I Hate Facebook!

I Hate Facebook!

Seriously, I truly hate Facebook and my low opinion is reinforced daily with news of more corporate misconduct. This post was not on my editorial calendar and has nothing to do with my usual subject matter. It is, in fact, simply a personal rant, but I have to get it off my chest!

Facebook: What’s To Love?

Facebook’s stated mission is to bring the world closer together, but the platform was originally developed with bad intentions and still carries negative energy.

Admittedly I was never really into it and only got an account to keep anyone else from claiming my name. My original objections were that the app was too demanding and intrusive. It seemed that if you were “on Facebook” it meant that you spent hours checking in, posting your whereabouts and activities for all the world to see.

Then after that you invested even more time digging into the lives of everyone else you had ever known since elementary school, for some reason. You were constantly alerted with notifications and reminders, and you could never get out from under its clutches.

It was as if the people I knew who were on Facebook had been hypnotized into recording their every move and random thought. So even though I created a profile, I never kept up with it.

I realized I actually couldn’t care less that a former co-worker was at Starbucks, or what the Joneses fed their dog for dinner. And I certainly didn’t need other people inserting themselves into my private life, either, thank you very much. Who has time for that?

And that brings me to my next point.

Good For Nothing But FOMO and Discord

Studies have shown, and anecdotes confirm, that social networking is not as beneficial as face-to-face human interaction. In fact, limiting one’s time spent on social media can lead to significant improvements in well-being.

Facebook is still the most-used social network, but research indicates that hanging out there doesn’t have the same positive impact on well-being that real-life relationships promote. In fact, “most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year.”

Encouraging people to waste time creating enviable online versions of their lives to provoke fear of missing out in others is probably the least of Facebook’s misdeeds.

How many friendships have been undone by oversharing and worse on Facebook? You’re exposed to other people’s abhorrent opinions every time you check in. Not to mention the bigotry, harassment, and bullying that goes on every day. Speaking of which …

Irresponsible Use Of Collected Data

Facebook bends over backward to avoid accountability for the hate speech on their platform. The network is used to spread demonstrably false information. And user information has been harvested for nefarious purposes.

But they refuse to share internal data with legitimate researchers, claiming it would breach their user agreement. Yet, strangely, that doesn’t stop them from profiting off user profiles to increase their revenue.

Corporate Culture Reeks of Greed

Facebook has no qualms about divulging personal data to advertisers and app developers to grow their bottom line. But they don’t want to be accountable for negative activity stemming from their lackadaisical approach to its users’ information.

Internal documents have revealed that Mark Zuckerberg has a record of destroying competitors. What do you think he cares about the millions of people affected by these shenanigans?

Is a Social Media Presence Worth It?

At this point, both public trust and employee satisfaction are in decline, so it’s obvious that I’m not the only one dissatisfied and disillusioned with Facebook.

#DeleteFacebook is a thing that more and more people are actually getting serious about, if not always following through on.

I can’t bring myself to use Facebook even to promote my business, to my own detriment. I joined entrepreneurial groups and set up a business page like everyone advises you to do. But I haven’t interacted online, and my company has suffered as a result.

So it’s a dilemma. On the one hand, I need social media for marketing but I hate Facebook (and Twitter too, but that’s a rant for a different day). Yet I can’t bring myself to delete my account; I prefer to ignore it.

Have Your Say!

What do you think? Do you use Facebook personally or for business? How do you handle social media? Help! I could really use your advice so please comment below!

5 Simple Tips That Will Upgrade Your Content Marketing Plan

5 Simple Tips That Will Upgrade Your Content Marketing Plan

What, you don’t even have a content marketing plan? Someone told you that you don’t need one because you’re “just” a blogger. You might think you don’t “do” content marketing. Or you feel “marketing” means self-promotion (yikes!). Maybe you don’t know how to begin.

In truth, any online business can gain from using content marketing these days. It’s a cost-effective method of responding to the habits we’ve developed thanks to our digital world.

Shoppers today use online resources to inform them of the best products and services available. Providing the information your audience searches for is a major key to business success. Having a content marketing plan is the starting point.

It’s important to stick to proven techniques when developing and using a successful strategy. Here are five tips to remember that will deliver consistent results when creating your content marketing plan.

Set Up a Secure Foundation

These content marketing tips are a basic foundation to build your strategy on. Start here, and you’ll lay the groundwork for developing a winning marketing plan.

Have a mission statement. Knowing who you are as a business and the audience your business serves is the essence of success. Be clear on what you offer and understand those you wish to attract. Define what makes you different from your competitors. Boil that down into a concise message. Use it as your guide to steer your entire content marketing strategy.

Be authentic. Present your true self to your audience. Speak to your readers naturally, as if in conversation. Record yourself giving your message, and be sure you write in that same voice. But avoid using slang and bad grammar. That’s sure to turn even interested visitors away.

Remember these basic pointers to design an unbeatable content marketing plan.

Remember these basic pointers to design an unbeatable content marketing plan.

Solve problems. Make yourself invaluable! Give a steady stream of reliable information to help your ideal clients solve their problems. Direct your content toward your target market’s issues and concerns. Know what their needs and questions are, and discuss them fully. You then become a trusted resource they can rely on.

Do your research. Present the most insightful nuggets of information. Your audience has already heard the usual buzz in other blogs and marketing materials. To stand out and produce exceptional content, be able to bring something new to the table.

Repurpose and republish. Not everyone noticed the information the first time you presented it. Others prefer a different format than your original delivery. So feel free to reuse and promote your content in different ways. Turn blog posts into eBooks, podcasts, or webinars. Let people know about your new product on your social media channels. Tweet quotables from past posts to attract new readers. Maximizing your content gains new visitors.

Have a Guide

It’s helpful to have your marketing plan written out where you can review and update it as needed. Our SMART Content Marketing Strategy Workbook will help you put your ideas into action!

This easy-to-follow guidebook leads you through five simple steps to develop an unbeatable content marketing plan. Download yours here!

Once your content marketing plan is specified, the real fun begins! Following your guide makes it easier to create unique, inspiring, educational blog posts, infographics, and more.

Summing Up

Having a mission statement, being authentic, solving problems based on solid research, and providing your content in a variety of formats make up a solid foundation for developing every piece of material you produce.

VAWW Online empowers solopreneurs and small businesses by providing profitable online marketing strategies without breaking their budgets. Explore all the ways you will gain from having a thoughtful process behind all your marketing efforts.

Let’s develop a strategy to propel you ahead that meets your needs and budget. Contact me here!

How to Unlock the Secrets of SMART Content Marketing Goals

How to Unlock the Secrets of SMART Content Marketing Goals

Having SMART content marketing goals is vital to promote your services and products on the web. If you think that’s simple “blogging,” you might want to think again.

These days you need to do more than post a random series of articles whenever the mood strikes.

When your business has no audience and no inquiries, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Understanding why and how to set SMART content marketing goals produces proven results. Develop a content marketing strategy to attract new visitors. Engage a loyal audience, and convert prospects into your delighted clients.

Why Set SMART Content Marketing Goals?

Because 72% of content marketers who increased their level of success over the past year credit their strategy as a major contributor. Follow their example! Document your own content marketing strategy. Review it often, and update it as needed.

The SMART framework is especially useful for planning content marketing goals. Deliver materials to give potential customers the solutions to their problems. You’ll keep them coming back for more.

Produce content that will stimulate your ideal clients. Expect to do a little more than blogging, though. Attract and hold interested readers with useful information in a variety of formats.

A Quick Review of SMART Goals

SMART goals are specific, measurable, actionable, results-based, and time-bound. Breaking that down produces a foolproof content marketing strategy.

SPECIFIC: Set goals for each piece of content relating to your business objectives. Also consider the stage of development you’re in. A startup would likely have very different priorities than an established business.

Common reasons to produce content include increasing website traffic. You might want to attract more email subscribers or move up in Google’s search rankings.

To attract website visitors, one tactic is to create great headlines. Although 8 out of 10 people read headlines, only 2 out of 10 read the rest. Craft golden headlines followed up with useful, interesting information. Producing clickbait risks losing the authority and goodwill you’re hoping to build.

Everyone has divulged an email contact in exchange for a compelling lead magnet. That’s a common strategy for collecting information to expand a marketing list. Develop useful content that your audience finds valuable. It’s worth the effort if encouraging subscribers is a priority.

Rising to the top in search rankings is a long game. Hacks to make it happen overnight are unreliable at best. That makes it especially important to publish exceptional content. It’s the best way to attract searchers in your target market.

MEASURABLE: Analyze the results of your efforts to make well-informed decisions. Determine what content best serves your readers, and thus your SPECIFIC objectives. Tie those objectives to key performance indicators, or KPIs. This shows the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.

Google Analytics tracks and reports website traffic and marketing analytics. Use this information when planning your content. Produce more of the format types and topics that engage your visitors the most.

Your email marketing platform of choice provides statistics. These can help you generate meaningful offerings. Follow the results of your campaigns to develop suitable content.

Google Search Console checks your site’s indexing status. Integrating it with Google Analytics helps you generate appropriate content. Keep track of how it performs. Focus on developing material that drives impressive search engine results.

Develop SMART content marketing goals to power-up your content strategy.

Develop SMART content marketing goals to power-up your content strategy.

ACTIONABLE: Taking SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE actions leads to achieving your goals. This is where a comprehensive editorial calendar comes in. It’s a vital tool to help guide your way. Nothing fancy, a simple spreadsheet documenting your strategy will do.

Attracting targeted traffic to your website requires a variety of techniques. Chief among those is the tactical use of diverse content. Plot out what you will publish and when. This is the first step to developing your editorial calendar.

Optimize the landing pages for your lead magnets to increase email subscribers. Inventory assets on hand and upcoming content. Then make it easy for readers to sign up for the amazing information you provide!

Search engine optimization is key to climbing to the top of the results pages. Research relevant keywords and develop content featuring them. Knowing your audience helps drive search results.

RESULTS-BASED: Of course, you have an aim for each of the SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE ACTIONS you’ll be taking. Decide in advance how to determine success. Keep in mind that it’s important to set reasonable growth objectives.

No matter the goal, planning to go from zero to one hundred overnight will only gain you undue pressure. Be realistic when setting expectations.

Develop a mix of content formats to spark interest from a wider audience. Analyze your metrics to assess how much growth you can actually foresee in a given period. Which brings us to the final piece of the SMART goal framework.

TIME-BOUND: Have a predetermined ending point to your goals, whether long- or short-term. Be adaptable within yearly, quarterly, monthly, and even weekly sprints. But always have your ultimate goal in mind.

When preparing to take action, be sure you can sustain it for the most effective time frame. Don’t skip from action to action! Have specific, measurable, relevant initiatives at every stage.

Always Be Flexible

Direct all your efforts toward achieving your fundamental goals. Just don’t try to get there all at once. Break your strategies into smaller segments. That way you can make course corrections on the fly.

And don’t try to increase every single metric at the same time. Focus on what makes the most sense for your business at the current stage you’re in. Take the actions that will be most effective for your level of business development.

Create content that answers the questions your customers are asking. That’s a powerful foundation for building trust and rapport with your audience.

Final Thoughts

Before jumping in, think through and write down your plan of action. Clarify the SMART content marketing goals that best serve your business priorities. Establish a realistic time frame. And build in frequent checkpoints to review your progress.

Decide which metrics support your desired outcome and analyze them often. Update your content marketing strategy to incorporate things you learn from each challenge. Your rewards will be greater satisfaction and return on your investment.

Consistently provide useful information that matches the needs of your audience. The tribe you grow will learn to know, like and trust you. That overcomes the first hurdle toward converting them into satisfied customers.

Has SMART goal setting improved your content marketing strategy? Let us know in the COMMENTS!