Epiphany of Fun and Awesomeness

Epiphany of Fun and Awesomeness by Tracy O'Clair

It’s November 2nd, 2017. I’m sitting on the brink of Winter. The trees are nearly dying. October colors are everywhere, and pumpkin spice has about run its course. We survived another Halloween. This is our second winter home.

Over the years, I’ve spent a shit load of time getting myself “somewhere”; yet, I find myself here. Single, taking care of a business and the family. I guess it’s not a bad spot to be in. But all this adulting isn’t very fun.

So yesterday I had an awesome epiphany. I decided that I should just strive to be awesome all the time. Everyone is like – “Life is too short”. Ya? Then why is there so much mundaneness, so much sadness and so much pain?

I’m aiming for pleasure. I’m aiming for fun. I’m aiming for awesome – which got me thinking. What exactly is awesomeness? [Besides me of course.]

Google drops it down like this:

Awesome: extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.

Synonyms: breathtaking, awe-inspiring, magnificent, wonderful, amazing, stunning, staggering, imposing, stirring, impressive.

Informal: extremely good; excellent

Now that really can’t be that hard. Awesomeness must be a learned skill. I wasn’t always awesome. I had to work at it. I had to be the bad smart kid to make it happen. When you do something, no one thinks you can or will do, that’s awesomeness.

I don’t have the exact mixture of what makes someone awesome; but, just know – I’m studying that shit. Stand by for greatness.

4 Ways Marketing and Human Resources Can Work Together

Business People Working Technology Devices Cocnept

Earlier this month, I facilitated a table at the Kennebec Valley Human Resource Association. Who knew human resource professionals were faced with so many challenges. Topics included marijuana use in the workplace, SHRM certification, employee form data and hiring transgenders.

As I looked out into the crowd, I realized I knew quite a few of the attendees. They were mostly middle aged females from the Augusta and Waterville region. From my perspective, most them were very organized type of people. I guess that’s what Human Resources is made of – nurturing organized individuals.

Coming from marketing, this is great! Us marketing folk are creative in nature and tend to think outside of the box. We often need to be pulled back into reality to dot our i’s and cross our t’s.

As a business owner, I value human resource personnel to make sure we are abiding by all the laws – so we don’t go out of business by being sued or worse, over taxed!

Throughout the years, in my professional field, I find that most human resource and marketing departments do not communicate as much as they should. In fact – in some companies – I’ve seen absolutely no communication between the two. This is a huge issue when it comes to a company’s success.

My company depends on the success of my team and the recruitment of talent. Marketing and human resource departments need to work together to create and deliver messages. There are many ways human resources and marketing teams can work together. Here are a few:

Use Employee Stories to Recruit

The best way to attract website developers, truck drivers or nurses – is to share stories of other employees to the market place. Note “market place” is wherever these professionals “hang out”. This maybe on LinkedIn or at the truck stop! If you don’t know, go ask them!

Talk with your current workforce to gather demographic and psychographic information.  What are their values, attitudes and interests? Find common ground and use it for recruitment.

Utilize Captive Audiences

Today, marketing professionals create captive audiences through content marketing. We grow our social media networks and email lists. Utilize these captive audiences to push out job descriptions and messages about who you are as a company and how great it is to work for this company.

Everyone likes to see the “behind the scenes” content. That’s why reality shows are such a big hit. Lifestyle is important. Try to focus on personal connections; but, make sure you utilize your marketing team’s efforts.

Use Technology to Communicate

Marketing teams can help human resource professionals adopt communication technology and software programs like Asana, Slack and Zoom to improve productivity of the work place.

Facebook recently launched Facebook Workplace. Microsoft now owns LinkedIn and recently launched Microsoft Teams. These are companies to watch.

With the ever-changing technology landscape, marketing and human resources need to work together to stay in the know and implement technology where appropriate.

Remove the Divide

Have monthly meetings between both the marketing and human resource team. Consolidate communications so they are consistent. It’s best to have one person posting to social media, managing advertising campaigns and sending emails vs. two or three. It’s also better to use the same graphic designer to keep brand consistency.

If you’re company does not typically work this way, it may take some time to adjust and learn to work together.

At the end of the day, we’re in the people business. We service and sell products to people. We hire people and we have only ourselves to blame for failed relationships – with people.

How to Write Basic SEO Friendly Website Copy

How to Write Basic SEO Friendly Website Copy

I’m no expert on SEO; but, I do know a thing or two about writing SEO friendly website copy. My shop works a lot with WordPress. We design and develop, we update and we write copy. My copywriters write website copy as well as blog copy.

What’s the difference you ask?

Well technically blog copy is website copy. All blogs are hosted the blogger’s website. Blogs differentiate from plain ole website copy in a couple different ways.

  • Blogs are timely. They are written within the present time and dated. The information is generated from one person’s perception and may change in the future.
  • Blogs function differently than website copy. Website copy is considered “static”. Blogs are fluid. When a blog is shown on a website, the most recent blog shows first and then gets pushed down as more blogs are published.
  • Blogs can be categorized and tagged and be sorted to improve user experience.

Warning: It’s important to write a new blog about the same topic instead of updating an old blog. Trust me, it messes up the entire system.

Ok, on to the SEO part. First of all, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. When you or anyone goes into a search engine – like Google – and types in “keywords” to generate results, the search engine uses those keywords to scourer the internet for the best fit.

How Google does this is a mystery to me; however, many SEO professionals spend their time keeping up with the algorithm. I suppose once I decide to offer SEO packages to my clients, I’ll know more.

Anyhow, back to basics. When you’re writing SEO friendly website copy – which includes blogs – you should follow the below structure.

Pick a Topic: Pick a topic that you need to convey. This information may be your products, your services, a question that keeps popping up and needs to be explained and later referenced.

Identify Your Keyword or Keyword Phrase: Once you have a topic, pick a keyword or keyword phrase. Of course you can get into keywords all day long.

There’s keyword tools available like Google AdWords Keyword Planner that will help plan the rest of your life. But for those of you who are newbies to SEO, this is the better way – trust me.

You’re keyword (i.e. pencil) or your keyword phrase (i.e. best pencil, best pencil in Maine) should be something that is easily used throughout the copy without sounding robotic. It should also be relevant to your audience. Would your audience use your keyword/keyword phrase when searching for your products or services?

Another thing to keep in mind is to use keyword rich copy throughout your website. Maybe the website copy you are writing today isn’t focused on your location; however, location is important to you. In that case, you need to make sure that your location “keyword” is used throughout your website copy – as a whole.

Place Your Keyword/Keyword Phrase: After picking your keyword/keyword phrase, you need to make sure it’s in the following places:

Title: I’m not going to get into the entire title writing technique. Just know, there’s another blog coming about title writing. Anyhow, make sure your keyword/keyword phrase is in the title.

Warning: Every time your keyword phrase is used, it needs to be in the exact order using the same exact words. If you make one plural and one singular, you’re losing the battle with Google’s search algorithm.

Permalink: The permalink otherwise known as your web page’s URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the string that people enter in their web browser to find you.

For instance, if you type www.toc-media.com, you will find my business website. If you type www.toc-media.com/contact, you will find my contact form which is located on my website. Both links are permalinks.

Typically, you want your permalink to have your title in it since your keyword(s) is already in your title (see above). The permalink for this blog is www.tracyoclair.com/how-to-write-basic-seo-friendly-website-copy.

First Sentence: Your keyword(s) should appear in the first sentence of your copy.

Within Body: Your keyword(s) needs to be placed throughout the copy at least twice. Longer copy may allow for a higher keyword density.

And that, my friends, is how you write basic SEO friendly website copy. For more information on writing copy or for a quote on our copywriting services, please contact me.

2 Easy Ways to Grow Your Facebook Fan Base

Do you have a Facebook Page but hardly no one has liked it yet? Below you will find a couple easy ways to organically grow your Facebook fan base. Invite People: Whether you’re using the Facebook Pages Manager mobile application or you are viewing Facebook via a browser (hopefully Chrome), the quickest and easiest way to grow your Facebook fan base is to invite your Facebook friends. Where the button appears may vary depending on what dashboard Facebook has decided to give you; however, somewhere at the top of your page there should be a button that looks like three dots. It’s typically right next to the “Share” button. Click on it and then click – “Invite Friends”. Your personal Facebook friends list should display on a pop up window. The easiest way to invite all of your friends is to use the Facebook Invite All Chrome Extension. Trust me – it will save you a lot of time! You can also invite all of your friends by individually selecting each one. Collaborate with Other Page Managers: Another great way to grow your Facebook fan base is to collaborate with other Page Managers. Reach out to companies who have a similar target market(s) and create marketing campaigns that promote both company’s products and services. Some Examples: • Chamber of Commerce and member companies can work together to promote a specific event or cause by sharing and inviting people to a Facebook Event Page which is tied to ticket sales. • Pizza shops and ice cream stands can offer a limited time special offering one large pizza and a 99 cent ice cream cone. Each service discounts one item as a lost leader to bring the entire family in to the establishment. • Real estate companies can feature interior design professionals’ before and after photos with a blog write up of DIY instructions. The free information is traded for audience attention. And the list goes on. Note when collaborating with other entities, it’s important to include your social media marketer! - Tracy O'Clair

Do you have a Facebook Page but hardly no one has liked it yet? Below you will find a couple easy ways to organically grow your Facebook fan base.

Invite People: Whether you’re using the Facebook Pages Manager mobile application or you are viewing Facebook via a browser (hopefully Chrome), the quickest and easiest way to grow your Facebook fan base is to invite your Facebook friends.

Where the button appears may vary depending on what dashboard Facebook has decided to give you; however, somewhere at the top of your page there should be a button that looks like three dots. It’s typically right next to the “Share” button.

Click on it and then click – “Invite Friends”. Your personal Facebook friends list should display on a pop up window.

The easiest way to invite all of your friends is to use the Facebook Invite All Chrome Extension. Trust me – it will save you a lot of time!

You can also invite all of your friends by individually selecting each one.

Collaborate with Other Page Managers: Another great way to grow your Facebook fan base is to collaborate with other Page Managers.

Reach out to companies who have a similar target market(s) and create marketing campaigns that promote both company’s products and services.

Some Examples:

  • Chamber of Commerce and member companies can work together to promote a specific event or cause by sharing and inviting people to a Facebook Event Page which is tied to ticket sales.
  • Pizza shops and ice cream stands can offer a limited time special offering one large pizza and a 99 cent ice cream cone. Each service discounts one item as a lost leader to bring the entire family in to the establishment.
  • Real estate companies can feature interior design professionals’ before and after photos with a blog write up of DIY instructions. The free information is traded for audience attention.

And the list goes on.

Note when collaborating with other entities, it’s important to include your social media marketer!

Understanding Social Media Marketing

Understanding Social Media Marketing - Tracy O'Clair

Social media marketing is constantly changing. As soon as you get comfortable with all the buttons and understand how each network integrates into your online community, “The Network” (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) will roll out a new update; get bought by another company or change the user interface – making it harder for marketers to stay in the know.

The best way to keep social media marketing simple is to stick to the principles and learn the new terminology. Below are a few tips to help you.

The principles of marketing have not changed. You still need to define your target market, create a message that coincides with your marketing objectives and communicate that message via a media channel.

Technology has changed the way people communicate. Marketers and consumers are no longer limited to traditional forms of communication such as the telephone and newspaper. Smart phones and tablets are now common place making online social networks like Facebook readily accessible from anywhere in the world.

Your target market chooses their media consumption. You need to deliver your marketing message through your target market’s preferred channel of communication.  Find out what how they consume information by asking your current customers or taking a survey.

Social media marketing is a form of marketing. All marketing campaigns need to be measured.  Use online measurement tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to track the following data.

  • Impressions/Reach: The number of people who have seen your brand. This can be organic or paid.
  • Engagement: The number of people who have clicked anywhere on your post. This will guide your future content creation.
  • Followers/Fans: The number of people connected to your profile. Know demographical and psychological information. What makes your audience take action?
  • Clicks: The number of clicks. Provide information quickly. Collect contact information where possible.

Social media marketing is an expense.  Regardless of how you look at it, you will be spending time and money on your online marketing campaign. Set a budget to include time of your employees, yourself or a consultant and outsourcing the work you do not have resources for such as graphic design, data management or advertising.

Create a social media marketing strategy. Make sure your target market’s demographics and your marketing objectives concur with social media marketing. Create a strategy to be successful.