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Welcome to The Social Forge brought to you by SocialMediaWright Inc. Our podcast will publish every Thursday morning and will typically run between 30-45 minutes talking about things related to business, website development and social media marketing to help entrepreneurs grow their business.

The SocialMediaWright website has a collection of between 100-200 inspiring quotes if you need some daily motivation.

Below you will find links to various locations where you can download our podcast. If you like it, please subscribe to it.

May 4, 2019

I want to begin by apologizing to our listeners this week. Our goal is always to produce and load a show for Thursday morning but we also try to do some research into our topics each week and with our work on our Local SEO Guide, Meet Your Community it pushed the production of the show back a day or so. So hopefully we will be back on track for next week.

We are also trying to find some Local SEO experts to bring onto the show and will hopefully have that in a future episode.

If you have been listening to our podcasts we like to start each episode with an inspiring quote from an entrepreneur or thought leader from around the world.

This Weeks Inspiring Quote is attributed to Zig Ziglar who said: “If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

If this is your first time joining us on The Social Forge and you are looking for some inspiration, you can go to the SocialMediaWright website, we will have a link in the show notes and look for the menu button marked inspiration.

We have collected between 100-200 quotes from business leaders and entrepreneurs in a great graphic image that you can download or share on social media.

We also publish a new quote every morning at 7 AM on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Topics This Week:

  • In our Business Section: Computer apps to help your business
  • In our Website Development Section: Explainer Videos
  • In our Social Media Marketing Section: Twitter for your Business

Business Section

  • if you have ever worked in a service business that services multiple clients where your organization performs multiple services like an accounting firm, legal firm, engineering company or a consultant then you are familiar with time sheets
  • the purpose of a time sheet is to account for the various activities that you perform during the day on or for your clients
  • so as an example you may have 5 consulting clients and for any one client, you could work on website development, social media strategy, facebooks ads, citation submissions
  • so your Tuesday comes along and you spend 3 hours on client 1 working on citation submissions, then you spend 2 hours working on client 2 for Facebook ads and spend the last 2.5 hours of your day working on client 3’s website development
  • the purpose of the timesheet is to bill your clients for the actual time worked during the day
  • by having a list of categories it advised your clients where you have spent your time when they get your invoice for $1200
  • in my early days of accounting, we did paper timesheets as that was the norm
  • fast forward to today there are companies that are offering timesheets via the computer/internet
  • so if you are a business that lives on timesheets I want you to check out a couple of sites.
  • the first site is one that I found a few years ago and I have used them for a while. The website is called Toggl. Located at toggl.com we will have a link in the show notes.
  • they have three plans to check out, they have a free plan and two paid versions, so you can try the free version and see how you like it
  • a couple of things I loved about toggl, is they have an app for the iPhone which makes it really convenient.
  • you start on a project and identify the client and the task you are performing and press start. A timer starts to record your activity.
  • when you are done, simply stop the timer and you have an accurate account of the time for that task. then simply start a new task when you are ready and turn on the timer.
  • with their paid version you can add in billable rates, have a greater export function, manage projects and teams
  • so I would definitely suggest you check out their free version to see if their product is something for you.
  • now a product that I haven’t used but I think worth mentioning here is another timesheet program called TSheets by QuickBooks
  • T Sheets has a free version for one user and then moves into a paid structure for more than one user.
  • they have a mobile app to also help you log your work when you are not near your desktop
  • one of the reasons I like the idea of T Sheets is it's integrated into QuickBooks. So if you are using QuickBooks as your accounting solution as you are recording billable time worked on your clients those details are going to pass into your accounting system ensuring complete records and saving you time from having to manually create entries afterwards
  • from a company perspective, the GPS components can show you where your team is
  • and you can approve timesheets from the mobile app
  • employees can use the app to clock in and clock out
  • the app can send reminders at the end of your defined work day if members of your team haven’t clocked out.
  • so if you are in a business like a consulting practice like us where you need to track your time worked on various clients than check out Toggl and T Sheets to help simplify your process.

Website Development

  • over the past several weeks we have shared with you the importance of creating video
  • we have included a discussion on the different equipment you can use to create videos
  • last week we talked about getting your business set up on YouTube
  • this week we want to talk about another type of video that is very popular and you should consider whether it is something that you can incorporate into your business
  • these types of videos are often referred to as Explainer Type Videos
  • what an Explainer type video does is it explain how to do something
  • one of the big searches on a site like YouTube could be how to do x or how to do y. If you have encountered a problem with a piece of software or were taking a tutorial on how to use a piece of software those videos were explainer videos as they were explaining something.
  • one type of explainer type videos that you can look at are whiteboard videos.
  • these videos will often show a hand drawing animation with a little story and perhaps some music
  • so you can go to a site like Fiverr and look for someone who does whiteboard animation
  • you will have to create a script for what you are trying to show or explain in your videos
  • you can also obtain a license to various pieces of whiteboard software to do the animations for yourself
  • we have an annual license to a product called VideoScribe and it allows us to drag various pieces of animation onto the whiteboard, add some text and then we move along a sequence to tell our story going from left to right. when we are done we add some music, a logo and then we have a video that we can upload to various social media channels
  • now if you want to do a video that teaches or shows someone how to do something on your desktop then there are a few pieces of software that you can look at to help you accomplish this
  • the two pieces I would suggest you check out to do what is referred to as screencasting are 1) ScreenFlow which is available for the Mac and 2) Camtasia which is available for the Mac and the PC.
  • we use ScreenFlow for capturing our desktop on video
  • as an example, we have been publishing videos to both YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for our Local SEO Video Guide Meet Your Community that we are working on
  • these are a series of videos that explain how to set your business up for Local SEO.
  • in a recent video we walk our viewers through the process of verifying your Google My Business account and the viewer can see where to enter their postcard code from Google and watch what happens when it is approved, we were then prompted to add a cover photo to our Google My Business account and we captured that on video
  • so everything that appears on the screen is captured by the software including our narrations
  • you can then edit the video, blurring out sensitive information like when you enter a password, adding in things to draw people’s attention to, correcting errors because no one needs to see this.
  • So for us, this overall video is comprised of different segments:
  • Segment 1 is our opening segment with me shot with a green screen behind me which will be replaced with a town downtown main street
  • Segment 2 is our breakaway clip that shows our organization
  • Segment 3 back to me to introduce the explainer video
  • Segment 4 is the edited explainer video showing how to verify the account
  • Segment 5 back to me
  • Segment 6 is the wrap-up

Then the video is encoded and sent off to various social media channels for consumption.

  • So if you have something that you have on your website that you want to explain to people how to use, if you produce software and want to showcase it, if you have a slide presentation that you want to turn into a movie these are different things you can do
  • if you have a webcam on your computer you can also integrate webcam footage into your explainer videos so that people will see you as you explain something
  • one of the tips someone recommended to me recently with Facebook video was to aim to have your video 3 minutes in length.
  • that might sound like a challenge if you are thinking about standing in front of a camera but when you are explaining something on a screen capture you can easily achieve that time.
  • for our short verification video with adding our cover page to Google My Business, we ended up with 20 minutes of video footage. when we edited everything down to just the footage that we want our visitors to see, we were at around 4 minutes
  • so if you are still camera shy but want to produce video content, look to see how you can use explainer videos to give you something to create and share with your audience.

Social Media Marketing Section

  • if you have been following our show from the beginning, you know at this point we have talked about Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube last week
  • the one we have yet to discuss on the show is Twitter
  • Twitter is an interesting platform as everything is in real time, as you are tweeting people are seeing your tweets instantly
  • companies can use Twitter as a customer support tool and I see many organizations with help in their Twitter handle
  • Twitter was created in March 2006
  • and tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters so people had to learn how to share their ideas in as short a form as possible
  • so let's start at the beginning, you will want to sign up for a Twitter account and choose a Twitter business profile
  • your profile consists of a number of things:
    • your Twitter name to a maximum of 15 characters, SocialMediaWright was 17 characters and we couldn’t get it so we went with a different spelling of SocialMediaWryt a total 15 characters so if you have a long name you may have to be creative
    • your Twitter profile photo - for a business you could choose your own photo or the logo of your business
    • then comes your bio that appears below your username to a maximum of 160 characters. If you plan on having a unique hashtag consider including it in your bio.
    • then comes your header image that appears at the top of your Twitter profile, we have an excellent article on SocialMediaWright that will provide you with the Twitter image dimensions and will have a link in the show notes
    • the last item is the Twitter column of your Tweets. You can choose a favourite Tweet of yours to pin it to the top so visitors will see it.
    • when you complete your setting information other things that will appear on your profile will be your location, a link to a website and the date that you joined Twitter
    • any media that you share on Twitter will be collected along the left-hand side
    • If you click your profile photo on the top right-hand side, one of the things you can check out is your Twitter Analytics, use the analytics to determine what type of tweets best engage with your audience and use that as guidance for your future tweets
    • your profile will reflect the number of tweets that you make, the number of followers that you have and the number of people that you are following
    • anything that you have liked on Twitter can be accessed here
    • you can create lists which is a handy way of grouping people that you are following into segments so that you can just see tweets related to that segment
    • as an example, we have a list started called Local SEO. when we come across people on Twitter that talk about Local SEO we follow them and add them to that list
    • now if you have a lot of people your following you may never see key people that you want to but we can go to the Local SEO list and only see the tweets from those people that are on the list
    • our list is public which you can subscribe to
    • you could also have a private list if say you wanted to follow your competition on Twitter
    • Twitter much like other social media platforms is now a place to share your videos, so all of our discussions on videos, you should now look at Twitter as a place to share them
    • as an example, we have the Local SEO Video Guide - Meet Your Community Playlist on our YouTube channel. We created a shorter link on bit.ly to access the playlist and we have started to upload our individual Local SEO videos to Twitter with the bit.ly link so that people can subscribe and watch other Local SEO videos
    • so the only thing left for you to do is to go out and compose a tweet, Twitter is an excellent place to share what is going on in your business and industry and to connect with people with similar interest
    • you can take a photo or quick video about your business and post to twitter just don’t forget your hashtags
    • if you want to connect with more people on Twitter consider joining a Twitter chat. This is when someone will host a Twitter chat at a specified time. Throw out some questions, like Q1. Have you tried Twitter advertising platform #SMWTwitterChat and then people will respond with the A1: for the answer and their response. If everyone is following the same hashtag you can see individuals interested in the same thing that you are. You may gain some followers and you may gain some inspiration to hold your own Twitter chat.
    • some sites you can check out to get more out of a Twitter chat are tweet chat, twchat, TweetDeck,
    • if you are thinking about hosting a Twitter chat, our first suggestions are to participate in a number of them first to determine how they operate and things you may want to include in yours
    • try and come up with a unique chat hashtag that hopefully also ties back into your business
    • you can register your hashtag with Twubs
    • figure out what the ideal time to host your chat will be considering different time zones and where your audience might be who are engaging with your chat,
    • you will want to do some promotion on Twitter to get the word out and also try not to pick a time that conflicts with another chat in your particular niche as you may be competing for the same people
    • figure out your questions in advance, you may want to consider something between 5-10 questions during your chat
    • if you have conducted a Twitter chat and have any tips, please send us a tweet with the hashtag #SWMChatTips

Conclusion:

We want to close out every show with this thought. If you are not bringing value to the party, what are you bringing? We recognize that you pay us with your time, listening to the show and we hope that we have been able to offer you some value in ways to help grow your business.

If you are looking for a place to share ideas on how to grow your business with other entrepreneurs. Consider joining the SocialMediaWright Entrepreneurs Facebook Group called ReservedParking. You can find the link on the SocialMediaWrights Facebook page.

If you like the show, please subscribe to it so you do not miss a future episode. We will be back next week until then everyone have a great week.

 

Music by: 

Free Music & Free Beer by Alex (c) copyright 2012 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/AlexBeroza/38167 Ft: Admiral Bob