posting to multiple social media channels a breeze.

How are we doing with walking the walk?

I am hear to tell you loud and proud that…it works!  All of that talk that I spew out to you that you listen to has, it turns out, some credibility!

Imagine that!

I have experimented with boosting posts and Pages on Facebook with some success…a post on those results to follow in the future.  I have hashtagged my way through Twitter and Instagram using #homeimprovement and #diy until my fingers ache from typing them so much.  But, it works. We are gaining followers and beginning to get some engagement (and you KNOW how I feel about engagement!)  This has been a fun journey to experience what a business needs to go through from start to finish when they have decided to create an online presence and use social media as part of their marketing strategy.

How can I help you?

If you need some guidance in your venture to get your business up and running with a robust online presence and social media, I’m your girl! Email me at claudia@socialmediadds.com or simply fill in that little “Let’s Talk” form that has popped up on the lower right corner of your screen.

Turns out, I love walking the walk!

And, if you want to do me a huge favor, please consider following Going Home With Tony!  He’ll make it worth your while!

 

 

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Decluttering Your Social Media Life

Clutter Management

 

Every once in awhile, I switch into high gear in an effort to declutter my life.  I’m in that “Decluttering Mode” right now.  This urge to declutter takes me from my personal life right through my business social media life.  

Decluttering can be so cathartic!

At home, decluttering is easy.  Clean out closets, organize drawers, label shelves, neaten up the garage and straighten out the kitchen.  Donating items I no longer use or repurposing items to be useful again is such a great feeling.  But…

What is Social Media decluttering?

Social media decluttering for your business/brand can be just as cathartic as decluttering your home. Here’s how you can declutter your online presence and de-stress your social media life at the same time. 

  • Assess the social media platforms that your business/brand is using. If, in a frenzy of enthusiasm you created accounts for your business/brand on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Vine, LinkedIn, YouTube and more, you may want to reevaluate what works, what doesn’t work and what platforms you never actually use.  Trim down your social media efforts so that you can concentrate on just one or two platforms and give them all of your attention.  Having too many social media platforms sometimes just spreads your efforts too thin and/or makes you feel guilty if you aren’t active on them.
  • Create a achievable schedule for posting content and stick to it. Being disorganized is a symptom of being over cluttered.  By organizing your time with reasonable scheduling goals, the decluttering of your social media presence will be easier.
  • Delegate posting responsibilities.  If feasible, delegating can really help to declutter your online life.  If you’ve got team members that love to write, love social media or just love to help, by all means, make your life cleaner and easier by letting them help you.  Posting and creating content for your business/brand needs to be consistent and speak to the voice of your brand…that does not mean that it has to all be done by you.  As long as your team knows the message of your brand, delegating some of those responsibilities to them will aid in your decluttering process and will enroll your team member(s) in your brands engagement.

I feel decluttered just by sharing these tips with you!

If decluttering is just not your thing and you need some guidance, email me at Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or simply fill out that little “Let’s Talk” form that has popped up in the lower right side of your screen!

Here’s to decluttering!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Social Media Etiquette: Check Your Snark at the Door

Negatives Positives Computer Keys Showing Plus And Minus Alternatives Analysis And Decisions   One of my favorite things to do in real life and online is to observe.  You can learn so much by just watching and listening.  

People can be so interesting.

That said, though fascinating and interesting, people can also be rude.  Filterless. Bullies.  And, it seems as though the perceived safety of online “anonymity” often encourages what I call snark attacks.

Snark according to Urban Dictionary:

noun Combination of “snide” and “remark”. Sarcastic comment(s). Also snarky (adj.) and snarkily (adv.)

So what are snark attacks?

You’ve probably unwittingly witnessed snark attacks.  Snark attacks can range from extremely overt to subtle and covert.  Friends or brands may post a seemingly harmless status update and followers and “friends” (HAH) respond with a sort of feeding frenzy of negative comments…snark attack.  Often this negative energy can create a mob mentality effect which encourages others who would otherwise rarely engage online to keep up the negative comments.  Snark attacks often start with unsolicited gems like “In my opinion…” “If it were ME…” “How could you possibly…”  etc.   As a brand, you want to be very mindful of snark and snark attacks.  Your posts should always be conscious of the message that your brand intends to convey.  Your responses should be respectful and non-judgmental.  If your brand becomes the victim of a snark attack, you have a couple of options.  You may be able to delete the offending comments or you can politely address the snark monger with a peripheral nod to their engagement and not get drawn into their drama snare.  Snark attacks inherently cause emotional responses so remaining even tempered and calm is tricky at best.  In the wise words of my awesome Dad…

Always come out smelling like a rose.

Remember that snark does not need to beget snark.  In the best interest of your brand and it’s message, always check your snark at the door and keep the engagement upbeat and positive. If you have been a victim of a snark attack and aren’t sure how to handle it, let me know.  I’m a pro at putting snark to bed.  Simply email me at Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or fill in the “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up on the lower right portion of your screen.  

Let’s stamp out snark attacks!

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When Is a Muse Not Amusing?

Enchantment

 

 

When its not around!

You know and I know that any good online presence requires fresh content and engagement.  So, for me, the engagement part is pretty straight forward and easy.  It’s the fresh content on a regular basis that gets me.  You see, I’ve got this really awesome muse that inspires me with ideas and topics and fresh content. 

Usually!

But every once in awhile, my muse runs dry.  Takes a vacation. Is on the Red Eye to who-knows-where.  And when that happens…

My muse is not amusing.

So, what do I do when she leaves me high and dry? I punt.  Since I know that I am not the only one that has a muse with a mind of their own, I will share some content freshening secrets with you.

  • Repurpose previous posts:  While you certainly have adoring fans of your brand’s online presence, you also have a lot of new eyes falling on your content so, repurposing an older post is a great way to prove that you don’t always need your muse.  Simply freshen the post up again.  Make sure that the content is accurate and up to date and add a few new thoughts and, “voila”…you’ve got fresh content.  If you are repurposing a blog post, make sure that you acknowledge that this post is a revisit of a previous post and then create a link to the original piece.  
  • Create and share a funny meme that speaks to your message and audience.  Memes are so easy to create.  You can start here and then get your funny on.  Sometimes just being silly is a lot easier than getting all serious and relevant!
  • Share relevant posts: People that you respect and follow often have great posts that are germane to your brand’s message.  Sharing and attributing the love is a great way to create content AND goodwill.  And, who knows…your posts may be used as content when someone else’s muse takes a hike!
  • Share a relevant infographic: I love a good infographic.  Are they overused? Sure!  But, in a pinch, a good infographic will have a lot of juicy information and keep your audience interested.  And, of course…it goes without saying that you need to give attribution to the creator of the infographic with links back to their site.

I am grateful for my muse.  I appreciate her creativity.  But she’s fickle.  And I can’t always count on her.  So, for those times when my muse is NOT amusing, these are the aces up my sleeve.

If you need help when your muse leaves you high and dry, let me know. I can help.  Simply email me at Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or fill out that pesky little “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up in the lower right corner of your screen.

Let’s be aMUSEing together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Logo Design Tips from an Expert

Photography company logo #Vector

 

I’m one of those people who’s creativity is inspired by other’s ideas and creativity.  In other words, I rely on the creativity gifts of others for direction in “my” ideas.  I am eternally grateful to the many people who share their gifts with me.

Recently, I was working on my husband’s soon-to-be launched home improvement radio talk show called Going Home with Tony and, because it is a new program, we are starting from scratch with all of the things that I talk to you about to create a credible online presence…website and social media accounts.  But, as I have shared with you, I needed a logo for our brand.  It had to speak to the message that Going Home with Tony was going to convey.  It had to be unique and it had to be memorable.  Don’t tell anyone but I even spent a weekend thinking that I could come up with a fabulous logo myself….

Pfffffftttttt

Lesson learned…stick with what you know.  And, I don’t know logo design.  So I reached out to someone who does.  I called Peter Secker graphic designer extraordinaire and owner of Thomas Sebastian Companies.

Here’s what Peter says about branding and logo design:

“Branding is very important and most people don’t understand the complexities of logo design or branding.  One thing that should be noted is the copyright issue about branding; this is a VERY complex aspect of protecting yourself. All original art is automatically Trademarked with the creation and documentation of the piece. However, if you want to register that Trademark you need to be careful. Those who think they can use ‘clip art’ or ‘copyright-free art’ for the creation of a logo are potentially infringing on underlying copyright laws. Most copyright-free art that you get from a Stock Image resource is not totally copyright-free. They only give you the right to use images for certain uses unless you do an outright buyout of the image, which takes that image out of circulation and transfers the copyright and trademark to you. This is a VERY expensive undertaking. It usually will cost thousands of dollars. If businesses try to copyright or register a trademark of any art that is not totally owned by that business, they are in essence in violation of copyright laws. You cannot copyright an image that is already copyrighted by someone else.”

Pretty compelling, huh?

So, when you are getting your branding ready by incorporating a logo that will be your brand identifier, keep what Peter says in mind.  Better yet, contact Peter.  He’s a delight to work with and he really listens to his customer’s vision.  You can see what he did for “Going Home with Tony” here.

If you need help understanding where to begin with brand identification and logo design, I can guide you.  Simply email me at Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or fill out that pesky little “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up in the lower right corner of your screen.

I’d love to connect!

 

 

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Tales From the Crypt – Preventing a Social Media Nightmare

Bored to Death - 3D render

You may have heard me say “It’s called SOCIAL media, not STAGNANT media”.  If not, then let me just repeat…

It’s called SOCIAL media…not STAGNANT media.

Here’s the problem.  It’s not pretty.  In fact it’s downright scary.

There are a LOT of stagnant media accounts floating around out there.  Businesses who meant well and in a moment of gung-ho passion created Twitter accounts and Facebook Pages because that was what they were “supposed” to do.  And for a few months, statuses where updated, articles shared and pictures posted…usually with no rhyme or reason.

And once the posting stopped, these well-meaning businesses heard crickets chirping in their social media platforms so…

They gave up.

Worse than that, they shook their collective heads and said, “I knew it…social media doesn’t work…I don’t understand all of the hype.”

And yet another social media presence enters the dark and eerie Stagnant Media Crypt.

So, how can you prevent your social media efforts from turning into stagnant media?  

How can you avoid the Stagnant Media Crypt?

Well, the good news is that it is actually pretty easy to prevent your online presence from becoming stagnant AND it’s fairly straightforward to revive online activity that has already gone stagnant. It’s not too late… all that it takes is a little…

STRATEGY

  • Select the social media platform(s) that you are going to use.  Start out with just one so that you can get the feel of that particular platform before branching out.
  • Select how often you are going to post on your chosen platform(s).  Don’t simply say “twice a week”.  Create a schedule and stick to it.  For example, you may want to post to your Facebook Page on Mondays at 9:00 AM and on Thursdays at 11:00 AM.  Then do it.  Consistency creates credibility!
  • Mix it up.  Don’t just post factual or informational articles…those are fine but be creative.  Make some of your posts fun(ny), make some of your posts informational, post pics occasionally, post memes, share videos…keep your audience enrolled and anxious to see what you have up your sleeve next.
  • EngageTHIS is the most important part of staying out of the Stagnant Media Crypt.  Engage, engage, engage.  It is the best way to prevent those crickets from setting up house in your online presence.  When your audience responds to your posts, respond back…don’t drop the engagement ball.  Once people start catching on that you are for real and that your brand is worth knowing, it becomes fun and intuitive!

Don’t let your social media presence become a nightmare…you can prevent your online presence from becoming stagnant.  All it takes is a little strategy.

If you want some help in strategizing your plan for your brand’s online presence, I would love to help.  It’s what I do!  Simply drop me an email at Claudia @SocialMediaDDS.com or fill out that little “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up on the lower right part of your screen.

Let’s engage!

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What I Learned From My Dad

Claudia and Dad (Ken Anderson)

Happy Father’s Day…a day late!

My amazing Dad has been gone for 10 years now but I think about him every single day.  And, since he was my original role model for owning a business, I thought I would share some of the lessons that I learned from my Dad about owning a business.  Now, understand that back in the day, marketing in the dental industry was taboo.  Your marketing “strategy” was entirely “word of mouth” based. 

So, here is SOME of what I learned from my Dad

  • treat EVERYONE with respect
  • listen….ALWAYS listen
  • gratitude…express gratitude for referrals and return visits…always!  
  • at the end of the day, it isn’t about the bottom line.  It’s about the relationships that you have made/cultivated.
  • if you don’t have something nice to say about someone, don’t say it at all (I use THIS Dad-ism every day in my life!!)
  • ALWAYS be grateful for what you DO have!

I realize that these life lessons actually sound like life lessons a Dad would share with his child…and it’s true.  The lessons that I learned from my beloved Dad were life lessons…lessons that I could apply to any situation whether it be my business or my personal life.  And, really, at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all should do as business owners? Do we really need a separate set of “lessons” for our business that are different from the lessons we apply to life?

I don’t think so!

Respect, listening, gratitude, relationships, and kindness are applicable in all aspects of our lives!  Dad was a VERY wise man!

I miss my Dad and love him with all of my heart!

If you need help applying your life lessons to your business, Social Media DDS is here to help you!  Simply drop me an email to Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or fill out the “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up on the lower right corner of your screen and I will connect with you! 

I am so grateful for the lessons I learned from my Dad!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Taking the Pulse of Your Business

Business Finance

Oh no!  Here we go again!

Another post on how important it is to work ON your business and not just work IN your business.

That’s what you are thinking isn’t it?  

Surprise!

While it is extremely important to always remember to spend time ON your business as well as working IN your business, today’s topic is actually different.  Today’s topic is the importance of taking the pulse of your business.  As a matter of fact, it is more than just taking the pulse of your business…it is imperative that you check your business’s vital signs on a regular basis.

“My business’s vital signs?” you ask.

Absolutely!  And here’s how!

Take the pulse of your business:  Listen.  It’s as easy as that.  Listen to your team.  Listen to your customers/clients/patients.  Hear what they are saying, good and bad and respond appropriately.

Take the temperature of your business: Feel.  Feel for cold and hot spots in your business plan and aim for a temperate response.  It’s the “three bears syndrome”…you don’t want your business plan to be too cold (stagnant) and you don’t want your business plan to be too hot (high risk).  You want your business plan to be “just right”.

Take the blood pressure of your business: Look.  Look around you. Is there tension within your team?  Is there tension between your team and your customers/clients/patients?  Sense the level of negative pressure in your business and make the necessary corrections for an optimal balance and harmony.

Do you need help taking the pulse of your business?

This is what Social Media DDS LOVES to do!  Simply send an email to Claudia@SocialMediaDDS.com or fill out the “Let’s Talk” box that has popped up in the lower right corner of your screen and…

Let’s start taking those vital signs!

 

 

 

 

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