2019, social media

What I learned from the presentation “Social Media Strategy For Small Businesses”

Tonight I went to a presentation called Social Media Strategy For Small Businesses at Haven Collective. I heard about the event from the Robles Design email newsletter that highlights cool upcoming marketing-related events for entrepreneurs in Columbus. This event peaked my interest because I always like hearing from other social media pros and learning from their expertise. (If you’re not learning, what are you even doing, bro?) Carissa Richardson led the event. She owns her own company Kindred Strategy, after working at different agencies and brands for 13+ years.

She talked about the difference of organic and paid posts on social media. She made the excellent point that organic posts won’t grow your following. You need to put money behind your top performing organic posts and show those to a more narrow audience, such as a custom or lookalike audience (which is more targeted than using the Interests targeting.) I like to boost the previous week’s top performing post. This statement struck me because too often business owners think the goal of social media is to grow their following and that will happen if you post organically. False. You should strategically target your posts and invest in paid social media.

Carissa briefly talked about engaging with your audience and how important it is to respond. With that being said, she addressed the elephant in the room: what to do when, (not if) someone leaves a negative comment. She suggested to post a canned response that asks the person to take the conversation offline, like “We’re so sorry to hear you had a less than ideal experience with us. Please email debbie.gillum@brand.com so we can discuss this further.” She made the point that this sort of safety net policy in place can help leadership folks feel comfortable posting on social media. I would argue that posting a copy-and-paste response each time someone complains would fan the fire. It’s like if you called a company to complain about a service and instead of reaching a human you only got the automated voice. You’d get more mad. I think you should empower whoever is managing your social media to customize that response to address what they wrote. I’m still advocating that you take the conversation offline and follow that best practice, but I think canned responses make a brand feel robotic and can aggravate fans.

My favorite part of the presentation were Carissa’s steps to creating a social media strategy

  1. Define your social media goals. If you’re looking to grow your business your social media goal might be to increase your website traffic or grow your brand awareness and increase your post’s impressions and reach.
  2. Audit your current social media channels. Look out for duplicate pages, old accounts and take inventory of how many followers each account has.
  3. Build audience personas. Use existing data to create a fictional character of your customer. What are their needs? Pain points? Values?
  4. Choose your platforms. Check Google Analytics to see what social platforms are currently working to refer traffic to your website.
  5. Competitor Inventory. What are they doing? What can you do better?
  6. Establish your brand voice. This also involves creating your social media mission statement which is something like “BRAND creates social content to BENEFIT for AUDIENCE.” Example: “Volunteers of America creates social media content to help thrifty shoppers save money.”
  7. Develop a content strategy. A good idea is to post 1/3 Engaging 1/3 Curated and 1/3 Promotional. For curated content, keep a list of websites, blogs, authors who fit with your brand and subscribe to their newsletter. I like to set up Google Alerts for keywords related to the brand.
  8. Create a measurement plan. How will you track your success? I like to measure weekly analytics and one of my most important metric is looking at what post performed the best that week. That influences my future content.

Thank you to Yasmine of Robles Design, Carissa Richardson of Kindred Strategy and Haven Collective for working together to put on such an educational event.

2019, social media, Uncategorized, work, work sample

How a Facebook Post Can Evolve Through Teamwork

I wanted to highlight a recent example of how a Facebook post went from concept to publishing and the beauty of how that idea evolved and changed through collaboration.

Concept: Hurricane Barry was barreling right into the path of our New Orleans and Mandeville MedVet hospitals so we were concerned about pets being displaced.
The Regional Marketing Partner reached out suggesting we post on Facebook if lost pets are brought into the hospital. The hospital was set up to temporarily shelter any found pets during the storm. I agreed this was a great idea and set out to make a “found pet” template in Canva.

This was my first draft. I knew it needed to have the pet’s picture, pet’s information and be on brand. I wanted a simple and straightforward design.
This is the second draft, that the Regional Marketing Partner made. I was really impressed by the sense of urgency this post conveys and the icon in the top left corner which could add consistency if we used this template on multiple posts.

Based on feedback from my manager, and from consulting our graphic designer, the post was revised a third time. The background color became lighter, the top left icon changed and we used our brand’s emergency color which is red.

So, after a couple days of back and forth and making three drafts, we needed to use this post template.

This dog was displaced in Hurricane Barry and we used the social post template our team created to find her owners and get her back home safely.

Over the weekend, a female chocolate lab came into our Mandeville hospital. We posted on Facebook about her, using our new template, and it worked! She found her owners.

2019, social media, Uncategorized, work sample

MedVet Facebook Posts I Created

I’m proud to share some of the Facebook posts that I created for all of the 24 MedVet Facebook pages recently. My goal with the content creation has been to engage our audience while still maintaining our commitment to leading specialty healthcare for pets. I’m learning that our audience loves to interact with us, whether it’s sharing pet photos or answering our questions. I made these graphics in Canva and wrote the copy.

This informative post was targeted to cat-owners looking to learn more about what symptoms of arthritis to look out for.
We’re fortunate to have a strong base of digital cheerleaders who leave MedVet glowing 5 star reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp and other sites. I wanted this post to thank our supporters as well as subtly encourage others to leave us a review.
Here’s another informative post we did to help pet owners protect their pets from snakes. With the temperatures rising and more dogs outside this time of year, the hospital emergency rooms often see an increase of pets coming in suffering from snake bites. I wanted this post to give practical steps a pet owner could take to snake-proof their life.
I was proud of how clever this post was. I’d like to repurpose it again closer to Halloween and Valentine’s Day too.
To increase engagement, I created this post asking our audience to guess the name of this dog. I struggled to think of a hint that would be helpful but not too easy. My hint ended up being “4+2=” and most people correctly guessed his name was Six. Our audience loved this post, not only because they got to interact with us and each other but also because they got to learn more about a police dog.
This post was a two-for-one engagement driver. Not only did we ask people to comment True or False, we also asked our audience to visit the blog post on our website to learn more about skunks. (Oh and the answer is True.)
This post drove engagement and educated pet owners about micro chipping. Polls on Facebook Pages are a relatively new feature and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to ask our audience a simple question and try out this type of content.

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of MedVet.

social media, work, work sample

LinkedIn Paid Advertising

After merging with Indiana, Volunteers of America Ohio & Indiana has been growing at a rapid pace and we have a lot of job openings right now. To assist HR with finding qualified applicants for these positions, I ran a paid campaign on LinkedIn from 12/27 to 1/2/2019, targeting people in Evansville, Toledo, Fort Wayne, Bloomington, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, and Columbus with the listed job function of Community and Social Services. (These are the cities we are hiring in.)

For the Text Ads, since you could have multiple variations, I used this as an opportunity to do some A/B testing with the language, the links and the creative.

Three of the Text Ads took people to: https://www.voaohin.org/careers  and three of the ads took people directly to the job listing page. I used a Bitly link to shorten the job listings page.  The top two performing ads pointed visitors to https://www.voaohin.org/careers  

Sponsored Content on LinkedIn. I made the image and wrote the copy.

We ran 5 versions of Text ads on LinkedIn and it’s clear the one with “We’re Hiring” in the headline performed best.

The Text Ad variations. The top performing ad had over 20,000 impressions and 14 clicks.

I definitely want to do more paid advertising on LinkedIn to recruit applicants and to do more A/B Testing.

2018, social media, Uncategorized

Our new thrift store employee

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This photo embodies what I think thrifty social media marketing is. The pic was texted to me by a thrift store manager this morning after I stopped in last week to say hello. Since I started a year and a half ago, I formed a relationship with her by coming into her store frequently. I listened, talked with her and got to know her staff. She knows she can send me pictures to post on social media. That’s easier for her than emailing the pictures to me or posting herself on her store’s Facebook page (yes, I trust her with her Facebook page.) She was telling me how they had a Justin Beiber cutout donated a while ago and the staff had some fun before the store opened taking photos of him.  I can’t be in the stores 24/7 to capture moments like this. I need managers and staff to know how important social media is and that I can’t do it without them. There’s something refreshing and authentic about a Facebook post with no call to action, no link to an outside website, and no filter. It’s just a photo that’s playful, relatable, funny and shareable.

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 9.49.26 PM

2017, debbie, images, may, social media, work sample

Hidden Creek social media posts

These are some potential social media posts I created for Hidden Creek Landscaping. 
My Advice: 
-Be Humorous 
Don’t shy away from puns and plant-humor 
– Add a Call-to-Action to the employee recognition posts
“Comment below if you’ve had the pleasure of working with any of these great employees” 
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Finally we are almost done with worrying about frost. The crocuses are popping up. Can’t wait to welcome spring! #firstdayofspring #march20
Important Question We Need to Ask: If a plant is sad, do other plants photosympathize with it? #planthumor #lol
Plants grow from a combination of water, sunlight and food. Hidden Creek Landscaping grows from reading your feedback. Please take a moment to review us today! http://ow.ly/5BeU306hEbe
When you do good work, you’re proud of it. Using our landscape expertise, we  crafted a personalized and pristine space for The Palmer House, right over in New Albany. See what we can do for you today! http://ow.ly/7V9E307PsYH 
Want to join our great team? We currently have openings for our landscape installation and landscape management divisions. #joinourteam #jobopening To see job openings visit: http://ow.ly/5riM307Pwei 
Want to beautify your property without breaking open the piggy bank? Hidden Creek Landscape is the solution. Our residential landscaping services will make your neighbors green with envy
All content created by and property of Debbie Gillum. All rights reserved
2017, april, graphics, images, social media

Dana Walters Social Media Posts

These are some potential social media posts I made for Dana R. Walters DDS:

Trivia Tuesday: Modern dental floss is made out of _______.   Share your answer in the comments below!

Warmer weather means it’s time to enjoy iced drinks. So refreshing! A friendly reminder to avoid chewing the ice in order to prevent gum injury, fractured tooth enamel or irritation of sensitive teeth.

Can you guess how many chapsticks Kaylee has in this jar? Comment with your guess!

TGIF! We did it! Share with us a selfie of your pearly white smile in the comments below. #selfie #tgif

#GumDisease is the most common cause of adult tooth loss and is a problem that we take very seriously. Call to make an appointment. #dentist #dental #teeth #smile

You know what today is? HUMP DAY! Now, that’s worth smiling about. Comment below with something that made you smile today #SomethingtoSmileAbout
I made all these images and wrote the captions. All content created by and property of Debbie Gillum. All rights reserved

blog, blogpost, social media, work sample

Good Makery Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

February 10, 2017

There’s a special someone in your life and you want to get them something spectacular for Valentine’s Day. But, what do you get them? Take a deep breath, eat some chocolate and let this list of gift ideas come to your rescue:
  • Watch: Give your special someone a gift they will treasure all year long. Every time they check the time, they’ll think of you. 
  • Custom stamp: How cool would it be to have your own personalized stamp? You can write both your names or signatures on the stamp to always remember your love. A great way to liven up thank-you notes. 
  • Necklace: What better way to keep your Valentine close to your heart, than engraving their name on a special necklace, made just for them. It’s as beautiful as your love. 
  • Coasters: If your bae is slowly ruining your wooden table, subtly remind them to use a coaster, with these customizable coasters, available in ceramic tiles or in cork. 
  • Homemade cookies: Any Valentine will sincerely appreciate the time and effort spent crafting some delicious goodies. 
  • Magnet: A simple yet useful gift to hold important photos, shopping lists or notes on the fridge.
  • Candle: Nothing burns brighter than your love… except for this candle. Our scented soy candles last over 90 hours and include a heartfelt message and personalized gift inside a glass bottle.
  • Phone case: A practical yet lovely gift for that will keep you two in-sync. 
  • Cactus: This little green succulent will grow with some TLC and is long-lasting, just like your love. They will treasure this prickly plant forever. 
If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a sincerely written card, flowers and box of chocolates.

good makery, images, instagram, social media, work sample

Good Makery Instagram posts

I made this Valentine’s Day graphic in Canva and I like how clean and simple it is. I also wrote the caption on Instagram.
I watched Adele sweep the Grammy’s on Sunday and so I wanted to celebrate her achievement on Instagram and provide relatable down-to-earth content for our Instagram followers. This is Adele’s Twitter profile picture and I wrote the caption.