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Laura B. Poindexter is a renowned thought leader, guiding clients through the changing electronic marketing and social media environment. Her public seminars have helped thousands of business owners learn and employ affordable marketing solutions. Since 2000, her company, Queenb Creative (formerly laura b creative), has managed clients’ online presence, maximized their social media and electronic marketing to positively impact their bottom line and enhance audience engagement.

02 June 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Increase Your Open Rate by 30% with this Quick Tip

Improve Email Open RatesAre you struggling to reach your audience? Do you feel like you have a respectable email open rate, but your message is still not getting through?

This simple tactic takes only 2 minutes and can increase the reach of your message by an additional 30%. What is it? Resending your email to those on your list who did not open the email the first time.

I use this strategy for all my important emails. Not necessarily every email campaign I send but if I have a big event announcement or some really juicy content I’m sharing.

If you have 1000 email subscribers and you average a 25% open rate, then 250 people opened your last email. You know what else that means? 750 people did NOT open your last email.

We want to give them another opportunity to see the great content you are sharing without badgering those subscribers who did open your message. And to help increase our chances, we’ll also change the email subject line and send it 4-7 days later.

If we resend this email to those 750 people and assume a conservative 10% open rate, that is 75 more opens, and that means that 325 total subscribers saw your important message. Is that worth a few moments of your time?

Do you have a bigger list? 5,000 or 10,000 subscribers? Imagine the impact of this 30% bump in opens.

It makes sense, right? And it’s so easy to do.

Here’s how to do it in Constant Contact:

I love this feature of Constant Contact. I’ve included screenshots from within Constant Contact along with step by step instructions.Finding Did Not Opens
1) We need an email campaign.
a. Choose the email you want to resend.
b. Make a copy of the email.
c. Change the subject of the email. Let’s try something a little snappier if possible. Remember, 75% of your list did not respond to your original subject line.
d. Send the new email to your Test list. (Sidebar: Your Test list should be a list that includes at least your email and maybe some other stakeholders like employees.). It is important to note that this email must be SENT and not remain a Draft.
2) Finding those Did Not Opens.
a. Go to Reports.
b. Click on the Opens for the original email campaign.
c. On the left, click on Did Not Open.
d. Now you see a list of all those who did not open your email. Select all the address by choosing the checkbox at the top.
e. Now, choose More Actions > QuickSend. You will see the names of the last five email campaigns you sent. The revised email you just sent to your Test list should be at the top, select it.
3) Send the email. It’s important to note that at this time, you cannot schedule this email. It will be sent immediately upon clicking Send.
Alternatively, if you wanted to schedule this email you can repeat the steps above and instead of choosing QuickSend in step 2e, save the contacts to a new list that you can use to schedule the email.

Have you sent an important email message in the last few weeks? I want you to go try this now and let me know your results in the comments below.

And if you are a Constant Contact user and want more tips like these, consider enrolling in my VIP program to gain access to my Email Marketing Workbook resource library.

This blog post originally appeared in the Constant Contact Community at: http://bit.ly/1FsapXv . Visit the Constant Contact Community to see my other guest posts.

08 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

2015 Leadercast: The Brave Ones

I have always loved Leadercast – the largest one-day leadership event in the world. I’m grateful to Southview Community Church for simulcasting this great event so I don’t have to travel to Atlanta to attend live.

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This year’s lineup included some of my favorite speakers and some new names I had not heard from before. I hope you find some of the following tips inspirational and they motivate you to learn more from these great leaders.

05 May 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Friends Don’t Let Friends Autopost

Friends Don't Let Friends Autopost

Why you don’t have any engagement on social media

Let me first define autoposting. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use tools such as HootSuite to schedule your posts. I’m saying you shouldn’t have a post on one social media platform, Facebook, for example, automatically post to another like Twitter. Or have the same exact update go to all of your social media platforms at the same time.

Each platform has different types of posts and differently crafted posts that work best. As well as individual style and technical factors that make it important to post each update separately by platform.

Also, you should schedule posts as often as possible natively in each platform especially when it comes to Facebook. We are seeing explosive engagement on Facebook with native video versus posting a YouTube link. Also, tagging other pages and people is not currently available outside of Facebook.

Here are four examples of why posting from one platform to another is a bad idea along with a quick solution to these problems.

#1) Facebook to Twitter

I see many businesses post from Facebook to Twitter. If you find such a business, go ahead and look at their Twitter feed. Often it is difficult to figure out what the posts are about. The number of characters available on Twitter for your update is limited to 140, but you should keep your updates much shorter to allow for Retweets. Facebook posts tend to be much longer and just get cut off by Twitter with a link back to your Facebook page. Also, you are not engaging in the Twitter community using hashtags and tagging other people.

#2) Twitter to Facebook

It’s rare but I also see businesses post from Twitter to Facebook. Here you are likely bringing in Twitter handles that don’t translate on Facebook and hashtags that may or may not mean the same thing on Facebook. Also, Facebook thrives on visual content. You should always be posting with a photo or video directly into Facebook.

#3) Instagram to Twitter

Instagram makes it easy to post to other platforms when you publish your photo. However, when you post from Instagram to Twitter, the image does not carry over; instead it is converted to a link. So create that Instagram image and publish on Instagram, then go into Twitter or an app that posts images to Twitter and upload the photo.

Here are some more reasons not to publish from Instagram to Twitter:

  • The hashtag conventions on Twitter and Instagram are different.
  • The number of characters allowed on Twitter is limited.
  • Links do not hyperlink in Instagram updates so should not be included. However, Twitter is all about links so you definitely want to include them in your updates.
  • Are the people you are tagging on Instagram using the same handle on Twitter? They should be but if they don’t you may be tagging someone else.

I do sometimes (not all the time) post from Instagram to Facebook. After publishing on Instagram, I go back to the image and choose SHARE, choose Facebook, and edit the update removing the tagging and hashtags. I most often do this when I am at an event. This can also help build your Instagram audience from Facebook because the image will have a link to your Instagram profile. The images are perfectly square which works great on Facebook especially on mobile. I tend to share a wider variety of images on Instagram so I definitely do not just post all my Instagram photos to Facebook. I pick and choose a few choice images to share to Facebook.

Please read my follow up post: Repurposing Instagram Content.

#4) Anywhere to LinkedIn; LinkedIn to anywhere

I never understand treating LinkedIn like a social network. LinkedIn is a business networking site. It is not a place to blast your message or share details about your vacation. Make sure you know your audience (and it will be different on each platform) and deliver the appropriate content to them.

My LinkedIn connections are my business associates. People I know and see around at local events. I have no desire to blast them with my latest promotion or event. I do occasionally share the best of the best of my content on LinkedIn. I also share business accomplishments that interest this audience. Think of LinkedIn as milestone type content. When you post on LinkedIn, use an image of the appropriate size and do not use hashtags.

 

The Solution: Repurposing Your Content

So, now that I’ve told you what NOT to do, I want to share with you what you can do. The solution is repurposing your content across the platforms.

You can use the same content, just not the same update. Here’s what it might look like if I was posting the same content to ALL the platforms discussed here:

  1. I write the update in Notepad or another text editor.
  2. I create all the appropriate sized images. 2015 Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet
  3. I copy and paste the post in Facebook and schedule for later in the afternoon with an image or video. I will also tag any other appropriate Facebook pages.
  4. I copy and paste the post in HootSuite for Twitter. I will likely take the same update and rewrite it three different ways using appropriate hashtags (one or two) and maybe tagging a partner or the subject of the post. I would upload an image for one or two of these posts and schedule them out at various times based on when my Twitter audience is online.
  5. I craft an image and update for Instagram and post. Keep in mind that Instagram (and Pinterest) updates tend to have more shelf life so write them with that in mind. Also, find up to 11 appropriate hashtags that relate to the post and your audience. One or two of them can just be fun. This is social media, right?
  6. Copy and paste the original update in LinkedIn and rewrite to my business contacts – how is it important to them? Maybe if I am promoting an event, I’ll ask them whom they might know who can benefit from the topic instead of just blasting the registration page. I would also include an image here and post during normal working hours. LinkedIn is also not as immediate as Facebook or Twitter so make sure you give some time for your audience to act.

Mix these updates with other content so if I follow you on multiple platforms, I don’t just see “here’s my event”, “here’s my event”, “here’s my event” everywhere.

I hope you find that spending this small amount of additional time to craft your posts appropriately for each platform will exponentially increase your engagement across your social media platforms and you will start to get a better feel for what works on each platform for your particular audience.

Remember to choose the one platform that makes the most sense for your ideal customer profile and start there.

If you want to learn about more effective and timesaving tips for your social media, join me for my next free webinar.

This post originally appeared on the Constant Contact Member Blog at http://bit.ly/1DR1bCa.

03 March 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Please Do NOT Boost that Facebook Post

BoostPostTitleHorizontal

Facebook Advertising: There is a better way.

Let me start by saying what I tell all my clients. It is more important to have 100 fans/subscribers/followers who love you then 5,000 who are moderately acquainted with you.

On the surface, boosting a post seems like a good thing:

  • You will reach a larger audience.
  • Facebook is helping you.
  • It only costs $5. I mean who wouldn’t pay $5 to reach 20-52,000 people?

BoostedPostBudget
The problem is that if that exposure doesn’t lead people into your funnel to business then you are not only wasting the $5 but you are hurting your own organically grown Facebook engagement.

There is a better way. It’s called Custom and Lookalike Audiences. We are going to base this on your existing email list but you can actually create Custom and Lookalike Audiences from your existing fans (and their friends), customer database, LinkedIn connections, or from people who have visited your website.

Here we go. First, you need to upload your email list to Facebook. Just the email addresses. Don’t worry Facebook isn’t going to spam your list. Facebook isn’t after your list. I mean, they are Facebook. They have a bit of the market cornered already. Uploading your email list creates a Custom Audience that says “these are my people”. Facebook matches the email addresses up to their users with the same email addresses. What can you do with this information?

1) You can advertise to just those people – your email subscribers who do not like your page on Facebook. Encourage them to like your page so that they can automatically receive your special offers and exclusive content. This is a great strategy to form deeper relationships with your existing audience.

2) You can find people like those people. When you Boost a post, you can choose targeting like age and location. But let’s be honest, you are just guessing really. However, Facebook knows everything about its users. Think about that for a moment. Facebook knows EVERYTHING – your birthday, your friends, where you work, where you went to school, the keywords in your profile, whom you interact with, which pages you like, EVERYTHING. All of your fans may share interests like wine and Scandal. You have no way of knowing that, but Facebook does. When you create a custom audience, you say, “these are my people”. When you create a Lookalike Audience, you say “find more people like my people”. Facebook is not going to tell you what those factors are. I am not sure a human could tell you. It’s an algorithm, but it’s a very accurate algorithm.
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3) You can target that group of people based on all of the broad targeting factors available like gender, age, location, language, relationship status, and pages they like. Pause. Read that again. Pages they like. Boom. Do you ever wonder how you get that ad for the Dallas Cowboys t-shirt for a woman living in Virginia? Now you know. (Guess who my favorite NFL team is?)

Now, let’s take this planned advertising strategy where we are targeting people who might actually be interested in our products/services and put those leads into an online sales funnel that will deliver value over time.

If you want to learn more, click here to download a free 11-part video course on Facebook advertising from my friends at LeadPages.

This post originally appeared on the Constant Contact Community Blog at http://bit.ly/18iuyVD.